Poetry and Multimedia Art (Music, Dance and Comedy)

Sweetly Broken – Song Lyrics by April (Tangela) Morman

Link to recorded song: https://soundcloud.com/kyshona/sweetly-broken-april-m-and-shannon-labrie


She’s a wonderful gift that this world doesn’t see
She tries to hold on, and one day feel free
She’s a blessing in disguise
Does this world realize?


She looks in the mirror every single day
Her eyes shed tears as she tries to pray
Bows her head and tries to speak
The hurt she hides makes her weak


At the end of the day
She hears God say


Hold on my child
I will lead the way
I’m the power, I am your victory
Hold on my child
Come and walk with me
I’m the power, I am your victory
Take hold of my hand and come walk with me


She cries every night and everyday
Just praying to “God” please take it away
She’s been broken and damaged, confused
How could this world, leave so much abuse



I have promised you better than what you see here
This is all temporary I promise you I’m near
I know that you’ve questioned, dear lord why me
But look at how strong you became to be
So don’t lose faith and yes you hold on tight
Because I have warned this world to get things right
And soon I will be coming and it will not be that long
I have forgiven all of your sins and all of your wrong
So, let go of your sorrows your worries your pain
And continue to pray my daughter and things will change

Artist bio: I was born and raised in Tennessee. I am a single mom that suffers from a variety of disabilities. I have been told that I was here to tell my testimony, so I like to create poetry and songwriting that expresses things I have been through - to prayerfully be able to help others as well. I was blessed to have singer-songwriter Shannon LaBrie sing my song, "Sweetly Broken," that I wrote.

“N-I-C: No ‘K’- Okay!” By Nic Lampe

Piece Description:   Like a true comedian, Nic uses humor to create connections around conversations that are typically avoided. In this Netflix-style comedy special, Nic is a self-proclaimed ""stand-up comic who struggles to stand up."" He is unafraid to address his disability head-on to break down barriers and connect with others through laughter.  

Link to Short Film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJsPDqS6UcQ&feature=youtu.be"

Bio: Nic Lampe knows how to have a good time. He is the life of the party, always ready to make someone laugh. He uses his creativity in many artistic modalities, including visual arts, live performances, and stand-up comedy. He is not afraid to use humor to shatter disability stigmas. He plans to continue doing so through his work at Friends Life Community.

Colonel Bacchus and the Arbor Dukes - Journey to the Center of the Slime, Album cover by John McReynolds III

Images show cover and back album art. The front cover is a highly colorful, high-contrast and abstract image of a face embedded or melting into a surrounding, chaotic pattern of jagged shapes that evoke flames or sharp shards. Text is written in a green font that appears to be dripping: “COLONEL BACCHUS AND THE ARBOR DUKES, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE SLIME”
Colonel Bacchus and the Arbor Dukes - Journey to the Center of the Slime, Album cover by John McReynolds III Bio: I live in Knoxville and am 59 years old. I suffer from neuropathy from chemo 3 years ago along with terminal cancer. I also have heart problems, which affects my energy. I have always made art and music. It is who I am. Editor's note: click the album front or back cover above or below to listen to the songs from this album.
Back album art shows a highway from the outside of a railing, with a street sign reading “Knox Co.” Song list reads: “SIDE A – 1. Stop Rockin On Me 2. Hillbilly Enlightenment 3. The Hollywood Weight 4. Roll With The Hunches 5. Back Home in Indiana. SIDE B – 1. Don’t Come to Dandridge 2. Computers That Were Dumb 3. Trash Dump Tomorrow 4. Devil Blue 5. I’ll Build A Shelf - Colonel Bacchus is Trey McReynolds – The Arbor Dukes are Gray Comer & John Todd Baker; Dave Teague (lead guitar on Stop Rockin On Me) – Manufactured and pressed by Gotta Groove Records ©2023 Trey McReynolds. All Rights Reserved.”

Let Them Speak – Poem by Clark Wellman

What sound does the wind make?

Have you listened?

Can you understand the creek with it's accent?

Do you remember the stories the birds told you as a child?

Let them speak.


Do you know your friends plights?

Your families?

Do you wear them like a tattoo?

Always remember what they told you while you held silence?

Let them speak.


Have you heard the stories of the homeless in your town?

The one who used to box or who recently had their belongings stolen?

Let them speak.


Are those in distant lands on their own?

Or have you heard what they've been through?

Heard of those who had to leave home,

Heard the stories of those trying to survive in a new life.

Let them speak.


Have you heard the whispers from the marginalized in our home?

As they grow tired of telling a story that the privileged aren't listening to.

Let them speak.


Whoever you send your thoughts and prayers to,

Do you talk the whole time or listen?

Let them speak.


Bio: My name is Clark and I grew up in Nashville and Murfreesboro. I am 24 years old and was diagnosed as bipolar when I was 16. I enjoy writing poetry and started in August 2022. I like to write poetry because it gives me the ability to put feelings and ideas that pass through my mind into words.

Friends Life Community’s Dance Ensemble presentation of “Big Power in Me”

Friends Life Community’s Dance Ensemble is a part of the Advocacy Through The Arts program, where performers find their voice, share their stories, and connect with others through a shared experience. This Ensemble has toured and performed all over Nashville for several years, breaking down the walls of disability stigmas, inspiring others to look within, and providing dignified entertainment through their original creations.

Ten adults with disabilities from Friends Life Community created and performed a devised movement piece that examines disability as a counterculture through the eyes of artists redefining how society perceives them. Original choreography is born from techniques found in sounding, authentic movement, improvisation, ballet, meditation, and individual styles. This piece was initially performed as part of the 2023 Kindling Arts Festival, a collection of short dance works examining the complex relationship between the body and mind and how that affects societal perceptions.

The Beauty of Night – Poem By Sylvia Bonham

Darkness falls along with the stars

The river shimmers in the moonlight      

The frogs and insects sing their song of night

The world listens to the galaxy’s lullaby

And all creatures say

“We shall wait for morning and all its beauty”

Bio: I am twelve years old and have lived in Nashville my entire life.  I am dyslexic and autistic.  I like to draw and write poetry.  I like to make art because it makes me feel relaxed, and it makes me feel like I can do anything.

"Go Away Rain!" - Song and Artwork by Morgan Vice

a square, white background features a simple painting of a yellow sun, outlined in red, with a smiling face at its center. Red text reads: “Go Away Rain!”
“Go Away Rain” by Morgan Vice. Bio: Morgan is a 30-year-old adult on the autism spectrum. She enjoys painting seasonal acrylic scenes on her window each month. She also enjoys cowriting and performing original songs with her mom about things that are important to her. Editor's note: click the image to hear the song performed live.