I was always attracted to the poems of Emily Dickinson. It started in the seventh grade with Mrs. Rice reading one of her poems that begins, “I’m nobody! Who are you?” I suppose as a pre-teen at the time, I was fascinated by someone actually admitting from the start that they were “nobody”. Perhaps a little simplistic thinking on my part at the time. But I became very motivated to delve into the meaning of her poems especially the more depressing and sometimes even darker ones. I read her biographies which always intrigued me. But don’t ask me why; they just did.
These days, I am somewhere in between feeling hopeful and depressed by all the madness that seems to be exhibited at all levels by so many of us. More maddening is that the paradoxes and ironies of the madness come from our so called leaders. I crave more thought provoking poems to help me understand and cope with it all. I read more about keeping faith and spirituality.
Here is a poem by Emily Dickinson I reread recently that seems to connect to what is happening right now. What do you think?
Over 3000 people on average are dying every day now because of COVID 19. We must never forget these souls. May their memories be a blessing to those they left behind. My painting below is dedicated to all those hundreds of thousands of souls. Many died alone unable to speak to loved ones. The hearts represent their souls and also the broken hearts of their loved ones. We are all one in all and one in all. The butterfly represents hope. In Spanish we refer to a butterfly as “esperanza” which means hope. I hope we protect each other and continue to wear masks to protect others. So much is happening right now. But let us focus on how precious life is and how much our loved ones mean to us. Let us not forget the essence of our oneness. Stay safe! God bless!
We have come a long way folks. We are still fighting this deadly virus and World Pandemic. 230,000 people are DEAD! They were our fellow Americans. I do not care if they were American born, foreign born, rich, poor, White, Black, Yellow or if they were Democrats, Republicans or Independents. I don’t even care if they were Atheists, or Agnostics. They were human beings. They could not breathe a peaceful last breath because the virus would not let them breathe on their own. They did not have the strength to even say goodbye to a loved one. In many cases it was the beeping of the ventilator machine that announced their lonely transition. I am painting a grim and dark picture here because some people just need to wake up to the reality that if we do not cooperate and help each other stay safe, there is a possibility (hope not) that one hundred more human beings will die as many more are infected!
The ones who survive will more than likely not have long lasting side effects but many will continue to suffer. Reports from real people say they will have lung, heart and other vital organs affected for possibly the rest of their lives. This is like having another type of cancerous cell in your body. Post-COVID patients will be at risk of being labeled as having pre-existing illnesses that may not be covered by health insurance. They may have trouble getting insured or may see higher premiums and copays to deal with.
The countdown must be shouted at the top of our lungs. We must do what is right for all the people. We must continue to listen to the experts and scientists. You know – the ones with the higher educational degrees that certify that they actually have the knowledge and experience to tell us the truth and to develop the right protocols, medicines, vaccines and effective measures to combat the virus. It has not gone away.
My family is facing a difficult moment right now. And although it is not COVID related, I cannot bear the thought that anyone in my extended family might have to suffer from COVID because they have an underlying disease.
I will not rest peacefully until we conquer this viral disease. I will not rest peacefully until we rid ourselves of the deceitful, misleading, and dangerous misinformation that flows from the House of the People. Our democracy, freedom of speech, and civil rights are at stake right now. We need to revert back to the respectful discourse, honesty, and to the values we have cherished since the birth of our free nation. Many brave men and women died to preserve our Constitutions and the laws that protect us.
Some of you may not agree with my stance but this is the beauty of a democracy. We can disagree. But we must also accept the truth. The Constitution, our Bill of Rights and Liberties must not be trampled or tarnished. Empires and very powerful countries fall when the people get too complacent and allow corrupt leaders to dictate bigotry and hate. This is not the American way. I learned this from my sixth grade teacher. We must work together for the good of all. I beg you. We must work together.
I listened to this song this morning as I witnessed the audacity and determination of a long line of voters waiting to cast their vote early. They started dancing in place to make their long wait a little more bearable. So to end on a high note I want to share this classic. I will be doing the same in my living room when the results come in and tell us we have won our nation back. Stay safe, and God bless America!
These two great singers are among my very favorite singers. Listen and read the lyrics. They always bring me peace.
I pray you’ll be our eyes, And watch us where we go And help us to be wise, In times when we don’t know Let this be our prayer, When we lose our way Lead us to a place, Guide us with your grace To a place where we’ll be safe
La luce che tu dai (the light that you give) I pray we’ll find your light Nel cuore resterà (In my heart it will remain) And hold it in our hearts A ricordarci che (To remind us that) When stars go out each night L’eterna stella sei (You are the eternal star) Nella mia preghiera (In my prayers) Let this be our prayer Quanta fede c’è (How much faith there is) When shadows fill our day Lead us to a place Guide us with your grace Give us faith so we’ll be safe
Sognamo un mondo senza più violenza (We dream of a world with no more violence) Un mondo di giustizia e di speranza (A world of justice and hope) Ognuno dia la mano al suo vicino (Everyone lends a hand to their neighbour) Simbolo di pace e di fraternità (A symbol of peace and fraternity)
La forza che ci dai (The strength you give us) We ask that life be kind È il desiderio che (And the desire that) And watch us from above Ognuno trovi amor (Everyone will find love) We hope each soul will find Intorno e dentro a sè (Around and inside themselves) Another soul to love Let this be our prayer Let this be our prayer Just like every child Just like every child
Need to find a place, Guide us with your grace Give us faith so we’ll be safe E la fede che (And the faith that) Hai acceso in noi (You have ignited within us) Sento che ci salverá (I feel that it will save all of us)
I was inspired by this countdown clock that measures to the second how much longer it will be until election day. I wrote the following poem starting with a borrowed line from Destined 4 the Dub. I write found poems all the time and all it takes is reading a clever line from a fellow blogger. I want to create awareness and encourage people to read and listen as we move closer to election day. It is so important to keep informed and to be able to distinguish the truth and alternative facts.
I hope you enjoy this poem. Afterall, my goal is to inspire with my art and poetry. I have been enjoying the comments. Here is the found poem. I hope that one of you can give it a title. Please write your suggestions in the comments.
Carefully choose what you remember.
Let go of all the lies.
Allow the waves of change
to flow gracefully into your hearts.
We are the new dreamers.
However, the seeds were planted long ago.
Sow them gently;
So you hear their soothing mantra.
They create harmony for us;
all of us.
Know now the urgency of our oneness.
Our voices echo love and peace.
Do not forget to look at the view.
Nature always heals the soul.
Watch out for the rainbow;
it knows our destiny.
We will survive!
This too shall pass.
Attributions: Miriam Out and About – Destined 4 the dub
I hope this letter reaches you in good health. I am writing to you because our United States Postal Service (USPS) may disappear for all we know because we really do not know what is happening. Some sources say there is attempt to defund it. Some say they are removing sorting machines and blue post boxes and closing down some post offices. We cannot allow anyone or anything to destroy a service that has been our most valued asset. We value our military because men and women put their lives in the line of fire to secure and protect our democracy. We value more than ever our essential workers like our fireman, ambulance workers, police officers, medical community, teachers, delivery services and food service workers. They all serve us. They all serve we the people. It is time for us to deliver. It is time for us to STAND UP AND DELIVER.
If you still believe in “WE THE PEOPLE” then that means you believe that the USPS cannot be destroyed, dismembered, unarmed, or somehow diminished. The people who work for the USPS are people from all walks of life. Many are women, African American, veterans and people who work hard to ensure that we get our medications, our social security checks, letters from our families and military members working overseas. Bottom line, they too are “WE THE PEOPLE”.
The COVID-19 pandemic has flipped everything upside down. A record number of people are out of work, more and more people are contracting the virus, and 170,000 people have died. We are going through a recession. Our collective psyche has been affected with too many uncertainties. The economy is suffering. The senate cannot decide on a stimulus package or do not want to come to compromise so that the our most vulnerable citizens can receive economic relief. They need to go back to work. Each one of them represent us the voters, we the people, and nothing should interfere with the flow of mail in ballots, be they absentee or otherwise. Nothing should slow down our postal service. We must come up with creative ways of making sure that people know what they have to do in order to vote if they feel it is unsafe to go vote in person. It is vital that we help the word get out. We must start to use our own oversight powers by making sure the congress and the senate do what they are obligated to do. They too have to STAND UP AND DELIVER! The Postal Service Crisis is not a Democratic or Republican issue, it is a civil rights issue. It is an American issue.
We must do whatever it takes to embrace the constitutional and civil rights of all people. STAND UP AND DELIVER! We must secure our precious liberties and democracy. It is up to us. STAND UP AND DELIVER! Do it for your children. STAND UP AND DELIVER! Do it for your elderly parent or the person in your family who has heart disease or diabetes or other compromising health problems. STAND UP AND DELIVER! We the people have the power. The United States of America is not an autocratic or authoritarian regime. The United States is a democracy. The world is watching us, people. The world is listening! STAND UP AND DELIVER!
One hundred years ago the Women’s Suffrage Movement made a difference in our country by demanding their right to vote. “The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted American women the right to vote, and was ratified on August 18, 1920, ending almost a century of protest. … Following the convention, the demand for the vote became a centerpiece of the women’s rights movement.” We cannot let them down. They sacrificed too much. It is our turn to make “good trouble” and STAND UP AND DELIVER like those strong and brave women did. Please do the right thing. God bless America!
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
“The words above, thought to be the motto, are chiseled in gray granite over the entrance to the New York City Post Office on 8th Avenue and come from Book 8, Paragraph 98, of The Persian Wars by Herodotus.”
This is the motto or slogan and indeed the promise from the United States Postal Servicethat I counted on for so many years. During summer vacations I counted on their promise to deliver promptly the letters I’d write to my friends who went away to camp or to stay with their grandparents. I would be away part of the summer to visit my grandmother. I’d wait by the door for the mail carrier, (then called postman) to bring me letters from my dad who could not take off from work to be with us. Later, I’d wait for letters from my friends serving abroad during the Vietnam war. I couldn’t wait to get the pictures they would take especially of the celebrities showcased in the Bob Hope tours with the USO. Then, there was waiting for the acceptance letters from the dream college I had applied to. And of course, (I have kept them all until now) there were the love letters my husband would write to me with an occasional poem dedicated to me or to our love.
I am sure all of you can relate to these moments that were made possible because we had a reliable source. Namely the postal service. We could count on the promise that no matter what the mail would arrive. Of course, there were delays at times and return to sender mail even though you had written the correct address on the envelope. We have all had some of those experiences.
There has been so much to digest these days and nothing is as important as the devastation caused by this deadly and highly contagious virus that has invaded our country. But the possible threat proposed against our postal system is something we have to stop. Our democracy depends on our postal service. I do not understand how we can allow defunding or privatization of this precious service. The essential workers of this institution have been diligent to get us our medicines and other goods during the stay home mandate.
I remember one of my teachers introducing us to pen pal writing. I had a few pen pals that continued writing to me way beyond the elementary school years. The teacher wrote the postal service slogan on the board. She told us how important it was to have a postal service and explained the many ways that it helped people to stay connected.
I continue to write letters . Yes, I to friends and family even though it has kind of become a lost art and old fashion. I use email and text messaging but there is nothing like writing to a letter to a friend or family member and receiving one from them as well. My grand daughter started writing me letters during the pandemic. These letters made my day. They are my greatest treasure. She enclosed drawings and would tell us how much she missed us.
I know that this may sound over sentimental but a promise is a promise is what I believe firmly. The following is another inscription that sums it all:
Messenger of Sympathy and Love Servant of Parted Friends Consoler of the Lonely Bond of the Scattered Family Enlarger of the Common Life Carrier of News and Knowledge Instrument of Trade and Industry Promoter of Mutual Acquaintance Of Peace and of Goodwill Among Men and Nations.
Please do your part in helping to save our postal service. No matter what your political affiliation or philosophy, I am sure that you will want to think about what the threats being made implicate. Remember many people now rely on the postal service to survive. We must protect the legendary promise that was made to all of us, we the people. All it takes is a postcard or letter to your senator or congressman or woman to insist that they do something to fund the USPS.
The USPS traces its roots to 1775 during the Second Continental Congress, when Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general. … It was elevated to a cabinet-level department in 1872, and was transformed by the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 into the United States Postal Service as an independent agency.
In 1774, the British fired Franklin from his postmaster job because of his revolutionary activities. However, the following year, he was appointed postmaster general of the United Colonies by the Continental Congress. Franklin held the job until late in 1776, when he was sent to France as a diplomat. He left a vastly improved mail system, with routes from Florida to Maine and regular service between the colonies and Britain.
President George Washington appointed Samuel Osgood, a former Massachusetts congressman, as the first postmaster general of the American nation under the new U.S. constitution in 1789. At the time, there were approximately 75 post offices in the country.
or who your candidate is or what political party you belong to.
It is cruel, relentless, and even smart
because you may not know you are afflicted or infected,
until you actually feel ill. It changes the symptoms all the time.
It out smarts you;
Until it may be too late and
no one can come in to be with you when you die.
It may leave you with heart problems,
kidney failure and unable to think straight.
In 83 days, at the rate we are going,
Eighty-three thousand people may die.
This can be a reality.
Does this horrify you?
It scares the hell out of me.
I now know three people who are ravaged by COVID-19
Something’s gotta give.
I vow to try not to infect someone else
I know what we have to do.
I don to want to sound so hopeless or helpless but I just heard of a family member who has tested positive. She did everything right. So what happened? It is frustrating and it makes me crazy. I do not want to impose my opinions. I try to be positive. I want to write poetry. I want to inspire not to instill fear. So please be safe. In the meanwhile, think about what we can do during this next 83 days.
As a retired educator, I feel the obligation to stress the need to help our children and young people right now. Parents and families need support as schools open within the next few weeks. School districts and their respective boards and local authorities are planning and trying to make ends meet with regard to supplies to keep their schools clean, safe and how to implement spacial distancing.
Many schools continue to advocate for distance learning or remote learning via Zoom and other Internet platforms. Some districts have opted for a hybrid system alternating days for face to face learning and on-line learning. There is no doubt that these decisions will be protested and opposed by parents, teachers and even our national leaders. There is no one size fits all. There are too many factors to consider.
There is no equity. But then again education has never really been equitable in our country. We even label some school districts poor or rich. This is just a fact. Some cities and towns are funded by property taxes and supplemented by some state and federal entitlements. However, the buildings and technological infrastructure is either excellent and state of the art or very old and in some cases obsolete or non existent. I am not going to point fingers or blame anyone at this point for our failures in education but the truth is not all schools are created nor maintained equally.
Right this minute, parents are trying to figure out how to get their children suitable devices, update their Wifi speeds or even get Internet service, and how to afford remote learning. Teachers typically use their own dollars to buy materials and supplies during the school year. The difference this year is that they cannot buy all their students tablets or computers. So who can help to provide these devices if we should have to go back to stay at home kind of learning? Make a list if you will.
All the medical experts I have listened to have said that children can be infected and can get seriously ill from COVID 19 . Yes, they have better immune systems but what about the immunity of their teachers and the parents and grandparents they go back home to possibly spread the disease.
So, to attend school or not to go back to school is the critical question for all of us. Let us remember that it takes a village. This is just not a cliche anymore. We spend our energy worrying about what sports teams are doing to play and keep their members safe. Many of the players, may I add are millionaires. I support sports just like everyone else; but should not our focus be our education system? Sports fulfill a large part of our cultural needs and help us to relax in many ways. Just like the NFL, NBA and national baseball teams, our educational system needs sensible and professional leadership, good coaching by knowledgeable educators and fitness experts to support students and teachers.
I am calling for action for all of us to do our part. Check out the needs of your school district. If you can donate a tablet or computer. If you know someone who can afford it ask them to donate. Rich companies like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Samsung, LG, Walmart, Amazon, to name a few, and how about the richer members of the stock exchange to donate computers and devices to communities where children and their families simply cannot afford to get a suitable device. A parent should not have to give their child a cell phone to use during remote learning. Some parents work from home as well. How do they share the time to get on-line? We have always been a very generous country and people. Let us put our money in the right place.
Last, our politicians should work out a viable bipartisan plan to continue to help our most vulnerable populations. We need people to feel safe and empowered again. No one wants to stay home and never leave it. I do not know anyone who loves to be on food stamps or depend on others to survive. Many folks want and need to get back to work.
However we need to help slow down this deadly virus and to keep each other safe. Love thy neighbor! Follow the guidelines to keep yourself and others safe until we find a cure, a safe vaccine and effective treatments. 163,533 souls suffered so much pain and lost their worst life’s battle. Let us not loose the war. It is not appropriate or acceptable to say that “It is what it is”.
We need to keep up the fight, call out those leaders who are not doing their jobs, vote for those who are capable of getting the job done. This is how we will honor the memory of those who have fallen.
Let us pay attention to our local public officials. Check out what they are voting for to keep our country safe. Write letters, make the phone calls.
While it is important to remain informed about the politics that are so vital right now, it is essential that you know the sources of the information distributed. Critical thinking is very important. We are told that many things on social media are sometimes deceptive. We have become very familiar with terms like “alternative facts” and “fake news”. How do we know for sure that what is being said is the truth? Well, for one thing we should listen to all sides of the issue. Learn how reliable those sources are and then Question, Question, Question!
Listening attentively and mindfully to what is being said takes patience and effort. What are the buzz words that are constantly repeated? Why are they being repeated? Who is doing the repeating? Check out the legitimate fact checkers.
Regarding COVID-19, it is easy to get confused and feel that some information is conflicting. Ask you own personal primary care practitioners what they believe about safety measures, how you may be at risk and what is the smart thing to do to keep your family safe. Take it personal.
Share facts with other people. Pass on the latest information with others in your immediate community. Remember it does take a village to get the results we want, No one person can do it alone. No one!
Maya Angelou said it best in her lyric poem, “Alone”. “The tone is of deep feeling or emotional reflection on the author’s part. The poem deals with togetherness by placing emphasis on being alone; quite an irony. It is a lyrical “thinking out loud”, a reflection on what it is to be a human and ‘out here’ in the big wide world.” There is no need to be alone, We are in this together. Believe it.
Create a checklist of what you know are the facts. Once you know what you know, share it. Discuss it with others. We need to ask ourselves what are the most important precautions we can take for your family. Create a plan of action and be ready for anything. Leave everything to the imagination. We have been conditioned to listening to only the sound bytes; we need to be more comprehensive in seeking the truth. Definitely expect the worse so that you are prepared for the worse. But stay positive at the same time because preparedness usually results in success.
What do you know? Share it in the comments below. Stay safe! God bless America!