Thursday, February 16, 2017

Poetry Friday - With Sympathy

         Poetry Friday is hosted by Jone MacCulloch at Check It Out! Today Jone is sharing lots of love! Thanks, Jone.

Pema Chodron
          And a lovely piece of Valentine news! On Valentine's Day, winners of the Cybil's awards were announced.  Congratulations to Laura Shovan for being honored with the poetry award for her novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary

         I'm again writing a poem each day in response to a challenge to celebrate Laura Shovan's February birthday,  this time with ten words and a current news article as prompt. This is the fifth year doing, is quite a challenge, but also a joy to have a time when it's quiet and focused on words and creating. Because of these recent chaotic times, some of the poems, mine, and others have turned into political responses. No surprise, right? There are numerous changes happening, some hot in the news, others less so. And sometimes we've learned that the rumors heard are not true, yet. 
         Before February 1st, the start of the challenge, the group wrote a few practice poems. And I wrote four of those, now have written twenty altogether. I like some of what I've written, others need a lot of work, or are on their way to the file of forgotten lines. Yet there is one that I still love. The thought of what will happen now to women all over the world who have lost health care saddens me a lot. A former student at my school who, with her spouse who grew up in the biggest slum in Kenya, has started and expanded a school for girls in Kibera, that slum. They have added another school on the other side of Kenya, and also built community centers. They are building a world with strong women who will make it out of poverty. That is one personal story I know. But I am aware of many workers in health and education in our world who dedicate their lives to help the communities. To lose funding is a blow.

Here are the words, the article, and the poem, celebrating the spirit of workers throughout our world.








Promote Outrage

I found them crying,
a foreign sound in this cinderblock,
non-governmental building.
“The war is over now,” I murmured.
“Why are you upset?” 
They watched me with foreign eyes, 
dampened by grief,
but also reignited with fire,
“He took away the aid, only mentioning abortions,
just abortions.
The paper signed, the blocking. . .
I looked out the window
at the line of women waiting.
“Let’s go,” I told them.
“We have work to do”.

Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved


  1. your title says it all "Promote Outrage!" I'm speechless with the action of taking away aid. Deep, strong poem, thank you for it!

  2. Thank you for the sympathy you always display! Happy Poetry Friday!

  3. Linda, another wonderful poem in your growing collection of poems that address social wrongs and injustice. Your voice is unwavering and your unflagging energy to speak up is admirable.

  4. Wow. What a powerful poem on such a terrible issue. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Linda, this is a powerful poem from the title to the last line. I commend you for continuing to build and refine your social action anthology.

  6. It's good to read words being wisely used to protest social injustice and raise awareness. Thank you for sharing the story of your former student.

  7. Linda, your heart shines through in this.

  8. 'We have work to do' - Yes! Linda, your poem is powerful and necessary. Thank you for giving voice to this issue. =)

  9. We DO have work to do! So many projects (and people) may suffer because of such short-sighted ideas. Thanks for this powerful poem to remind us.

  10. Your poem is so meaningful,and your message is a powerful one. I really enjoyed the story about your former student. Thank you for sharing it.

  11. I always remember Fred Rogers' quote to "look for the helpers". When the world seems dark and bleak and full of terrible things, it can be so inspiring to seek out the helpers like your former student and all the other good people who work so tirelessly to make a difference in this topsy-turvy world.

  12. We certainly have work to do. Thank you for this poem today. I am having a hard time participating each day.

  13. You are a woman of strength....look at where those found words took you? Really powerful thoughts. Thank you. I am happy to step up and forward with those rolling up their sleeves for the work. It's daunting and a bit scary for me. I am "defensively liberal" and not a dyed-in-the-wool liberal. But, the stakes are too high for me to not be involved in the welfare of my sisters and brothers world wide. Lead on, kiddo! I'm with ya.

  14. We do have work to do. This daily writing can be cathartic, a way to face the news and deal with it. Some news just angers. Poetry helps with that, too.

  15. Powerful poem. So many people have been affected and upset by recent events. Not just here in the US, we need to remember.

  16. A powerful poem, Linda - has it only been a month? I am so weary of this man and his dreadfulness already.

  17. Yes. We are getting by, one positive story at a time, one hopeful poem at a time. "We have work to do" but we must pace ourselves. Looks like it will be a long haul, but if we each pick up one small part of the mess, we can do this. We must do this.

  18. We are kindred spirits, Linda. I appreciate your participation in the struggle.

  19. Appreciations from me, too, Linda - for your tireless orientation toward others, especially those whose voices might not carry quite so far. The reaches of ripple effects from a pen-stroke are staggering.

  20. PS - I think my hubby and son have read everything Pema Chodron has written; terrific quote.

  21. Your poem gave me chills, Linda—so powerful and moving. Yes, we have work to do.


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