Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Good News, Bad News, Plus Poem

This is a news post and a poem prompt. I have good news, and I have bad news.

On the gopher front, we have one casualty. R.I.P., Mr. Gopher.

In the bad news department we have some serious developments in Haiti to discuss.

I’ve been following a very good blog by a humanitarian worker, Ellen B., who works with the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation. They’re receiving spinal-cord-injury patients out of Port-au-Prince.

She has posted some links to utterly thought-provoking articles written about the aftermath of the earthquake on Jan. 12.

Ramifications that come as news to me:

Institutions of higher learning—universities, vocational schools, medical training schools—were demolished in the earthquake. An entire generation of students, those who survived the earthquake itself and whose skills would have aided the future of that poor country, have nowhere to go anymore.

From the New York Times, dateline Feb. 13, an article by Marc Lacey begins:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Christina Julme was scribbling notes in the back of a linguistics class at the State University of Haiti when, in an instant, everything went black.
“You’re in class, your professor is talking, you’re writing notes and then you’re buried alive,” said Ms. Julme, 23, recounting how her semester came to a halt on the afternoon of Jan. 12 when the earthquake turned her seven-story university into a towering pile of wreckage, with her deep inside.

Read more here.
Another group of survivors I haven’t considered until yesterday: Women and girls. In the struggle to obtain food, they’re less able to compete against stronger men. Living in streets and tent cities, they have little protection from sexual violence (one study found that over 70 percent of Haitian girls have been raped). And dead in the earthquake are leading women’s rights activists.

In “Cracks of Gender Inequality: Haitian Women After the Earthquake,” writer RĂ©gine Michelle Jean-Charles, explains:

“The circumstances under which many Haitians in Port-au-Prince, Leogane, Jacmel, Petit Goave and surrounding areas have been living since the earthquake present unique challenges to women and girls that must be addressed in relief efforts, recovery programs, and the re-construction of the state.”
Read more here.

Ellen deserves a salute for doing what she can to help circulate situations like this. It helps open our eyes, and gives those who pray specific needs for which they can pray.

What do you think?

Photo by Ellen Bolden

Willow over at Magpie Tales has published a poem or fiction prompt. Today's the day we post our offering. Here's the photo, and my offering:

A Woman’s Mettle

I don’t own any silver.
My purse is empty.
My life is all the silver
I will ever see
and it is tarnished
believe you me.

My lack of precious metal
doesn’t make me poor.
I’m finely wrought
if a little bit battered
and unlike glass
I haven’t shattered.

My shape is still as shapely
but with no filigree
the design as plain
as the day I was born.
It’s for working
that I was formed.

I’ve envied other houses
where rich people live.
They have gold and silver
but still I love my own.
Burnished, cared for,
I have really shone.



Mrsupole said...

Glad you got the gopher. They seem to be about as bad as my possums.

Very sad about what is going on there in Haiti and may continue to go on for a long time to come unless more help arrives.

Somehow I wish that we could save everyone in all of these countries that things like this continue to happen. Sadly Haiti is not the only place where these things happen, it is just the place people are currently focusing on right now. And I know we can only do what we can do, but we still have many countries in Africa, South American, Central America and Asia in which things like this happen. Heck we probably have things like this happen in urban cities all around the rest of the world.

When will it all change, I do not know, how can we all help it to change, I do not know if we will ever be able to help enough.

I can only hope that these disgusting men get their come-uppence someday in the not so far future. But I do wonder where are all the "good" men who should be protecting their women of Haiti and elsewhere. Why is it mostly "men" who do these bad things? And sometimes I do wish that there were a group of true "Amazon Women" who were able to go up against the "freaking bad men" of the world. I think that maybe that is just a result of feeling so helpless sometimes to help those we cannot.

I wish I had the answers.

God bless.

PS...I just saw your comment about how you were lost in Mrsupole's land, I guess with 4 blogs that can happen to someone, heck I get lost too. But here is Linda's (Crone and Bear It) site:


She is on wordpress and not blogspot and that is why it would bring you to my site when you just click on her name. Sometimes it does not always connect to wordpress blogs for some reason. Anyway I know she would be happy to hear from you.

And I did a lot of Haiku's from last weeks's TT mirror and just was wondering if you could let me know how I did. I know you have more experience then me and so I would love to learn from you, if that is okay.

God bless again.

Karen said...

Sadness piles up like the rubble.

Madison said...

I just wonder how long this is going to go on in Haiti and hope it doesn't end up like Katrina.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe that 70% of the women there have experienced rape.
I do believe it really, but it seems like why would God allow that? Although it's the same or worse in other 3rd world places.
People living in a way like animals. Very sad.


Brian Miller said...

a definite side of the story that gets overlooked...and the sociologist in me wonders about the ramifications into the next generations as well...

the walking man said...

I think that a woman's heart can protect her as easily as her hand can hold a gun to defend herself with. The women must begin to think defensively and put aside their traditional roles and bind together in female and children only camps and let the dogs eat each other.

There is no magic able to solve this but determined reason can replace it.

Shadow said...

the ramifications are far and deep.....

Sherry said...

A couple of days ago I was in a drugstore and I exchanged pleasantries with him. He said, "I really don't want to be here today" and I said "It could be worse, you could be in Haiti"!

Tall Kay said...

I'm sure the gopher is in a better place...yeah!

There are many miracles that continue to come out of Haiti as well. We need to keep praying.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

Since all my work thus far in life has been that of social work I of course immediately thought of women and how they will survive this and how they will create a new society? It is difficult and I so appreciate you keeping us in the know with this too, it's hard to wrap our heads around given that our lives are not in the earth quake zone, but we also must never forget that as much as we don't like it we are all connected.

xo to you

Prayer Girl said...

There is no way Haiti can end up like Katrina. New Orleans sent a winning team to the Super Bowl and celebrations went on in the streets of New Orleans 5 1/2 years after the hurricane hit. Certainly more work needs to be done there.

The devastation in Haiti is so catastrophic and the resources of their country are so bare. Even with help from countries like the US and others around the world - in my mind - there is no way they could rebuild physically or socially in any reasonable time....probably not in my lifetime.

God bless them and all those who help there and send aid.


Dianne said...

good news, bad news.
-you are a fabulous writer and should get paid.
-I cannot attend this week's reading, my first-born's birthday.
can you send me your reading?
Dear One,

willow said...

My lack of precious metal
doesn’t make me poor.

Ah, that says it all, doesn't it? Beautiful piece. Thanks for joining in, Chris!

Syd said...

I was wondering whether there is any place to send books. Our library at the Institute has lots of duplicate copies that perhaps could be donated. I would be willing to spearhead something like that if there was infrastructure to house the books. Note: Most are about marine science.

Brian Miller said...

sneaky...you added the magpie after my visit...wonderful poem...i like my own as well.

Vicki Lane said...

What a fine response to the prompt! I especially love the title -- perfect!

Magpie said...

I'm glad you prevailed over the gopher. There is hope here then.

Haiti continues to be in my prayers. What sad, sad conditions in which to try and live.

Your writing is beautiful.

Kim A. said...

My prayer is that Haiti becomes the jewel that it is as the world puts aside petty issues and really uses the remarkable power we have as humans to rebuild, repair and rejoice out of love.

::moment of silence for dead gopher::


The Muse said...

loving what you have...and being thankful for it...

feeling blessed...and moving forward to bless others...

that is indeed the silver i want to own.

and bravo for speaking out on haiti.

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

I just love your magpie. It caused me to repent a little just now, as I needed the reminder that "still I love my own...burnished, cared for..." Just lovely.

I'm late posting mine, but it is up. It's been hard seeing my nephew leave for Iraq, and what my sis has been going through.

Take care now, and I'll see you around.

Anonymous said...

Speechless....no words could share a grief when its overwhelming.

Loved the poem..."no filigree....as the day i was born" was very profound. ENjoyed reading it.