Dodoitsu for “This Photo”

Today is the day Margaret Simon posts a photo each week for “This Photo Wants to Be a Poem.” Today, I also read Carol Varsalona’s Slice of Life post with flower wreaths and bringing nature inside. She wrote a dodoitsu on that post, as well. I read Donnetta Norris’s Poetry Friday post with two dodoitsu poems. I tried one here with this photo giving me the inspiration:

 

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A post shared by Bonne Terre 🌎 (@bonneterrela)

I appreciate the beautiful photos Margaret shares–sometimes her own and something from friends with beautiful Instagram accounts to follow. I had never noticed elderflowers before, even though I grew up in southern California, where I read that they grow. Margaret’s poem taught about the medicinal value of the elderflower. I went to do a little more research on these beautiful flowers. I learned that Meghan and Harry had a lemon and elderflower wedding cake. I tried a dodoitsu, which is a four-line poem, no meter or rhyme constraints, with a syllable count of 7-7-7-5, and the poem can be about love or work with a comical twist. (Oops, I hope you don’t think my last line is funny.)

Elderflowers like snowflakes
What will each bud grow to be?
Spirits for a new pastry?
Stem to grace a grave.

Patriots

Slice of Life for today at TwoWritingTeachers.org

Yesterday I listened to the whole one-hour phone call by our disgraced president to Georgia election officials, with attorneys present. If you haven’t listened, here he is, the resident of the White House:

Then later in the day I watched the complete press conference with Gabriel Sterling, voting systems election official, from Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office.

When I watch them both, it is obvious there are not two sides to this issue. What can we make of this coup attempt? How can there be any doubts?

Regarding a lying, debunked Q-Anon conspiracy theory, trump said this:

So tell me, Brad, what are we going to do? We won the election, and it’s not fair to take it away from us like this. And it’s going to be very costly in many ways. And I think you have to say that you’re going to reexamine it, and you can reexamine it, but reexamine it with people that want to find answers, not people that don’t want to find answers.

It’s going to be costly, yes. Costly to the inhumane, racist and misogynist system that America was built upon. Hopefully, these last four years have opened the eyes of enough Americans that we will keep paying the costly price for a better future.

And, Brad, we just want the truth. It’s simple. And everyone’s going to look very good if the truth comes out. It’s okay. It takes a little while, but let the truth come out. And the real truth is, I won by 400,000 votes. At least. That’s the real truth. But we don’t need 400,000 votes. We need less than 2,000 votes.

Yes to the truth! Truth has been knocking on the door of the system for centuries, and trump has made it knock louder and with more urgency than it did before. He doesn’t want Truth; he just wants to be declared the winner.

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” Martin Luther King, Jr., observed with expectation. He was co-pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Today millions of Georgians are voting for Raphael Warnock, who is currently serving as senior pastor of Ebenezer. That is such a beautiful step forward.

We are living in history, and someday we’ll look back on this historic chapter and hopefully be able to say that the moral arc took a big lean toward Truth and justice in this era.

I do not believe that anyone in power is objecting to the election in good faith. These people cannot really believe the lies over the diligent work of Republicans Brad Raffensberger and Gabriel Sterling, who are showing that they are the real patriots here. The twelve senators and 140 representatives who on Wednesday choose to exploit the president’s mental illness for their own selfish ends will go down in history, and not in a good way.

If you are one who still believes the election was stolen, I would love to hear why.

 

Here We Are Again

Oh, God, help us. Another election is coming on Tuesday.

Two years ago, I was thinking we were better than this. I thought for sure trump would not become president. I knew we had racism and misogynistic issues in our country, but I thought there were more of us who were fighting against our demons. Instead, we have invited them in, and in full force.

After the Access Hollywood tapes came out, I wrote a letter to my children sharing some of my thoughts. I wanted them to know what I was thinking, but I was over 7,000 miles away, so I wrote an email. A few snippets are reprinted below:

Hello, my wonderful daughters,

Good day on this Saturday when you should be thinking of all kinds of other things besides racism and sexism.

I’ve been thinking so much about you every single day while I watch the worst train wreck of my life, and I can’t take my eyes off the carnage. (I pray the Trump train is wrecking for good this week.)

I have been reminded daily of the philosophy of education I prepared in a class when I was working on my Master’s in Arizona. It said something to the effect of, “I need to teach children to be strong readers in order to save our democracy.”

I praise God that community, church, and family along the way taught you both to be critical thinkers and readers. Our democracy is in good hands with people like you! (Unfortunately, I’m afraid over the years I’ve taught some students who turned into obviously not critical thinkers or readers, who demonstrate they listen to only one-sided sources and share bogus and ridiculous nonsense on social media.)

Anyway, last week I was planning to write this letter to you about racism. I should have started it then because today I also need to write about sexism, given the happenings of this week.

I have hope, though. When I think of where I was as a child to where I am now, I am thankful and happy to have grown so much. I know that you two will also grow in your understanding of white privilege and how you can stand by people who don’t have the benefits of it. (Sometimes I just wish more white NFL players would join Kaepernick, so we could have a discussion instead of accusations. Sad, but true. We have a long way to go, don’t we?)

White privilege is very simple to understand for me. I don’t know why people don’t readily acknowledge it. It’s like some of us hang on to racism like clinging to the last shreds of a torn up Confederacy–we keep trying to put it back together.

If Trump is elected, we are not the country we think we are, and we’ll have to do some serious soul-searching.

Donald trump is the perfect spokesperson for this lewd, crude, sexist and abusive subset of our country. He is such an idiot that he is uniting women. I’m sure over the last week I seem to have been reminded of every single unwanted advance, leer, hoot, sexual innuendo, and the man jacking off in his car and calling me over to “show” me something on Grove Avenue as I rode my bike and 10-year-old self by him.

We try to fix things by legislation, like the 19th Amendment and the Civil Rights Acts, and it does amazingly good things. Unfortunately, we have to keep breaking down more and more walls and barriers and butt-ugly sin. Because there is no legislation against sin–we are all guilty. That’s what keeps me in the Church. Jesus is the only one who can save us from our selfish, power-, money-, and greed-hungry selves, and I mean Jesus–not trump’s screwed up “America First, God Second” surrogates–like Jerry Falwell, Jr., and James Dobson. We are all sinners. I like the Church that believes that over national borders. The Church made of a rainbow of beautiful colors and nationalities, including white-privileged males, too, like Phil Yancy, Jim Wallis, Pope Francis, and Dad.

By the way, have you heard of @MBGlenn (Marybeth Glenn), a conservative blogger, on a mission. She’s getting a lot of press lately, for a beautiful tweet storm she sent out.  I hope lots of people join her to send a message to Donald and his minions.

You are amazing women. I’m very proud of you.

Love,
Mom

OK, so fast forward two years, and I just thought of this email and looked it up in my sent folder. (Of course it was there. I never delete an email!)

So, Marybeth’s tweet storm didn’t change enough people’s minds. We aren’t the country I thought we were.

It now seems to have gotten worse these past two years. I thought trump might last 100 days.

I was so sure that Congress would attempt to find out about trump’s emoluments issues, would do a real investigation of his finances and ties to Russia, etc., etc. Man, was I wrong. And disappointed. Now, I’ve stopped holding my breath, but I have some hope, which is my one word for 2018.

Also, about that “White privilege is very simple to understand for me.” Yeah, I’ve learned that’s a little more complicated. I always knew I had white privilege–that part was simple to articulate to my children, but to do anything about it is harder. I have begun a lifelong journey to struggle against the systemic “white” societal framework in which our country was created. I hope every white person in our country joins the struggle–no matter how much or little opportunity, money, power, and status they feel they have. It’s not about that. It’s about white supremacy, and everyone with white skin is either unwittingly or blatantly in collusion with keeping it in tact. If you haven’t already read them, may I recommend two books to get you on the better side of history?

These books have helped me become more aware. That’s all I’m claiming now. I have a long way to go.

It’s two days before the election. Two years after this unfit administration took office. Two years of daily lying, racism, misogyny, corruption, division, fear-mongering. He never once tried to unite the country.

My word is HOPE, and I am hopeful that enough former trump supporters have seen through his bastardization of the presidency. No matter what one believes of Kavanaugh or Gorsuch or the wall or coal and steel or job creation or unrestricted gun rights or any of it, it’s not enough. It’s not worth it.

I have hope that a strong majority of our country’s voters will say yes to “checks and balances” and no to the desecration of civility.

Even the Boy Scouts of America

Donald Trump gave a speech to the 2017 National Scout Jamboree, a once in four years major event for tens of thousands of Scouts, Venturers and their leaders.

On this, the 19th ever National Scout Jamboree, the eighth one that a sitting president attended became another political game for Trump. His speech, which lasted 38 minutes, was an equation of laborious teleprompter reading (and misreading)  of a speech he didn’t write and doesn’t believe plus his off-the-cuff remarks in his infamous political campaign rally style.

After slamming the press twice in the first minute and taking credit for the Scouts’ record-breaking crowd (“That’s a great honor, believe me.”), he then introduced his speech saying he was happy to leave politics behind and talk to the Scouts about success:

Tonight we put aside all of the policy fights in Washington, D.C. you’ve been hearing about with the fake news and all of that. We’re going to put that aside. And instead we’re going to talk about success, about how all of you amazing young Scouts can achieve your dreams, what to think of, what I’ve been thinking about. You want to achieve your dreams, I said, who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts? Right?

I was intrigued, so I kept listening. I thought I would give him a chance to give that speech. However, in two years of listening to too many of his speeches, I have never heard that speech–that speech about anything but himself, fake news and politics.

It turns out everyone who was listening for that speech was disappointed, as I was. Besides mentioning the fake news media or the cameras that won’t show his crowd size at least a half dozen times, here are just a few of his comments to the BOYS SCOUTS OF AMERICA:

And very soon, Rick (Perry), we will be an energy exporter. Isn’t that nice? An energy exporter. In other words, we’ll be selling our energy instead of buying it from everybody all over the globe. So that’s good.  We will be energy dominant.

Thank you, Mr. Trump, for defining this second grade vocabulary word for these young people (12-18 years old). I’m sure they wouldn’t have understood the concept of energy exporting had you not taken time to teach them.

  • You know, I go to Washington and I see all these politicians, and I see the swamp, and it’s not a good place. In fact, today, I said we ought to change it from the word “swamp” to the word “cesspool” or perhaps to the word “sewer.”
  • And I’ll tell you what, the folks in West Virginia who were so nice to me, boy, have we kept our promise. We are going on and on. So we love West Virginia. We want to thank you.
  • Secretary Tom Price is also here today. Dr. Price still lives the Scout oath, helping to keep millions of Americans strong and healthy as our secretary of Health and Human Services. And he’s doing a great job. And hopefully he’s going to get the votes tomorrow to start our path toward killing this horrible thing known as Obamacare that’s really hurting us. By the way, are you going to get the votes? He better get them. He better get them. Oh, he better. Otherwise I’ll say, “Tom, you’re fired.” I’ll get somebody. He better get Senator Capito (West Virginia senator who accompanied Trump to this speech and one of the senators who said no to repealing Obamacare) to vote for it. He better get the other senators to vote for it. It’s time. You know, after seven years of saying repeal and replace Obamacare we have a chance to now do it. They better do it. Hopefully they’ll do it.

Yes, I see you left the politics behind in Washington to talk to the Boy Scouts about success.

As the Scout law says, a scout is trustworthy, loyal — we could use some more loyalty I will tell you that.

Yes, you’ve been telling us and people in the Executive Branch about loyalty.

He spent about 20% of his speech telling stories about William Levitt, thrice-married, adultering, racist landlord, yacht-owning real estate guy who lived an “interesting” life after selling the business. Those stories on the yacht in the seas off the south of France, though, Trump wasn’t able to elaborate on because he was talking to “Boy Scouts,” you know. (Yeah, we know. You are talking to young people who are not yet of voting age, thus the puzzle about why you still can’t keep yourself from doing campaign rallies wherever you speak.) William Levitt was the one bit of humanity’s story he chose to share with the Boy Scouts of America’s 19th National Scout Jamboree. He was an interesting role model choice.

He spent another five minutes or so reminding the Boy Scouts that he won the election (“that map was so red it was unbelievable”), the economy is going better than ever, and they will be saying Merry Christmas again.  So much winning.

He finally, haltingly read some more of the prepared speech addressing the Scouts.

The crowd as a whole loved this speech and acted like they were at a campaign rally. That’s frightening. Clearly many of them were tickled that he didn’t just read the copious words off the screen, but he did animate his speech with policy fights. However, I know there were people in the crowd who were not applauding and shouting U-S-A at the anti-American and anti-Scouting values of this speech. There were many young people and adults who long to Live Scouting’s Adventure to be Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

I am sickened that he politicized the National Scout Jamboree.


Full transcript of this speech from Time.

Trump’s Jamboree speech from CNN.

A Complete History of Presidential Visits to the National Jamboree – Note: they all managed to give an apolitical speech to boys.

George W. Bush’s Jamboree speech –  Breathe in this: “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
“Love a neighbor just like you’d like to be loved yourself.”

Disclaimer: Before 2015, I had never been very political. I am moderate and a registered independent. I vote faithfully for the best candidate in all elections–either D or R. I never thought President Obama was perfect, but the longer he’s gone the more I miss him. Since Trump came on the scene, I have been against what he stands for and the damage he is doing to our country. We are not the people we thought we were because we nominated him, elected him and now continue to allow him to serve with impunity. Hopefully the latter will change soon and we will learn our much-needed lessons.

Trump Word Cloud, or How in the World Did We Elect this Man? #sol17 Day 4

Are we tired of winning yet?

Read More at These Resources:

Daily Intelligencer (New York Magazine) –  All the Terrifying Things Donald Trump Did Lately

Marie Claire – Yes, the President of the United States Really Said This

New York Times 319 Twitter Insults by Donald Trump

Slate – 230 Things Donald Trump Has Said and Done that Make Him Unfit to be President

Time – Here’s Everything Donald Trump Has Done So Far as President

If the embedded word cloud above doesn’t work, you can click on the image to see the interactive version at Tagul.com.