Calling Beyond the Clouds: A Message of Hope



Maya Angelo is one of my heroines and I’ve always imagined me writing a letter to her.  Even though she is gone, this is a letter I might have written to her had I the courage earlier.  What is special is that Carol,  She’s It editor, selected two of Maya’s poems through imagining Maya’s response to me.


Dear Ms. Angelou,


I always wondered…did you think your life would’ve turned out the way that it did? Did you awake one day and imagine yourself to be one of the most influential women throughout the entire world and that women—such as myself—would be taking the time out to write to you?


Marguerite—do you ever go by that name sometimes? I just love the spelling and uniqueness of it; kind of like my name. I’m pretty sure people had a hard time pronouncing it—they always messed up mine. But, little did people know, you’d be one of the most admired individuals in the world.


You were born in April—just like me!—and lived a life that created you into the woman that you became.


I’ve just gotten comfortable with talking about my reality to the world. At first, it was much easier for me to just…act like I wasn’t hurt or upset about certain things and that if I continued to brush it under the rug, then maybe it would just stop leaking out. But…dust bunnies are a lot stronger than what people think them to be.


With as strong and wise you were in this world, I would’ve never known that your dust bunnies were as large as I learned them to be. That someone hurt you, they abused your innocence, but your warm heart wouldn’t let you blame anyone but yourself. And from a woman with such powerful words, I never knew that you went mute for 5 years. That, you ever thought that your voice and your words and your aura were anything but captivating and inspiring.


You thought your voice was harmful; it would’ve been harmful if you didn’t bring your voice back to this world. But, it’s even more amazing to see that you took those five years not to bring yourself down or wallow in your agony, but to grow. You used your silence to engulf yourself in literature, and heightened your ability to listen and to observe the world.


Just because you chose not to speak, does not mean you chose not to learn.


I always wondered if you ever were as disoriented and confused as I feel now. A woman of your talents, of your strength, of your power; it’s hard to imagine that, at one point, you started off just like me. Though you’ve accomplished so much, your early silent years could have been much different, I think that’s the biggest lesson you’ve taught me.


You weren’t born into this world as a poet, a memoirist or a civil rights activist, but, you took the time to develop and grow. You went from believing that your voice had killed someone, to using your voice to save lives.


Seeing your journey, it lets me know that I am on the right path because it is my path. You didn’t allow anyone to tell you what you should be doing or the life you should be living, rather you went forth in life with serenity and sincerity. We are living within a crazy world now and I wish we had more individuals like you still sharing their power.


Do you see the world today? What do you think? How might a woman like me exist and find guidance in the world today?


Thank you, Ms. Angelou



Dear Deiona,


I hear your words and love that is woven through them.  I too felt the presence of those who having left this earth, filled me because without them, I would not have been me.  And, at other times, I truly felt the touch of angels.  I hope you like the poems that were written to honor these deep resonances with life, as difficult, and harsh as it sometimes is.  I know you will not only prevail, you will find and support islands of compassion in yourself and others as needed in these tumultuous times.



When great trees fall,

rocks on distant hills shudder,

lions hunker down

in tall grasses,

and even elephants

lumber after safety.

When great trees fall

in forests,

small things recoil into silence,

their senses

eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,

the air around us becomes

light, rare, sterile.

We breathe, briefly.

Our eyes, briefly,

see with

a hurtful clarity.

Our memory, suddenly sharpened,


gnaws on kind words


promised walks

never taken.

Great souls die and

our reality, bound to

them, takes leave of us.

Our souls,

dependent upon their


now shrink, wizened.

Our minds, formed

and informed by their


fall away.

We are not so much maddened

as reduced to the unutterable ignorance

of dark, cold



And when great souls die,

after a period peace blooms,

slowly and always

irregularly. Spaces fill

with a kind of

soothing electric vibration.

Our senses, restored, never

to be the same, whisper to us.

They existed. They existed.

We can be. Be and be

better. For they existed. 


Touched By An Angel


We, unaccustomed to courage

exiles from delight

live coiled in shells of loneliness

until love leaves its high holy temple

and comes into our sight

to liberate us into life.

Love arrives

and in its train come ecstasies

old memories of pleasure

ancient histories of pain.

Yet if we are bold,

love strikes away the chains of fear

from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity

In the flush of love’s light

we dare be brave

And suddenly we see

that love costs all we are

and will ever be.

Yet it is only love

which sets us free. 

New Yorker relocated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Deiona Monroe is a Lifestyle Writer for She’s It. With a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and minor Criminal Justice from Temple University, Deiona aims to use her words to spread hope and awareness throughout the world. She wants her storytelling to positively impact lives and use the lessons she has learned from to help someone through their battles. Whether she touches 1,000 souls or just 1, she wants to make sure that her words promote progress and educates all those who choose to read. When not working, she still spends her time engulfed in her notebooks, looking for the right cup of tea or playing with her puppy.