POETRY AT THE FOLEY FOR 100,000 POETS FOR CHANGE and Some Folly History

It seems that so much is happening so often that I do not take the time to practice my yoga short of a couple of positions, or garden instead of taking a brisk walk. There are late tomatoes coming in,eggplant and some Swiss Chard. With the weather cooling and the leaves coloring up it is an excellent time for me to take a walkabout with my camera. This morning I had a dream that I was in a martial arts class. The exercises were wonderful  for my back so I got up and did them! Wonderful.

This last weekend was very busy with many poetry events. On Saturday we had the 100,000 POETS FOR CHANGE at the Folly on the Bradley and Carol Sander’s Farm. As always it was wonderful to be there!

There were many poets reading and performing their works throughout the day. We had delicious food and drink provided by A Step in Time from Harper’s Ferry and Ron Kipling Williams an activist spoken word performance artist from Baltimore headlined.

Al Thomas, the driving force of the Folly structure was at the poetry event also and it was great to see him there. He was telling the story of how the Folly came about.

He had been off work for awhile as he was caring for his mother who had alzheimer’s and he was in need of a project. Al has been a timber framer for many years practicing his craft all over the world. He asked Bradley Sanders who agreed and so the Folly came to be.

The Folly is set among the trees on the farm and seating is provided by wonderful wooden benches also handmade and supported by logs of varying heights.

I was blessed to be part of the construction of the Folly. Helping with preparation and videoing the event and the erection. It is a tremendous pity that video disappeared.  Oh well, time passes, 23  and some years ago. Al  and a crew of us locals also built a Trebuchet and a throne in the timber frame format.

Over the years the Folly has provided a stage for the Fishtails production a musical with amazing large automated puppets created by Bradley Sanders and produced by Lisa Lafferty with local children and some adults performing. Many musicians and poets and artists have graced the stage of the Folly. We had the Tiny Circus perform a couple of years and it has been the site of the other timber frame projects and workshops. A truly rich experience and one we appreciate and will do so for many years to come.

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AT THE TOWN PARADE

I have a few photographs to share from our recent Shepherdstown parade. Top Left the historic auto, Benita Keller photographer and Steve,An Avanti and lastly my friend Kerry and her daughter Elizabeth.Women of the Eastern Star. Incidentally there is an Eastern Star engraved into the hearth at my old home, built in the late 1800s.

INSIDE OUTSIDE Poems by Sue Silver

I am pleased to announce the publication by New Academia Press of my poetry book Inside Outside Poems by Sue Silver. It is available online through New Academia Press at http://www.newacademia.com  

I had reading and book signing which was very well attended at Four Seasons Books in my town here in Shepherdstown,on May 20th. I happened to stop in later, the 1st of June or so and Kendra said oh look at this. Every month they publish a list of what bestsellers at the bookstore. At the top in number 1 place for fiction was my book. A poetry book best seller in the fiction category for the month of May! Perfect. I am thrilled.

My book is also available on Amazon. Look for me there as  INSIDE OUTSIDE Poems by Sue Silver.

 

 

INSIDE OUTSIDE Poems by Sue Silver

I am pleased to announce the publication of my first poetry book by New Academia Press, INSIDE OUTSIDE Poems by Sue Silver. Wonderful! Fantastic!! all those wonderful words. I am so happy.

I will be doing a reading and signing of my book at Four Season’s Books at 116 W German St, Shepherdstown, WV 25443 at 2pm. Please come.

Here’s a taste from my book.

 

 

HEADING THAT WAY

 

They say if you wish to reach enlightenment

you must lose your desires.

 

Well that’s a tough one.

Why would I wish to give up my little wants

 

my wishes and the stuff that gets me outta bed

like earning that paycheck

 

so I can head home to New Zealand for eight weeks

whose lovely green shores, land of the long white cloud

 

I haven’t set foot on for over 10 years.

See the faces, share the love with my family there,

 

I had to weep and when my old love met me

at the airport, his voice, his walk just the same in that corner

 

of my heart where we never let go.

How about that desire to scratch that itch?

 

Never mind the racks of clothes and shoes

the jewelry in that big glass case

 

I just want to hear the loudest thunder cracking overhead

waking me in my bed, sit on my porch and breathe the rain.

 

Just one more time, this time, I want to feel my heart

explode with love, know the joy, the tenderness in this moment.

 

DARK WATER

 

The dark waters, brown colored

in their depths, know nothing of my blood

running out from this deep gash

while fishing, this new knife unwieldy in my hands.

 

 

The kindness of strangers

asking if I’d caught anything

helping in my distress to bind my wound

stem the flow for all I know

the uncaught fish sallying for light

caught in a flash of reflection

watched me from beneath the pier

amazed at my ignorance, eating gladly

the bloodworm I dropped there.

 

 

At the hospital the nurses take such care

I am swept and cleaned and stitched

the lost light of this lovely afternoon

a picture past.

 

I visit again this windy pier

I do not cast nor attend to fishing gear

but walk and sit and linger in the cold

and ask the fish for another year.

 

My book is available at    INSIDE OUTSIDE Poems by Sue Silver   amazon.com

 

I am going to start doing readings at other venues as well. I’ll let you know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARE YOU READY?

Since the election of our present administration, many people have been thrown into standing up more fully to what they believe, but not just believe, know to be right and who they are in their heart of hearts. The progress we have made in caring for our planet, the environments of our health, our country, our stand as leaders of the western world and as our own stand as members of a multiracial world with all it’s diversity. The concerns around our  US economy and our own personal stand as human beings in a world which has become more global in it’s needs and perceptions.

The fact that our current Administration is poised to take apart the advances we have made in Environmental stewardship,specifically in this case, the financial support of the Chesapeake Bay cleanup, which has taken enormous strides in the status of it’s ecological balance,and  is now at risk, due to the President’s Executive order on reducing regulations, and taking away any federal funding of the continuing cleanup process.

Here is a link to the website.http://cbf.typepad.com/chesapeake_bay_foundation/2017/02/presidential-executive-order-on-reducing-regulations-how-it-could-affect-chesapeake-bay-restoration.html

OF NOTE:  We call the federal pollution limits and the state plans, together, the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint. The deadline for completing the Blueprint is 2025.

“The Blueprint recognizes that millions of pounds of nitrogen land directly in the Bay from air pollution. That nitrogen comes largely from burning fossil fuels to, for example, provide electricity and power our cars. The Blueprint provides that new Clean Air Act regulations would limit nitrogen from those sources. Some of those regulations must be updated. Because of the order, however,  may not improve those rules and the amount of nitrogen from the air may not be decreased sufficiently to meet Blueprint goals and a restored Bay.”

Source includes:  Chesapeake Bay Foundation website.

OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL FRONTS:  OUR UNDERGROUND WATER AQUIFERS

Save the water.org. There are a important facts at this site concerning the continuing pollution of our water supplies. Here’s the bottom line. “….even here in the U.S. where regulations are stringent, we find unacceptable levels of dangerous chemicals in our drinking water.”

Source of quote http://savethewater.org/2013/11/06/water-contaminants-sources/

Be involved. educate yourself, make a difference and speak up.

Last but not least I would like to address how important it is to align ourselves with the Divine. What the heck is that you well may ask!

There is so much Light coming to our planet at this time. Our world is going through a state of transformation to a State of Transfiguration. Thus the inflowing powerful new spiritual energies of the Light Alliance from our Galaxy and beyond  working closely with many humans is affecting our planet. The  dark Cabal is being shown to humanity.

I can only be responsible for my own spiritual strength by practicing meditation, my mantra and what forms I have been taught that do really strengthen and deepen my experience of Divine Love and real Peace within me. Are you ready?

Nicaragua Calling

I am a woman who is blessed in so many ways. My trip to Nicaragua in February of this year was also a very real healing trip for myself as well.My experiences with our wonderful group of women that I travelled with who gave their time and talents to this project and the ProNica partners attending our workshops had a profound effect. Experiencing their bravery, the work they all do is wonderful. I am very grateful I was able to join them on this trip and I look forward to going again sometime.  Oh, did I mention, we travelled to Managua on my birthday! We went with a humanitarian Group called ProNica. Here is Bette’s article from the ProNica Summer Newsletter.

A JOURNEY OF HEALING AND RENEWAL WITH PRONICA PARTNERS
Warm breezes welcomed our team of six healers to Managua on Feb 18, 2016. The group settled in at Quaker House where we were greeted with a delicious meal and hugs from ProNica staff. The team included massage therapists, yoga teachers, a psychologist and a sex therapist. For several team members it was their first visit to Nicaragua. Our mission was to lead workshops and retreats on trauma healing for ProNica staff and partners in various parts of the country.

The first day the team visited sites in the city of Managua and listened intensely to the history of the country. It was important to understand the context of the country and the inter-connectedness of our nations. The tree-lined Salvador Allende Bolivar brought us to present times as we admired the “trees of life” that were created by first lady, Dona Rosario Ortego. The well-lit metal structures loom tall and powerful on the avenue and around the city. Political billboards proclaiming the strength and goodness of the Ortega government are everywhere. A tourist might surmise there were no other political parties in Nicaragua.

Our first workshop was a one-day AVP (Alternatives to Violence Project) training on trauma healing held at the Kairos Center. ProNica partner, Harold Urbina, and other AVP facilitators from around the country enjoyed the intense “advanced” workshop experience. For most of our team, it was an introduction to AVP and the popular education modality.
Next we traveled to the Centro de Retiros La Palmera in Diriamba to spend the next few days with Los Quinchos staff. Initially, we visited the children and were entertained by a visiting circus working with the former street children for a month. Our team was excited by the holistic approach of Los Quinchos to the traumatized street children. We observed them learning new skills (like sewing or drumming), cooking together and a cooperative family approach.

“The best part of the experience for me was working with Los Quinchos staff. It was amazing to see their resilience, desire to learn and help in spite of all they had been through themselves. “Sometimes I feel jaded about the world, and working with them boosted my sense of hope.” This statement is from Melanie Ricaurte, one of the team members. Her reflection was shared after several days in retreat with the amazingly resilient and resourceful staff of Los Quinchos.
Our third – and final- retreat was held in San Ramon at the Sueno de la Campana Retreat Center. Retreatants came from ProNica’s northern partners, and some traveled for many hours by bus to join us. Casa del Nino, Casa Materna, Rio Blanco Women’s Network were all well represented at the retreat.

Each person was scheduled to receive a massage and got called from the circle when their turn came. Again we explored types of trauma with a popular education format. We spoke of stages of grief and how to deal with them. There was ample time to share stories and learn some new information as well. For many the five circles of sexuality were a welcome way to explore issues of relationship and violence. The circles include: sexualization, sensuality, intimacy, sexual identity and sexual health and reproduction.
In addition to leading the three retreats, the team had time to swim at Laguna de Apoyo, stroll along the lakeshore waterfront park in Managua, and have a mini-retreat at La Garnacha near Esteli.
The healers were all pleased to participate in this project. They were deeply moved by their interactions with ProNica partners who are so deeply committed to the work of social change. Several described a deep healing that happened to them during the experience as well.
Understanding the historical and political context was crucial for the healers in addressing the origins of trauma in the country. We hope and trust that out healing work with ProNica partners affected them as much as it did us. Just Peace Circles, Inc plans to return with another team of healers in February of 2017, as way opens.
By Bette Hoover, Just Peace Circles Inc. & Baltimore Yearly Meeting

 

Happy New Year 2016 HANG on we’re OFF

It is 2016, this year in February I am going to Managua, Nicaragua, to do  various kinds of healing on the many healers in that area giving their lives, devoting their lives to the care and healing of mankind in one form or another. My friend Betty has been doing this kind of work and service for many years in such places as Honduras and Nicaragua. She has honored those who have little in war torn nations. We are going to work with the folks that run an orphanage, among one of the places we will be visiting  There are many orphans in Nicaragua after the wars and slaughter that have taken place there. Such a need. We are going under the auspices of an organization that has worked with the Quaker Community over the years to bring Peace in whatever way they can to this nation, so torn and weary and now somewhat for sale to the highest bidder seemingly. If one can hear the tyrant words of the Chinese Businessman wanting to put through a canal similar to the Panama Canal. It would cut a  swathe through farmland, rain forests and  the largest natural inland lake, tearing asunder natural vegetation and water levels and stripping good farmland from many farmers.

Change is difficult for any nation and weighing the pros and cons of any large project that seemingly decimates natural lands without adequate studies in view of the possible destruction of a major natural lake and so many farms and well I already said it, the question is why? how can this benefit. We have already seen oil companies come in and devastate communities, spilling oil on delicate land, ecosystems and peoples turned to slave labor. We don’t hear much about the consequences, NBC is not reporting it. Unless you are listening to some news reports outside of the general American airwaves you will not hear those reports.

No, America is made out to be too perfect, however I digress. So I am going to Nicaragua with 5 other healers and we are going to be presenting Trauma healing workshops and massage and energy healing and body movement among our combined modalities, to these women and men to help and to support their healing.

We are going to be traveling through the countryside and drinking in the beauty of Nicaragua. Listening to the song of birds and water, wind and the green that is everywhere there. The heat and the sun. We are going to listen to the voices of her people and her land and we are going to be living there and listening.I pray we can truly make a difference. Many of the people we will be working with have been victims of the war machine, rapes and murders of family members, rape of themselves, their own body and deep loss. Deep deep loss.

This I have learned and it is a simple fact, that when  you ask the Divine to come through you and allow you to serve in some sweet way, the Divine says yes as much and more, as deep and as willing as you are to say yes, the Divine says Yes even louder and so much deeper.

AUTUMN COLORS ON THE BLUE RIDGE

As summer slipped away I found myself at first resisting the autumn chill yet no sooner did the lovely colors arrive and I said a quick hurray and went on. I drive east to Annapolis along the beautiful Rte 70 quite often and the trees there truly put on a show. So I decided to invite a friend and we went for a days drive down to Skyline Drive entering at Front Royal Virginia and wending our way along. We stopped at several of the overlooks. At the lower altitudes the trees were so colorful and as we drove higher the cloud cover blotted out the views and the air got wetter. We had a nice lunch at a store with a lunch counter  on the drive then we went on a bit, but the predicted rain was getting heavier and we decided to return home so we could beat the rush hour traffic.

What a glorious drive. The traffic was light and it was easy to pull

Skyline Dr, VA

Skyline Dr, VA

IMG_2121

Skyline Dr , VA

Skyline Dr , VA

over at the overlooks jump out,  take some photographs and enjoy the vistas and move on.

Today on NPR I heard the Skyline Dr recommendation for Fall colors. Yes I second that!!

Skyline Drive, VA

Skyline Drive, VA

Juan Felipe Herrera at The Library of Congress Sept 15th Our New Poet Laureate

Dr James H Billington started the program speaking of the choice of  Juan Felipe Herrera as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. He also spoke of previous Poet Laureates and their choices of projects that they achieved during their tenure. Wonderful  Projects like the favorite poem project by Robert Pinsky in 1997 and Ted Kooser’s project to create space and presence for poetry in American Culture by providing  a free  weekly column for newspapers and periodicals and Natasha Tretheway’s project of exploring societal issues through poetry’s lens in a series of reports with PBS NewsHour Senior Correspondent Jeffrey Brown, as part of the show’s Poetry Series just to name a few.

Juan Felipe calls poetry Freedom and he is right. This is what he said to NPR

“Poetry is a call to action and it also is action. Sometimes we say, “This tragedy, it happened far away. I don’t know what to do. I’m concerned but I’m just dangling in space.” A poem can lead you through that, and it is made of action because you’re giving your whole life to it in that moment. And then the poem — you give it to everyone. Not that we’re going to change somebody’s mind — no, we’re going to change that small, three-minute moment. And someone will listen. That’s the best we can do.”

I was honored to be at this wonderful reception and reading by our new Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera. I was able to get some photographs of Juan Felipe during the reception and also later at his reading. There was a wonderful Balada and spoken word performance which was put together in an earlier ballad class presented by Juan Dies, Juan Felipe’s friend. The words were written  by the attendees of the class:   I have recorded most of the words spoken by Juan Felipe here accompanied by the beautiful guitar music of Juan Dies who often frames Juan Felipe’s own poetry in just this way :

I want to sing about it about a woman who died   her name was Sandra Bland they say she committed suicide.  It was the 10th of July in Texas the police arrested her just because she didn’t blink the lights right and took her to jail. She was a brave African American she who knew her rights she was a great  activist and she stood up against the police. Brian was a mean man he thought too much of himself and he abused Sandra Bland and now everybody knows. Sandra knew about all the dangers of discrimination, she shouted out “Black Lives Matter” and that was her doom. When Brian told Sandra, “Put out that cigarette” she said “no sir, I know my rights.”

Brian was so upset he just yanked her out of the car with violence and with pushes and with force he arrested her. She was in jail for three days no one knew what had happened to her with a plastic bag they say she committed suicide. “Please everybody you know, violence is going to continue even though you have a video that may not save you.”

There was more, unfortunately my iPhone photo app was suddenly full, so I missed the last bit. It wasn’t much longer, but so beautiful and I am going to put up what I have on You Tube.

I was moved to tears more than once by the poetry of Juan Felipe. It is so real and so deep, so honest and so free. The son of Mexican migrant workers Juan Felipe was encouraged to use his voice by his 3rd grade teacher who had him get up in front of class and sing. When he finished his song she told him what a beautiful voice you have Juan Felipe and so his journey with words began.

This wonderful woman was present for this event along with Juan Felipe’s family and friends from Riverside CA. Recently has been the California State Poet Laureate.

The poetry of Juan Felipe Herrera speaks to the richness of color and life of the earth and her bones, he writes of the journeys of man, the war and famine the soldier and suicide, the soldier and mental illness… ” all those lives    never go away      they burn they burn ”       He writes with a kindness and gentleness, with a scream and a rhythm that is this life. He writes with honesty and the freedom of the gritty and the Light.

The first photo is of myself and Grace Cavalieri at the Library of Congress.

 

IMG_1916 FullSizeRender-14 IMG_1932 FullSizeRender-15

This is what Juan Felipe read as his closing poem. He wrote this poem for the event.

SO I WILL SPEAK OF IT

Let it begin – you say, crimson fibers &

solar epoch rise up at the broken spoke of

the life highway

bones of ragged singers the ones you find painted in

street shadow life

 

the ones made of sugar, black coffee, tin can drink

asleep by the mountain scar – they

still keep songs woven on brown-off-white belts

 

let grandfather fire Tatewari tear himself

for the ache sweet waters of mother waves Aramara

teal glaze ocean – red beads sea speak here

 

speak here:

long and ancient strings splintered

tiny guitar plywood sanded down

sit here – this corner by Fanta machines teetering

gas pump road to Guadalajara —

Who

will

listen?