Originally posted on BlackDoctor:

A woman relaxing in an armless chair at home and smilingInterestingly, experts agree that there are a set number of behaviors that are more common in women over 40 that are increasing their risks of certain diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes.

So what are some of the top diseases that you might be able to avoid with simple behavior changes?

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Unprotected Sex

Although young adult women are most vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), rates are rising in their mothers’ generation as midlife women reenter the dating scene after divorce or widowhood. In fact, the most common STD, trichomoniasis, is more common in women in their 40s and 50s than in younger women, a 2011 Johns Hopkins study found. Untreated, trichomoniasis can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease. Rates of syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and herpes are up in 45-plussers, too.

Between 6 and…

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Yesterday Night by Tobi Oluseyi

The wind blew in softly through my window yesterday night –

                And I thought of you,

                Of us lying down in bed –

                                Together,

                At peace and at rest,

                In comfort as you sling your leg over my body,

                Claiming it for your own.

 

The wind blew in softly through my window yesterday night,

                And I saw you

                As I always do –

                In bits and in pieces,

                In my mind’s eye.

                                Sometimes we are touching,

                                Sometimes we are talking,

                                Sometimes we are laughing

                                Sometimes we are angry,

                But always together,

                                Always at home.

 

The wind blew in softly through my window yesterday night,

                And I was at peace,

                For though I’ve not seen you:

                The whole in one piece,

                And I fear that perhaps

                I’ll not know you when I do –

                                Mistake you for another.

                But if it will be,

                                Then it will.

 

                And I can feel the wind

                                Blow in through my window,

                And lull me to sleep,

                                And blow me to you

                And keep us together.

 

                              

 

The Silent Secret By dismus aine Kevin

The Silent Secret
By Dismus Aine Kevin

I know the secret
Even during my childhood days
Am different, I wonder why?
Year’s months passed, days become longer
Nights were nightmares

This secret, alone I share
Mother can’t understand
She loves me, but the secret will separate us
Trying to keep the secret,
Waiting for freedom to cover me

All alone in my dreams
Praying for God sent mate
Its forbidden even to the lord
Wondering who to turn to

Fearful to be disowned
Expelled from school
To be laughing stalk
I swear to die with my silent secret

Am only happy in my dreams
Why me? Why this secret?
Hard to share, hard to be told
Am meant to believe it’s wrong
Am reminded every other day
Now more certain,
The secret can’t be told

Growing older
Family pressures rise
Friends start to question
I know am different from then
What to do? Tell the secret
Oh No, it’s the untold secret

Dismus Aine Kevin
Director
Rainbow Health Foundation Mbarara
rainbowhealthfoundation@gmail.com

A registered CBO, in Western Uganda, that strives to offer grass root health services to sexual minorities [LGBTI]

Breaking barriers through grass root intervention

Thoughts Of A Seeking Soul by Tobi Oluseyi

Sometimes when I think of theism and its many differing faces, I think of a coin – with its head and its tail. And then the ever-wondering child locked up in my bosom asks if perhaps theism is similarly only one side of the coin and atheism being the other.

In all our human seeking, is it possible that Time will bring us to see that blind man who looks around him and sees the beauty of creation, the wonder of nature and in an awe-struck moment of worship violently avers that there is a God and that he will devote himself to the seeking of him; and that his blind brother who hangs his head in misery from gazing too long on both the misery of his other brothers and the purposelessness of existence, and who in a similar fit of violent passion declares and end to self-pity, vows not to look to any fairy creature for deliverance, but rather work out not only his own salvation, but also that of his brothers in misery; Will Time bring us to see that both men speak the truth? Is God truly beyond our comprehension – for the now? And will it take us further aeons of development before we can be truly ready to grasp him as he truly is? And when we are ready, will we discover that he was a necessary figment of our imagination to help us maintain a semblance of order? A personalized ideal of all that we hold as good, pure and beautiful to guide and keep our errant souls in check like the nurse tending the child until it comes of such an age as to sufficiently grasp reality as it really is?

Will we then discover the emptiness of rules and walk with courage in the freedom earned by knowledge? Will we then recognize that good and evil, right and wrong are all arbitrary marks – like the points of a compass chosen by men to make some sense of the universe? Perhaps this is the heaven that the philosophers have written about – where we have all been purified, our essences cleansed, so that we are truly free and can look God in the face and realize that all along, he had been within us – he had been us.

Or perhaps we will realize that there is a literal concrete God, who can be seen, touched, heard, smelt and perhaps tasted – in another dimension, truly omnipotent and omniscient; tirelessly organizing reality so that it confirms to his plans, and endlessly creating rules to be enforced by his chosen in whose raised hands dangle the whip, threatening and lashing goats into submission.

Perhaps, we could also come to realize that life is not worth the effort of attempting to find some order in the utter chaos of it all and in total exhaustion, we leave it to itself with all its beauty and glory to the destruction for which it was intended anyway; recognizing that there is no escaping the ignominious ending for which we along with it are destined.

And perhaps, we would wake up to another reality and realize that all that we had thought, known and believed were all figments of our imagination: that other reality, some would call death.

 

12.00am, 30-01-2012

Plantains by Zara aka Eke aka Zed

If I were to woo you with plantains I’d require that you don’t mistake them for bananas, for the latter are just too sweet and I need a little ‘not that’, like the cruelty in your teeth. And if I wooed you with plantains, I’d flavor them with stories, crying in their newness and wrinkling in their old. I’d start smooth, like the plantain tree that grew in the backyard at home, next to the green pineapples, whose crown kissed the ground every time it stormed.

Then I might tell you about Panama, those rice and beans and living on the beach days, eating slick gold circles of crushed and fried plantains, with my skin dusted with sand and my hair salted with spray. Last time I tasted halos, my mami fed them to me in a house in Canarsie last year. But then her son broke my heart, so now tostones just taste like tears.

Or I could just woo you with plantain chips, they sell them spicy in New York- thin round slices peppered in red. Did you know? In Lagos, they slice them lengthwise instead, like mummified sunlight on a hawker’s tray, like yellow tongues suffocating in a plastic bag, like why I cannot come to Lagos to stay. They sell their roasted plantains dry with groundnuts. Abeg, let me just take you to my home down south. We sell them sticky and scarlet with seasoned palm oil, it’s like blood and heaven salting in your mouth.

I hear that learning to love me is like trying to climb a plantain tree, but when you get to the peak, oh. What a view you can see.

Anyway, in this process of wooing you, I get to tell you things with fruit, that I see undressing you as peeling a ripe plantain, soft coverings dropping away so eagerly to reveal sugared flesh. I’ll taste you till my teeth fall out, darling, put me to the test. I’d cut off your ends and suck inner sweetness onto my tongue, dip you in red oil and savor you long.

Contrariwise, weighing loss heavier than gain- leaving you would be like opening a green plantain, if I were unwilling skin and you the hardened meat within. What blade could wedge me away from you, incising long lines of devastation for purchase, peeling me off while leaving my inner membranes clinging with a stubborn set. You cannot send me away yet. We need time, time for your bones to melt with ripe and fill with sweet, so ready that when my fingers graze you, you pool at my feet.

I only meant to woo you with plantains, bringing dowries of pregnant bunches cleft by a cutlass from its mother stretch of tree, sap staining my palms and kolanuts in a wake behind me. I cut down its long leaves and bound them with twine, that I might make a bed for you and stake you mine, framed against dewy green. I offer you this bundle of oblations, what else have I to give? I seduce sacrifices down your throat, feed you plantain fufu from my fingertips, if you will let me live.

When there are nothing but sapped skins heaped upon our floor, I’ll retrieve my cutlass from behind the door, step out and cut down more. Like you were dying and these were the cure, like I’m mute and they will for me implore, like you I do adore.

I’ll worship you with my harvests time and again, just tell me you’ll come back for more. 

From “Me” With Love by Shane D.

From “Me” With Love
My sweet ribena
Because of you I’ll sell okrika
Under rain or sun, I go de hala
Just to get you stuff and mascara…
Baby smile for me even though I no be camera
You aint twitter but I go be your follower
For you I re brand am Ada and Eve
I’ll get suicidal if you try to leave
Na me go beg every time we get beef
I go do armed robber even petty thief
So I fit buy you shine-shine and fine ear-ring
But sucre, I tire like Michelin
Because right now I wish you are in
My heart; I’m sick of enduring
I swear, na your hand I go place my ring.

Dreamer by Shane D.

Dreamer

On the park bench she sat
Looking golden in the sunlight
Left then right; no partner in sight
Pound, pound, pounding hard – I mean my heart.
Somehow, feet inched up  to her chair
Lips curved, words formed but never caught the air
Goose pimples; body felt bare
Gullet swallowing- she said “hi, you said something I didn’t hear”
“You are beautiful” was all that escaped
Heart leaped; this was something that had never being experienced
From it’s hyper state, mind descended
And the fog? It all disappeared
Ha! The park was empty
My head heavy like I was hibernating
Then my phone went buzz, buzz – vibrating
I awoke with a start… I was only dreaming.

Game of Two by Shane D.

Game of Two

Two pairs of clanging feet
On a turf so soft, writhing in the heat
Of passion and a fine silk sheet.
It is a battle of the fittest
Each with same interest
Vieing  to reach the peaks of Everest.
There is banging and groaning
Sweat freely pouring
As higher they climb, each screaming
At the near sign of approaching victory.
Finally, there is a tie
Both at the peak, both in time
Slowly descending, soaked in slime
Congratulatory kisses and cute drowsy smiles.

Life by Shane D.

Life

The world is a big, big stage
And we are nothing but actors
Some act in haste
But others slow, in bits and fractions
Mistakes are made that can never be erased
Some end their scenes with sadness and in pains
But life is a play; why take it too seriously?
Acts and scenes… They’ll all end eventually
And there is no player  to come out victorious…
Play like each part is your last
There’s so much in this life  to worry about my part
Be yourself, don’t act in a disguise
Make the most of it; you’ll never get out of it alive.