Tha Vherbalist & Soul Flower Poetics
Tha Vherbalist is born out of my passion and vocation of herbal medicine and the pun to vherbalize with words via the pathways of plant medicine and conscious living truly speaks to my work as a poet and a plant priestess. My friend Alice Frank coined this phrase after talking about my work and I have been dubbed Tha Vherbalist ever since.
Soul Flower Poetics conspires the poems, prose, stories and testimonies of Venus Zephyr. Through Sound Collage, Mixed Media Artwork, Personal Testimony and Co-created Experience Venus seeks to redeem the ways art can transcend and translate into medicine, redemption and revolution.
“And now as I have been offered more venues to perform and share my words with different audiences I am called to this long standing dream of producing my own version of a poetry book. I have hundreds of pieces and so many ideas to glean into a piece of artistic history, my history, herstory, my timelines and the voices that I want to reverberate in the ears of my daughter and the beloveds who have always supported my dreams as a poet. For my mother who passed away last year who always supported my ability to write, who taught english before I was born and who understood probably on a deeper level than she let on what words meant to me.” – Venus Zephyr Free
This is for all the beautiful supporters, beloveds and friends who have been listening to my voice escalate over the past 15 years. I started writing so long ago I couldn’t say when it actually happened. Poetry has been one of my most fulfilling passions for most of my life. I started out by reading Robert Frost after reading the book the outsiders when I was 8 years young. I was captivated by Pablo Neruda, Sylvia Plath, Zora Neale Hurston, Audrey Lorde, Mary Oliver and every poet I could get my hands on. In 1997 I discovered spoken word through slam poets, Russell Simmons Def Poetry, my musical love for artists like Ani Difranco, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and so many artists of that time whose music has always been pure poetry. Hearing poets like Nikki Giovani, Sonya Sanchez,Maya Valdez, Sekou Sundiata, Amiri Baraka, The Last Poets, Miguel Pinero, Natalie Stewart and so many more inspired my love for the art form and curating my own voice as a tool for healing, questioning the status quo and redreaming a new consciousness and cultural cosmolgy that has space and resources for every single being. After moving to Western Massachusetts I started doing open mic nights and realized there was no turning back and spoken word poetry like written words have always been healing and redemptive for me. In 2004 I found the courahe to do my first open mic performance which was some of my most personal writing that I’ve shared to date. That night there were 4 artists performing as part of the open mic. I was the last person to perform before the headlining poets that night. One of the poets thanked me for sharing such beauty , and left me with gratitude for the vibration of what I had shared as she walked to the stage.Naima Penniman has remained one of my growing list of shero’s not just for her poetic prowess and her incomprable activism but for her incredible humanity, ascended acts and her beauitful heart medicine which she shared with me that night. Her words made it possible for me to know I could share my work with people and there was something there.
These poets who have inspired me most in the past 2 decades are Climbing Poetree. The co-conspired warrior queen duo from Brooklyn, NY whose roots track footsteps by way of Haiti and Colombia and are by far some of the most prolific and inspirational poets, performers and people I have ever witnessed both on and off the stage. My destiny as a poet was solidified in watching their performance, I wrote as they performed and was irreversibly inspired to continue to create, perform and one day host a show with these poets, and myself opening up again for them, now more aware of my own talent for this art form.
That dream came true in 2013, as by chance I was able to participate in a co-conspiracy with these poets in 2010 that led to many more shows and performance to support their heart led the rebellion and the revolutionary work of using voice and words to translate as medicine.
Venus Zephyr Free uses art in many guises as a tool for personal and collective transformation,social change and alternative education. Through the power inherent in voice and sound Venus offers a catalyst to both educate and expose cultural injustices and redefine a collective vision that serves humanity while paying humble reverence to the natural world and the veiled realms. Through Sound Collage, Mixed Media Artwork, Spoken Word Poetics, Personal Testimony and Co-created Experience Venus seeks to redeem the ways art can transcend and translate into medicine, redemption and revolution.