Saturday, September 29, 2012

November 7, 2008 press conference hosted by president-elect Barack Obama

Almost from day one Republicans and the media have twisted the truth about the problems president-elect Barack Obama inherited from outgoing President George W. Bush, who they were now disillusioned with. They were no longer enamoured with his Texas swagger and real man rhetoric. They suddenly wanted him gone!

In the second paragraph of this pre-inauguration press conference Obama reminds the media of an important fact: "Now, the United States has only one government and one president at a time, and until January 20th of next year, that government is the current administration."

The president-elect made that statement because the media, columnists and other talking heads were demanding that he ask President Bush to leave early so that he (Obama) could try and stave off the impending free-fall of the economy, that they later blamed President Obama for. In other words, the media wanted Obama to pull a third world coup, and throw Bush out of power before January 20. They were willing to forget the Constitution. They forgot that Obama is an attorney and constitutional scholar. 

At the press conference  he talks about the many problems that will welcome him. Obama outlines his immediate plan of action, starting January 21, 2009. 

Thank you. Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you very much. This morning we woke up to more sobering news about the state of our economy. The 240,000 jobs lost in October marks the 10th consecutive month that our economy has shed jobs. In total, we've lost nearly 1.2 million jobs this year, and more than 10 million Americans are now unemployed. Tens of millions of families are struggling to figure out how to pay the bills and stay in their homes. Their stories are an urgent reminder that we are facing the greatest economic challenge of our lifetime, and we're going to have to act swiftly to resolve it.

Now, the United States has only one government and one president at a time, and until January 20th of next year, that government is the current administration. I have spoken to President Bush. I appreciate his commitment to ensuring that his economic policy team keeps us fully informed as developments unfold. And I'm also thankful for his invitation to the White House. Immediately after I become president, I'm going to confront this economic crisis head-on by taking all necessary steps to ease the credit crisis, help hardworking families, and restore growth and prosperity. This morning I met with members of my Transition Economic Advisory Board, who are standing behind me, alongside my vice president-elect, Joe Biden. They will help to guide the work of my transition team, working with Rahm Emanuel, my chief of staff, in developing a strong set of policies to respond to this crisis.

We discussed in the earlier meeting several of the most immediate challenges facing our economy and key priorities on which to focus on in the days and weeks ahead. First of all, we need a rescue plan for the middle class that invests in immediate efforts to create jobs and provide relief to families that are watching their paychecks shrink and their life savings disappear. A particularly urgent priority is a further extension of unemployment insurance benefits for workers who cannot find work in the increasingly weak economy. A fiscal stimulus plan that will jump-start economic growth is long overdue. I've talked about it throughout this  . . . the last few months of the campaign. We should get it done.

Second, we have to address the spreading impact of the financial crisis on the other sectors of our economy . . . small businesses that are struggling to meet their payrolls and finance their holiday inventories, and state and municipal governments facing devastating budget cuts and tax increases. We must also remember that the financial crisis is increasingly global and requires a global response. The news coming out of the auto industry this week reminds us of the hardship it faces . . . hardship that goes far beyond individual auto companies to the countless suppliers, small businesses and communities throughout our nation who depend on a vibrant American auto industry. The auto industry is the backbone of American manufacturing and a critical part of our attempt to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

I would like to see the administration do everything it can to accelerate the retooling assistance that Congress has already enacted. In addition, I have made it a high priority for my transition team to work on additional policy options to help the auto industry adjust, weather the financial crisis, and succeed in producing fuel-efficient cars here in the United States of America. And I was glad to be joined today by Governor Jennifer Granholm, who obviously has great knowledge and great interest on this issue. I've asked my team to explore what we can do under current law and whether additional legislation will be needed for this purpose.

Third, we will review the implementation of this administration's financial program to ensure that the government's efforts are achieving their central goal of stabilizing financial markets while protecting taxpayers, helping homeowners and not unduly rewarding the management of financial firms that are receiving government assistance. It is absolutely critical that the Treasury work closely with the FDIC, HUD and other government agencies to use the substantial authority that they already have to help families avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes.

Finally, as we monitor and address these immediate economic challenges, we will be moving forward in laying out a set of policies that will grow our middle class and strengthen our economy in the long term. We cannot afford to wait on moving forward on the key priorities that I identified during the campaign, including clean energy, health care, education and tax relief for middle-class families. My transition team will be working on each of these priorities in the weeks ahead, and I intend to reconvene this advisory board to discuss the best ideas for responding to these immediate problems.

Let me close by saying this: I do not underestimate the enormity of the task that lies ahead. We have taken some major action to date, and we will need further action during this transition and subsequent months. Some of the choices that we make are going to be difficult. And I have said before and I will repeat again: It is not going to be quick and it is not going to be easy for us to dig ourselves out of the hole that we are in, but America is a strong and resilient country. And I know we will succeed if we put aside partisanship and politics and work together as one nation. That's what I intend to do.With that, let me open it up for some questions. And I'm going to start right here with you,  


Nedra: Thanks, Mr. President-elect. I wonder what you think any president can accomplish during their first hundred days in office to turn the economy around. How far can you go? And what will be your priorities on day one?

President-elect Obama: Well, I think that a new president can do an enormous amount to restore confidence, to move an agenda forward that speaks to the needs of the economy and the needs of middle-class families all across the country. I've outlined during the course of the campaign some critical issues that I intend to work on.

We have a current financial crisis that is spilling out into the rest of the economy. And we have taken some action so far. More action is undoubtedly going to be needed. My transition team is going to be monitoring very closely what happens over the course of the next several months. The one thing I can say with certainty is that we are going to need to see a stimulus package passed either before or after inauguration. We are going to have to focus on jobs, because the hemorrhaging of jobs has an impact obviously on consumer confidence and the ability of people to . . . to buy goods and services and can have enormous spill-over effects.

And I think it's going to be very important for us to provide the kinds of assistance, to state and local governments, to make sure that they don't compound some of the problems that are already out there, by having to initiate major layoffs or initiate tax increases. So there are some things that we know we're going to have to do. But I'm confident that a new president can have an enormous impact. That's why I ran for president.

Lee:  Sir, there's been some suggestion from House Democrats that the stimulus package may be in trouble, that it's going to be a hard time getting it out of a lame-duck session. Are you still confident that you would be able to get something done before you actually take office?

President-elect Obama: I want to see a stimulus package sooner rather than later. If it does not get done in the lame-duck session, it will be the first thing I get done as president of the United States.

Jake: Senator for the first time since the Iranian Revolution, a president of Iran sent a congratulations note to a new U.S. president. I'm wondering, first of all, if you responded to President Ahmadinejad's note of congratulations. And second of all and more importantly, how soon do you plan on sending low-level envoys to countries such as Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, to see if a presidential-level talk would be productive?

President-elect Obama: I am aware that the letter was sent. Let me state -- repeat what I stated during the course of the campaign. Iran's development of a nuclear weapon, I believe, is unacceptable. And we have to mount a international effort to prevent that from happening. Iran's support of terrorist organizations, I think, is something that has to cease.

I will be reviewing the letter from President Ahmadinejad. And we will respond appropriately. It's only been three days since the election. Obviously how we approach and deal with a country like Iran is not something that we should, you know, simply do in a knee jerk fashion. I think we've got to think it through. But I have to reiterate once again that we only have one president at a time. And I want to be very careful that we are sending the right signals, to the world as a whole, that I am not the president and I won't be until January 20th.

Chip: Picking up what you were just talking about, your meeting with President Bush on Monday, when he is still the decider obviously, stating the obvious, when you disagree with decisions he makes, will you defer? Will you challenge? Will you confront? And if it becomes confrontational, could that rattle the markets even more?

President-elect Obama: Well, President Bush graciously invited Michelle and I to meet with him and First Lady Laura Bush. We are gratified by the invitation. I'm sure that in addition to taking a tour of the White House, there is going to be a substantive conversation between myself and the president. I'm not going to anticipate problems. I'm going to go in there with a spirit of bipartisanship and a sense that both the president and various leaders of Congress all recognize the severity of the situation right now and want to get stuff done. And you know, undoubtedly there may end up being differences between not just members of different parties, but between people within the same party.

The  critical point and the . . . I think the critical tone that has to be struck by all of us involved right now is the American people need help. This economy is in bad shape, and we have just completed one of the longest election cycles in recorded history. Now is a good time for us to set politics aside for a while and think practically about what will actually work to move the economy forward. And it's in that spirit that I'll have the conversation with the president.

Karen: Mr. President-elect, with the country facing two wars and a financial crisis, do you think it's important for you to move especially quickly to fill key Cabinet posts, such as Treasury secretary and secretary of State?

President-elect Obama: When we have an announcement about Cabinet appointments, we will make it. There is no doubt that I think people want to know who's going to make up our team, and I want to move with all deliberate haste, but I want to emphasize deliberate as well as haste. I'm proud of the choice I made of vice president, partly because we did it right. I'm proud of the choice of chief of staff because we thought it through. And I think it's very important in all these key positions, both in the economic team and the national security team, to . . . to get it right and . . . and not to be so rushed that you end up making mistakes. I'm confident that we're going to have an outstanding team, and we will be rolling that out in subsequent weeks.

John McCormick: To what extent . . .  to what extent are you planning to use your probably pretty great influence in determining the successor for your Senate seat? And what sort of criteria should the governor be looking at in filling that position?

President-elect Obama: This is the governor's decision. It is not my decision. And I think that the criteria that I would have for my successor would be the same criteria that I'd have if I were a voter: somebody who is capable, somebody who is passionate about helping working families in Illinois meet their . . . meet their dreams. And I think there are going to be a lot of good choices out there. But it is the governor's decision to make, not mine.

Lynn: I cracked my shoulder running to your speech on Election Night.
Here's my question. I'm wondering what you're doing to get ready. Have you spoke to any living ex-presidents? What books you might be reading? Everyone wants to know what kind of dog are you going to buy for your girls. Have you decided on a private or public school for your daughters?

President-elect Obama: Let me list those off. In terms of speaking to former presidents, I have spoken to all of them that are living. Obviously, President Clinton. I didn't want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about, you know, doing any seances. I have reread some of Lincoln's writings, who's always an extraordinary inspiration. And by the way, President Carter, President Bush Senior, as well as the current president have all been very gracious and offered to provide any help that they can in this transition process. With respect to the dog, this is a major issue. I think it's generated more interest on our website than just about anything.

We have . . . we have two criteria that have to be reconciled. One is that Malia is allergic, so it has to be hypo-allergenic. There are a number of breeds that are hypo-allergenic. On the other hand, our preference would be to get a shelter dog. But obviously, a lot of shelter dogs are mutts, like me. So the . . . so, whether we're going to be able to balance those two things, I think, is a pressing issue on the Obama household. And with respect to schools, Michelle will be scouting out some schools. We'll be making a decision about that in the future.

Candy: You are now privy to a lot of intelligence that you haven't had access to before; in fact, much of what the president sees, I'm sure, all of it. First of all, do you -- what do you think about the state of U.S. intelligence, whether you think it needs beefing up, whether you think there's enough interaction between the various agencies? And second of all, has anything that you've heard given you pause about anything you've talked about on the campaign trail?

President-elect Obama: Well, Candy, as you know, if there was something I'd heard, I couldn't tell you. I have received intelligence briefings. And I will make just a general statement. Our intelligence process can always improve. I think it has gotten better. And, you know, beyond that I don't think I should comment on the nature of the intelligence briefings. That was a two-parter? Was there another aspect to that?

Candy: Well, just whether, you know, absent what you've heard --

President-elect Obama: Okay, I get it.

Candy:  . . .whether anything's given you pause.

President-elect Obama: I . . . I'm going to . . . I'm going to skip that.

Jeff: Mr. President-elect, do you still intend to seek income tax increases for upper-income Americans? And if so, should these Americans expect to pay higher taxes in 2009?

President-elect Obama: The . . . my tax plan represented a net tax cut. It provided for substantial middle-class tax cuts. Ninety-five percent of working Americans would receive them. It also provided for cuts in capital gains for small businesses, additional tax credits. All of it is designed for job growth. My priority is going to be, how do we grow the economy? How do we create more jobs?

I think that the plan that we've put forward is the right one. But obviously over the next several weeks and months, we are going to be continuing to take a look at the data and see what's taking place in the economy as a whole. But understand the goal of my plan is to provide tax relief to families that are struggling, but also to boost the capacity of the economy to grow from the bottom up. All right? Thank you very much, guys.

Bonjour, Mr. President.

President-elect Obama: Bonjour.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Straight from my Literary Corner

Dorothy Charles Banks
Pavlov’s Dog

like one of Pavlov’s
experimental dogs
your mouth waters
as your hot trembling
hands travel downward
to toy with the
diamond filled
pyramid nestled
between my
right and
left thighs

i hear your breath
rushing from
you in short gasps

I hear you panting
in labored agony

when I ask if
you are one
of Pavlov’s dogs
you hurriedly say

“Yes. Who is he?”

I knock your hands and
face away

turning on my side
I slide out of bed
leaving you
alone and panting

I was not raised to
make love to
 experimental dogs

copyrighted by dorothy charles banks
originally published in Metis Passages Women and Their Work

Looking Glass Self

you damn
betcha
I’ve looked down
hunger’s long
hollow throat

was close enough
to touch
its ugliness
to inhale its stench
to hear its roar

was close enough to
have it tease my
growling belly
with plates of food
it wouldn’t let me eat

was close enough
to have it ride
my back until it hurt

was close enough
to ask
if its name
was my own

I Can't Take You With Me

Forgive me, my love.
I can’t take you with me.
My journey will take me many miles
From here. Many miles from you.
If death was a bounty hunter, it would
Not find me until I’m ready to surrender.
Time will be my companion;
Space will be my temporary home.
I’ll devour the wisdom of scholars,
Retracing the footprints of their historical steps.
In the prime of my journey I’ll lay
In the arms of a mythical river with a half
Moon clenched tightly between my teeth.
On the river bank I’ll birth mythical twins,
Naming them Infinity 1 and 2.
I’ll recite ancient poetry to them
As we ride a fast hurricane across
God’s marvelous sky.
I will look for Jesus and ask
Him to bless the three of us.
The twins and I will hum 
Songs in the key of life: my life,
Their lives, our lives together.
On my journey’s end I return to you
With a clear head and a heart capable
Of loving you unconditionally.
I ask that you set me free to fly;
Free to grow in my own way.
I have to meet happiness
On its original terms. I have to
Meet me before I can meet you.
Please forgive me, but
I can’t take you with me.

when love walks out

you don’t recite love poems to me anymore
when you do, your mood is dry
and void of emotions
I don’t hear that melodrama and natural
excitement in your rhythmic voice
so meant to recite the classics
that boldly boasts of  love

when we’re together there is no
intensity in our exploring lips
no heat riding the full length of our desire
no sensation of any kind taking
hold of me, taking hold of you

I don’t see that badboy sparkle that
animated me in more ways than one 
ways that solicited a response to:
can your tire meet my road?
you knew what I meant

I hate the listlessness in our eyes
we pass each other like
night ghosts, barely touching
unwilling to acknowledge that our
love has grown lackluster

we both admit we are to
blame for love’s withdrawal
we reflected too much on the past when
we should have stayed in the future
going our separate ways will
cause some pain, some uncertainty
but if we must part,
take a piece of me with you
as I’ll take a piece of you with me
maybe one day you’ll hear:
can your tire meet my road?

Trying to Catch

white boys track hopping
tanning golden brown
disguising
natural white folk traits

salon curling straight blond hair
just to charm black girls
they hope they'll catch
in the coolest bars in town

black boys powder
down and sweeten up
to go downtown

whispering in low deep voices
trying to catch and
influence long haired white girls 
who are scouting for
genuine blackness

in color only

 poems copyrighted by dorothy charles banks

Ron Means
Taking My Time

When I was a boy many years ago
As my friends got into trouble, I waited.
I was chided and teased for being slow to act
But I wanted to go deeper than being baited.
Today I am often still waiting
Watching listening and taking my time
Deeper is my thing still
Someone is always running game or a line
I try to weather the layers
They hide under covers to conceal
Reality... I just wait until I can see their trueness
Deeper looks help to reveal
Who they really are.

my shadow

I travel with my shadow
around the world we are felt
though wandering into the night
my shadow shows great stealth

the night sky like a sleeping bag
as the ground below me a camp
my shadow and I together
exist like a hobo and a tramp

I muse if at the end of my time
As my life drives to its end,
will my shadow expire with me
or go find another friend?


Sqeaky
11/12/07

To my friend The Mouse:
How can you be in bliss
It’s both funny and sad, still the same
What was once sweet must now be a bitter kiss
For when she claims that she loves you
What it more likely REALLY means
Is that she wants to change you
THAT'S her ruthless scheme
And when she says that she cares
Forever and always
It’s really only the truth
If her manipulation of you stays
But if she really loved you
She’d accept you as she can
Why change whatever attracted her to you
You need to buck up boy and be a man
To transform you from you
Will not give a true heart...
Control, not love her objective
From the beginning, the very start
To wrap you about her fingers
Her world and especially bed
The love you believe is a hoax
Because respect for you is long dead
What kind of woman would want a mouse
Unless she wants to be the man too
What sort of man would allow it
But a weak and spineless fool
You're much better alone
Than getting caught up in a mouse trap
Trying to make something wrong work right
Isn’t worth the cheese or the flap
But a mouse can’t see that
Even if a friend like me tells him so
He’s blinded for his need for the cheese
Ignoring what he should already know.

all poems copyrighted by Ron Means
 poems from his self published book “Let The truth Be Told”


Cassandra Tunstall
Black is

Black is
Little nappy-haired children
With runny noses
Big brown eyes
Hungry mouths
Empty hearts

Black is
Living in poverty
Being ridiculed
downgraded
Cheated and unaccepted

Black is
getting ripped off
Striving in vain
And wondering
Why
Black
Is

My Love For You

My love for you
I cannot explain
It’s warm as the sun
And moist as the rain
It’s sweet as honey
And soft as milk
More desiring than money
And more nourishing than milk
Forever, always my love is true
Never old
Always brand new

Why Darkies Were Born

Born in the heat of Africa
    Born free
Yet born to be captured
    Enslaved
Born to nurse the promised land
to look over little bright-eyes babies
to say yes sir master
        yes sir boss
to serve
    to cry
Born to obey
    to hear half-breeds
Born to watch their babies
    sold into captivity
Yet born to be unchained
To sing the blues
Singing of
        someday we shall overcome
Songs of love
        songs of joy
Born to dance
        to the music
    and forever be free
Darkies were born
   To overcome

 poems copyrighted by Cassandra Tunstall
 from her self published book “Poetry”

Mary McAnally

The Fat Lady Waits

the fat lady waits,
locked in her torpid tranquility,
for the movers to come and turn her.
They are late.
Already she feels the dampness beneath her,
the cloth chafing her shoulder and buttocks.
She longs to be able to turn by herself,
to roll off the slab that lifts her
for the circus crowds to see.
Her legs are giant redwoods
felled in the silent forest.
Her arms are vats of dough, rising,
he fingers lost in folds of flesh.
She calls
Hey  Hey  It’s time to turn me
No one comes.
She feels her heart race
at the exertion of the words.
The skin round her neck prickles,
she moves her toes.
If only someone would run her ankle.
She gazes at the ceiling fan,
listens to it whirring above her
like a giant gnat,
waits for the movers to come.

Meredith: Moon Maiden

Her eyes pierce the stones
this little one
whose nappy hair
is happier than her eyes belie.
The cynics and the seers
have congregated beneath her skin,
and lie in ambush there
for all the singing saints
passing on the other side.
Listen to her chant:
It is ancient as these hills
where snakes rattle warnings
against the approaching storm.
It sings of death to the messenger,
the bearer of the word
which will not be heard.

The Day the Whales 
Committed Suicide
     
In nature’s faulted cycle.
    There is nothing so rare
    as a natural death.
        Jacques Cousteau

A tiny paradise
not yet isolated by the biologist’s metal eye,
invades the ears
of the great herd of whales,
causes them to misread
the warning calls of loved ones,
to turn toward the land,
to cast their graceful hulks across the beach,
to die.

Baby whales flounder
besides their dying mothers,
thrash against the arms of men
who try to push them back into the sea.
The others, mournful,
wait in shallow waters,
calling, calling.

You and I watch on color TV.
I weep. I am frightened.
All night long I dream of wars and separations,
of children longing to be loved,
and wake exhausted to this poem.

poems Mary McNanally
poems from her self published book “We Will Make a River”

Lorenzo Fitzpatrick

Unrivaled Artist

Of all the pictures artists paint
    And hang upon the wall
Still, Mother Nature’s paintings are
    The greatest of them all.

For who can rival beauty as
    Reflected by the Spring?
And who can pain a scene to move
    The little birds to sing?

The Autumn is a masterpiece
    Of blended color scheme
With leaves of yellow, read and gold:
    A painter’s fondest dream.

Such art from  mortals still attempt
    To shape and recreate
Yet, with their best performance, they
    Can only imitate.

Nature’s Melodies

When all is peaceful in the vales,
tune your ear and you will hear
Above the song of nightingales,
Sounds of Nature loud and clear.

In pomp of ageless mystery,
Whisp’ring grass and rustling trees
All join in splendid harmony,
Singing Nature’s melodies.

Fleeting Rhapsody

Gazing at the twinkling stars
    On a clear, summer night
Caught up in a rhapsody
    And all the world seems right.

Fantasy In-Flight

Soaring high above the clouds
All troubles seem so far way:
A momentary fantasy
Released from cares of day to day.

© by Lorenzo Fitzpatrick
poems from his self published book “Seasons Of My Mind”

Patricia Robinson Arnold

Death With An Understanding

She appeared so young to die
but yet there’s a season
and time for all things

Maybe this was her time
I remember how sweet
she was and how
pleasant her smile

When death calls
it takes what it prefers
even a little child

Oh how beautiful things
can seem sometimes
then later it can be so dim

How bright the sun
some times shines and oh
how far it can glow

But even in the brightest
hours the dimness can
still come and show

She was so very young
and one might even think
she had a choice
for she lay there still
and quiet but I can hear
her voice, she is saying

I ask for your understanding
because I am happy
I would not exchange the
pleasure that I feel right now

For indeed I know it is
ever lasting
It is joy, I feel joy
So much joy I cry

Then I looked at her corpse
A tear drop fell from her eye
and her face had a peaceful smile

My Love Affair

I have a love affair
with poetry and music

I have a love affair
with its beat

It is in my heart
and it moves my feet

I have a love affair
that is truly sweet

I Didn’t Know

I didn’t know you wanted me to touch you
I couldn’t read your eyes
You know the way you perform
With that perfect disguise

I couldn’t see your heart
And only you could feel the pain
Now it’s even harder
Since we are both out in the rain

© Patricia Robinson Arnold 
poems from her self published book “Silent Seasons”

Penny Chalmers

The Recovery Room

She is white and red, her scalp bloody, flaked.
        (Jake had been smooth, clean
I seem to remember her
        The Powerful Maiden
She wrinkles her brow and whimpers like a puppy
        (Jake had stared and stared
Back to the blackness, she wants. Me, too.
I want back, blackness, sleep.

Dwight appears masked. Russell hovers. Dwight cradles her rocking.
Dwight and I and the baby encircle one another.
We have been here before. Less awe now, but she is here.

gentle and determined, none of Jake’s ferocity, refined and persistent
A red papoose, creased along the line of her eyes across her nose
to her temples. Her eyes are long, almond shaped–Amanda

Let me sleep. Where is the reality. My legs quiver from shock as before.
Thru pain this being baby. there. But where am I?

Who am I, so many people now, voices. Nanny/mom/me as one person
clinging roll down the green hill. Curl up and sleep.

What do I resent? The masks. the officious voices.
Being held during the delivery. rape.
Tossing in panic. Where is the celebration?

The grudge against authority. Who Are They?
Let me give birth, let it happen.
That that stupid intern should determine where I see
Their hands their control of my body send me flying out

To Delivery

        8 ladies in labour: 2 nurses
Dwight disappears    asks an intern what’s happening to me
            who yawns How should I know?
                I just got up
            And 10 minutes later delivers me

scream        O NO I HAVE TO PUSH
they check and panic, wheel me off        goodbye i love you
down the hall to the delivery room I have been before

        QUICKLY
       
        IT PUSHES ME        Upanishads

gas.  a mask. Caesarian? Breath in. AH RELEASE relief relax
No don’t go under. She’s gone under. She’s gone, he says. Ha. Stop breathing.  

OMMMMM

slyly stop breathing it’s no Caesarian I can feel her coming OUT

the thick satisfaction of pushing out.    The placenta

Russell appears        where were you? You weren’t on time.
            In time for the important part,
            to sew up the stitches.
            Doctor, did you know the ancient Egyptians
            kept the placenta in a special box as soul
            brother to the newborn?

Turn left: the baby in an incubator
Bring her closer
The anaesthetist is in my line of vision. I twist to see.
Heavy eyebrows furrow above the green mask
    Hold still for the intravenous 
Don’t you be cross with me     I am pleased at snapping authority.
                as if I’m an incubator
the Warmed Blanket        sounds like regressing, says Russell.

Some Kind of  Myopia

I see thru the crack in the bathroom window
    where my father-in-law
on his sixtieth birthday
        has climbed in his Sunday coat
        the tree out back
    shaking a stick at the branches

        )years ago I saw 2 llamas bounding down our street
            /Russian wolfhounds as
            acceptable

    And once I thought a porpoise was a shark
            The shark was a shark
        another time
sawing deadwood

© by Penny Chalmers 
poems from her self published book “Bearing Down”

Dorothy Charles Banks

Rude Awakening

he couldn’t hold back the laughter
as he repeated what
I had said to him

“You’re going to leave me?
where are you going?
what are you going to do?
you can’t work
you don’t have skills
I made sure of that ten years ago
by keeping you home and pregnant
all you’re good for now
is keeping my clothes clean
having babies
and cleaning house
this house 
I’m not worried about you
leaving me . . . you can’t afford to ”

still laughing he turned
and walked out the door
confident I wouldn’t leave him

to prove him wrong I borrowed
bus fare to go job hunting

at the employment office
the interviewer asked me
what kind of work experience I had
I hesitated told her: none
when she asked what kind
of work I expected
to find without experience
I bowed my head
and told her I didn’t know

my husband’s words refreshed
themselves on my mind

a feeling of hopelessness
washed over me
even before the interviewer
told me that she couldn’t
help me because I was
unemployable

at the moment

she told me to learn a skill
then they would be able to
help me find employment
I left the employment office
jobless and disgusted
with myself

I picked up my babies
and returned home to my
unpaid maid’s job
and more unwarranted abuse

copyrighted by dorothy charles banks
this poem appeared in “Family Violence: Poems of the Pathology”
Mary McAnally,
editor

In My Secret Room

In my secret room
located at the back
of my house
I can be anybody
I want to be.

I can be Jane Pittman
Through Cicely Tyson
Living her life
All over again.

I can be Superwoman.
Bionic Woman.
A wondrous WonderWoman.
A semi-masculine Superman,
Wearing high heels,
A femme fa tale.
I can be Cleopatra
Of the Nile
with men falling at my feet
Like flies off a
Raid washed wall.

 I can be a Soviet spy.
A street informer.
A hooker and pimp myself.

In my secret room
I can be anybody
I want to be.

Anybody except me.

copyrighted by dorothy charles banks
poem appeared in “Young American Poets”

Acute 7th Sister

Acute.
    That’s what
         it is.
Poignant. Penetrating.
I was born
with an intense veil

     Covering my face.

I am the 7th
Sister to 6 Unveiled Sisters.

    I can forecast the
     future before it
        reveals itself.

I can state at
nothing and
visualize World Wonders.

I can look like
a Veiled Sister.

I can look Acute.

copyrighted by dorothy charles banks

David Delahoussaye

Moody Malady

O’Manic depression
You moody malady
You took me to the limit
You set me free.

I soared with the eagle
I swam with the whale
I was an angel from heaven
I was a nightingale.

I would do anything
I was drunk with glee
You made the TV
Talk to me.

And then the Thorazine cast its gloomy spell
I crashed from heaven, down into hell
I felt a great weight, too much to bear
I was overcome with grief and despair.

But God lifted me up
From my misery
You see O’Manic depression
He is greater than thee.

And tho’ now I am truly free
Our bouts will always be a part of me.

The Sign of The Cross

We are gathered here today.
We exist; we hope; we pray.

In the name of the father
Wondrous creator of all
You are so magnificent
We, so dependent, so small.

You steer the whole universe
You keep each star in its place
Yet You care for each of us
You sustain us with Your grace.

You are the God Almighty
You love us so tenderly
You let us call you Father
Even “Abba”, our daddy.

You forgive our transgressions
No matter what we may do
With compassion and mercy
You welcome us back to You.

Thank you, most gracious Father
That we are part of Your plan
To share with us Your Kingdom
And divine love without span.

We children need you, Father
Without You we have no hope
You are the purpose of life
Without you we could not cope.

And of the Son, Jesus Christ
Our Father’s gift from above
You humbly dwelt among us
To reveal the Father’s love.

It’s beyond understanding
How You could love us so much
That You became one like us
So we could, hear, see and touch.

You were sent by the Father
To save us from sin and death
You died, emptying Yourself
Until Your very last breath.
You suffered and died for us
That we might forever live
Your precious body and blood
You still continue to give.

Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh
God, made man yet still divine
The Good Shepherd, our Savior
You are the branch; we’re the vine.

Son of God, and Son of Man
King of Kings, yet our brother
You left us this one command:
“That we love one another.”

Making the sign of the cross
We should always keep in mind
It is the greatest act of love
Ever done for all mankind.

copyrighted by David Delahoussaye
from his self published book “The Extraordinary Life of An Ordinary Man”

Olive Spitzmiller

Farewells

    Germinal
My skin cracks; I break like an egg.
Dying once again in the spring,
I shall plant my seed in a barren garden.

    A Passing
Under my feet the street unwinds,
and I’m running with long thighs away from death.
This is the marathon I don’t have to win.

A headwind tears my eyes,
pale faces blur
my mother, my father, a husband, my children.

I reach my hand to touch, cradle the little ones
in my arms, but there isn’t the time now,
and the children draw back from a thin stranger.

For I have grown lighter in my running,
polished, pared to bone and sinew,
with no nipples left, no handles to grasp.
The faces fall away; the hands drop.

    My Mother
I hate the sight of you, seamed and exhausted.
In the long tub you round your shoulders.
I want to strike you, lash you upright,
beat you into bravery.

How supple-strong you were in my childhood,
and unredeemably stern. When I cried
you kissed me, never in
my own strength, only when I lost.
Only you could kiss me, not my father,
who kissed too many little girls,
or the freckled ball player who taught me to pitch.
Mother-Demeter, to keep your fields blooming
all the year, you kept mine fallow.

Cool in your diamonds before the mirror,
your shoulders wrapped in silk, your dealt
me shame in your magistrate’s voice
that never had to shout.

Where are your soft hands
light on my temples at dusk,
your thin lullaby voice that killed
Aunt Rhody’s old grey goose
while her goslings were crying?

It was fine to be ill when I was ten,
barricaded with goose down
in the bed that smelled like you:
a sweet smudge of Eau de Joy,
Wild Turkey, cigarettes and come.

When you were power I hated you.
Now you labor to breathe,
your frightened eyes ask only to please,
and I hate your weakness because it is my strength.

copyrighted by Olive Spitzmiller
poem appeared in “Metis: Passages, Women and Their Work”

Peg Runnels

Who Is This Woman

She’s Marsha McGuire’s Sunday School teacher
third grade bread factory tour chaperon
and invoice 6419
(broken TV)

She’s Senator Young’s envelope stuffer
Jason and Jennifer’s mom
Troupe 136 Brownie leader
and Bob’s wife

She’s Mr. Lynn’s 4 o’clock Friday standing
Tuesday night bridge sub
and Dr. Scott’s D&C next week
(no liquids)

She’s the out-by-3:00 brake job
the covered dish salad
Monday carpool
and toilet roll changer

copyrighted  by Peg Runnels
poem appeared in “Metis: Passages, Women and Their Work”