It’s already Wednesday, Inauguration Day. I have refrained from watching the news the last couple of days because of lots of other daytime and evening commitments. This morning I woke up thinking about this post and a poem I didn’t write yesterday. Since it’s still Tuesday in parts of the U.S., I got up writing a poem about walls.
The world is due for a big change after one more sleep for the United States. I’m praying for justice and walls to come down during the next administration.
I am also posting my “Walls” poem and others that I’ve been trying to keep up with this week on Ethical ELA.
Happy Inauguration Day, everyone!
19 January 2021
Mindful Walking with Stacey Joy
I walk mindfully
around the cemetery
and I see a wall
the living from the dead. Are
they also mindful?
My mind jumps across
Earth’s span to U.S.
politics and walls
Divides us from
All our neighbors to the south–
At least in spirit
Hoping for a new start, but
Not life in a cage
Restricts a future
Hope that independents will
Bring some sanity
Splits up lawmakers–
MAGAs versus those who think
Breaks up Washington
From rebels within
Fortifies the White
Make her great, again?
Encloses our hearts
Against the madness and fear
Will we trust again?
Crumbles under the
Weight of justice served up to
All of God’s children
18 January 2021
One Word with Stacey Joy
I open the letter
breathed by you
I sit at the seashore
and chew on the manna
flow of justice,
17 January 2021
Evidence with Susie Morice
Read Susie’s poem called “Thin Ice” to take a sad journey with her (at the link above).
Today’s sky was covered in buttermilk–
streaked, like the sides of a
finished glass of it.
I thought of my childhood when
three generations of relatives
sat around the table
eating beans and cornbread. Earlier
ancestors hailed from Georgia,
so we still remembered–
after dinner everyone got
a tall glass of buttermilk
so they could crumble another
piece of cornbread
in and eat it
with an iced tea spoon. Meandering
rivulets, like today’s clouds,
ran down the glasses as we finished.
Today’s buttermilk sky was
a welcome winter anomaly. I didn’t see
buttermilk white, but instead I saw passionless
smoky curdles. Gray tinged
with subtle pinks as the sun tried
to push through the foggy undertones.
Skies are small here. City buildings
take up a lot of room. Today’s
buttermilk sky was stunted,
and as I walked to school
trying to glimpse more of the soured sky,
I thought back to the giant skies
above Iowa’s farmland. Now there
was a place one
could get lost in the sweet sky–
Cirrus, stratus, cumulus
galore. The sky was
generous and gracious
and made room for all. Layers
and layers of clouds
fill the heights, depths,
and breadth of the expanse
in every direction, in
every shade of white
they dance across the azure sky
Thinking of buttermilk
and big skies
made me home sick today.
16 January 2021
Conversations with Susie Morice
The moon held me in her gaze tonight
as I walked through the city.
She asked me why I didn’t
pay closer attention to her
(sometimes I don’t notice her at all)
but here she was
on full display
even amid the screaming
glare and clutter of the city lights.
Her heart was full, and her
body was a sweet smiling sliver.
She spoke to me kindly, and
asked if I had any questions for her.
Yes, I did, and right there
in the busy street,
I poured out my questions.
Luna, you’re just a toddler today,
Do your cheeks hurt with that ear-to-ear beam?
How do you keep track of all your phases?
Which one is your favorite?
Did you have ears to hear the spoken Word
that made you ruler of the night sky?
Do you give quick comebacks for
jumping cow and green cheese jokes?
When Jesus was born, how did you feel
being subordinate to that bright star?
How powerful is it to ripple the oceans
with your constant pull on the earth?
How many wars have you seen?
How many rapes have your eyes endured?
Do you wish you had wind?
Have you ever seen an alien?
How many night skies have you lit up?
How many skinny dippers have made you blush?
Did you weep when the astronauts
left their footprint on you?
She answered me,
indulging me with her serene replies.
I continued, hoping for more wisdom…
How did we ever elect that man?
He’s made such a…
That’s enough, dear, she interrupted,
Get along now.
2 thoughts on “January Open Write”
I’m praying for a peaceful transition tomorrow and a start to better days for the US! The imagery of your family crumbling cornbread in buttermilk took me back to my own childhood and my grandmother, “Mema,” from Oklahoma who loved to crumble her (nonsweet) cornbread in her glass of buttermilk. My Western taste-buds never picked up that taste, though, and have always preferred my cornbread to be sweet.
Thank you, Shawnda, for reading my poems and taking time to comment. I do prefer sweet cornbread with honey and butter, but my grandma made coarse meal cornbread without sweetener. I have a confession to make, as a child I broke my cornbread up in a glass of sweet milk instead of buttermilk.
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