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Last Thursday I had the great honor of reading some poetry at The Orr Street Gallery at a multi-media presentation put on by The Shelter on domestic violence and sexual assault. It was built around an 18 minute video of survivor’s telling their stories and it was very empowering to hear these incredible stories. I read 4 poems, closing with “A Good and Happy Child” which i posted when it was new. I thought I would include the others here:

“A Song of Love and Respect”

My Mother’s Mother was a lunatic

Her father died when she was twelve

She didn’t have anyone to teach her right from wrong

She had to learn that herself

She was raised by her sister and my Uncle Ott

A mean old bastard liked to fight a lot

He would start drinking around about lunch

He was harsh with his words and quick with a punch

So she left home when she was seventeen

With a boy she hardly knew who looked like James Dean

He liked to be in control didn’t want anyone to meet her

When she stepped out of line boy he’d beat her

So yeah she’s a little fucked up

She’s had to go through a lot

And yeah she’s a little fucked up

But tell me someone who’s not

She gets a little skittish if you move too quick

She’s lived in fear of the bomb

She worries about this and worries about that

But still she’s been a pretty good Mom

And yeah she’s a little fucked up

She’s had to go through a lot

And yeah she’s a little fucked up

But tell me someone who’s not


“Define my own Reality”

I reserve the right to define my own reality

And that of others

Who have more power and less compassion

More voice and less insight

And for any hurt kitten who comes to my door

Licking a bleeding paw and needing a reality to stand in

Tall and proud and unafraid

And for any casual passerby

Eavesdropping on my public private musings

My meanderings through the memic garden of delight


“Becoming Whole”

You see the whole absurdity

Of the human condition

And strive to see the beauty

In the life that your living

You’ve overcome the emptiness

And learned the art of giving

And you have broken the chains

That once held you down

You have learned to re-arrange

You are an agent of change

You think, and you learn, and you are

Destined for the stars

You love every part of life

You see the hope and the magic

You smile through the darkest nights

And rise to face the tragic

And you have opened your mind

And reached for the prize

You have learned to feel and grow

You can let people know

Change has happened before

It will happen again

The least shall rise up

The great shall pay for their sins

And you stand upon the rooftop

And shout out your agnosticism

But you love your neighbor as yourself

And live out your cathechism

And you have crossed the Great Valley

And are on the Other Side

You have faced the Great Fear

You have crossed the Divide

You have learned to overcome

Light shines from your soul

You are mighty and strong and you are

Becoming whole

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