Tinika Edward- Robinson

TEE TALK, a DesignWorld INTERNATIONAL magazine online celebrity profiler. It is a one on one interview session aimed at celebrating outstanding personalities in any field of human endeavor, their motivating and inspiring roles, achievements, influences on their immediate society as well as far reaching impact on humanity at this dawn of 21st century global village.

Our last edition featured a Nigerian university don, a professor of Medical Microbiology in the person of Prof. Faruk Sakinfada, but this edition features a phenomenal woman, writer and most importantly a poet.

Her name is Tinika Lavern Robinson-Edwards. An American by nationality, but African by origin. Sharing the same birthday with Martin Luther King i.e. January 15, which makes her very proud, the diva is a force with creative words, which she complements with art. No one could resist revisiting her poetry again and again once he or she dares give it a first read.

Ms Tinika has 3 college degrees in Business, Electronics as well as sociology and lives in California. The lady is yet a Case Manager, Social Worker, a Teacher and an Advocate for other challenged adults. She is a mother of a son from a marriage she’s divorced from, but have always had little boys and girls around her, whom she influences positively, while developing their self-esteem and self-worth from within.

DWi: Thank for honoring our invitation Ma’am. Can we start with a brief Bio of Tinika Robinson-Edwards?

Tinika: I wear a lot of hats; African-American, Woman, Mother, Child of God, Poet, Social Worker, Teacher, Activist.
I believe we’re all gifted, but so many allow fear or doubt or other outside influences to silence so much of the splendidness that dances within them.
I believe in living a life of wonderment, eager to love, for brand new adventures, to learn new things, and to be constantly amazed.
I also truly believe that we were meant to be in service to others. Therein is how we discover ourselves, and our true worth.
Yes, I wear a lot of hats. I adore each one of them, and hope to continue to wear them well.

DWi: So, when did you start expressing yourself as a poet?

Tinika: I believe story-tellers were always story-tellers. It is gift we are born with like all other talents. It is either nurtured and it grows or unfortunately life has a way to stifle or discourage it, if we let it.

DWi: Poetry is where you glow, to global prominence, how did that happen?

Tinika: Social Media-absolutely, Facebook and Instagram are wonderful vehicles for connecting and sharing ourselves and our work with the entire world.
I believe words live and they last, in books-of course, but technology is phenomenal.
I now have dear friends all over the globe.


Rise up from
Ascension, and Fortitude within
Our keepin.
Let none out there stifle our triumphs and
No one lures us into silence!

Strong, defiant voices!
Rises to listenin skies.
Pray…wouldn’t that be sweet?
Do we believe in victory or believe in defeat?


*A Traditional PI = 3.14286.
* A New Pi poem is PI=3.14159


📸PHOTO by GabrielaMendezPhotography

DWi: Born or trained poet, which one are you?

Tinika: It’s always been in me. Those who know me now as “The Diva” can’t quite believe that I was a quiet child. I was a book-worm so early on all my deepest thoughts-I wrote down. The poetry soon followed. I can’t think of a time when I was not writing. We can study the greats and hone our own skills in classes-but the passion, the heart cannot be taught. I can act, I’m not an actor, I can sing, I’m certainly not a singer, I am a poet, but my voice is my own.

DWi: What is that about you having a motto? Do you mind sharing…

Tinika: My Motto:

This is a journey

let your beauty glow

Live & Love well -Do good-Seldom regret

I am the sum of my experiences, proud of my gifts, enriched by those who have come before me

Fueled by a source-holy

I must be something special-the way He Loves me!


DWi: What inspires your poetry? Also what drives your creativity in arts?

Tinika: Oh Lord, everything-anything. Poetry for me is telling the story, expressing the mood, eliciting memory or emotion as creatively as I possibly can.
We poets know success when we help someone see.
I can wake up from a dream, or to a piece of music-and I’m writing. Sometimes I’ll view a piece of art-and words start dancing for me.
I can be talking to an old man on the street-and think-now that was poetry!

DWi: Do you have any unique style?

Tinika: I believe so. In so many cases, I write it in the voice or dialect that I hear telling the story. Be it a cool dude, an old lady, a little kid, whomever, I write it the way it sounds in my head.
If it’s telling my story, I purposefully use my Southern twists. I write the word-Thinkin-instead of Thinking cos that’s the way we actually speak.
I try to use the idiom that flows right for that person.
If the message is meant to be raw-it’s raw. So I seldom sensor myself. I never worry about who a certain poem might offend in the end. I write it as artfully as I can.
Either that poem’s for you or it’s not.

BIRTH OF THE BULLY  – #Acrostic Poem




DWi: Arts and poetry convergence identifies your works, why the mix?

Tinika: I started using photos with my poetry in my posts on Facebook when I found it-not only eye-catching, but it made my poems easier for others to share.
The compulsive side me took over from there. Then they had to be great pics that complimented my work-like words & music.  So many graphics I create now with the apps on my phone.

Also, I’ve met so many talented artists over the years who generously gave me permission to credit their work along with my poetry online.
It is my hope that when I publish my own book of poetry, I am able to reach out to some of my artist friends to add their gifts.

DWi: Emotions, relationships, sex are some themes that feature in Tinika’s poetry. Please explain?

Tinika: Poetry should be fearless…and fearful.
Meaning, a poet should be brave enough to express every part of themselves, life, and society-even fantasy, insanity, and dreams.

DWi: Do you have one or two favorite poems? And if possible can you share with us your ultimate, personal all time great piece thus far. Your Magnum Opus we mean?

Tinika: Wow, on it.

But that’s like picking my favorite child.☺

My Magnum Opus – in my own opinion would be my poem titled MADAME SILVERWOLF’S MOON.

It a 144-syllable Fibonacci poem, which I believe had never before been done.

But it’s pretty long for an article.

DWi: Wow! A 144-Syllable Fibonacci poem?! Is that possible. What a sight to behold were it to be a flower! Common then let’s have it.

Tinika: Well, if you can accommodate it, here it is…



(A Fibonacci short story)

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89,144…




And Mother

Of all grand creatures

Looks down upon an adjudged world.🌙

The glister of her coat, the foreboding in her throat!🌙

Her young, glide on dreams but her eyes-perpetually open…no threats, she will not see.🌙

Madame Silver Wolf’s skillful moves, adagios in midnight’s glow.

Displays fiercely, her will atop a steep hill aware of how splendid she is!🌙

Glimmering light;

She roams and ponders her path in life, all those who have succumb to the immenseness of her strikes,

and nods accordance to the threatening night…there will be more! …heartsease, her babes; a daunting hate against love unscathed.🌙

Madame Silver Wolf surveys earth for worth, and waits wantonly for man’s end coming-but til then. there are remembrances of

love’s visit and whisks so exquisite, and cantates…hers with his…by this same full moon’s dim, wailing to cruel spirits that

allowed the two-legged to kill him, “Dare not sleep!” Sheer rage devours the hours…the she wolf assails her grief onto a town



“You have stolen my infinite auroras!Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and indoor

Damned on doing it-damned in trying-look what’s dying; what a heart bears-you will know…sleepless nights-days of woe!”

Returning close to her pups…tuggers of her heart strings…soft sweet breaths, regaining tranquility.

“These are pieces of him.

she points her nose toward stars that twinkle as his eyes once did upon her.

her mission, to strive forward as moon orbits, he is never too far,

~her day too must come and she has weathered many storms,

some dreams die way too soon.

of this, be not doubtful; she-ever watchful,

Her howls, graceful arias to a quiescent moon.”You have stolen my infinite auroras! 

Damned on doing it-damned in trying-look what’s dying; what a heart bears-you will know…sleepless nights-days of woe!”

Returning close to her pups…tuggers of her heart strings…soft sweet breaths, regaining tranquility.

“These are pieces of him.

she points her nose toward stars that twinkle as his eyes once did upon her.

her mission, to strive forward as moon orbits, he is never too far,

~her day too must come and she has weathered many storms,

some dreams die way too soon.

of this, be not doubtful; she-ever watchful,

Her howls, graceful arias to a quiescent moon.🌙




That’s it. But there are a few others, however most of my favorites, I’m saving for my book.

DWi: Truly captivating

Tinika: Thank you

DWi: As an American poet, how have you used poetry to address not just domestic, but global issues?

Tinika: I’m not overly political, but I keep up with current events.  I am in my fifties so I’ve witnessed firsthand too many historic changes to ever despair about current happenings. I believe in fighting the good fight, and that if the opportunity arrives to speak out, to speak truth, to acknowledge and in some way address global wrongs or injustices, then of course we should.  Then too, we should herald the good. We should guide others from darkness-if we can-and be guided.
Too much separates us, but we are all citizens of the world, my voice is no more powerful than my brother’s, but conjoined voices can indeed change things.

DWi: As a black poet, do you think your voice matters in the numerous challenges facing women in particular and mankind in general?

Tinika: Every voice matters, every person matters. We are each uniquely endowed with forces within in us-positive and negative, feminine and masculine and we were placed here with choice of which to utilize to be our best selves, male or female, and to strive to better this world.
I’ve raised an adult son, I often joked with him, a lil boy can do anything a lil girl can do, except hope to have babies.
A lil girl can do anything a lil boy I can do, except hope to pee standing up!
What matters most is being respected for all our abilities and gifts, and being permitted to utilize them in life.
Hopefully we as their elders can successfully show young women and young men what true strength is.

There will be no better world without this hope.

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, selfie and closeupDWi: Are poets being heard at all? Do they influence decisions or are they just entertaining, but their messages largely ignored?

Tinika: Artists historically and ultimately find their purpose, their passion, their cause to stand up for-and we will continue to do so. Eyes, ears, hearts, open to receive, will indeed receive it.
If those who have some influence can move some to action, it’s a wonderful thing.
Some forms of expression can be meant merely for entertainment or a bit of escapism, at times we need that.

DWi: Do you think poetry is doing enough to curb human excesses i.e. war, racism, rape, gender bias, on education etc?

Tinika: That responsibility falls on all of us, are you doing enough? Our Leaders? Or schools and churches? Am I?
Who’s life did you enrich today-this day?
Then get to it!
Maybe in the end it’s one deed, one action, one day’s lesson, one blessing, one dollar, one dime, one well-placed kindness at a time, one drop of rain…

DWi: Who are your poetic icons, any one poet, male or female, in particular?

Tinika: So many-too many! Great writers as well as great poets. New ones each time I read!

When I was young;
Nikki Giovanni, Gwendolyn Brooks, Phyllis Wheatley, Lucille Clifton, Mdm Maya Angelou, Sir Langston Hughes, Paul Dunbar, Mark Train, Amiri Baraka, Pablo Neruda, Emily Dickerson, Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe…I could go on and on.
And so many influences within the music as I was growing up, Nina Simone, Gil Scott Heron, Curtis Mayfield, Phoebe Snow and mo.
Each one seemed to free me to express each facet of my own experience.
I’m so grateful for the era I was born in, from the birth of Black Power to today.
I once said, choosing a favorite writer is like choosing you favorite gasp.

DWi: What other impacts do you see globalization of your works via internet having, apart from bringing it closer to a wider audience?

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, sitting and closeupTinika: I seldom think in terms of global impact, but I adore the idea of a little girl in Africa, India, New York or Mississippi-anywhere on the planet-reading one of my poems and smiling. Maybe, I can incite in them-what those before me-helped me see clearly, we all have songs to sing.
Awakening that same joy of flight and expression in a young heart-there’s nothing grander!

DWi: What is the future of this genre of literature with trending and changing means of communication?

Tinika: We touch each other as never before, it’s immediate in most instances-and so are the responses.
We grow and thrive with the times-if we are wise.
It is said, art and technology challenges each other to reach, I like that!

DWi: Thank you.

Tinika: Welcome.