Poem: Being My Mom NaPoWriMo #27

I never thought I’d say

I am my mom

Especially when my job

Up until now

Was not being my mom

What a surprise to find

That being half my mom

From the beginning of this round

There’s no getting around

Being my mom

As I search for more

As I explore

Can I choose to be my mom some

And my dad some

And not be my mom some

And not be my dad some

Ah who am I trying to kid

I am both of their kid

I’m their ego and id

This first Mother’s Day without the guilt

No card this year mom

I’ll scoop up the good

And let the other slip away

Drip through my fingers

It’s Mother’s Day

This year I’m okay

Being my mom

But after that

I’ll probably go back

To trying not being my mom

It may not work

But it’s a habit

Maybe I learned it

From my mom

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About the poem:

Damn, this is a hard one for us Westerners, with our whole ‘individual identity’ thing going on. In Ghana, my friend taught me, “I am because we are.” In Korea, I think you are if your elders say so. 🙂

I was very moved by Thich Nhat Hahn’s story of a young man who said he would have nothing to do with his father. Thay laughed and said, Ha, you are your father. And your mother.

Accepting a closer connection, a reincarnation of sorts right here, makes it easier to stop the fighting. My finger cannot separate from my hand. I cannot separate from my parents.

Poem: Rolling in the grass #NaPoWriMo 24

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Flinging open the patio door

A flash of fur

Asleep no more

Head and back and ears and taily

Arms and legs and nose and belly

Every part must get a rub

The lawn is better than a tub

After napping all morning

And sitting on my ass

I shake off being lonely

By rolling in the grass

Kick and squirm, arch and wriggle

Others watching may start to giggle

Your derision is unfounded

Every part of me is grounded

Instead of meditating on your ass

You could be like me

Rolling in the grass

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About the poem:

My dog sittee was phenomenal at doing a minute-long roll in the grass when I let him out! I love teaching the technique of lying on the grass to get instantly grounded, when anxiety strikes. Who knew, ZingZing is a master!

Poem: Our Earth Day aka Protecting the EPA #NaPoWriMo 23

Bicycle-powered tunes

Bubbles and balloons

Strollers and babies

Neighbors and newbies

Homeless and recovering

Lovely people lovering

LED lights

Vegan bites

Bees and butterflies

On cheeks and hands

Native flowers and

Dandelion lands

Climate action

Jazzsatisfaction

Seed starting

Sensory gardening

Bicycling

Recycling

Kite making tables

Composting bagels

Boxes for bees

Cards for refugees

Cloth and bags

Jewels and soap

Hand-made wonders

Full of hope

Biodiversity enriches wildlife

Diversity is my rich life

I speak for the trees

And the trees speak to me

Uniting the neighbors and the nations

Protecting the EPA

This and more

Was our Earth Day

Seeds were planted

In many a heart

Every oak tree

Comes from such

A tiny start

And every forest

Is made of lots of trees

From people like us

And days like these

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About the poem:

As volunteer coordinator for the Congress Park Earth Day Festival, I was over the top happy to see 300-400 people loving Mother Earth, if only for a day. I know it’s a start.

 

Poem: This Morning, I Smiled #NaPoWriMo 20

Last night, I was happy when my head hit the pillow

This morning, I smiled when the sun hit my window

And I whistled as I started my day

Then people said what people will say

Then the inevitable challenges came my way

I laughed and said, Oh Hey!

You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!

I still haven’t learned this??

Okay

I will someday

Thank you

You relentless Way

Then I saw pain and horror

And I let it in

I held it tight

And let it be

And I took a small step

To make it right

I walked with a friend

We talked and then

It was night

And when I laid my head down

And turned off the light

I knew

That was a good day

And good days

Make

A good life

I stretch and I yawn

And see another day gone

And I smile

As my head hits the pillow

 

,

,

About the poem:

Of all the things we learn, why aren’t we taught how to have a good life. Not how to chase a good life. Not how to make money or gain power. But how to have a single good day, every day, and thus, voila, a good life! (ps It requires no money, no special training, no friends, no good luck, no religion.)

 

About the poet:

Joan Gregerson is author of Tuning In to Inner Peace: The Surprisingly Fun Way to Transform Your Life.

 

Poem: We Must Not Turn Away NaPoWriMo #19

When we don’t talk about species dying off,

It’s an elephant in the room

When we ignore air pollution,

It’s a haze of confusion

When we laugh and joke over a glass of wine

But never discuss the honeybees’ decline

It’s a line too fine

We need the wisdom of the owl

To stop fouling our nest

We need the ingenuity

Of Ananse

To unravel life’s mysteries

We need the kindness

Of the porpoise

To make peace in the world

We need the strength of rhinos

To avoid the fate of the dinos

When we hear the cries

We must not turn away

 

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About the Poem:

I have a problem with new age positivity people who preach optimism, and I am often one of them.

But really people, we need to wake the fuck up, acknowledge the damage being done and come up with some massively different approaches. That’s going to take communication skills, science, compassion and urgent action. None of these are actually seen as polite in most conversations. And that’s a shame. We need to figure out how to talk about this stuff and get on with retooling our approach to the world.

An interesting, short article about apocalyptic anxiety

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/feeling-relating-existing/201210/climate-change-narcissism-denial-apocalypse

Will Humans Survive the Sixth Great Extinction

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/06/150623-sixth-extinction-kolbert-animals-conservation-science-world/

 

 

 

Poem: Grouse Goneby

Where once a greater sage grouse grew

Now a gaggle grow

Why would a gander wander

With a group of goslings in tow

 

 

 

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About the poem:

This weekend in the mountains in Foxton, I saw something I’ve never seen in over 40 years of visiting. Geese in the field. We usually geese in the city parks, not in the mountains. Never before.

Climate change, my brother and I agreed.

I only remember seeing the sage grouse up and close once. It was a magnificent display.

In researching the Greater Sage Grouse, a footnote on the Sage Grouse Initiative website says:

Conservation: Numbers are declining largely due to habitat loss

Meanwhile the population of the Canada Goose population has nearly doubled since 2007

Like the rest of Colorado’s population. Canada Goose population is booming.

Colorado’s human population is expected to double by 2050, but we don’t have the water to support them. The human population in Colorado hasn’t increased as much as the geese’ since 2006 but it’s still pretty incredible.

It’s outrageous to me that we are dropping humongobombs on other countries and not dealing with basic issues right in front of us. These are complicated problems that we could solve if we worked on communication skills, science and community building.

Unfortunately, there seems to be little of that going around these days.

The showmanship like that of the sage grouse though, yeah, that’s alive and well.

 

 

 

 

 

Poem: Limbnastics NaPoWriMo #17 Haiku

tree climbing kid-1737737_1920

forest gymnastics

searching, stretching, balancing

playground limbnastics

 

 

 

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About the poem:

I was with friends yesterday in the park. The boys climbed the tree and I was thrown back into the many incredible memories of being in trees. The apple tree in our backyard that we’d climb up in and eat our PBJ sandwiches. The orchard of crab apple trees that were low enough for even little kids to crawl into. The trees in Costa Rica that we swung from the vines in the rainforest. What playful friends the trees are.

Poem: Still Loneliness NaPoWriMo #16

Loneliness is a crying newborn

Wanting only to be picked up

And held

Still loneliness

 

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About the poem:

I love Thich Nhat Hahn’s advice to notice an uncomfortable emotion, then go to it like a mother to a crying baby. Pick it up and embrace it. That alone may allow feeling better. Later, there may be some fixing but not now. Just pick the baby up and hold her close.

 

About the poet:

Joan Gregerson is addicted to writing poetry and to making green juice. Learn about these and her other obsession on her website at www.PositiveEnergyWorks.com

Join her for three days in August in Grand Lake for the Nourish! Self-Care and Creativity Retreat.

Poem: The New Normal Isn’t NaPoWriMo #13

Inequality

Waking to a new world

Where fake news is real

And real news is fake

Where leaders destroy

And destroyers lead

And the powerful get more power

And the least among us

Lose even more

And that’s nearly all of us now

The 1% have more than the 50%

One is developing resorts

The other can’t pay rent

Those with the least rights

Are losing more too

Standing up against abuse

Makes a target of you

I’ll never say, oh well

I’ll continue to yell

I’ll never say, what’s the use

I don’t know if what I say matters to anyone else

But it matters to me

I’m sorry if you tire of it

But I never will

Everyday when I wake up

To another day of this new world

I will loudly say

The new normal

Isn’t

 

 

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About the poem:

If you’re not clear on income inequality, it’s not surprising. It’s a new phenomenon that has literally changed everything about what’s possible in the U.S. Beginning in about 1994, the 1% top earned more than the bottom 50%.

Here’s a link to a December 2016 article in CNN Money. If you haven’t yet watched the movie “Inequality for All”, I highly recommend you do so. It’s going to make you feel a lot better because Robert Reich explains it so well. And you’re going to feel worse, because it’s bad. And as the article above reports, it’s getting worse. And that was before the current administration came in.

Apathy got us here. Smart, strategic, tenacious engagement is the only thing that will get us out.

Jeff Sessions has ordered reviews of plans to help mitigate and correct problems in local police forces.  Rolling back police reform is just one more of the truly evil and anti-American moves by this new Administration. You can be pro-police, anti-police-corruption, anti-police-violence, and pro-black-lives. But there is money to be made in criminal systems, detention systems, and the militarization of local police forces.

Who is supposed to work for  the least among us? Christians? Average Americans? Country folk? Anyone??? It needs to be each of us.

Attorney Jeff Sessions Plans to Roll  Back Decades of Police Reform (April 2017, The Intercept)

 

Poem: Simply Bee #NaPoWriMo #12

IMG_3573

Pollen muscles

Marble eyes

Investigative antennae

Technicolor wings

You are more than these things

You

Simply are

You simply

Bee

 

 

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About the picture:

Just one of the many beautiful sites designed by nature (with a little help from the bee walk designer), during a mosey at Denver Botanic Gardens.

Poem: Artificial Flavor NaPoWriMo #11 Easter Cookies

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Hey, let’s celebrate

Pass the potassium … sorbate

Beyond butter and sugar too

Fill up on 5 yellow, and lake 1 blue

Everything’s celebrated with

Soy oil that’s hydrogenated

Wax of caranuba

Oil of cottonseed

Thiamine

Lecithin

And Dextin indeed!

Cocoa processed with alkali

Corn syrup

Cornstarch

My oh my!

Wait, what’s the connection

To the resurrection

Enriched flour

Spring flower

Red 3, Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6

New lambs and ducklings

And little baby chicks

Fall forward

Spring back

How do cookies

Fill the lack?

The final touch

plastic

Wow

Now they look fantastic

Ready to savor

Artificial flavor

 

 

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Poem: Ouch NaPoWriMo #10

running-498257_1920feet pounding

sweat dripping

 

muscles aching

back screeching

 

saying something

 

 

 

 

About the poem:

Lately, I’ve been talking with lots of clients who are exercising so vigorously that they are reporting back spasms, hip injuries and foot pain. They can’t seem to stop. Bizarroworld where exercise causes pain, and yet is addictive. Tricky!

I’m remembering watching the movie Goshen about the Tarahumara Indians that run long distances with a very upright and light posture, often smiling.

Is it just Americans, or humans, that seem to find a way to overdo just about anything.

 

About the poet:

Joan Gregerson is a Wellness Coach & Eco-Nut. She is hosting a 3-day retreat in August, Nourish! and helps people overcome struggles with food through an online course and community program called Food Freedom Naturally.

 

 

 

Poem: Not War NaPoWriMo #09

I’m calling to ask, Are we at war?

No, if we were, Congress would have had to approve it.

And it didn’t.

But what about the 59 bombs?

Well, remember O-bomb-a…

We weren’t at war then.

We’re not at war now.

I didn’t agree then.

I don’t agree now.

How is sending Tomahawk missiles into a country not war?

They were just targeted strikes.

But how is that different from war?

Because Congress didn’t declare war.

Mam, do you have a comment for your representative?

Hmmm

Please tell her,

I’m against war

I’m against calling war “not war”

I’m against killing for any reason

I’m against war

And everything you say it’s not

Don’t kill in my name

Don’t support killing in my name

Tell my representative

To represent

 

 

 

About the poem:

The day after the bombing, I received a text from DailyAction.org. It suggested, call your representative and ask, Are we at war? So, I did.

And though my response was not as articulate as above, the lecture from the representative’s staff was clear. It’s not war, because we didn’t authorize it. If we had authorized it, it would be war.

My head hurts. My heart breaks.

Please study the War Powers of the United States and explain to me how this is not war.

https://www.loc.gov/law/help/war-powers.php

Poem: 59 More NaPoWriMo #07

12,192 bombs were not enough last year

We just sent 59 more

More war

While refugees running to our arms

Crash into

A closed door

A killing machine

Cannot teach life

59 more

More war

 

About the poem:

I am grieving of the news that the US bombed Syria in an escalation of the existing conflict, bringing us further into what must be called war. I remember when we went to war with Iraq. I was talking with my mom and I said, Well, I guess some good may come of it. And she said emphatically, No, it won’t. It never does. I agree with her now.

I do not believe that violence solves violence. I may be wrong.  But, I believe in what Martin Luther King said:

I am not unmindful of the fact that violence often brings about momentary results. Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones. Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding: it seeks to annihilate rather than convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Nobel Peace Price Lecture, 1964

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king-lecture.html

Donald Trump launches 59 missiles in US strike after Syria chemical attack

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2017/apr/07/us-syria-response-donald-trump-assad-pentagon-live?page=with:block-58e6f704e4b05b487c0e006e

How Many Bombs Did the United States Drop in 2016?

Council on Foreign Relations, January 2017

http://blogs.cfr.org/zenko/2017/01/05/bombs-dropped-in-2016/

Poem: A Tiny Wooden Table NaPoWriMo #06

A tiny wooden table

With a crocheted doily

That fit the round top

I took it home

After she died

I thought it would comfort me

When I cried

The book ends

From the petrified forest

Might have kept me grounded

When I swayed

But they didn’t

Nothing did

No thing did

Tropical bird

On exotic flowers

The gold framed painting

Had no magical powers

But

I didn’t sway

I didn’t cry

Because

Nothing changed

Love doesn’t die

 

About the poem:

After watching the movie, “Minimalism” on Netflix, it helped motivate me to reassess what I really need.

I kept hearing these other voices in my head, “You really should have something of your mother’s. You really should have something of your father’s.”

Indeed I do. 23 chromosones from each and a heart filled with love.

Goodwill can have the stuff. I’ll get it later if I ever need a table, a doily, book ends or a painting.

For now, I have what I need.

 

“We as a culture have lost our minds.” – Minimalism Movie

About the poet:

Joan Gregerson has dabbled in Minimalism for quite awhile. From traveling by bicycle for 6 months in New Zealand and Australia, to traveling in Latin America with hubby, kids and backpacks, to living in studio apartment in South Korea, minimalism is liberation from the chains of accumulaconsumerism that threatens to swallow us whole. Joan is the host of the Nourish! Retreat in Grand Lake in August 2017Nourish! Retreat in Grand Lake in August 2017 and the creator of the program Food Freedom NaturallyFood Freedom Naturally.

Poem: April 4 NaPoWriMo #04 “1984” Film

 

April 4

What does it matter to you if war is real.

As long as it’s continuous, your future it will steal

Why ask if Big Brother exists

Instead, you must prove that you do.

The end is power, and torture and persecution

This only means perpetuation

When the Department of Peace carries out war

Gravity is not a law anymore

The science and beauty of language undone

With organized hatred

The transformation is won

History has no room for you

You unexist

But even if I am the last man

If I am awake

And I can remember to feel

I may not be mad

Just a minority of one

 

 

About the poem:

As did many today, I watched the film “1984”. Today was chosen because the character played by John Hurt (Winston Smith), wrote in his journal in the opening scene, “April 4, 1984”.

When I was watching the movie, I was not as moved as I’d expected. But afterwards, as I considered it more, it haunted me. So much to think about and talk about! If you’ve watched it, let’s get coffee and hash it out!

I highly recommend it. Ideas about war, power and torture]. Oh man. There’s some heavy sh!t here, that will get you thinking.

And the fact that the book was written in 1948, 70 years ago, makes it all the more powerful given our current untruthiness era.

I’m also pondering “Power is not a means. It’s an end.” That answers the nagging question I have about why do people who have so much power and money, always want more?

 

Check out some of the quotes from the movie:

(Reading from Goldstein’s book)
It does not matter if the war is not real, or when it is, that victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won. It is meant to be continuous.
The essential act of modern warfare is the destruction of the produce of human labor. A hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. In principle, the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects. And its object is not victory over Eurasia or Eastasia, but to keep the very structure of society intact.

Winston Smith: Does Big Brother even exist?

O’Brien: Of course he exists.

Winston Smith: No, I mean… does he exist like you or me?

O’Brien: You do not exist.

 

“Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power”

“War is peace. Freedom is slavery.  Ignorance is strength.”

 

The Law of Gravity is nonsense. No such law exists.

 

Winston Smith: I know you’ll fail. Something in this world… some spirit you will never overcome…

O’Brien: What is it, this principle?

Winston Smith: I don’t know. The spirit of man.

O’Brien: And do you consider yourself a man?

Winston Smith: Yes.

O’Brien: If you’re a man, Winston, you’re the last man. Your kind is extinct. We are the inheritors. Do you realize that you are alone? You are outside history. You unexist. Get up.

[Winston gets up and O’Brien shows him his reflection in a mirror. Winston is disheveled and beaten]

O’Brien: *That* is the last man. If you are human, *that* is humanity.

Power is not a means, it’s an end.

 

 

“Are you awake?

There is truth, and there is untruth.

To be in a minority of one doesn’t make you mad.”

 

 

 

About the Poet:

Joan Gregerson is the owner of Positive Energy Works, and author of Tuning In to Inner Peace. She is also the creator of Food Freedom Naturally and desperately wants people to realize that they are nature. Their true nature is nature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources:

Teaching “1984”, New York Times (February 2017)

13 Quotes that Resonate More Than Ever, inktank