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JoAnn's Blog

Waking Up to Snow

 

         just a dusting
         of powdery snow is enough
         to give us a vision
         of peace on Earth
         here in this moment
         a brief belief
         that anything's possible
         even a miracle

 

         everyone listen
         it's up to each one of us

 

         so be the hope
         hold back the darkness
         be steadfast and bright

 

         be the light

 

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Permanent Ink & Poetry Friday!

North Star Mall, San Antonio, Texas, 2004

 

Temporary Statement

 

Does the notion of permanent ink bother you?
Here's a solution: tattoo your shoe!


A peace sign, a T-Rex, a blue mynah bird,
a rosebud, a shipwreck, your favorite word,
the name of your loved one, a thought so profound
you might have to keep it and kick it around.

 

And if, sometime later, you think something new,
simply inscribe that on your other shoe.

 

Tattoos are intended to stay and stay.
If you tire of your shoes, you can throw them away.
So if you have doubts (and I'm guessing you do),
make a short-term commitment: a shoe tattoo!

 

Laura Shovan has today's Poetry Friday Roundup. Enjoy!

 

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Politics & Poetry Friday

Protesters packed the hallways and three overflow rooms outside the Joint Committee on Finance's "public hearing" on Monday. They closed the doors. 

 

I rarely write for adults, but recent political events have provoked me to pick up my pen. In November, Wisconsin voters elected a Democratic Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and Treasurer. Then, in an all-night lame duck session, the Republican-controlled legislature passed an unprecedented power grab, as detailed in this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article. You can also read about it in the New York Times (scroll down to see my husband and me—with my sister and brother-in-law behind us—in the photo of the gallery just before they cleared it). Yes, Wisconsin is getting national attention, none of it good. And we are not alone. Similar power grabs are in process in Michigan and North Carolina.

 

Despite winning all four statewide elections, Democrats in the state Senate and Assembly remain outnumbered—thanks to gerrymandered districts that maintain the current party's hold on power. We await the Supreme Court's decision. Here's my take on the sorry situation:

 

          The Power of the Map

          by JoAnn Early Macken

 

          If you're a savvy politician

          with a race to win,

          sophisticated software is

          the best way to begin.

 

          Divvy up your districts so

          your rivals always lose,

          and then it really doesn't matter

          whom the voters choose.

 

          If you don't like the odds, just rig them

          by redistricting.

          No wave or wall can overcome

          gerrymandering.

 

After working to register voters and get out the vote, we spent two days in the Capitol in Madison watching the shameful events unfold. Now, unless the outgoing Republican governor vetoes the legislation, we will see our taxes go to law firms while the whole mess is tied up in legal battles instead of funding education, infrastructure, environmental issues, and a raft of other problems that desperately need attention. It's heartbreaking. But we've done what we can—for now.

 

I'm returning to my Work In Progress, a collection of humorous middle grade poems, and my sewing project with Bring Your Bag Shorewood, making Boomerang Bags reusable shopping bags for people to borrow when they forget to bring their own. Wish me luck!

 

Elizabeth Steinglass has today's Poetry Friday Roundup. Enjoy!

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