Sunday, July 28, 2019

Shine down
on me
When I couldn't see
you were right there
for me

Maybe I was lost
Like you told me
It's a day to rejoice
I'm here with you again

Shine down
and let it be
I never could be
Who you wanted me to be

But I'm me
Is that enough?
Let me
Shine down
Throw your light on me

by L. Zaki  7/28/19

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Give Me

By Leah Auma Okeyo Otieno

Give me the knowledge to know
That my suffering may be fairer
That I would not easily swap.

If I was given a chance.

Give me the light to shed
On the dark corners so dark
And give me the wisdom to know
Where the darkness is.

Give me the stage to shout out
My voice for ages drowned
And give me the ears to hear
My wants and feel with me.

Give me the power to transform
The societies that need change
And give me the power to avail
The tools that do the job.

Give me the joy of life, let me see it as a privilege
Open my eyes to see, for sight is a privilege too
Guide my hands to reach out, and hold who grope in darkness
For touch is a privilege too, that can mend broken hearts

Leah Auma Okeyo Otieno is the founder of PACHO (Positive and Active Towards Change Organization).  She is a community leader, inspirational speaker, poet and more!
For more information visit her website at

to wake up
Where were you?

I thought I saw you
In the shadows

But it was only my reflection

Time to live again
To dream again

by L. Zaki  7/23/19

Monday, July 22, 2019

A poem by Mary Kate King

A short story by Laura Frances Zaki

     The strange days were over or so she chose to believe. They came back to her in pieces, bits of memories here and there.   Her dreams were so real and vivid she almost believed she was back then again.  Back home with her family.  Traveling again to Egypt and Italy as she had always done.

     She was in a café in Milano just four years ago eating a pizza margherita.  Post divorce she had gone to Italy to try to forget.  After thirty years together how does one just forget?  If anything could make her happy it would be Italy. 

     What great memories she had of Italy before she met him.  In college she had spent time in Italy with two different host families.  She had found summer love with a young Italian banker named Giuseppe who she met on the beach and kissed in a vineyard.     

     It was time for new memories she thought as she turned to look at her son lying asleep in bed.  She promised herself she wouldn't cry in the daytime, he deserved a fun vacation.  It wasn't easy when your parents divorced in middle school.  Her older son hadn't taken it very hard but he wasn't the emotional type.  Yes, she would eat pizza in Milano and pesto Genovese in the Cinque Terre during the day and cry herself silently to sleep at night.  

New York City
    "How could he have done that?  she thought.  Just giving up after a lifetime together.  She wasn't the type to quit easily but he always had.  No matter what it was a business, a friend or now her marriage he always bailed when the going got rough.  It wasn't another woman as she briefly suspected after they separated.  She even thought for a moment that he might be gay.  But it seemed it was neither.   He had explained that they were no longer compatible.  That they grew apart.

     They were always very different from the first day they met.  True they came from different worlds.  He was from a modest family in Cairo and had come to the US to study ancient languages in New York City.  The son of a tailor with ambitions to do more.  She was from a middle class family in New Jersey.  She was in graduate school in New York studying international politics and was fascinated by the Middle East.  It was exotic she thought and just foreign enough to be intriguing.  And so was he!     

     He was charming.  She told him her mother had always wanted to visit Egypt and see the pyramids.  He joked and laughed easily.  He said "here is my number give me a call and I don't want to be disappointed".   That line worked with her and she called him.  Their first date was ice cream and a walk over the Brooklyn bridge.  From then on it was a whirlwind. 

Cairo, Egypt
     They were engaged in Paris.  On her first trip to Egypt, she was amazed by Cairo.  A huge city with endless traffic, crowded and bustling, exciting and exotic.  From the spice shops to the bazaars with all types of trinkets to the gold shops and hawkers near to pyramids it was all fascinating to her.  Her ears buzzed with the sounds of the lilting Arabic language and the calls to prayer by the muezzin echoing throughout the city. In a mix of modern and ancient, children rode donkey carts through the street while modern cars buzzed by leaning heavily on their horns in the Cairo cacophony of sounds. 

     She loved it all and she loved him.  They were different but they made it work.  When they first met they discussed music tastes.   He laughed as she told him what music she loved.  They never did see eye to eye on that or many other things.  But they made it work for 30 years. 

     Now he was gone and she was devastated.  Her children had told her to move on.  Her family said he wasn't any good for her.  True in the last few years of the marriage things had been strained.  But she thought they were in it for good.  She really should have known better!

Agriturismo in Piedmont Italy
     She didn't buy a home in Tuscany or in her grandmother's region Piedmont.  She just drove through the rolling hills and castles and vineyards spread out before her.  She talked and laughed and stayed up late at night discussing life with the owners of the agriturismo or little bed and breakfast where she stayed.  The food was delicious and all grown locally and home cooked.  The innkeepers were used to people coming to Italy to start their lives over.  No one really cared that she sat alone in the dining room after her son had gone outside to play with the cat and her kittens.  She sipped her espresso coffee and tried to think that someday she would be again like the laughing couples she saw before her.  She didn't really believe it, her pain was so strong and raw at the time.

     Italy did help.  The food, the people, the sites were wonderful and therapeutic.  Her son skateboarded through piazzas in Florence, Rome and Pisa.  They took in all the historic sites, ancient churches and squares, fountains and monuments to the past.  How many others had found solace in the charming Italian landscapes and cities?  They walked through the heat in Rome and stopped to drink at all the fountains.  Eventually it was time to come home.  Her Dad had major heart surgery when she was away and it was time to get back to real life.

(NEXT UP:  Crazy days, strange days through the purple haze)....

Purple haze, all in my brain
Lately things they don't seem the same
Actin' funny, but I don't know why
Excuse me while I kiss the sky
Purple haze, all around
Don't know if I'm comin' up or down
Am I happy or in misery?
(Jimi Hendrix)





I dreamed of you for so long
I never wanted it to be that way
I know I hurt you
I'm sorry for the pain

But now we have another chance
To try to make it right again
We have another day
Let's find another way

Another day
Another way
Walking in the sunshine
Another day
Another way
Back together again

I know it's not easy
For you to trust me again
But I know I can do better
Let's find a way
Let's start to live again

Another day
Another way
Dreaming of better days
Another day
Another way
Walk with me my love

Remember those trips we used to go on?
Walking along the beach
Smiling laughing on the way
Life can be good again

Smile with me now
Through the pain
Life is beginning new again
We'll find
Another day
Another way

Written by L Zaki 7/22/19


Sunday, July 21, 2019


Slowly she turns
Out of the corner of her eye
It's been a long time coming

She breathes deeply
Sighing as she silently cries
Numbness fills her body

Once she dreamed of peace
like a long train coming around
It was there within reach

Faded hope
Like blue jeans
Gather yourself up

And move to the light again

Written by :  L. Zaki 7/21/19

Friday, July 19, 2019

Check out our friends at Morning Tea with an original song called Loving You

Flying Free

This inspirational poem by Mary Kate King shows that there is always hope to be that star again Or as Pearl Jam said in Thumbing My Way "no matter how cold the winter there's a springtime ahead".

by Mary Kate King


How they bend to the light?

You have the light

Can you see it?

It flows through you

Find your peace

in the sunshine of your heart

Then you will know love

Written by L Zaki


Uplifting towards
the SUN

Jewels of nature

Shining bright in their glory
Cast your heavy thoughts to the wind

Your time to sing and dance is near
You just can't feel it yet
Peace surrounds you in a cloudy envelope
whispering thoughts of true love

Written by :  L Zaki, 2019

Find inspiration from the poet Kahlil Gibran!

Thursday, July 18, 2019


Q. Sometimes I just can't get moving!  I want to change my life and start a new career and also get my finances in order. It just seems so overwhelming!!

A. Baby steps, baby steps!  All change starts with good intentions and an action plan.  You don't have to do everything overnight.  Start with a large notebook or two.  One for each project is the best.  Pick something with a cover that inspires you! Many notebooks are available on Amazon for under $5 or your local dollar store.   Write down all of your ideas for your projects. 

If you want to start a new career do some investigating first. Investigating starts by asking the experts. One great resource is SCORE, retired business executives who can assist you if your dream is to be on the entrepreneurial path and start a new business.  If you prefer to work for someone else in your career seek out the help of a job coach or life coach. They can be extremely helpful in giving your thoughts direction and a clear plan.  Depending on what industry you want to work in seek out advice of someone who works in the that industry currently.  Plan to attend some industry events and do some networking for ideas and contacts.

Getting your finances in order is also a matter of getting organized!  If you have debt set up a schedule to start paying off the debt.  Too much debt will leave your finances a mess.  There are two options to finances, owe less or make more income.  Budgeting properly will also help you to keep things in check.  Sometimes we don't realize how much we're spending on small items that add up.  Can you make coffee at home instead of stopping by your favorite Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts?  The savings will really add up over time. 

Change takes time so be patient and kind with yourself.  Reward yourself with small treats for difficult things you accomplish.  Take a warm bubble bath, make yourself a special cup of tea or coffee, watch a show you love on Netflix.  Don't overwhelm yourself by taking on too much at once. Make a list of all the things you need to do and tackle two or three at a time.  Cross off each item completed or put an X if you started but are waiting for a reply and a checkmark if you completed it.  That way you can see your progress.

And don't give up hope!!!  YOU are amazing, you have got this!!! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Seeds of hope in Kenya

This year we started a new project to help women living in poverty in Kenya.

We sent packets of heirloom seeds to Kenya and in collaboration with POSITIVE AND ACTIVE TOWARDS CHANGE ORGANIZATION a local women's empowerment group in Kenya the ladies will be planting the seeds shortly!  we can't wait to see what they grow!


We are supported by the Peace Love Hope Foundation dedicated to making the world a better place!

Join us for 

inspiring stories of finding hope told by ordinary people who have faced extraordinary odds
told through short stories, artwork, poetry & music 

Connecting the world and doing good. Our projects are sustainable and easy to finance
Some require no investment only your time

Uplifting advice to get you through the toughest days! Ask us your questions just email