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

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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

Still Life with Elephant (NaPoWriMo 6)


Still Life with Elephant (Denial)


O.
Because I have no words—
Only images—
Memories—Pain—
I will carry as much as I can.

I.

Mommy?
Daddy?

III.

Look! Duckies!
Skip, run,
Play, hooray,
Hop,
Heavenly
Happiness.

VII.
School
Safety
Study
Serenity

 X.

 

 

XII.

Achieve
Achieve
Accomplish
Achieve
Do more.
Everything
Is fine.

XVI.

I didn’t mean to be
Rebellious,
Sassy, or
To talk back.
I just thought I
Saw an elephant,
maybe.
Whatever.


XX.

Yep. Definitely
An elephant, maybe several.
I can see the grey
And smell the evidence
Of their presence.
I can’t talk about it
Right now, though.
The stench is too
Raw.
Maybe I just need to
CLEAN
Everything.

 XXXII.

I hear rumbling.
Perhaps roaring?
Who is this
That cries and screeches for
Help? 

XL.

I was born to be a mahout.
I am becoming whole,
Learning to balance,
And I now recognize this
Behemoth as
A healer And my friend.
The elephant
That was once “in the room”
Is now free.
Together we face
Our journey.
Our pain.
Our story.
Our trumpeting.
Our victory.

NaPoWriMo.net – Day 6 Prompt “And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that looks at the same thing from various points of view. The most famous poem of this type is probably Wallace Stevens’ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”. You don’t need to have thirteen ways of looking at something – just a few will do!
Happy writing!”

Iris (NaPoWriMo – Day 5)



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Sometimes, when home was a battleground
And the rest of the world seemed equally formidable,
I’d escape to the tiny fir fortress
That lined the front of the house.
Armored behind an Arborvitae acropolis,
I would wait out the storm
Of drunken denunciations
and loaded questions. Cradled
Between bricks and bushy branches,
I discovered a fragrant friend.
Iris.
She was late, as the flowers of spring
Had come and gone.
Lily of the valley
Whispers could no longer be heard.
She was diagonal—
Leaning toward the light
That forced its way between the shrubs.
She was evanescent.
As soon as I discovered her each summer,
I knew she would only be around for a few days.
Then, she would wilt, shriveling
As she aged.
Fortunately,
She would return each summer—
Just when I forgot, or thought
She’d forgotten—
She would rise up,
A Champion,
Flaunting her fruity falls,
To remind me—
To make sure that
I see—
Even in the darkest corners,
Even when I had waited longer than
I thought I could bear,
Beauty,
Hope,
always pushes through.

Day 5 Prompt from NaPoWriMo.net “In honor of Mary Oliver’s work, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that is based in the natural world: it could be about a particular plant, animal, or a particular landscape. But it should be about a slice of the natural world that you have personally experienced and optimally, one that you have experienced often. Try to incorporate specific details while also stating why you find the chosen place or plant/animal meaningful.”

Later (#NaPoWriMo2017 – Day One)

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     Two pine trees stand next to each other, like best friends who have walked next to each other for a lifetime — buddies, pals, comrades.  I can practically visualize their outstretched hands, in the form of a hammock, reaching to each other in perfect backyard bliss. Immediately, I know that I must go shopping. Several stores later, I find the colorful hammock that promises rest and relaxation.  The tropical colors sing Caribbean beaches and mango-flavored moments.  This is the one.  I buy it, bring it home, and put it in the garage.  It is getting dark and there are papers to grade, dishes to wash, and laundry to fold.  The afternoon of spring warmth and hope sets with the sun, and the hammock will get hung up the next time I have an hour to spare.


Backyard hammock bliss —
Roped between trees and wishes —
To enjoy “someday.”

“The haibun is a combination of prose and haiku. It was originally developed as a sort of travelogue or character sketch , in which the writer would first describe a place in prose, and then pen a haiku appropriate to the place or scene.”  –  (This was actually the prompt from 3/31, not the one for 4/1, but that’s okay.)  http://www.napowrimo.net/

Later

NaPoWriMo – Day 18

The Sounds of Home

 

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Laughter
Sounds of sanders, sawdust, and creativity
10 pound bags of potatoes
spattering in the Fry-Daddy
While Dad sings and makes us laugh
Laughter

Tears, crying, sorrow, pain
Fighting, fear, fighting, fear

Hope
Healing
Takes Guts
Gut-wrenching
truth TruTh TRUTH
Gut-wrenching
Takes Guts
Healing
Hope

Fighting, tears, overcoming fear,
Dare, growing, grief, heal

Laughter
While Dad sings and makes us laugh
Spattering paint in the basement
10 gallon bucket of possibilities
Sounds of sanders, sawdust, and creativity
Laughter

NaPoWriMo