August Open Write on Ethical ELA

15 August 2020
Indelible Moments with Emily Yamasaki

Image by esudroff from Pixabay

I am the confident and careful driver, unaware of dangers
His ’67 truck was given to my mom
when Uncle Guy died
because Grandma didn’t drive
And had no use for it
A few years later our neighbor got a new camper

I am the confident and careful driver, unaware of dangers
Their second-hand cabover camper
Became our home that summer
It was the hermit crab shell
our Chevy had been longing for
Though maybe still needing to grow into
Top-heavy in the wind
Barreling down the highway

I am the confident and careful driver, unaware of dangers
I was still 16 years old that summer,
less than a year’s driving experience
And awfully unseasoned when it
Came to that extra ton on my back
We shook, rattled and rolled through
Deserts and over mountain passes

I am the confident and careful driver, unaware of dangers
Aunt Josephine didn’t believe I was, though
She came with us for part of that trip and
Peeking through the crawl window in the truck cab,
Over her shoulder
She’d give my mom a play-by-play of my driving
Harassed Mom just wanted a rest while I took a turn
My shaggy-haired 14-year-old brother was my co-pilot

I am the confident and careful driver, unaware of dangers
That summer we took a loop tour of the West–
California to Arizona to Utah,
Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, B.C., Oregon
and back to California
And we did it all without incident or accident

I am the confident and careful driver, unaware of dangers
I wonder why I didn’t remember that when
My own girls learned to drive
When they took the wheel, I sat in the passenger seat
Digging my nails into the upholstery
Flinching when they got too close to the shoulder

Why did I become a confident and careful driver,
overly aware of dangers when I became the mom?

16 August 2020
Pantoum Poem to Hold a Worry by Emily Yamasaki
Each day I feel a battle over my thoughts. I can get lost in the bad news, or I can retain hope and God-ness in my life. Today, I had to write two poem containers to hold the battling thoughts within me. Inspiration came from a quote by St. Ignatius. “In the case of those who are making progress from good to better, the good angel touches the soul gently, lightly, sweetly, as a drop of water enters a sponge, while the evil spirit touches it sharply, with noise and disturbance, like a drop of water falling on a rock.” and from Psalm 36:5-6.

Everyday Thoughts, Part 1

Everyday thoughts
Screamers of doom
What will it be today?
Explosions at port

Screamers of doom
Racist rants of rancor
Explosions of violent virus
Disrupting, disturbing, distressing

Racists ranting revulsion
Water slapping a rock, noisily
Disrupting, distressing, disturbing
Confusing, jarring, upsetting

Water slamming the rock, violently
What will it be today?
Confusing, jarring, upsetting
Everyday thoughts

Everyday Thoughts, Part 2

Everyday thoughts
Justice like an ocean
What will it be today?
Love as limitless as the skies

Justice like an ocean
Grace, faith, hope and
Love as vast as the heavens
Joy, peace, and patience

Grace, faith, hope and love
Water soaking into a sponge, lightly
Joy, peace, and patience
Unfolding, permeating, spreading

Water saturating a sponge, sweetly
What will it be today?
Unfolding, permeating, spreading
Everyday thoughts

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay
CC BY 2.0 by mrsdkebs 

17 August 2020
“Weather” by Claudia Rankine with Andy Schoenborn


By Denise Krebs
(with the beginning and ending lines taken from Claudia Rankine’s “Weather”)

On a scrap of paper in the archive is
Written the sea surface temperature for August.
As usual it’s gone up.
Turns out
in a pandemic everyone
is without a healthy
Everything is an anomaly.
The Postal Service climate has long been
A ridge of high pressure
smashing our mail system
And the forests replete with fires
The Apple Fire cost $51 million
to beat it back to 90% contained
(thems a lot of apples)
Fires then moved on to other locales:
Hills, Lake, Red, Elk,
Hog, Whale,
USPS and more.
(dispatchers clip the names wisely
so they’ll be sure to save
for fires yet to fight)
Heavy rains and
Powerful thunderstorms this week in southern California
(Wait, it never rains in southern California)
Now it’s
with a chance of Postal trucks being towed away
Smoky with the burning of the
Constitution and
firenados of
ballots twisting into disenfranchisement
Low pressure trough of
on mailboxes
Greenhouse effect suffocating the
mail-sorting machines
Above average chance of
1000-year heatwave that will
sizzle and singe and annihilate the GOP
Breaking! Extreme weather alert:
Late summer storm of
stupidity and oleanders
being reported on the east coast.
I say weather but I
a November that won’t be held off. This
nothing, no one forgotten. We are here for the
blue tsunami
that’s storming because what’s taken

18 August 2020
The “Re” in Relationships with Andy Schoenborn

If I could spend the day with you,
we would work hard.
While we worked
we would recall stories about mama dogs having puppies,
the noises on Aunt Josephine’s farm,
and sneaking candy.
We would start at dawn
and drive to the end of the road
where no one lives
to feed the coyotes
the freezer-burned turkey
you’ve had since before Mom died.
We would paint a wall or two,
upholster that old chair on the back porch,
and haul the dinosaur of a ringer washing machine
to the Ranch House for decor.
While we work, we would drink iced tea
all afternoon until our back teeth floated,
but we wouldn’t stop to eat any lunch.
We would climb Abel’s Mountain
and I’d hold them while you wired the wings
onto the pterodactyl sculpture you are building.
When evening finally came,
we would come inside
and you would throw together
some incredible, decadent and unhealthy dinner
like nachos with extra cheese and avocado slices.
We’d dip them into the salsa
you whipped up last night at midnight.
Then we would watch the Democratic National Convention.
Afterwards, we’d go outside
and lie under the stars,
watching for remnants
of the Perseid Meteor Shower.
Tomorrow we would do it again,
same song, different verse.

19 August 2020
The Moment of Change with Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

The Fall

Once upon a time they were kept apart
But the most crafty and cagey creature
(for Goodness sake, why?)
took the good and stirred in the evil
Introduced Knowing right and wrong

That cunning creature asked questions
Really? Are you starving here? Don’t you get anything to eat?
Oh, yes, we eat. We eat everything…except…uh…
I mean…not everything, exactly…
just…just not from that one in the middle…
Ahhh, they say that’s the best one.
No. I don’t think so. We’ll die.
Mwahahaha! Do you believe that lie?
Think for yourself. It will open your eyes. Be like Creator.

It does look delicious.

They ate.
They hid.
They hid their knowing.
They no longer knew only Good Garden.
They now also knew evil empire.
They spread their
to the rest of us.
We hide.

But Goodness calls,

“Where are you?”