I am not too sure where this witchy poem came from, my friends. Am only grateful that my brain is stirring from its long winter nap and coughing forth a few furballs!! I hope you are all enjoying a restful holiday season.
Warning: disturbing content People now call her the Christmas Angel, the six year old girl found naked in the snow five days before Christmas, having been sexually assaulted, beaten and left for dead. She remained unconscious for days, hovering between life and death but, miraculously, opened her eyes on Christmas and asked for Santa Clause. The little girl was attacked on a reserve in Alberta. People have been holding prayer vigils, and walking together in marches, to honor her, and make the statement that this sort of violence must stop. A 21 year old young man known to the child has been arrested and charged. The community has come together to try to heal, and support the little girl and her family in recovering from this trauma. I dont know when my heart broke most, on hearing of her attack, or when her eyes opened, she smiled, and the first thing she asked for was Santa. The innocence of children. The harshness of the world they live in. News source:http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/beaten-first-nation-girl-regained-consciousness-on-christmas-1.2884218
Remember those no longer here. The years are going by too fast. Christmas cannot forever last. The elder's eyes already know how very fast we come and go, keeps to herself the secret, true, one day she will be missing, too.
[I wrote this poem in 1963, when we were asked to write a sonnet at school. It was December. It appears I have had these conflicting thoughts about Christmas - excess in a world of inequities - since I was young. I was seventeen. What I most wanted to do was go to Africa and care for orphans. I so wish that I had.]
Pure snowflakes fall upon a dust-gray street: Love's beauty, scattered by a Baby's fingers. The softened, hov'ring winter darkness lingers: A gentle life, so sweet to me, so sweet! Clear, poignant carols echo on the air, Sung by the pale-lipped children of December. With breathless joy, always will I remember Their angel-sounds, so fair to hear, so fair. The gifts pile high under the Christmas tree. The gaiety grows greater every day. Into my dreams, a starved child finds his way: "A crust of bread for me, a crust for me." The thought of him remains all season through - So far away, so little I can do.
This was written during Christmas of 2010, my poor old Pupster's last Christmas, when all the kids came home - the last time we were all together in one place, at the same time. I lived in my tiny trailer then, and people were crammed in like sardines. But it was wonderful, full of cackles and hilarity - and an abundance of dogs, just the way we like it! Reposted for the last Poetry Pantry of December 2014 at Poets United. Happy Holidays, kids. Have a wonderful one, and I'll see you in the new year!!!!
Little Kenyan nomad, running home through the fields, so happy. It is Christmas, and on Christmas, that one special day of the year, his mother always makes rice. He bursts in the door. His mother is cooking vegetables, as on any other day. He starts to cry. "Mama, where is the rice?" His mother's heart must cry, too, but outwardly she is calm, serene. "My son, you know this year your father has died, and so this Christmas there is no rice. But we are together, and we have vegetables, and each other." "Mama, when I grow big, I will buy you a whole sack of rice." "Thank you, my son. I know you will. With a son such as you, I am already a very rich woman." That little boy studied hard, so hard, he shone so brightly, he was sponsored to go to college. He struggled long to persevere, without money, but without giving up. Across the miles, I asked him, "How do you stay motivated to work so hard? In my country, kids who have every opportunity, often have no motivation at all." He replied, "Escaping Poverty is my motivation. There is no other way, and my family has lived in the shadows for so long. I dream big dreams, Koko." And now it is Christmas once again. This year he has the job of his dreams, where he will make the world a better place. His light shines so brightly, his superiors have their eyes on him. They know this young man will do big things, yet keep a humble heart. This time he goes home carrying new shoes for his younger siblings, a dress for his mama, and a whole sack of rice. The ululations and tears and celebrating will go on for a long time. "My siblings' eyes are shining, Koko. My mother and I were laughing about the time I cried because there was no rice." This year the sun shines brightly. Younger siblings are in school. Elder Brother and Younger Brother are now working. Life has finally, after so many years, begun to ease. This year, there is rice. But every Christmas, there has always been joy. for the prompt at Poetry Jam: to write a poem that shares joy. This is a true story or, rather, part of an on-going story that it has been my privilege to watch unfold since 2010.
I so enjoyed Bjorn's response to the Dverse prompt to have a story character come alive in an unexpected place. He had Cinderella encountering Pinnochio. And then Mary responded to that poem, by reporting an overheard drunken conversation, and Gabriella escalated it by having Snow White attempt to blackmail the Fairy Godmother. Here is my furtherance of the fun and games.......... Dear Fairy Godmother, That Snow White is a total cow. She is SO not cool reporting my tryst with the swoony Pinnochio, who is my True Love (forget about the glass slippers) and who has the best profile in Storyland, (especially since he shaved his nose). Plus he has that whole Bad Boy thing going on. (I overlook his wooden heart.) At my age, given the crows-feet, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do and Snow White may have ruined my One Last Chance. I am totally P.O.'ed! Just sayin'. Cinderella
A report from SumOfUs.org states: A tiny Arctic community is fighting Big Oil.
Off the coast of Clyde River, Nunavut, unspoiled Arctic waters are home to 90% of the world's narwhals. These unique tusked whales play a crucial role in the aquatic ecosystem, and for thousands of years have been a staple of the local Inuit community. But now their very survival is in danger.
The Canadian government just granted oil corporations the right to search for drilling sites in the ocean near Clyde River. Offshore drilling is bad enough, but the search is worse – these oil companies will use "seismic testing," setting off huge explosions underwater to try and find oil.
Like all whales, narwhals use their hearing to communicate and to find their way safely beneath the Arctic ice. The search for oil will deafen, disorient, and kill any narwhals caught in its path. It's up to us to speak up now, and stop this while we still can.
If the wet gray skies are getting you down, and the rain is trickling under your coat, down the back of your neck, if there is too much Christmas to buy and not enough dollars, if some of your loved ones are far away, and too many Christmases have passed, with too many faces no longer around the table, if love never arrived, at least not in the form you had expected it, take a little time to Occupy the Blues.
Go ahead. Feel it all and, if you're strong enough, widen your vision to encompass all of the unwanted, abandoned animals who will spend Christmas in the SPCA, or the creatures who live their whole lives in cages, waiting to cross our tables, or the wild ones displaced from their habitats, then picked off when they "encroach" on "Man's" Territory.
Are you depressed enough yet?
Just watch the news. I know. I don't do it often, and each time I do I remember why. The humans may be even worse off than the animals in so many places. And for certain, the environment is in complete distress.
But I'm riding my Bus of Dreams down the gray, rain-drenched streets through the worst part of town - where the disenfranchised eke out their bare existence. They remind me I have so much to be grateful for.
I see them carrying their small packages home with gladness in their hearts to make a small Christmas with their loved ones. We all dream the same dreams. We all love to give.
When my heart aches for humanity, for this suffering and unbalanced planet, for the 99%, for the melting at the Poles,
I remember that even in its distress, Mother Earth continues to love us, to provide for us, to sustain us.
She wakes up every morning beautiful. She presents us with her best sunrises and sunsets, her bluest skies, her fluffiest clouds,
her necessary rain.
When I see her resilience, I roll up my sleeves and get ready to begin again.
The wild things have gathered in council, a council for all beings, to confer about the state of things on the land. Ms Mountain Goat speaks first. Those who tromp in heavy boots through our forest talk about their rights: human rights, the right to own what can never be owned, the rights of the multinationals to rape and pillage and pay nothing back, the right to work, the right to hold money as their God, as if they are the only ones who have rights. What about non-human rights? The animals all nod and murmur. Mr Bear moves to the center of the circle. What about our rights? he asks pleasantly, dipping his paw into a honeypot, then licking. I have a harder time each winter finding a quiet spot to rest. The Mrs has a terrible time keeping the youngsters safe Everywhere are the big machines, the grappleyarders, destroying our habitat, and the metal creatures on rubber feet that kill so many -human and non-human alike- on the highways. Yes! non-human rights! how do we make them hear us? All of the animals are animated, and chattering. This is when the Standing People, the Talking Trees, who have been listening, finally speak: Our numbers are diminishing and, along with us, our tree wisdom, and the ecosystems which help all to live. The oceans are filling with their garbage. The air is filling with their polluted smoke. The earth is warming from their addiction to fossil fuel. They do not realize - though it is clear to see - that they will choke to death, or drown, alongside the rest of us. The critters exchange glances. Tall Tree has spoken truth. Who will take this message to their leaders? asks Rabbit. It will be a child, for only a child has eyes clear enough to see, replies Tree. ***** ***** ******
The path to peace is strewn with rubble, kettle boil and cauldron bubble. I shall not hate, is what he cried the day bombs fell and his daughters died. If he can walk the path of peace when all his world was turned to tears, I can do no less than he, to try to shift our spirits free.
The bombs rain down. The stone walls tremble.
Edges blur, boundaries dissemble. Suffering brings us to our knees, heaven indifferent to our pleas.
Prayers and cries rise to the heavens,
who cannot arbitrate our screams. Angels turn sadly away: "They created a nightmare of their dreams."
Humans long for peace
as the parched earth burns.
Serene, the pale blue cosmos turns.
Susan's prompt at Mid Week Motif , over at Poets United, is to do with bombs, days of infamy, turning points. My thoughts have run the gamut: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Cold War, the Cuban missile crisis. But also that turning point, the day the Berlin Wall came down, which I did not think would happen in my lifetime. Which shows that it is possible for a peoples' desire for justice and freedom - for peace - to change those in power.
President Obama said, in 2013 in Berlin, "No wall can stand against the yearning for justice, the yearnings for freedom, the yearnings for peace that burns in the human heart."
Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, author of the book I Shall Not Hate, was the first Palestinian doctor to receive a staff position at an Israeli hospital, where he treated both Israeli and Palestinian patients. When three of his daughters were killed by Israeli tank fire in their home in Gaza, he vowed "I Shall Not Hate". He continued his humanitarian work on both sides of the border. This is the greatness of the human spirit. The same humanity that breeds hatred, extremism and sectarian violence is capable of transcending circumstance and ideology to inhabit higher ground.
We had our first fall of snow, and everything is so beautiful outside, I can only repeat these words, written a few years back on a similarly snowy morning, to describe the way the beauty makes me feel.