One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Wordy Thursday With Wild Woman: Being the Change

Marjory Stoneman Douglas, (1890 - 1998), was a feminist, an activist, a journalist and an environmentalist, known especially for her defense of the Everglades, when developers wanted to drain it. Her book "The Everglades: River of Glass",  drew attention to the degrading quality of life in the Everglades, and is an influential book on nature conservation. 

The site of the latest school shooting in Florida was the high school named after her. 

MSN photo

I am inspired by the young people, who are rising and speaking out in response to this tragic event, apparently the seventeenth school shooting in 2018, and we are just barely in March. I suspect Ms. Stoneman Douglas would be standing with them.  I am especially impressed with emerging leader 17 year old Emma Gonzalez, who is "calling B.S." on the current stance on gun control. If you have not listened to her passionate speech, it is here on CNN. She is amazing. She says, "We will be the change we wish to see."

Students plan a March For Our Lives on March 24th. They will march on Washington, and students across the nation plan marches in support.

Setting aside the highly charged issue of gun control, which we cannot solve in this forum, what words of encouragement or support can we offer the young people of today? What words of love and sorrow, inspiration and hope? How can we, together, Be the Change that we so need?

or, if you prefer, 

Write a poem about the Everglades. Take a serene ride down the river and experience a time out of time. Either poem will be good for the soul.


Sherry Blue Sky said...

Good morning, poet friends. Some good news is coming in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting: some corporations are severing connections with the NRA, and some stores stopping the sale of assault weapons. The young are being heard: and are continuing to ask their pointed questions. I hope this topic is not too disturbing for you. It has been hard for me to think of anything else since it happened. But I take great hope in the response of the school's brilliant young people. What got me the most: Yesterday, when students returned to their classes for the first time, there were many counsellors available: and a row of golden retriever therapy dogs, there to provide comfort. Someone had a very good idea.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Good for the soul indeed, Sherry. I am blown away by the passion of young people every day, and inspired by them to carry on when I feel like giving up. They do not allow me to quit.

Donna said...

These young people have brought such a fire back that we have needed for so long...they strengthen our resolve and they give me the energy to go on fighting. Happy to add my poem that speaks to this prompt, Being The Change, although it is not a new poem....but it is perfect timing.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Kerry and Donna, both of your poems are powerful testaments to the light of the human spirit - how these children inspire us. For them we have to make a better world. They so deserve it.

Priscilla King said...

Love that egret picture (and the way Google thinks I'm in Johnson City, about 30 miles south from here).

I'm at a loss for poetic words for kids who are falling for a bad idea that felt good enough to get kids killed in the 1980s-90s.

For more than a year *every single time* I was in Washington on a Sunday, during the gun ban, the Post was showing a tribute to another teenager--almost all Black, most shot in the back--killed by a thoroughly banned weapon. Some of the guys were probably drug dealers and/or drug debtors, but the tributes were always written with their parents in mind.

But I *might* try to find words for young Anthony Borges, who stood in a doorway stopping bullets for other students. A great American.

Sherry Marr said...

Yes, that young man was heroic - as so many people are in a crisis. Thank you for joining the conversation.

brudberg said...

I love the fire from the young one... and feel ashamed for being silent before... let them lead us...

Margaret said...

Thank you, Sherry. I would never have written this poem without this prompt and now I can't wait to share it with my daughter. :)

Kim Russell said...

Thank you for sharing the information about Marjory Stoneman Douglas. I hadn't heard of her before and didn't even know the name of the school was a real person. I learn so much from our community.
I don't know if my poem does justice to these inspiration young people, but I've posted it now. It's getting later over here, so I'll be back to read tomorrow. God bless.

Sherry Marr said...

I am glad you are taking part, my friends. Thank you so much. Margaret, I'm glad you will share your poem with your daughter. She will love it.

gillena cox said...

Admirable voices of youth. We need to pause and really listen. Thanks for a great and timely prompt Sherry


Jim said...

This is a fun write, Sherry. I wrote about an air boat tour of the swamps in our Achafalya Basin here in Louisiana. I was afraid to be political on my blog. I have super conservative friends and was flamed unmercifully back when I did. Hint: I never capitalize the word 'trump' and think he has acted ungodly tearing all the things that were recently done for the people of the U.S.
p.s. We have spent the last two nights and days in a cabin by the lake in North Louisiana with Mrs. Jim's brother.and.sister here. My lake view picture I took for my post here. Two more to go with fried catfish and hush puppies for lunch in a bit. Biscuits and eggs in the works now for breakfast now.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Jim, I never capitalize the word trump either. Smiles. Thanks for taking part. It sounds like you are having a wonderful interlude by the lake. Lovely!