Daylight savings time Plbbbth !
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The subject says it all.

Woman powerful
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My name was Eleanor Roosevelt. When I was a girl, my mother told me I was unpleasant to look upon.

It did not stop me.

When I grew and married, my husband's mother did not trust me, not as her son's wife, not as the mother of her grandchildren.

It did not stop me.

I made allies, then friends, in the women's movement, who were not to the taste of my family and my larger body of political associates.

It did not stop me.

My husband contracted polio and required extensive attention and care.

It did not stop me.

I was frightened when union organizers invited me to descend to the bowels of a coal mine to see their sorrowful lot for myself.

It did not stop me.

My husband became president of the United States. My passion for justice was, at times then, inconvenient for the wrangling he had to do with congress, and even fellow democrats.

It did not stop me.

I cried out for peace, compassion, and reason. There was war.

It did not stop me.

I visited those injured in combat in the midst of media slurs that I was traveling to the tropics on the taxpayers' money.

It did not stop me.

My husband died. The war ended. My world changed.

It did not stop me.

The members of my committee, empowered by the United Nations, to publish a universal declaration of human rights, complained of long hours and too much work.

It did not stop me.


Death was able to stop me,

But, life never did.

I pray you, do not ever let life stop you.

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For Mahalia Jackson

I heard your voice,
In bits and snippets,
In dribs and drabs.

On the news,
On commercials for Christmas albums,
One phrase or two at a time,
I heard your voice.

Later, I would hear whole songs,
Recorded by you,
Tell my mother I want to grow up to be you;
Watch her turn as grey as an old sheet that has seen one too many trips to the dryer and not enough bleach.

Your voice kept me singing.
Other voices joined it,
But your voice kept me singing.

I grew, I learned, and understood why you became my hero,
Learned what I had always heard in your voice:


You interrupted the great man.
You broke into his eloquence.
“Tell them about the dream, Martin,” you said.
“Tell them about the dream, Martin.”
He did.

Your voice didn’t just change my life.
Your voice changed the world.

Remembering Valeri
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For Valeri:

The door to history closed this week.
Well, one of them did.
It did not close with a great resounding crash, as I would have expected it to.
Rather just a quiet, "snick" of the latch and a subtle "scritch" of the key in the lock, turning it to its forever place: Secured, fast, eternally, shut.
The caretaker of that room has passed.
The dust now, rules over all
The old parchments of that chamber at last find rest in their cupboards.

Always, now, at rest.

Dust to dust,

But not ashes.

Never to ashes those solemn pages.

Winter Musings
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I wonder if those days of wonder from our youth, all wound round with mist and fragrant vapor, smelling of lilac and spring evening, were so, because, in those moments, some part of our awareness caught our future selves in reflective recollection.
A timeless, simultaneity, whispered across the passages between then and now, taking place in both places.
Much as a child whispers secrets to his friend, imagined or real, so have we, in those moments, whispered to our future selves—remember me.
And we do.
Taste the air of elder days no more.
The wisp of that breath we draw, warms and fills like nothing else, like nothing ever.
Nothing now, ever more, but then, oh then, ever forever, gifted to us, reminding us who were, are, and will be.
Reminding us there is yet more time to whisper to the future—remember me.

Summer Sonnet
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Sing of the summer, red birds' sweet calling,
Roses in bloom and bright water rushing.
Green is the world now. Warm breezes sighing,
Caress the sweet fruit on the branch blushing.
Soft is the starlight in summer weather.
Fair is the meadow in moonlight's beaming.
Hand touching hand, beloveds together,
'Neath moon and stars lay peacefully dreaming.
Dance while the summer merrily beckons.
Cold comes too swiftly at summer's ending.
Whilst a kind star this old world's fate reckons,
Hold fast to bright days, delight befriending.
Make merry 'til the season's course is run.
Rejoice! Celebrate! Summer is begun!

New Sower
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I planted pennies on the sidewalk in the last rainstorm.
I most certainly, madly did.
Soaking wet and singing,
With thunder my only rhythm,
I wandered to and fro,
Scattering copper covered zinc like the sower in the old story
The sower in the story scattered seeds
I scattered possibility:
A snowball
A candy bar
An ice cream cone
For any one patient enough and willing to choose a hundred from out of thousands
For any one patient enough and willing to make whole dreams from fragments

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I post this poem again for the Gill Family.
My life is my bibliography.
You want sources?
Sadness is.
You will never have them.
You will never have them because you did not live
and see  and watch with me in those early days.
What you will have is my memories.
I offer them to you freely.
I only ask you to value what I share.
I paid dearly for every word, every breath of them.
I paid dearly that I might give them to you.

Wrestling With Justice
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In my longing for a just world, I know I am flawed in my desires and choices.

I am flawed, because what I have been seeking, is my own, singular dream.

If I am to dedicate my endeavors to creating a just world, my dreams must step aside, and give way to another, more varied vision.

What is fair, what is kind, even what is good, cannot be born of my soul alone.

Planting many crops together protects the whole of the harvest that will be.

To correct my thinking, feeling, pursuing of justice, I must allow it to advance in my heart to match the truth of it:  Justice is a living, breathing, many celled organism that grows and changes.

What it needs, changes with the world, and with who we are.

It is a thing, about which, it is pointless to speak.

It a thing with which, we can only evolve, step by step, day by day.

Justice must be lived, in order to live.

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I wrote this for Bishop Elizabeth Harrod for her Good Friday sermon a long time ago.
On the night when Judas betrayed God’s son,
God gathered the forest before it was done,
To ask a boon of anyone,
Of the trees who dwelt therein.
Quoth God:
“This next day hence, my son shall die,
Lifted up on a tree so high.
Alone shall he suffer, ‘tween earth and sky,
For all the sins of men.”
Up then spoke the oak so bold,
“If now then cometh the time fortold,
One sad tree it, it was said of old,
Must bear his sacrifice.”
Quoth God:
“’Tis truly said that one of thee
Must accept and become his Calvary tree.
But it must be done full willingly,
By force this will not suffice.”
The oak said, “I would play my part,
But to bear him would break my hoary heart,
Merciful God, I know thou art,
Do not ask this thing of me."
The thorn upspoke himself and said,
“Would that I and my kin were dead.
Will not already I crown his head?
I cannot be his Calvary tree.”
The ash spoke slowly, as one in pain,
“Good God, we all this fate disdain.
To bear is death, will nothing gain.
Must this thing truly be?”
A deep sigh, then,  t’was heard all round
Soft, sad, slow steps, were heard to sound.
The dogwood tree stepped to the ground,
For all the wood to see.
Quoth she:
“Good God, I will this task embrace, if you will grant this boon:
That none of my kindred e’re shall bear a like fate when ‘tis done.
Let no more white blooms crown our heads, as they were wont before.
But spot them all with crimson, like the blood that I shall wear.
And may our limbs so twisted be that none shall find them use.
For spindle, spoon, nor spool, nor spoke, nor cup, nor crib, nor cross?”
Well, God agreed it would be done,
And the dogwood tree, she bore is son.
At such a price, salvation won,
On Calvary’s hill grim.
The blossoms of the dogwood tree,
Crimson spotted now we see.
And, for on Calvary’s hill stood she,
Knotted and gnarled are her limbs.

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