Speak Up for Puerto Rico – Part 2

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I woke up this morning and enjoyed a cup of coffee as I sat on my dry couch. When I looked up at the ceiling, I spotted a cobweb, and thought “I’ll clean that up right after I post this on social media.” I intend to call my sister today, because I haven’t talked to her for a few days. I have enough fuel to drive to see her in person if I want to. Before I go anywhere, I will shower in clean water, put on dry clothes, and drink some pure refreshing water. I might even eat some breakfast.

Today, the woman in the photo could only do one of the things that I listed. She woke up. 7 days ago Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, destroying the island. This is what she has woken up to each day since.  Each day gets worse. There is no electrical power.  Hospitals are shutting down.  Food is spoiling.  Farms were obliterated by the storms, so there will be no fresh food. There is no clean drinking water. Despair is growing.  Yes, the woman woke up today, but will she wake up tomorrow? What about the other 3 million American citizens who are trapped on the island?

#SpeakUpForPuertoRico – This is a “Major Disaster” and it must be declared a Major Disaster by the US president before they will receive all the help that is available. So far, it has been approved as an “Emergency Declaration” which does provide assistance, but not enough. #BeAVoice #PuertoRico

Image from
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/22/puerto-rico-still-without-power-receives-aid-from-ny-delegation.html

September Iris (A Golden Shovel Poem)

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Autumn approaches, kind and Just
Throwing hints of its arrival— aloof, cat-like

Prowling and batting frost through the passing moons,
But by day, hiding, napping, and

Basking in brightness, allowing heat like
a season of summer suns.

Leaves shed their green With
Emerald subsiding to olive before the
Tawny, coppery shades show with certainty.
Dried and crumbled memories fall off of  
Branches, covering the earth with umber tides.

Though the equinox expresses endings, you, Iris, are Just
Standing there, a September bloom, proud-like.
You remind me to harbor my hopes
Inward singing for eventual springing
Iris, surrounded by delicate falls, your standards held high.

The world tries to remind you that summer is settled, but Still
Here you are, Iris, regal and resplendent. I’ll
Remember watching you, Iris—brave, beautiful rebel—rise.

This a Golden Shovel Poem, which I learned about in Nikki Grime’s amazing book called
One Last Word.   

My Golden Shovel poem is written based on the 3rd stanza of “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou.

Speak Up for Puerto Rico

You may have noticed that you are not seeing much footage of the mess that is currently Puerto Rico. You may have noticed that you are not reading many Tweets and Facebook messages about the devastation that has happened in Puerto Rico. This does not mean that there is no problem.  In fact, it means we have a HUGE problem.  It means that we’re receiving no communication because they have no power. That’s right. No internet. No phones.  Nothing with which to charge a device.  Nothing to maintain food, sanitation, or even hospitals.  That means that more than 3.5 million people (American citizens, mind you) are trapped on an island that is completely flooded and has no power.

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Now, when Florida was ravaged by Hurricane Irma, and Texas was trampled by Hurricane Harvey (both filled with American citizens, just like Puerto Rico), there was a lot of coverage.  Not only did we have news reporters on site, but residents posted their own updates.  People shared photos of their neighbors rescuing others. People posted videos of First Response groups getting children out of cars.  People posted images of nature at its worst and humanity at its best.  Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube were filled with updates and we retweeted, liked, shared, and posted the updates.  The people in Puerto Rico can’t post updates.  

They. Have. No. Power.  

 

So, I did some math . . . 

3,679,086 people in Puerto Rico
-600,000 under age 14 (who might not have phones—overestimated, of course)
-750,000 over age 65 (who might not have phones—overestimated, of course)
  -329,086 (added margin of error so that my calculations are underestimated and cannot                    be dismissed as exaggeration)
____________________________________________
2,000,000 people left in Puerto Rico who would likely post updates on social media if they                     had electric power and internet.

They have been without power for 2 days.  If we underestimate that each person had been able to post twice per day (Bet you can’t Tweet just one!) on their chosen social media, we would be at 4 posts per person, which is 8,000,000 posts.  We are at least 8 million posts behind on Puerto Rico.  This might be why the news channels are not covering as much. This might be why #PuertoRico is not trending on social media. This might be why the president of the United States has not made his plans to go to Puerto Rico yet. We must speak up for Puerto Rico.  We are 8 million posts behind.  They can not communicate out to us, so we must be a voice for them.  8 million posts is a lot to do, so I would love help.
I will not stop until #PuertoRico is trending on Twitter and the US president makes known his plans to visit and directly address this territory of our nation.

I will be using the following hashtags if you’d like to help get to 8 million posts:

#PuertoRico   #SpeakUpForPuertoRico #8MillionPosts   #HurricaneMaria

Statistics taken from https://suburbanstats.org/population/how-many-people-live-in-puerto-rico

Forewarning

Truth
Self-evident Exactspeak
Illuminating, Vulnerabling, Braving,
There is no grey; there is only gray.
Blaming, justifying, Avoiding
Opaque daggers
Lies

NaPoWriMo.net Day 18  “Today, I challenge you to write a poem that incorporates neologisms. What’s that? Well, it’s a made-up word! Your neologisms could be portmanteaus (basically, a word made from combining two existing words, like “motel” coming from “motor” and “hotel”) or they could be words invented entirely for their sound.”

Let Us Waltz

NaPoWriMo.net – Day 17 – “And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, I challenge you to write a nocturne. In music, a nocturne is a composition meant to be played at night, usually for piano, and with a tender and melancholy sort of sound. Your nocturne should aim to translate this sensibility into poetic form!”

 

Instead of a nocturne,
I wrote a waltz today.

No foxtrot,
Merengue,
Or mambo.
Can move us
Properly.
Let us waltz.

Hair flowing,
Feet dancing,
Hands holding,
We’re swinging,
Hearts beating—
Let us waltz.

You’re smiling;
I’m grinning.
We’re twirling,
And spinning.
You and me,
Let us waltz.

 

United Airlines

Budget-changing United Airlines
Has found it’s way into the headlines—
While peanuts are no longer complimentary,
They’re happy to throw in a concussion for free.

 

 

 

NaPoWriMo.net – Day 14 – a clerihew poem

 

Lipgloss

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Brighten
Bee-stung
Bow-shaped lips
With burgundy blush.
Swab some
shiny,
sleek,
slick,
slippery,
shimmery, silicate silk
sideways
To play up
That part that pouts.
Grab a tube of
Glassy glimmer glitter
A tube of twilight tulips
A wand with wintry wine
Or be
Pleasantly Pleased
with plain pink.

NaPoWriMo.net – Day 12 – “Today, I’d like you to write a poem that explicitly incorporates alliteration (the use of repeated consonant sounds) and assonance (the use of repeated vowel sounds). This doesn’t mean necessarily limiting yourself to a few consonants or vowels, although it could. Even relatively restrained alliteration and assonance can help tighten a poem, with the sounds reinforcing the sense.”

A Day Late and a Dolour Short

 

Sometimes she tries to give it her all.
Others notice this about her, too. I
Can’t compete with her; don’t want to, really.
So, what is it that I honestly want?
Time to trace my toes in the sand. More
Magical moments – more meaningful than
A number, score, rank, grade or anything
Quantitative could claim. Time to be in
Company of colleagues, comrades, peers – the
People who know me best in all the World.
I want to travel to where there is
Culture, flavor, sunshine and music to
Remind me that I can taste, smell, feel,
See, and hear all that has been valued.
New faces, voices, ideas and
Chances to say that I have lived and loved.

NaPoWriMo – Day 4 Prompt 

“One of the most popular British works of classical music is Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations.” The “enigma” of the title is widely believed to be a hidden melody that is not actually played, but which is tucked somehow into the composition through counterpoint. Today I’d like you to take some inspiration from Elgar and write a poem with a secret – in other words, a poem with a word or idea or line that it isn’t expressing directly.”

K ‘Bye!

K ‘Bye! or If Only I’d Been Prudent
(NaPoWriMo2017 – Day 3)

Breakthrough
Adieu
Untrue
Withdrew
Wishing for a breakthrough? – Adieu! – See?
Knowing you’d been untrue withdrew me.

 

This is a Tyburn Poem, which is a six-line poem. The first four lines consist of  a single, two-syllable word, each rhyming with the previous and subsequent word. Line 5 has nine syllables, with the fifth to eighth syllables using the words from lines 1 and 2. Line 6 has nine syllables too, with the fifth to eighth syllables using lines 3 and 4.