I Am Sickened!

I am absolutely sickened by what has happened here in Missouri! To be precise, I am sickened by what has happened here in Ferguson, MO my neighbor to the north. Can someone please tell me why this primarily African American community has a primarily white police force? Can someone please tell me why this police force does not have or use Taser guns? This is grotesque. Has no one thought that this young African American male might have become a doctor and served his community in that capacity?

Why has it “apparently” become acceptable for a police department to gun down a young African American boy (I am sorry but at 18 you are a kid, a boy, a youth)? And since when did we do away with Right to Assemble peacefully laws? When did it become practice within communities for peaceful protestors to be confronted by police tanks or tactical vehicles, tear gas and rubber bullets? When was lawful, peaceful protest by citizenry meant to be met with a militarized show of police force? What sickening photos have come out of Ferguson Mo, my neighbor to the north. This no longer feels like a civilized country but a police state with African Americans being targeted as if they were a threat to that state.

Two Eyes

For my friend Jamie, for whom I have much admiration and love across the great divide.

I hate war
there is
no greater evil

everything in war
hurts
it hurts everyone

death is the
responsibility of many
on either side

but if you are
the stronger
you must see

not with one eye
you must see
with two eyes

protect yourself
through seeing
with your right eye

protect the innocent
by seeing
with your left eye

oh Israel open
your left eye
and see

you must protect
all of the children
not just your own

that will be the
only way to
protect your own

Israel my great
passion I love
you

but I must
ask myself for the
sake of my friend

you are my friend
knowing you across
the great divide

I know that
you too suffer
and I ask myself

what about your
friend your friend
in Gaza

your friend suffers
your friend may be
lost in the war

of the powerful
how can I wish
your friend well

when I cannot see
the Palestinian
minority

how can I pray
for your friend
whom I cannot see

I must first
open my left eye
to see to pray

peace cannot
come to one for
it will not be peace

peace can only come
to both sides or
it is not peace

war kills so many
more innocent
than guilty

somehow the guilty
seem too often
to escape war’s pain

there is too
much rhetoric
around the world

too much noise
being fueled by
too much opinion

turn your opinions
into prayers
for both sides

pray for peace for
both sides or it
will not be peace

yes today I will
pray for peace
peace for the children

peace for the women
peace for the old
peace for the young

God bring peace today
make a peaceful
cease fire to last

today I have two eyes
I can see from both
let peace reign in Israel

NaHaiWriMo

At one time I had the wonderful habit of writing haiku for NaHaiWriMo, one per day on Facebook. I have not been writing, in great part as fallout to my move. Something tells me that I nee to begin somewhere. And this is August first, really? That is hard to believe. And I might add that having abandoned the habit of haiku, well, it does not come easily, not at all.

early morning dew
limitless source for earths
smallest ones

Thoughts of a Young Girl

I am watching television at the moment, CNNs The Sixties to be precise. I have seen it 2-3 times in the last few days. It is riveting, just riveting. I will never forget it, where I was and what I was doing during those times. When I was a young girl the N word flowed from my mother’s mouth with much to great an ease. Even as a very young child it revolted me. Her racism was palpable, lethal and disgusting. Of course she did not like anyone. Not anyone at all, she always found something “not” to like in anyone. My siblings and I loathed her behavior. We knew something was very wrong.

I have been communicating with my sister in law, we are the same age, of the same era. I must ask her where she was, what she was doing, what she was feeling during those years during the summer of The March On Washington. I was in a Greyhound Bus on my way from Manchester, VT to Monkton, MD. I was sent there to learn more about fox hunting and horsemanship by increasing my exposure to both. It was undeniably a way to keep me out of trouble. Fox hunting was a once disgusting sport where people took great pleasure in watching a pack of hounds tear a fox to shreds. I much preferred drag hunting. Before a drag hunt, the sent of fox was dragged all over the countryside via a bag. I loved the “steeple chase” aspect of the hunt – but that was all. That part was exceptionally exciting, an adrenalin rush. The whole thing seemed to represent something my mother wanted to be, not something her children cared to become. In that bus, on that trip, I held my little transistor radio to my ear and listened to the “March.” God how I longed to be there, to be a part of this movement, to be contributing and doing something useful. They were painfully bloody and violent times. I do not understand segregation, racial hatred and separation. It disgusts me. And I wanted to get off that bus, stop in Washington and join that march. But as a timid young girl I could not do so.

I did not learn to drive until I was twenty-four years old. I was raised to believe that I would fail at anything that I attempted. I was raised without a shred of self-confidence. I became a late bloomer. I would try nothing. It kept me from acting upon my beliefs this made me sad. But my time was yet to come. I had much learning and living to do before I really became who I was meant to be.

My time would come in the mid eighties and early nineties during the AIDS crisis. I was a health care worker in home care. Early on I was exposed to the denial of care to young men dying of this disease called GRID. I became incensed, enraged. I could not accept this, especially this treatment to a part of the population to which I had been so close since I was a very young adult. As a result, I became involved in this towns emerging AIDS organization. I was involved in the grass roots movement in every way possible. Later I would go on to create the best AIDS program of its kind in the world. I am very proud to be able to say that, I am not bragging, it is simply true. I know this because I created and ran a medication program for persons who were HIV+ or who had AIDS. I was able to compare my program to the programs in NYC and in San Francisco. I added to my program a lending library. I did crisis counseling with my patients, their friends, their families and their lovers. I made sure that all of my patients had all of the social services to which they were entitled and that they needed. The doctors who referred their patients to me were very grateful for what I was doing. I was not a counselor, nor a social worker, but I knew what I was doing I knew what was needed. No one else was doing this here in town. I contacted the directors of the NYC and the San Francisco programs. Neither of these programs did anything but deliver medication. In terms of my career this was the most rewarding time of my life. I am grateful to have had this opportunity. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to affect so many lives.

Today it seems so very long ago. I often feel as though I should be doing more, rather as though retirement is not something one ought to engage in. But that just isn’t true is it?

I do not like Blogger. Sorry for the confusion – I deleted my Blogger blog. Bare with me please, I am remaining here at Word Press.

Not Yet There

OK – I really am getting in to the swing of things. I am also realizing that my feelings of isolation are in great part my own doing. I miss everyone here with whom I interact. Yup – I really do! This is a photo taken directly after Emmy’s graduation and a good place for me to start my blog again. It gets me back into the game. My family lives in Indianapolis, we were not able to attend. We live in St Louis. David is going up this weekend for the party Beth (her mother – my daughter) is giving. I do love this photo, from left to right: David my son in law, Emmy in graduation garb, Beth my daughter and Abby the youngest grandchild.

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I am currently working on a post about the move and the new place! That will be next.

SLOMO

Yesterday was so cool! It was cool because it gave me an answer 10 years in the making – one that I never really knew that I would get. I have spoken here off and on about a second spiritual experience that I had in 2005. More to the point I have spoken of the results. The results all were all very positive, very! I acquired a eye into the savage brutality of war, I experienced a degree of its pain, I worked with veterans. All in all good results wouldn’t
you say? Yes. I have mentioned this experience as being shamanic in nature. I have described to people, but to be honest it does lose something in the translation. Ah, then there are those who lived through the experience with me. And this is the cool part. I have always known several things about this experience:

1) Friends and family were very worried about the state of my mental health.
2) I hung on for dear life, knowing that I was really alright and that I was doing precisely what I was meant to do.
3) During this 6 week period there was ecstasy and there was agony. I don’t use these terms loosely. It was real.
4) People wished me to get help in the terms of an MD. I knew better and I am glad that I listened to myself. I sought assistance but from those who could help keep me grounded. I sought the assistance of a massage therapist and of an exercise therapist … to help keep me grounded.
5) Yesterday I watched a video in the NYT that I hope to embed below. It is called SLOMO. It is about a doctor who gave it all up for rollerblading. He describes his life of rollerblading. He then goes on to break down his joy in neurological terms. When he did that I knew that he was on to something. But more importantly, I knew that I was on to something. I now know that during that 6 week period in 2005 when I was so joyous, I was in reality high as a kite within my own brain. At that time I was going to the park and hard walking 6 times a day. The result was the same high that this doctor got from rollerblading. It is really, really good to know what happened and to know I was not crazy … as substantiated by the medical field. Click upon the link below and be mesmerized!

SLOMO

Seeing Red …

We are challenged today to really incorporate color into our poem. Whatever you see, whatever you write – really SEE it in color. This was fun. I just chose a few poet friends here on the Net and wrote bits about them, seeing them in the colors that they portray to me. This is at dVerse Poets Pub where the greatest poets in the world meet up for a drink and a few good words and “The Color Festival.”

A stitch here and
there, red thread
pulled. Red coat – rushing
to get her kids off to
school, Claudia – she stops
in the rain
looking down into the
puddle, a reflection
of her home
in red brick
rippling through
the water.
Little eddies
of swirling silver and
gray
with hints of
the sun coming out,
become a froth of
many whites
almost a silver
reflection
in their
splash.

Sherry with her
dog
Jasmine the color of
ginger putty
on a sunny day
the light is a deep
yellow
with the sparkle
of it’s sunshine
bouncing off
the glitter
in the bluest bay.
She sits
upon a log,
a paled wheat
bleached by the sun
with gray and black
streaks.
She sits
watching
white puff clouds
so high they fly
racing by.
She drinks her
dark rich brown coffee
from a warm olive-green
mug, as Jasmine plays
on the
loose
pale bleed of pink sand.

Brian a hand
out to each child
bringing them
along, everyone in a
variant shade
of blue tee-shirt,
gray-blue,
sky-blue
calmest ocean blue.
They head for the
park-bench on
a silvery
sunny day
where they will
sit down
for a picnic
beautiful wife and
mother
tagging along
green like the
earth bringing
PB & J
sandwiches
of love
the color of nuts
tannish, brownish with
grape jam oozing
from the bread
made of
family love.

Grace,
just that.
Grace comes in
many hues
I should think of her
painting by the
sea – palette filled
with every color.
Hair reddish
dress white
with a yellow
sash
silver dangling from her
ears. A purple
ribbon in
her hair.

Mary
off quickly
down the street
pencil thin
a dark shirt
perhaps a gray
white cuffs
with red buttons.
The three
little ones behind
gray, white,
tan,
brown and black
a walk by the
bay.
Swiveled
brown leather
leashes
never
tangle
each little
one with
a red collar
one blue
and one green.

Bjorn stands
against a dark
scowl filled sky
gray-black clouds
raging
across its dark
surface.
He stops briefly
in his burnt orange
cap
blue jeans frayed
just long
enough
to paint
with words the
angry waves
of green and purple.
While its
bubbly lemon froth
hisses spit
over the pier.
iPad in hand washed
over grabbed
by the angry water
a poem washed
away.

Christmas Morning

Although
there were only
two places,
first and last
it didn’t
matter now.

No,
it was
Christmas
Eve and time
for “The Night
Before Christmas.”

I was
so excited.
I was so very
happy but anxious.
Late that night
I became ill.

Santa
didn’t mind
a whit. I looked
downstairs.
Under the tree,
there they were.

Not just
a new pair of
skis but a
new pair of special
skis for me.
I was ten.

I went back
upstairs
and I was sick
I threw up
my dinner, I
was so excited.

A new pair
of Kastle Skis
the best skis
Was there a
Santa Claus? No,
but it felt like it.

My dream
had come true.
When I raced
now maybe my
skis would
win for me.

I felt
so proud that
day. I felt
loved, it was
a great
day for me.

Move Update

We had the nicest inspector. He pointed out to us that the builder who renovated this place did so with the very best of materials seven years ago, showing us the exposed copper and cast iron piping. So what now? I do believe that we are just waiting for the owner to move out his belongings. Actually he has a renter in there and he lives in the Carolinas. I truly hope to move in mid-April. Well, that isn’t true, I would like to move tomorrow. Currently I am taking bids from movers. It is amazing the quality of bids that I am receiving. I am taking three. The first was 100% in depth and thorough. The second seemed to forget that we wanted to know at least 1/2 of the things that I had asked for. We await the third. We expect each to be the same price. I am really just sizing up the movers. Below are some photos. Please understand that the photos are of the unit with the owners goods within it. Somehow as I entered the photos – I REALLY SCREWD UP! So – I love my new closet. Then I forget what comes. We have a great deck with a marble fountain – what comes next?

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The above photo is of the outside of our building. Had we purchased a condo anywhere but downtown we would have had a doorman – something that I wanted. But downtown lofts are a different story altogether. Also, downtown is very youthful. And needless to say one’s condo fee does not include monies to pay for a doorman. I believe that there are 52 units in this building. We are on the 7th floor with a penthouse unit that has the only deck. We are in the back – not the front.

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The front door – we have artwork to place in this space.

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The back wall of the kitchen, there are two side walls also.

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A way too dark photo (having been made as light as possible) of some of the great room.