Amazed at morning bird songs,
numerous, varied, and incessant,
I looked up, even knowing most birds perch
out of sight, hidden in a leafy canopy.
One tall bird, large claws curled around the power line,
hooked beak, white chest softly spotted,
full-grown and fearless,
stared back at me.
Captured, though not prey,
I stood and snapped photos of the falcon,
watching until he flew away.
Ever since that morning,
I look up at the power lines above the golf course fence.
Though I have not seen another falcon,
mourning doves delight me daily.
Early summer mornings,
the sun rises copper penny bright
shining in a gray sky
casting no shadows
yellow and fuzzy, blurred
in a hazy white sky
showing soft shadows,
their edges indistinct.
I remember piercing blue July skies.
I see pale blue and white and gray.
and now this new season
I never wanted to see.
An orange and white sawhorse blocks
my sidewalk. Annoying enough, but now
it gives orders, too.
"Cretin Avenue ped detour turn right."
sidewalks torn up, carted away,
dirt topped with gravel, smoothed,
covered in concrete again.
"Cretin Avenue ped detour turn left."
I ignore orders, walk
One morning, the mechanical voice changes,
speaks with a Boston accent:
"It’s a pedestrian detour, Georgie.
Everybody turn right heah!"
I stop, wave at it,
listen as it repeats,
go on with a smile.
Soon sidewalk subversion claims another corner.
A woman's voice proclaims
"Peace on earth! Turn right!"
And then another:
"Burning bright day! Turn left!"
In a few days, Boston changes his message:
"It's a pedestrian detour.
all hard working American taxpayers turn right!"
The streets belong to the people.
“The power to inspire is rare,” Ted Kennedy advised Barack Obama as he sought advice about running for president (69). Obama seized that power, inspiring legions of young (and not so young) supporters to carry him into the White House. That inspiration surfaces in many parts of this first volume of his presidential memoirs, as Obama holds fast to a belief in American ideals, despite a clear-eyed understanding of just how far American reality is from those ideals.
parents seeking safety send six-year-olds, sixteen-year-olds into the river, a Sophie’s choice claiming hope.
In Washington, cherry blossom spring blooms like a female black Asian American daughter of immigrants vice president standing alongside an old white male president and the pastor of Dr. King’s church, now Senator from Georgia and a descendant of Jewish refugees, now Senator from Georgia.
Inevitably, Republicans vow that will never happen again, changing Georgia voting laws because the only way to win is to keep people from voting and by God, we will do that.
Intersectionality looks like an AR-15 dealing death to Asian women at the intersection of race and gender in Atlanta.
Across the country, 10 more random dead in Boulder join the annual parade of homicide and suicide that stretches forty thousand long
(how many blocks is that? how many marching bands? how many mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers? how many tears?)
while a Senator who lives at the intersection of arrogance and ignorance rants that every time this happens, you people you people talk about gun control again.
Just like every other time, he and his kind make sure that talk remains only talk that there will be a next time and a time after that.
Despite spring storms, tornadoes, floods and filibusters, sun returns, green grows, hope endures and so do we.
I’d like to know the why of spring: why some puddles freeze on sidewalks overnight even though the temperature never falls below freezing, why snow here melts gurgles down gutters and there gathers over grass in piles of ice.
I’d like to know when frost rises and how deep it goes and whether it comes out with a rush or slowly, inch by inch.
I prefer to ponder spring and to ignore the why of my aging bones or worse: the why of us, the corporate us, retaliating bomb for bomb lobbed at our soldiers, but daring only diplomatic displeasure at the dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi.
On this sun-warmed day, I watch for cautious green arrows sent by flowers into another uncertain March, and try to believe in the ultimate efficacy of effort against the bitter winter of our failures.
Through the lens of her campaign for governor and the voter organizing prior to and subsequent to that contest, Stacey Abrams looks at democracy in the United States, finding it both wanting and worth fighting for. That democracy is flawed by design and from the beginning is evident to any who read history, as she neatly summarizes:
“Though the Founding Fathers gave a nod to universal equality in the Declaration of Independence, they abandoned the aspiration by the time they penned the country’s organizing documents. Let me be clear here: the codification of racism and disenfranchisement is a feature of our lawmaking—not an oversight. And the original sin of the U.S. Constitution began by identifying blacks in America as three-fifths human: counting black bodies as property and their souls as nonexistent.”
Voting rights are fundamental to democracy, and the denial of voting rights has continued from the founding documents to the present day. Vivid stories of her own parents’ experience in asserting those rights and of today’s denial of voting rights, especially (though not exclusively) to Black voters show the urgency and immediacy of the continuing battle for voting rights. Without the vote, participation in democracy is impossible. That is both her thesis and the struggle to which she urges readers: “Our Time Is Now is my longer, more complicated answer to how we can frame and revise voting rights and the architecture of American democracy for the current age.”