NYC. Protests. 1.31.2017

Central Park West. Night Before The Inauguration.
1.19.2017

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Post Election. The Blog. 1.31.2017

To be alive in times of trouble, in times of chaos, in times of uncertainty. Throughout my life, I’ve wondered if I could do what so many before me have done, could I be useful if called upon? From a very young age, I identified with the work of feminism, the work of equality. Learning about the Civil Rights leaders who changed the country, even by an act as simple, yet radical, as sitting at a lunch counter down the street from where my granddaddy worked in Greensboro, taught me that we can make change happen where we are right now. Watching the Vietnam War on television as a small child, witnessing women standing up for equal rights in the 1970’s. These things formed me.

But I’m a poet by nature, which I realized even more clearly once I enrolled in journalism school. Hard news training asked things of me I felt I couldn’t give—complete objectivity, the willingness to go to jail to protect sources if necessary, the strength to ask the tough questions no matter the cost. We were trained to be public servants, watchdogs protecting society from any absolute power. It seemed awfully serious and heavy to me at the time. Why was I there, I wondered, if I wanted to write fiction, poems, features? Why was I there if I lacked the type of courage and stamina needed to work in the field at its highest level? I didn’t really know, but I stayed. I never became a reporter, but I never forgot what I learned.

Today, I believe our country has fallen into times of trouble, chaos and uncertainty. I haven’t posted on the blog since before the election. I was busy working to try to do what I thought was right. The outcome of the election demanded more of the same from me. And now I ask myself if I’m going to be the kind of person I admired when I was young. Am I going to fight injustice and fight for equality? How will I do that? Right now, I’m asking myself those questions while trying to use poetry, photography, writing to lead me in the direction of usefulness, to the places where I’m needed. I hope my blog will reflect some of that as we activists move forward and use our gifts and voices.

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Haiku. Pic. 10.22.2016

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After the travels
from city dusk to mountains–
this is our sidewalk.

~me, country.

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Haiku. Pic. 10.22.2016

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Like punctuation–
glowing pumpkins marching up
city brownstone stairs.

~me, NYC.

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Leaves. Autumn. 10.22.2016

 

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Labor Day. Freewrite Poem. 9.5.2016

Labor Day

All weekend, I’ve chased sunflowers,
while the holiday cheered itself along with
BBQs and revelers, every Airbnb stocked to
capacity. The mountain stood back from these
first shorter days cloaked in her luscious dignity,
an end-of-summer worn to green that both deepened
and illuminated the intensity of all that was possibility
between earth and sky. In one of those valleys, I saw
the first sunflowers finding dusk. Three faces resting
on a fence, wire-checked, patterned like a table cloth or
quilt, the perfect place to find summer sleep. And I
remembered the stand of sunflowers behind the
neighbor’s fence, how I’d missed them this year without
even realizing they weren’t there. Although I don’t know
this neighbor, I felt deprived, how dare they, there had
been so many. So I started looking elsewhere, and found
the second batch by Monday. Miles from the sleepy flowers,
these in full afternoon light, yet held in place by the same
mountain—some just promises unopened, some the size
of fine china platters, bent and ready to fall, a couple
perfect, oblivious to my quest, more vibrant than a hidden sun.

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Instagram. City/Country Summer. 8.10.2016

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City. Water Tanks. Summer.

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Country. Barn Flowers. Summer.

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NYC. Poem. 8.10.2016

Fruit

Over on Broadway a fruit vendor
hovers around the north-west corner
stacking lemons and limes and
apples. Some roll off the cart
and onto the sidewalk and tumble
through a stenciled meme, which
might as well be cycling around
the internet, this block of pink
letters and flower petals, in fancy
script saying, Honor Your Parents.
It doesn’t fade under subway-step
commuters and scooters and even
touch football disrupting rush hour.
It will be there tomorrow. Then
somehow another will appear
in its place. The fruit guy will wear
a hat and chase after the pears
falling across Be Your Dream
written delicately in lavender.

 

This poem is from my April Poems collected on the writing page. If you would like to read more from that project, click over to Writing

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City. Haiku. 8.10.2016

There are rocks with words
scattered on my desk, magic,
courage, things like that.

~me, NYC.

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Poetry. Prayer. 7.9. 2016

This week has been heartbreaking. When it feels like there’s nothing to hold us, not enough unity to bind us, what do we do? Where do we turn? Poetry can offer some refuge. Poetry can be a prayer.

Leaves heavy with rain
tossed sideways as the wind comes–
to lift their spirits.

~me. Please, God, lift us #haiku.

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