Posts Tagged ‘Haiti’

The world continues to spin out of control. We feel like we can’t hold on. If it’s not the rise of Covid cases, it’s the earthquake and storm in Haiti. If it’s not the political discord, it’s Afghanistan. There is little we can do, literally.

So let’s turn to this image from our friend-teacher-blogger Ruth Hersey’s. Ruth lives and teaches in Haiti. She made it home safely from a summer trip to the states only to be faced with political upheaval and an earthquake. Ruth is thankfully safe. Every day she posts a photo response to a daily prompt. She posted this beauty on Facebook. It’s an image that speaks of the beauty found in the tragedy. The petals are from the flamboyant tree (poinciana).

Ruth is also posting daily updates about Haiti and organizations that are on the ground doing good work. Check her FB page. For another way to donate to vetted organizations on the ground, click here for CNN’s Haiti Earthquake Relief.

Flamboyant tree by Ruth Hersey

Your flames still burn bright
petals fall, confetti-tears
after the party

Margaret Simon, draft

Write a small poem in the comments. Share encouraging words for other writers. Donate to Haiti, if you are able.

Read Full Post »

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge

Welcome to March and the month of the Slice of Life Challenge! The Two Writing Teachers have challenged me once again to write every day in March. My students will be participating, too at their blog site, Slice of Life Challenge. Please stop by and make a comment or two. They love visitors.

It is also Poetry Friday. For more of the round-up, go to Julie Larios’ site The Drift Record.

Last weekend I attended a Wordlab writing workshop. My friend and fellow poet, Diane Moore, led the writing prompts. She showed us the painting below. This is Lovensky. She was born with AIDS in Haiti. She died not long after Barbara Hughes visited the orphanage and was moved to paint her portrait. Diane shared her own poem, reprinted here with permission. The poem appears in her collection, Alchemy. I wrote a poem to the painting during Diane’s workshop.

Lovensky by Barbara Hughes

Lovensky by Barbara Hughes

(Upon viewing a painting of a child in Haiti, rendered by Barbara Hughes)

My mother passed her AIDS to me,
wishing me to be blind
so I could not see the wretchedness
in the streets of Cite’ Soleil;
my one good eye watches a shadowy face,
a woman smiling at me,
her wide mouth opening and closing,
murmuring like a dove circling my crib,
and my hands close around happiness.
I embrace her.

l cannot perceive the future
although I dream under a pink washcloth
that unburdens my many fevers.
I did not see Haiti’s trees felled
or the disappearance of the Creole pigs,
the hilly streets filled with sewage,
but I can smell the sweetness of orange blossoms
and Sister tells me she placed
a white orchid in my crib.

The wings of invisible forces brush by me,
I see stars I have never seen
on the ceiling of my memory.
I had a mother and a father and lost them,
believed in no one until I came here,
everything through a glass darkened.
Before that, I lived
in the footsteps of dying children
who left their auras behind,
silver dust that shimmers
in the dark air of Port au Prince.

Once I dreamed of kindness,
now I lie in its blue blanket,
listening to the bell of Sister’s laughter
and the echoes of my own,
to stories about my father’s place,
the one of many mansions.
We all know our destiny because we love,
Sister sings to me:
our spirits burn with visions of God
and the brilliance of heaven.
Because we love
we know this place of many mansions,
one of them is yours.

With my toes clasped in my hands,
one eye closed against the suffering,
I long to make my voice speak,
to tell her how deeply I hope
for the liberation of resurrection,
equality and harmony seated at a table
in one small room
filled with unfailing light.
Diane Moore, all rights reserved

My version:


The heat of your soul,
your fever, warms the blue blanket
you have tangled yourself into.
You cannot see me,
yet you cock your head
to hear my lullaby.
I am not your mother.

You grab your toe
as any infant would,
exploring your new world.
I want to hold you,
take away your mother’s curse,
the fever that seeps into your veins.
I want to walk with you in the garden
to smell the sweet olive,
give you a taste of sweet honey.

I cannot tear you
from the page you are painted on.
I can only love the pink towel
on your forehead,
the white diaper hugging your brown legs.
I can love the God who made you
and holds you now..

in your blue wings.

-Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

Read Full Post »