It was a perfect storm, so to speak, a sign that I was meant to take action.
Earlier this week a friend sent me information about Vote Forward, a nonprofit organization of volunteers dedicated to helping citizens register to vote, and encouraging them to vote if they are already registered. It is a letter writing campaign that doesn’t take a great deal of time but has proven to be effective. I made a few excuses in my head about not being sure I had the time, one more thing, etc. and basically put it on the back burner.
Then…I heard the devastating news about the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Her thoughtful dedication to upholding the law and fighting against discrimination have been front and center in the news, a reminder to everyone of what must continue to be done to put and keep our country on a path of equality.
Then…I read about the publication of a new picture book later this month: The Teachers March! How Selma’s Teachers Changed History by investigative journalists Sandra Neil Wallace and Rick Wallace, illustrated by Charly Palmer. It recounts the march by teachers in 1965 that led to passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
I logged into Vote Forward and signed up. My letters are printed, ready to be put in envelopes and sent on the designated day. I knew I could no longer make excuses. It is time to take action, however small. It is time to do something.
Last week I had the opportunity to attend an Unworkshop at the Highlights Foundation while taking one of their online courses. It was a wonderful three days of writing, learning, and thinking, full of inspiration. If you ever have the opportunity to be there, don’t think twice about it. There is magic in the air.
On my first morning I noticed a rabbit nibbling on the grass in front of the cabin. She didn’t seem bothered at all if I moved slightly or even got up to get something from inside. When she returned the next morning I struck up a conversation (very one-sided). I decided she must be my muse, so I wrote about her.
One rabbit nibbles
on one patch of grass,
the caviar of clover.
to live among the muses.
She fills her body,
then retreats to fill her soul –
Matt Esenwine has the poetry round up today at Radio, Rhythm, & Rhyme. Be sure to stop by to read an original poem from Lee Bennett Hopkins as well as links to lots of other poems and a giveaway.
Something wild appeared in my garden a few weeks ago. I was about to pull it out when I noticed the beautiful yellow blossoms. I waited, wondered, consulted with friends, and came to understand some type of squash was the surprise guest. Pumpkins? Maybe, but not likely.
But that got me thinking about the pumpkins waiting to be picked for all-things-pumpkin come fall, which will soon be knocking on our doors. So, here’s my attempt at a pumpkin persona poem.
Thoughts from a Pumpkin Patch
From vine to blossom to fruit –
Round and plump, slender or tall,
Will we end up as pies,
Or jack-o-lanterns with triangle eyes?
Will we decorate a hearth or home,
Or be the spice on a latte’s foam?
Here they come!
Which will they choose?
Today Carol Varsalona is hosting Poetry Friday at Beyond Literacy. So head on over for a salute to summer and some great poetry posts.
My OLW for 2020 is “astonish.” I’ve been trying to pay attention and write something down every day that astonishes me, like Mary Oliver suggests, in a log I call “daily snippets.” Sometimes it’s easy, like the other day when I watched a praying mantis climbing up the side of the shed, or yesterday when I copied a line from Jane Yolen into my notebook, one where she describes a poem as “the pause between heartbeats.” (Sigh!) But sometimes it’s a little harder, especially now that I’m spending less time out in the world.
The easiest times, it seems, are when I’m able to visit with my grandchildren, since everything they do astonishes me. In person or virtual, it doesn’t matter. Just the other day we watched as Nina fed herself for the first time. We cheered as she carefully picked up bits of food and found her mouth, occasionally not quite hitting the mark on her first attempt. We marveled at her joy of accomplishment, the amount of food that covered her face and encrusted her peach-fuzz hair. And it didn’t matter that this is a scene played out in thousands of homes every day. It was astonishing.
There are lots of things in nature that Alex is experiencing for the first time – a buzzing bee, a waxing and waning moon, a special flower that’s really a common weed. He will easily explain now that the bees are happy and we should just let them be, and that airplanes are loud because of the engines. Learning about the wonders of the world is astonishing.
And if I really think about it, I don’t have to venture far from home to be astonished.
Last week I spent a few days in the mountains with my children and grandchildren. On one of our morning walks I came upon a frog who had recently met his demise. While the vacation was filled with laughter and joy and the collection of memories, my thoughts kept returning to the frog. So I wrote about it.
The Frog That Once Knew
On a morning walk, wonder abounded in
the towering trees,
the gentle lap of the lake,
the sparkling sun.
I was not expecting the frog that once knew
the shade of the trees,
the skin-quenching lake,
the warmth of the sun.
A reminder that there is
no light without dark,
no joy without sorrow,
no victory without defeat.
Molly is hosting today’s Poetry Friday Roundup at Nix the Comfort Zone.