Colleen Chesebro’s weekly poetry challenge inspired me to write the following. I know a haiku is supposed to be about nature, but even for those of us who aren’t birds, it’s natural to spread our wings and try new things. You’ll note that I’m using the synonyms “attempting” and “existence.” This poem emphasizes what I told nursing home residents when encouraging them to participate in new activities. You don’t know until you try. You can click on the Play button below to hear me read it.
attempting new things
happy with my existence
even in failure
This feature was created by Collene Chesebro. The words this week are “safe” and “cold.” In the following, I used “chilly” and “free from harm.” You can click the Play button below the Tanka to hear me read it. Here it is.
On a chilly night,
I am warm, free from harm, snug.
A bug on a rug
wouldn’t be nearly as warm
or feel peace or contentment.
This feature was created by Collene Chesebro. This week’s words are “celebrate” and “number.” In the following etheree, I’m using “commemorate” instead of “celebrate” and “bunches” instead of “number.” In light of the upcoming U.S. holiday, this poem suggests how the American government should handle immigration, contrary to what President Trump is doing now. You can click the Play button below to hear me read it.
A THANKSGIVING REQUEST
for our lives
in this nation.
the bunches of pilgrims
who first came to this country.
Let’s open our borders to those
who come, seeking a better life, as
forefathers who came centuries ago.
Author Alice Massa inspired this post. On her blog, she has devoted an entire month to posts about things for which she’s thankful. I doubt I have enough material for a month of posts on this topic, but maybe I’ll try to list at least five things for which I’m thankful for each year. Here are my five for this year.
I’m thankful to be alive and safe. I’m glad I don’t live in California amid wildfires that have claimed many lives and that I wasn’t in the bar in Thousand Oaks or the synagogue in Pittsburgh where the mass shootings occurred. Of course, I don’t frequent such establishments, but this goes to show that no place is sacred, and life and safety should not be taken for granted.
I’m thankful for basic necessities: food, shelter, clothing, plumbing, the Internet. The Internet, you say. Many people don’t even have access to running water, let alone the World-Wide-Web. Yes, this is true, but because I’m a writer with a website and blog, the Internet is my livelihood. When I was without it for six days last Christmas, I learned not to take it for granted.
I’m thankful for parents who spanked me when I was a child. This may sound strange, but it’s true. I recently heard on National Public Radio that the Academy of Pediatricians says that spanking impacts a child’s brain development. Well, being spanked as a child doesn’t seem to have affected mine. This is one thing wrong with the world today. Many children are not well-disciplined, and this could be contributing to the rise in crime and violence. I’m not a parent, but looking back on the way I was reared, I believe that punishment should be swift and sure,h so that children will learn that actions have consequences. The NPR report also stated that children shouldn’t be punished in a way that humiliates them. Well, if I hadn’t felt humiliated when I’d done something wrong, I would never have learned not to repeat the bad things I did. I’m not advocating beating a kid with a belt or board, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a few good swats on a child’s bottom. It’s unfortunate that nowadays, this can be considered child abuse.
Speaking of abuse, I’m thankful I was never a victim of domestic violence. My late husband Bill was a gentle soul. He rarely got angry, and when he did, it only lasted ten seconds. He never raised a hand to me, and he never said anything verbally abusive. Not every woman is as fortunate. You can learn more about me and Bill by reading My Ideal Partner.
I’m thankful to be a U.S. citizen and not one of the many immigrants trying to cross our borders in search of a better life. What President Trump and those who support his immigration policies don’t understand is that those immigrants are no different from the pilgrims who first came to this country and celebrated the first Thanksgiving. What if, God Forbid, when those first settlers arrived, they couldn’t live here because of a ruler like Trump.
What about you? I’d love to read about what you’re thankful for this year, either on your own blog or in the comment field below. If you post your list on your blog, please provide a link to this post, so I’ll be sure to read it. I hope you have a happy and safe Thanksgiving with lots of good food and good company.
This feature was created by Helen Vahdati. This week’s theme is “listen.” I featured this song a while back, but it’s worth repeating because it relates to my personal story.
When my late husband proposed to me, I wasn’t sure I wanted to marry him. A couple of months later, I listened to my heart and did not tell him good-bye, and I’m glad I did. You can learn more by reading My Ideal Partner.
It’s been about a year since I joined Behind Our Eyes (BOE), a 501(c)3organization which promotes the writing of blind and disabled individuals by way of a virtual writer’s group, as well as its own magazine, Magnets and Ladders. And I am privileged to find myself in the midst of some pretty amazing people. While we sometimes share common challenges, issues around disability are not our only creative focus. We are writers after all, writers like writers everywhere, whose inspiration is multifaceted, and whose efforts result in poetry, memoir, fantasy and much, much more, spanning the veritable cosmos of ideas.
Today as my guest, I welcome Abbie Johnson Taylor, newly elected BOE president. Abbie delivers soft-spoken compassion through a straight forward communication style, in her writing, as in her life.
Me: Abbie, how nice of you to drop by.
Abbie: Thank you for having me. You have a lovely…
I wrote the following poem for my niece in Florida who is celebrating her eighteenth birthday this month. You can click below to hear me read it. The title poem in my collection, That’s Life, is also dedicated to her.
TO ANA AT EIGHTEEN
At thirteen, all you wanted to do
was go to the beach or mall with friends.
When your aunt from Wyoming visited at Christmas,
you reluctantly accompanied the family
to a performance of The Nutcracker.
Now you’re eighteen.
You still like to hang out with friends,
but you have more important things to think about: