Where was I when the Night Caught Fire?

A response to https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/where-were-you/#respond

Where was I when the night caught fire?
Alone as always I am alone,
Waiting for a wave of compassion or science,
Of fiction or poetry, Of well baked pies,
Where was I when the night caught fire?
Trembling on the floor, angry and hurt,
Disbelieving that yet again you left me
Without looking back. So I stood on the porch,
Watching the blaze from dead stars as their
Ashes reigned down and buried those
Without umbrellas to protect them.
I waited that night for someone to notice,
For parent, child, friend, but the silence burned
Through any preconception I had of friendship.
Where was I when the night caught fire?
Writing oceans of water to extinguish the flames.

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. whiteawjwords@wordpress.com

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)

Dear Loreli, a response to the Alaskandispatch.com

Dear Laureli,
Here on the east coast just south of a small town built on marsh and bog called Washington DC., we’ve seen your love,and I the love I remember from a childhood in the middle of Minnesota. He watches over us, a bit confused at the way we use our cars and not the sleds of noble dogs and proud masters. He doesn’t hurt us, for we do enough of that on our own. But he has brought great beauty to us, and truth to us as well. A small boy had pushed him out of his way, forcing him to wander new paths.

The boy was angry, the child abused by the society that didn’t understand the harm of the warming of the water. He pushed rain and water inland and his temper was so hot, the snow could not find the path home. He melted the ice that the bears depend on for travel and hunting. He gathered islands of plastic that know no master and scatters them along beaches enraged at the waste and harm done to the wild.

Snow, did not know what to do. How could a child be so abused that he and his sister forgot the ways of their people? Having left their homes and trails, how could they find their way back.Had someone forgotten how the people should care for the child, for the environment the children need to grow strong and healthy.

Poor Snow. The ravens tried to guide him, but the snowy owls flew further south than before, stopping on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and waiting. The fish have greater ranges now, and in ranging, stir up the great sharks, the dolphin, the whales, the boats of people whose lives are on the water. Great Bald Eagles call to him, come and sit with us a while.

Our President makes time to play with his children, and sees Snow watching with sad eyes. We know the sea is advancing on you in Alaska. We sent a President whose eyes are opened to see what is being lost. He saw your elders telling of life in the cold, the wind, the snow. He saw the eager eyes of children listening with respect. He saw the wild salmon on their journeys from the sea, to bear their own children.

We have not been fair to Snow’s mother, Lady Nature. She has turned her eyes crossly on us, sending hurricane, sand storm and tropical storm. She has sent tornado after tornado and rains like waterfalls. We poison the air, the land, the sea. Men and woman who falsely worship the lesser God Greed have not done what needs doing to restore our protectors to our land. But these who worship Greed are not the only ones in action. I myself have family and friends who wish to send Snow back to you bearing gifts of climate stabilty. Those of us who believe in Snow, who would protect that mighty creature and your true love, have met around the world. Steps are being made that will hopefully turn back time, so that the weather patterns that push and pull the world against its, will can return to sanity.

I will look after Snow while he resides here in the east and speak to him as a friend of a friend. I will remind him of Artic water, blue ice and glaciers thousands of years old. I will tell him you wait for him, and will be glad when he returns. I will tell him your daughters and your sons understand that troubled world that has turned him astray. I will pass on the stories of my dogs who love to dance on his winds, my children, who like ancient dragons, find themselves both in and on that wind. I will write stories for him to take back to you so that you will know you are not alone, that we need you to have the Snow which helped shape you and encouraged you many times to become more than yourself.

I hope he listens. He is an old love of my childhood. I hope he will return to you soon.

Most sincerely,

Ann WJ White, whiteawj@mac.com,

(writer, poet, photographer from the East Coast and lover of all things Alaskan.)

Posted in response to Loreli in the Alaskandispatch.com