The Price of Beauty

Art by Ariel Cruz / Poem by Lori Minutoli

Lipstick smears across her cheek

Her tiny fingers can’t hold steady

Still she paints the required mask 

Bold eyes make men and women look

Plump red lips brings them closer

Smooth cheeks makes them touch 

Everywhere this is the message

From toddlers to teenagers

Models to mothers they all want this

Perfecting the mask becomes her life’s work

Hiding herself in an image of perfection

Deceiving her identity 

Criminalizing her authenticity

This violation of her born characteristics

Not a choice of her own doing

But a deception of her mind 

Society corrupted her mind

If Daddy had only validated her worth

If Mommy had taught her she was worthy

If boys weren’t programmed to lust

And girls not encouraged to tease 

She would be walking unmasked in her truth

Her smile would defy popular opinions

Her energy would attract sincerity

Her need for acceptance wouldn’t be

Her tiny fingers only wanted to play 

Mud pies and butterflies in Daddy’s eyes

Finger paints and silly string with Mom’s applause

Hugs and kisses just for  being present

But Daddy was gone long times in a row

So Mommy kept lipstick in her purse

The waiter, the trainer, the doctor too

Mommy’s mask made her happy 

Tiny minds just want to play

And see things a different way

Mommy was always happiest

When Daddy was  gone away

©️Lori Minutoli 2020


Art by Richard Goulis / Poem by Lori Minutoli

Chosen to be Condemned

Planted as seeds of desire

His curious mind entwined

In the idea of complexity

Wrapped in natural tendencies

Reaching for independence 

Striving to be free

They just wanted to be free

To grow naturally in their own beauty

But he weaved their limbs 

Together they grew

Endured every storm

Summer drought

Winter freeze

Embracing change

As they grew stronger

Images of love formed 

Hearts within hearts

His love for this art 

His design now complete

Cut off their life

Severed their feet

Forever entwined

Preserved for all time


Though life has ceased

Love remains

©️Lori Minutoli 2020

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Always Matter!

What is going on in the world hurts my heart. I feel surrounded by people who do not care about the imminent danger to BIPoC everyday. I try to imagine what it is like to constantly be in fear for your life simply because of the color of your skin. I try but I cannot fully imagine. I listen to the heart cries of my friends when they express their frustrations with systemic racism, hateful humans, whiteness, white supremacy, white fragility, white everything.

I read books to understand. I listen to feel the pain while they mourn. I cry. I am creating a place for me to share my thoughts and feeling about this because there is no safe space in my world to discuss the importance of Black Lives Mattering. There is too much hate around me. I am outnumbered by white people who are racists.

As I write my thoughts as an introduction to my new website, I feel safe. I feel like my words have a home. To my Black and Indigenous People of Color friends and neighbors- I LOVE YOU.

I Feel You

A poem about water.

I am energy


a constant force of nature


a vapor in the morning air

a mist upon the cedars

refreshment when you need it most

but when upon your skin I slide

warming from your body’s touch

I see the shimmer in your eye

pressed upon your wanting lips

a rush flows inside


it’s a vibe

Lori Minutoli 09/01/2020

Just Passing Through

Art by Shawn Christopher Martin /

Poem by Lori Minutoli

Do they know the terror  in the streets

Do they feel the agony in the cries

Or hear the last words of those who die

What of the gun shots or sirens

Flashing lights and toxic smoke

Do they even know at all

We stop to notice 

The colors of their wings

The gentle ways they pass us by

We photograph their elegance

Adorned with detailed lines

Fragile complex beauty passing by

Where are they going

What do they see

A flower or a tree

I wonder if they see me

I want to follow their lead

And wander to and fro

Take me to the green fields

Where wildflowers grow

©️Lori Minutoli 9/1/2020

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