Our World Of Today

By Heather E. Cameron

We are lost in shells of a former self 
Locked in prisons of longing 
Tucked away on the back of a shelf
Lessons learned from the wrong things 
We are stuck in a time of regression
In a boat we know will sink
Trapped in our minds of depression
With our own thoughts we no longer can think 
We are wandering these beat-up streets 
Throwing our hearts and souls away
While the oceans are no longer clean sheets 
And the skies are nothing but gray 
We are sitting in the in-between 
Waiting for the magic 
Not willing to save the scenes 
Where this play has become quite tragic 
We are headed to a place where weapons of old no longer protect us 
A place of despair and fear 
But I’m going to hitch a ride on this struggle bus  
Before we all just disappear 

@ 2019 hec_poetry 

Heather E Cameron is a poet from the small town of Wauconda IL. where you can find her drinking coffee and dreaming of big cities and wide landscapes.Follow her work on Instagram @hec_poetry 

True Strength And Character

I unfollowed @realDonaldTrump on Twitter last week.

I really hadn’t been using Twitter much lately, having grown tired of the incessant notifications the social media platform keeps pushing out, most of them promulgating that the U.S. President has something more to say.

Before the official presidential campaign had even started, I began following Trump’s Twitter account as his abject lunacy provided the sort of ironic, and moronic, humour that continues to this day. Through the process, and since he was elected, Trump’s Tweets have become even more narcissistic and disturbingly mean-spirited.

Many of the insulting, off-the-cuff comments were hurting real people. I realized it’s not that funny.

It especially hit me a few days into the new year when I man I know from a writer’s group, a contact through Facebook and a frequent contributor to the The Tattooed Buddha, opened up on social media. As one of about 800,000 U.S. government employee, he presented the reality of where he was with the shutdown, then, only 13 days old.

He did not know when he would work, or when he would be paid, but he did know that in 13 days he would be in trouble. Like most of us who count on our paycheques to feed our families, feed the mortgage or pay the rent, he was concerned over how he would live, no matter how modestly.

In the FB post, he identified that he wasn’t looking for people to feel sorry for him, he was simply putting a human face on a very public problem. He was one of the “real people” affected by what was happening in the states.

Now, more than a month later, governmental employees are still not back at work, and Trump’s funding demands for an over-priced, unnecessary wall continue, as has the audacity to continuously remind us of both his ignorance, and the unfairness of the situation.

Each Tweet from his dainty little fingers becomes more ridiculous and more dangerous to a nation that is polarized and suffering. This is the leader of a democratically-free nation holding back the personal economic prosperity of his constituents.

What the hell?

The United States is not my country. Donald Trump is not my president, and I couldn’t, or wouldn’t, even vote for him. I have followed world politics for as long as I can remember, and spent many years reporting on that of my own country. I have never seen anything like this.

It. Is. Discraceful.

Period.

Still, life goes on.

I will ignore the bullshit and bafflegab coming out of Washington (though I can’t ignore its impact globally) and be inspired by the true strength and character of a man I hardly know.

The writer, father of a couple of teenagers, did not wait for his call back to work, and did what any self-respecting human would do. He went out and found a “shutdown” job.

Educated, and probably over qualified, he is now selling fancy sandwiches at a local restaurant.

His service is not only to the hungry lunchtime customers, but mainly to his family. He did what a loving husband and father would do; he took a job to put food on the table, to take care of his own, and survive another day.

All decked out in the company uniform, he posted on Instagram not that long ago. It’s not his regular job, but it is a job. After seeing the photo, I was proud (and that may not count for anything) to see an honest, hardworking American doing what he needed to do. I know he is not the only one.

Who knows how long the shutdown will continue, and who knows what adjustments this man and his family will have to make because of the assumed divide between his regular salary and the paycheque he will receive, but he is working.

He is working, despite the efforts of his country’s leader to hold him back.

‘You can’t keep a good man down’. This old adage has never been more clear to me.

So, I won’t miss Trump’s irreverent reminders of the kind of man he is (even though the Twitter algorithms somehow sneak a few through), and you can’t get away from reports on traditional or social media (yes, we do talk about him here in Canada), but I have managed to reduce my Trump intake by erasing him from my Twitter feed.

I may even begin tweeting again from @sayit4word. Maybe I can push a little positivity into a world that truly needs it.

Fathoms

By Stormy Peterson

A fresh, new year is finally upon us! 
  I know a lot of us have spent the dwindling days of the previous year ruminating on our lives and loves, or even love-lives (for some); we take stock of where we are, and look ahead with hopeful eyes.
  We remain hopeful that this year will be better than the last, hopeful that we’ve learned the lessons we were supposed to learn, and hopeful we’ll be strong enough to face whatever comes. It’s a time for intentions, and a time to let our day-dreaming hearts run wild across three hundred sixty-five empty spaces longing for the color of life to be splashed across them. 
  But more than organizing the year ahead, and making resolutions we’ll break by mid-January, it’s the perfect time to recognize that where we are at any given moment, isn’t actually a place where we are forced to stay.

 The truth about nature is that it’s much more fluid than we’re often conditioned to believe, and as disconnected as we may think we’ve become, we can’t ever truly be apart from it. Therefore, our lives, our understanding; how we relate to ourselves and one another, and all things human are also a lot less rigid than we have managed to convince ourselves. 
  And so it is, we’re never absolutely stuck anywhere. I don’t mean physically. . . of course, there can be circumstances beyond our control in the material world that limit the action some people would prefer to take, and it reeks of ableism to pretend otherwise. 
  No, I’m talking stuck in one attitude, stuck in unhealthy relationships, stuck at a soul-crushing job, stuck with a cramped perspective; that kind of stuck (the one that doesn’t necessarily depend on a person’s geography). A lot of these things can feel pretty permanent at one time or another, and frankly, we’re met with enough well-intended adages, and mixed messages that make it seem that way, but it doesn’t have to be so. 
  And, just like in nature, a little nudge can significantly improve your immediate circumstances. 
  Rainstorms are natural, but you don’t have to stand there getting drenched when nearby there’s a massive tree to duck under, or a welcoming cave to shelter you. Those options are both “natural” as well, but it takes a little bit of work (albeit, minimal effort) to connect the dots, consider the benefits, and act on it. 
  There is nothing enlightened about sitting around waiting for divine intervention to fix things that we are more than capable of handling on our own, yet we let ourselves get so insecure about the decisions we make, we allow ourselves to lose touch with our true essence.
  We can easily find ourselves trudging along in these unfulfilling, shallow existences so completely preoccupied with the wrong things that we are, oftentimes, clueless as to how we even got here in the first place.  What’s especially sad is that, even though it’s conceivably wholly temporary, this lack of depth pervades every aspect of our lives.
  Author Matt Kahn tells us, “Despite how open, peaceful, and loving you attempt to be, people can only meet you, as deeply as they’ve met themselves.”  That’s how folks are meeting you, that’s how you’re meeting them, and it’s how all of us are showing up and greeting the world.  It’s all a choice, however, we can decide at any moment if we’re splashing around in the paddling pool, to take a lesson, get stronger, and move to the deep end. 
  Perhaps you slide in as effortlessly glamorous as Esther Williams, but if you don’t, there’s no shame in needing a life vest, water wings, goggles, or a nose plug, and it’s not important if you arrive flailing, and sputtering, the point is that you’re willing to do the work. 
  You may, indeed, lose touch with those who prefer stomping aimlessly through mud puddles, but you’ll find yourself swimming toward the person you’re meant to be, engulfed in purpose, and creating ripples that affect everyone around you.

© 2019 Stormy Peterson

Stormy Peterson is a fine artist cultivated in the foothills of the Olympic Peninsula, believer of Bigfoot with a background in apparel and textiles merchandising, and design.  Visit The Longshoreman’s Daughter herself, at http://stormaculus.blogspot.com/