Wings of Fire, of Illness

Touched by fire I fall like Icarus,
My wings melting as the fire spreads.
My brain a foggy heaven,
Misting in a gelatin broth,
Fatigued but burning inside,
The shout from my integrity,
As I do not want your pity,
Falling past you, falling through your arms
As you try to understand.

Touched by fire, I heat the wind
And spread my wings upside down.
My hopes an icon of burning, a pillar
Of crimson light. Opening before
You showing the beauty of my soul
Still within my grasp,
Still building from the basic blocks
Of my childhood.
Blocks that built towers of power.

Touched by fire, I dance
Like the phoenix, rising above
Climbing, soaring, breathing.
Orange feathers, yellow feathers,
New ideas, new prices, new cures,
Grasping hands that circle in a form
A bloom, a purity, an honest clasp,
A heritage of standing tall,
A woman warrior, rending illness.

Ann WJ White,
@June27,2016 Ann’s Eyes

To Stand Against Growth

To stand against the growth of the United States, a people who immigrated here, to stand against the DAPA and DACA programs is to stand against what we were founded as. There is a lady in our NY harbor, The Lady of Liberty.  We are a nation of immigrants, even our Native American brothers and sisters immigrated to this continent and the continent below us. People come here in waves hunting, seeking a place to live, fleeing violence, starvation, a lack of voice, and the voice of these people is now a voice of sadness. Their flight to a better way of life is now hindered. What will taking the parents from a generation of children born here accomplish? What will having to place these children in a failing and overwhelming foster family and foster system accomplish? It will cost us all: money, bitterness, a lack of support in our countries basic services.

Immigrants arrive with their insights, their work ethic, and their hopes. They are not lazy people. Their hopes that they can avoid racism, that they can build, that they can solve problems and they can have enough money for food, housing, clothing, clean water, education and all the things that we as white americans, black americans, native americans and asian americans want. I am heartened that the fight for these people will continue, but I am disheartened that the government of the US has been neutered by the US Congress in the dispute. Our congress furthers the attack, on anyone not white, by not standing for civil rights and voting rights. Our Constitution guarantees us our civil rights.

The Supreme Court is hampered because the US House of Representatives refuses to seek the ninth justice to complete their panel. The Justice put forward by the Obama campaign is a moderate justice, a man known for his middle of the road decisions. Even if I as a liberal don’t like the middle of the road approach of governing that has been Obama’s tack for his whole career, a majority of decisions by legal minds that are sharp and clear is a major need and a decision is needed.

The House, well that is another matter, and one that I too shout shame at Paul Ryan. We are a people, all together, and citizens of this nation. Yet the bills that are produced don’t make it to a vote. There is an obvious racist, party driven, and hateful approach to their focus. The House majority states they will never work with liberals or the President elected by we the People of the United States. They don’t care that we were created to protect the LIFE, LIBERTY and PURSUIT of HAPPINESS of all of the people. Their representatives state we were based as a country based on religion, something so pathetically untrue that most fifth graders respond with moans that their textbooks specifically contest. Washington, Mason, Madison, Adams, Jefferson were deists who let the knowledge that they had a right to their personal beliefs and so did everyone else.

Government and Religion do not speak with one voice. This was established in face of the wars and persecutions of Europe. Anti-Catholic persecutions, Catholic persecutions, Jewish persecutions, Islamic persecutions. On the face of the matter, a religious matter of extreme prejudice, but in reality a way of fighting for greed, for power and punishing anyone who spoke out against such things. Fighting against Islam with purges which upset the delicate bonding of the Book of Three, upsetting the lives of the poor and barely established middle class for what? Greed and intolerance.

We are supposed to have the right to free speech, but there is a fear that those who do will be subjected to persecution, blacklisting and more. I always think before writing, balancing the needs of the one versus the rights of myself. I try not to annoy others. Sadly, I am annoyed. I am horrified that once again we are seeing outbreaks of violence against blacks that haven’t been recognized as being that of the KKK but have the same hate and biases. I watch in horror matter of institutions which have become warped and turned against that for which we fought in World War 2, where is the sense that the lower and middle class have a right to thrive and improve their status in life. Where is the ability to have an education in the US? Only the rich have that right? Where are the views between illegal and appropriate?

I watch simple games on Facebook become filled with hate and bear bating. Yes, the art of bating those on the other side with hate that disturbs and removes the sense of serenity that we need to have at least in our recreation. I watch coaches instruct students to hurt the opposition instead of standing up for right. I see major sports newscasters speak out in favor of the victim of a violent attack on the field attacking and setting the other team straight by an attack of their own.

In a time when the victim is punished for standing up for themselves with the same harshness as an attacker, I have to say NO. In school systems where there is a No Tolerance program, the victim is punished over AND  over and over and teachers do not have the right to say, “You started it and I’m ending it.” No, they have been instructed to speak out, not to set things on a recess straight, and have to leave it up to an administrator who is then hampered by the restrictions published in the safety bulletins set by School Boards who have distanced themselves from what happens in a fight. Someone is hit and there is no adult around, hit again and their is no area to flee, if they raise a fist to defend themselves, the aggressor wins. You wonder where the frustration of those subjected to constant bullying is?

We are broken. We are hampered by bullies. We watch bullies in our government. We watch the intolerance of us by our governments.

I am white, about as much so as anyone can be. I am the daughter of ministers, blacksmiths, engineers, scientists, women and men, from many places so long ago that it doesn’t matter. I am the daughter of those who stood up for equal rights for all. I am the daughter of warriors who fought for our wars believing that the US had a vision of right and balance, who believed that the country would protect the rights of their own people. A lot of people have believed as I do, that the force of government has responsibility to govern wisely. We need to as a people look at what is happening and make wise decisions. We needed an educated public, a fed population, a middle class and lower class that are gainfully employed. We need to move toward a global economy. I heard when I was growing up, Need before Greed and have worked toward that my whole life.

We need to grow up and institute our Constitution.  We need to do it now.

Historic Times-We Stand with You for No Break/No Bill

Every generation has a truth they try to get others to understand. Recently we have in the overwhelming support for the LGBT community. I never thought to see  that day in my lifetime. I’m so glad I did. You see, I am a people person. I people watch. I listen, I smile and I will talk to anyone. I will listen for too much sadness and let the person know they aren’t alone. I’ll listen for happiness and rejoice with people. It scares my husband, but he doesn’t see that I am real about my love for people. I’m not frightened of anyone because I believe the best of people. I always have believed in people.

But I have never understood hatred toward someone who is different from me. Color, the number of people who hate President Obama just based on his race is astonishing to me. He was elected by a majority of Americans. A Harvard teacher, a political scholar, how could this man not be qualified to be our president. He likes people. He doesn’t tolerate stupid, but then he needs to be with the best and brightest charting a course for our people.

But something has risen its ugly head. Guns and death. Fear. I thought it would take Congress to figure it out, and it seems they have. How refreshing for the news to talk about a group of people trying to talk about the violence that once again targets our children, teens, young adults and those worshiping in the church of their choice. It has been color and sexuality, but also children and teachers. Old people and the middle aged. We need something done, because we should be able to do something.

I fear our government becoming inactive to the point Venezuela faces now. A lack of food bringing on a rash of assaults there, more hate and death from people who shouldn’t have the ability to get weapons here. More US citizens who are loyal patriotic people will die. Those weapons don’t just kill they have the ability to mutilate a victim. It’s not a hunting weapon. It’s not legal for hunting. It’s powerful, brutal, and fairly easy to manipulate. It was described as a rifle for hunting MAN. It doesn’t belong on the streets. I’m not a liver-lillyed female wimp. I’m a Vet-USArmy-guns don’t scare me. They are tools to be used, and not carelessly.

It is time we have to deal with this. Mr. Ryan spent the day trying to take back the Affordable Care Act with his program which would end up with me unable to keep my home because of his costs. He says that won’t happen but doesn’t have any information. I tried to call his office, no answer. I tweeted him, no reply. The Congressional operator went home at five o’clock so that was not a working option. I did call my two senators and my Representative, Gerry Connolly who understands mental illness better than most when his son snapped. They were on the floor. Ryan is supposed to bring back a bill of a financial rule that banks hate. Once he does that he can end the day’s recess once again obstructing the bills, there are two, by not even letting them vote on the bills. We know that kid in Florida was a messed up young man, a spousal abuser, had no legal ties to anyone but himself and we know that he had guns, even after he made threats and the FBI investigated him, marking him as a person of interest. Don’t lives matter? Young, old, straight, LGBT, black, white, asian, latino. What is the matter with these people? A universal background check? Someone on the watch list? You can appeal the decision in a court of law if you are not a threat to anyone.

We have a responsibility to our nation. Paul Ryan could be a hero by coming in and saying, “I thought about it. You are right. We require an i.d. to vote in some states, maybe a registration isn’t so bad. Heck, if someone stole my weapon, maybe I could get it back.”

Paul Ryan, you could have been my hero.  John Lewis is my hero. He says to a silent room that the time for silence to be over. Paul Ryan, you could have shown yourself a god fearing man, a Christian, but you didn’t. You let the democrats under the supervision of Lewis and Clarke, speak to the people who want a bill that they would vote for our mothers, fathers, little children, for us, give us a vote. I feel sorry for you. The Republicans could have elected you their presidential candidate over Trump. You let them down. You let me down. You let the American people down.

Representatives Lewis and Clarke, from both the North and South who believe like a tree that they can stand strong, but they won’t step down. They believe in Peace, for us.


Dark lies and webs to hold us.
Lightless with 1,000 legs
Tap-dancing upon
Delicate nerves, paired for tango.

Shh, the monster comes
Bringing phobias your way.
Under the bed lurk
Newspaper headlines. Beware!

Poison pens fill ink wells
Draining the pens
Of life and liberty,
Only to find no way to speak.

Blotches, spots, three toed frogs,
A witches’ brew.
Drink deep and worry.
Everything will kill if you drink enough.

Go to sleep, my beauty,
I’ll bottle your nightmares
and sell them to a poet,
So that your sleep is sweet.


You toss your snowy head at me.
Sending dandelion joy
Across the swordlike blades
of grass.

You root
seeds of deception
in my husband’s wrath.
But I kneel,
Giggling like a school girl
With a bouquet
for teachers
long gone
but still in
the center of my

A treasure of memories
as fairy
returns in seeds
of milky white
bringing memories’ gold.


Skin Deep

Fuck pretty,
You smile in the morning
As coffee is shared and the daily news perused.
Fuck pretty,
As in the lab you find
A cure to heal a child, to stop a disease.
Fuck pretty,
When the mind you have sets
The stage for dancers who envy food or chocolate
Fuck pretty,
When you are on the front lines,
When you save the life of your comrades
Fuck pretty,
When you win a Nobel prize,
When your economic strategy saves a world.
Fuck pretty,
When you leave your lipstick undone,
As you fly out the door, a doctor to a crisis.
Fuck pretty,
You are not your face in clayed on makeup
You are your soul, your compassion toward others
Fuck pretty,
You’re smart as hell,
You’re strong, beautiful, compassionate
And the world should know the word pretty
Is just window dressing of hormonic lust.
You’re a woman,
Proud, intelligent, problem solving,
Mind expanding, story telling, life living,
Fuck pretty,
You’re a human being
Of exceptional worth who refuses the bonds
Of a society that tends toward inward silence
And outward violence.
Fuck pretty.
You’re so much more.


Copywrite 2016 by Ann WJ White If you would like to share this post please give author the credit. Do not share without this.

Violence Against our Brothers and Sisters

It’s not safe to be a queer person of color in America

What happened in Orlando is a crime against your humanity, the victim’s humanity, and even my humanity.Yes, I’m white and middle-aged, but my family has gone through watching my brother’s struggle to be equal no matter what his sexuality. It’s not easy for anyone. He is the best of us, the most beautiful of us, and the most damaged because of what society put him through. I can’t understand, but I can grieve with you. You are a brave man for telling your tale so quickly, honestly.

I was stunned and then horrified when I saw people blaming the victims for what happened. I watched the thread of conversation in Farmville2. I realize that people fear what they don’t know, but there is no excuse for blatant hate in this world. Those who spread hate, hand it out to anyone who has a fear. I wasn’t stunned that Trump jumped up and down expecting his weary line about fear to gain him popularity through this sad event. But Americans need to be better than this wave. Roosevelt said very clearly, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” It’s time for the US to wake and realize that knowledge culls fear. We can’t keep this rhetoric over bathrooms, differences, sexuality, race and religon going. We’re better than this.

Then the news came out that Pulse was a place that was friendly and open to any who wished a sense of community. I saw the lines that John Oliver showed on his show that were lined up to give blood to the victims of this crime. I watched people in chatrooms on facebook speaking out against the mindset that you are “defective” and the line I like best is that “We are all human. When you threaten any LGBT or transgender, you give up a part of your humanity. When you foster hatred, you give up your humanity.”

I cry for your four year old self, just wanting to be a child. To be punished for being a child and wanting to be kind and generous and filled with beauty is beyond child abuse.

Then I learned of another disturbed man targeting the Pride Parade in L.A. They were fortunate that they stpped the man before more lives were lost. This is a sickness and we all need a cure

I want the world to be a place where you are accepted as you. I want you to have the freedom, happiness, and safety that you have the right to experience. The “pursuit of happiness” promised by our constitution needs to be given to you, your friends, the family you surround yourself with.

No one should have to fear living because of a label. I wish you all the best and if you were in Virginia, I’d have you over for pie and lemonade. I’d give you my shoulder.

(a reaction to an article on the shootings in Orlando)

Politics 102-The List.

How is it that I am on every fundraising list in the US? I get the queries from both parties. I didn’t sign up. Someone must be making a fortune on selling the list. “If we don’t get a donation from you, we’ll never get the election. Terrible things will happen.” It reminds me of the rhino in the cartooned story “The Giant Peach.” But where it says wonderful things will happen, there is just a gap with the pleas for aid. They promise me destruction, death by checkbook, alienation, and damn it, why haven’t I paid my membership fees to join the party.

Firstly, no one told me I had to pay to be in a party. No one sent me a bill. I just got the dunning letters, pay now or never be in the party again. I hate that. Oh, I’m not a sore loser that my beloved candidate didn’t get enough votes. The system is corrupt, and it isn’t a federal system. There is no way a voter can get enough votes to outdo the super-delegates. Half of the votes come from those super beings living on top of Mount Krumpet, how can you defeat the Grinch?

I am suddenly apathetic about the upcoming election, and that’s new for me. I’m sure I’ll develop enough energy to vote in November. Women’s rights are very important for me. I have a beautiful daughter, raised to be independent and powerful, she’s my reason that I will vote.

I’ve become tired of the voices, screaming, yelling, lying. I’ve become tired of the media’s focus on the loudest voices. I hate PAC money. Money shouldn’t be needed in such grand amounts, but how else can you get face time with so many people. Voting should be a personal thing with the facts and figures having been clearly delineated. We have the internet, TV, radio, and the mail. I think the mail is the best way to get information. You can look at it or not, toss it or put it on the fridge. It supports the US Postal System, which needs those presorted rates. Why do we need millions to run a candidate? I’m not naive. I know that people need to be paid. Ads need to be paid for. Most of the people in a campaign are volunteers. The top hired staff get paid really well, and I resent that on a “I’m only middle class, why should I pay you  more than I make” basis. Give me a good platform and I’ll donate.

I want to remain apathetic about as long as a commercial lasts. I’m sending notices back to all of these fundraisers with a note, “I don’t live in your state.” It will relieve the weight on the “Internet tubes.” Look that up if you need a giggle.

So for today, I will trade politics for baseball and root for the Nationals and the Twins. I loved FP and Bob’s outfits last night. Very slick, gentlemen. FP, my dad had a jacket just like that, but he didn’t have the part. Johnson men in our family lose their parts early and replace it with a shining dome of intelligence. I hope the team does a good job, both teams. They have good millionaires playing for them, and they never charge me for their existence. They send me happy emails about silliness and jerseys. They offer, but there is no angst.

Happy Saturday all!

Falling in Love Again

I’ve been married now for almost 36 years. For our anniversary my husband and I are going on a cruise to Mexico and Honduras with the intention of learning more about the Mayan Ruins. It was a great culture, one marked wit all of the traits that civilizations develop. I’m bringing my cameras, so there will be photos. The last time we went was in 2006, on the Grandeur of the Seas. We ended up with two photos that really showed the spirit of the people. I’m glad to be going, we’ve gone through so much in the last decade that time seems to have slipped a bit for both of us. We survived a recession when my husband gave support to those we love who lost or couldn’t find a job. We survived a mortgage that we had with Countrywide, and the change that made it a Bank of America mortgage. We kept our house, my two children married (not to each other of course), and one is now a proud homeowner. The other now has his dream job, and should soon be able to find a home for his wife and himself in the next year. But we’ve spent the last decade trying to do everything we could for family, and exhausting as it was it was worth the effort, and I think we forgot about the two of us.

Our differences have really accentuated themselves recently. We find things that prickle under the skin and have to stop and shake our heads. It never bothered us to be different before. We just had not taken the time to talk about these things. Little things wedged themselves between us, you know, the three things that most couples deal with. Children, even grown ones, money, and time. Those three things can become doom scenarios in a relationship.

We decided not to have a doom scenario. He had a week of vacation last week that we spent together.  I decided to become the romantic one. My husband decided to become the practical one. We talked about all of those prickly things. He made me dinner, I did the laundry. He pruned up the yard as I raked the magnolia leaves. He told me he liked the flowers I picked from my garden. I told him he was handsome. We went out to dinner. We walked the dogs together. All of these little bits of time spent talking. I told him I was worried that he wasn’t happy. He told me that he thought I wasn’t happy. We laughed. We made sure that as we walked or dined that we talked about each and every thought that was in our heads. In the end, it was the plain old boring things that you don’t have time to think of that made us both look at each other again. We’re partners, equal, willing to depend on each other.

Love isn’t that mad passionate wave that excludes people. Sex is nice (well, of course it is). That isn’t love either. Love is having someone there who isn’t trying to change you. Love is understanding that you will grow differently, but there will be so much to share. Music surrounds us both, and we find that our tastes have become more similar. Art surrounds us. Our families surround us. Our willingness to make a family less about love and more about the people that we surround ourselves with. Love is an adventure. It’s willing to take the wrong turn, but with a map to get it back on course. It’s the willingness to not give up. It’s the companionship of years of changes.

I’ve changed over time. I’ve kept the things that are the essential me alive though. I keep my silliness to bring a smile to his lips when he’s angry at the world. I’ve learned to understand that he needs to vent. He knows that physically I can’t keep up with the house. He doesn’t care. He wants me to be happy. He wants me to write. Dishes can wait until one or the other of us have the energy to do them. Usually it’s him these days. He said I don’t ever have to lift a hand to the house. He also likes working with me on the house when I can. We are at the point in life where we realize there is an end coming. It doesn’t frighten us. We just need the time to be together, the two of us.

A quiet room when the house is just us, and we sit and talk about the world. We read together, watch John Oliver together, and the house is tranquil. Our moral compass heading is identical. But the biggest change came this past week when he told me that he’s looking forward to the adventures we have coming. He wants to spend that time with me, exploring the world, taking a class together, being happy. I think that is what love is beyond all else.

Love is when something happens, good or bad, and you want to tell that person first, before all others. That sharing bond of excitement or sadness bring you close and then closer. I want time to be gentle enough so that we can walk to the finish line hand in hand and know that the greatest gift we ever had was each other.