Think about the last month, have you had a strong reaction to a news items that you have read or heard? It might have been politics, a local event, a war or a peace treaty, something happening now.
There is a saying, "Time exists so everything doesn't happen at once. Space exists so that everything doesn't happen to me."
News can be happening now in a completely different part of the world but it can still affect us deeply because it is something that we relate to or is happening to people we identify with or care about.
There is a rising genera of poetry that can be an outlet for poetic outrage or an expression of pleasure when something good happens in the world.
It is called News poetry, current events poems or response poetry.
Today one of my poems was posted on Poetry/24, The News is the Muse.
I wrote about a frog and myself because CNN compared me to a frog in the boiling water of climate change.
Mohamed Maine Seed
The proud son of Somali immigrants
traversed oceans and continents to escape
brutal civil war
seeking the American dream
for themselves and their children
discrimination, poverty and violence
struggling to understand
who I am
where do I belong
we were too Somali
the American Dream out of reach
but incredible friends and mentors
pushed me to think otherwise
I have a place in this country
with good people
and the freedom to be who you are
in a better place
I hope one day to welcome
the schoolgirl from Syria
the young entrepreneur from Iraq
the old poet from Somalia
where we have a Somali proverb
when we see injustice
“Dhiiga kuma dhaqaaqo?”
“Does your blood not move?”
I am moved. Capturing a similar dream for all Africa, Nelson Mandela said, “I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself.”
[Read more at SpokaneFavs] Safety, Dreams and Peace of Mind ... How good we feel when we wake up is correlated with how well we sleep and the contents of our dreams.
Utzil in Kiche
"Utzil" (peace, blessing, goodness), "Jamaril" (peace, calm), "Uxlanem" (peace) (n), "Uxlanibal" (peace of mind or of the soul) (n), "K’uxajTz’ininik" (be peaceful) (v), "Q’atal tzij" (justice of the peace) (n) in Kiche spoken in Guatemala (Momostenango (as well as its dependent Aldeas of Canquixaja, Nimsitu, and Panca) and Totonicapan (and its dependent Aldeas of Nimasak and Cerro de Oro).
Kiche —"Utzil" (peace, blessing, goodness)—Guatemala (Momostenango (as well as its dependent Aldeas of Canquixaja, Nimsitu, and Panca) and Totonicapan (and its dependent Aldeas of Nimasak and Cerro de Oro).
Planning Peaceful Children
Children are not usually
associated with peace "utzil"
in Kiche, an indigenous language of Guatemala
children, kids or the ritual name for good things of marriage
is "wuqub utzil wuqub chomal"
"wuqub" mean seven as if seven is the perfect number of children
seven children is "wuqk’al"
it also refers to constelations
the Big Dipper is "wuqüb kaqix"
the Great Bear (Ursa Major) is "wuqüb kaqix"
and a week is "wuqubix apan"
"chi" means to multiply
as in 7 x 7 "wuqüb chi wuqub"
so perhaps "wuqub utzil wuqub"
means 7 children bring
peace, blessings, goodness
Utzil has other meanings as well
"utzil -anima’" is charity
while favor is "utzil" or "toq’ob"
and to keep asking for a favor is "xermij ri utzil"
health is "utzil" or "utzil wächaj"
and "utzirisaj" is heal
the final word in the phrase
"chomal" means plan
as if planning for peace brings seven kinds of peace
for ourselves and children
fatness is "q’onq’otem" or "chomal"
perhaps also abundance
as if a peaceful life is one with plenty
and the most useful finger is the thumb "u-chomal q’abaj"
meeting is "molim ib" or "chomal" or "mulim ib"
and a tree trunk is "chomal che’", "kuta’mil", "che’al" or "kuta’m che’"
as if life is better when we plan to walk in the forest
breathing the oxygen provided by the 7 x 7 trees
Alaafia in Yoruba (Nigeria)
"Àlàáfíà" (peace, sound health or well-being), "Ìrèlè" (peace), "Itunu" (peace of mind), "Ifaiya" (alignment, as being aligned with one's destiny or ultimate purpose in life), "Ifaiya bale" (peace, the practice of peaceful volition and absolute non-violence) in Yoruba (yor), Yorùbá or Youruba spoken in Nigeria, Benin, Togo (West Africa).
From the Tongue to Ultimate Purpose in Yoruba (Nigeria)
We have a saying in Yoruba spoken in Nigeria
"In order to bring about peace,
first bring peace to your tongue"
There is peace "àlàáfíà" and "ìrèlè"
and other Yoruba words
explain the concept of peace
"idera" or comfort
"itunu" peace of mind
"itelorun" conveys contentment
"ifokanbale" as the mind rests in a place without worry
"àlàáfíà" translated peace as well as sound health or well-being
and a beautiful word "ifaiya bale" succinctly mulling over
the practice of peaceful volition and absolute non-violence
integrated into this gentle peaceful word
"ifaiya" is alignment as in being aligned with one's destiny
or ultimate purpose in life
as if only through peace
we each attain purpose in our life
Notice the relationship today between the things you say and your sense of accomplishment.
Peace Word of the Day
#peace #brain #Alzheimers #memory #travel #language #exercises #health
In his translation of the Islamic Sufi poet, Rumi, Coleman Barks says, “Beyond our ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’ doesn’t make sense anymore.”
I am trying to find that place in my life in Spokane.
In Ethics of the Fathers 1:14, Rabbi Hillel said, “If I am not for me, who is for me; and if I am (only) for myself, what am I. And if not now, when?”
Now is the time to be for myself and to open my eyes to those around me. I say it like a mantra these days.
For over fifty years Jews and Muslims have lived side by side in Spokane, Washington. In the last couple of years both communities have invited their neighbors to events at the synagogue and Islamic center. Meet the Neighbors programming, Kosher Dinner, Friday Night Services and Prayers, Ramadan Dinner and Prayers. We are each learning and making space for the each other to see that we can't be only for ourselves.
Last year Jews and Muslims created a chapter of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom. Jews from the Reform Congregation Emanu-el, the Conservative Temple Beth Shalom and unaffiliated Jews joined with women from the all parts of the Muslim community. Each month we eat together and talk and get to know each other. Politics in the United States and in the Middle East are not something we discuss and yet for myself politics and the hate rhetoric in this country today are the reason I have joined a group meant to foster understanding and respect. What I see around me in the news has galvanized me, even compelled me to look outside myself and join communities that encourage peace and acceptance.
This May both communities are celebrating and learning about each others' approach to God. I recently got an email from the national founders of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, Sheryl Olitzky and Atiya Aftab.
"For Muslims, the month of Ramadan has begun—a time of fasting, prayer, charity, and contemplation. Our fasts during Ramadan are a means to strengthen our faith and work towards the betterment of our society. We wish our Muslim brothers and sisters, Ramadan Mubarak, to have a blessed Ramadan.
For Jews, we observe the holiday of Shavuot—an ancient harvest festival that also marked the revelation of Torah at Mt Sinai. It has been said that the entire Torah exists for one purpose, to establish justice. As we celebrate the giving of Torah, we recommit ourselves to the repair of the world. To our Jewish sisters and brothers, we send a greeting of Chag Sameach, to have a joyous festival."
The first synagogue in the state opened in Spokane in 1892, but the city's Jewish history began even before the little village of Spokane Falls existed. History Link put it this way: "In 1879, Indians told Simon Berg, the first known Jewish resident, that he was not the first "egg-eater" they had met. Apparently, other Jewish traders observing the kosher dietary rules had visited before. Berg built a store in tiny Spokane Falls in 1879 and by 1885 he had been joined by at least a dozen other Jewish merchants. The town's first Jewish services were held in a private home in 1885. In 1890, the Jewish community met to organize a Reform congregation, called Congregation Emanu-El. On September 14, 1892, they dedicated their synagogue, Temple Emanu-El, the first in the state by four days, since Seattle's Ohaveth Sholum opened within a week. Jewish merchants and financiers played a key role in the development of Spokane during its early decades. A second congregation, the Orthodox Keneseth Israel congregation was formed in 1901. Both congregations thrived until they merged in 1966 and built a new, modern temple, the Temple Beth Shalom. It remains the center of Spokane's Jewish community today. The city's Jewish population has remained steady through the decade, yet is estimated at less than 1 percent of the metropolitan area's population."
Spokane Islamic Center was founded in 1979 and serves over 1100 Muslims in the Greater Spokane area. Our community is very diverse and is composed of various ethnicity and backgrounds including, Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Croatia, England, Egypt, Gambia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Kashmir, Kenya, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, Palestine, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Senegal, Singapore, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United States, Yemen, and more.
Both the Jewish community and the Muslim community in Spokane have been the target of hate crimes in the last couple of years. But rather than dwelling in that victim place we are finding that sweet green grass where we can enjoy each other.
Originally Posted in Our Community of Humanity at Inner Child Magazine
Thriving on the Beauty in Diversity
There is value in enjoying our differences and similarities. When everyone is the same life is boring. Our brains are not excited if all we can see is one kind of tree or all we can buy is one kind of car, which is the same as everyone else's. Sameness also increases competition, which if you think about it — what is competition ... the differentiation of self as better than another in some way. In order to win you have to be different.
If we value differences then everyone can win in some way. Everyone can be better or best adapted to a particular task. What are you good at? What can you be the best at?
The biological value of diversity is survival. The more different kinds of birds, butterflies, or dinosaurs there are when the environment shifts or changes, the more likely one, two, or more will survive. If everyone is the same and the environment becomes too cold, too hot, too blue, the wrong mix of air, or too much water, none will survive. But if some people, animals, butterflies, or bacteria do better in the cold, hot, blue, or wet environment then they can survive and life continues.
An example of this kind of diversity is Charles Darwin's finches. He studied all the different types of beaks on the finches of the Galapagos Island. Each beak seems designed for a particular kind of food, whether for sucking nectar from a bright purple flower, chewing tiny protein filled seeds, catching mosquitoes on the fly, or picking grubs out from under layers of fractal shaped tree bark. We don't even have to agree on whether these differences evolved or were created in order to enjoy the beauty and practicality of being different. If all the birds are eating exactly the same kind of food, they will run out. There is enough for a greater number of birds in a diverse environment with a variety of birds skilled in finding and eating different things.
You could look at the extinction of dinosaurs and say, they were too similar in their needs for food, temperature, air, etc. Their environment changed and none survived, but some creatures, like horseshoe crabs did survive from a time before the era of dinosaurs. The horseshoe crabs were different from dinosaurs in the ways that mattered in the new environment and they survived. They thrive in coastal water today.
There are lots of ways in which we enjoy diversity. Many people like to see lots of different kinds of butterflies in a ripe summer field. True, some people try to kill the white cabbage butterflies, which eats vegetable crops, but it is the caterpillar that does the most damage. The adult butterfly feeds on nectar and pollinates flowers. Some people don't believe in the giant blue morpho butterfly of Latin America, it is so rare and elusive. Some people even hate butterflies and find them creepy. Other people study certain types of butterflies and ignore the rest. You may have a favorite kind of butterfly but none of this changes the benefit to butterfly survival of having lots of different kinds of butterflies.
In this world we have a diversity of religions and faith traditions. Perhaps there is a survival value in the variety of ways to appreciate life, community, and nature. Perhaps there is some other kind of value in having a diverse and pluralistic society. Different religions came out of a wide variety of different cultures and environments. It seems odd to think of one as better than another or more valuable than another. The religions of the world are just different from one another and each appeals to certain people and doesn't appeal to others.
There is a Japanese saying, "There are many ways to get to the top of Mount Fuji." Let us appreciate the beauty, even of what we don't understand or enjoy on other levels. It is simply enough that someone enjoys the beauty of what exists.
A found poem is a poem crafted from the words of another—a quote from someone famous or words found on a scrap of paper written by someone unknown to the poet. A found poem can be teased out of the words of a friend or a colleague, occasionally a child. Sometime the words are written out in the same order as they are found, sometimes the order is changed, fine tuned, or adjusted. The words are changed, made the poet's own by what is taken and what is left behind. Choices are made and that makes all the difference.
Einstein's Peace, a Found Poem
Learn from yesterday
peace cannot be kept by force
achieve by understanding
Live for today
look deep into nature
do not stop questioning
hope for tomorrow's
will take you everywhere
Martin Luther King's Daybreak of Peace, a Found Poem
Starless midnight of racism and war
in the silence of good people
come here on different ships
Change the system
justice, love, peace
become a reality
in the bright daybreak of peace
the final word
Walk in the light of creativity
stand at times of challenge
work for our freedom
in the same boat now
Virginia Woolf's Peace Poetry, a Found Poem
You cannot find peace
by avoiding life
in every secret of a writer's soul
Language and poetry
friends and beauty
riot and extravagance
laughter and anguish
Cutting the heart asunder
value life more
Excepts from Year of the Poet August 2015 Volume
[See All 5 Years of Volumes]
Inspired by Gandhi, International Writing Competition 2014-2015 by Anne Cockitt (Editor), Geoff Barnbrook (Editor), William Rhind (Foreword), Buzby Bywater (Illustrator), Piali Ray (Introduction), Authors: Kimberly Burnham, Jamie John, Archita Mittra, Anthony Itopa Obaro, Ishani Pant, Sohaib Mirza, Ishani Banerji, Ankit Malhotra, Erolina Rodrigues, and Jay Malaga. Sampad South Asian Arts Publishing
Gandhi, A Found Poem by Kimberly Burnham (Winning Entry)
there is love
there is life
health is real wealth
Learn as if you
must be the change
happiness is when you think
forgiveness is the attribute
Lose yourself in service
wonders of a sunset
beauty of the moon,
worship of the creator
then you win
what you do are in harmony
1982 graduates Brigham Young University, 1988 authors a chapter in Guide to Gracious Lesbian Living signing only her first name. 2004 denied a marriage license. 2018 marries the love of her life. - Kimberly Burnham
An aphorisms is a terse saying embodying a general truth or astute observation.
Paper Nautilus (2012) An anthology of poetry, short stories, aphorisms and more.. by Lisa Mangini (Editor, Author), Joey Gould (Editor, Author), Kimberly Burnham (Author, Poet), Paul David Adkins (Author), Jeffrey Alfier (Author), Martin Balgach (Author), Janet Barry (Author), Kristin Berkey-Abbott (Author), George Bishop (Author), CL Bledsoe (Author), and Sheri L Wright (Illustrator). Jason Primm, S D Stewart, Duncan Campbell, Melissa Cannon, Darren Cormier, Matthew Denvir, Jacob Edwards, Laren Eyler, Jessica Forcier, Amy Gentile, Jason Hibbitts, Marianna Hofer, Nicole Hospital-Medina, Ann Howells, Marcia Hurlow, Jennifer Roth Jackson, Susan Johnson, Hillary Kobernick, Jean LeBlanc, Kathryn Locey, Edward Manai, Karen McPherson, Kelly McQuain, Zackary Medlin, Ann E Michael, Jesse Minkert, Mack J Mitchell, Brian D Morrison, Rich Murphy, Mike Petrik, Will Pewitt, Frederick Pollack, Melissa Reddish, Stephen R Roberts, Jay Rubin, Michael Saleman, Shae Savoy, Carolyn Foster Segal, Amanda Sibernagel, Gerald Solomon, Jessica Stilling, Doc Suds, Wally Swist, Allison Tobey, Brendan Walsh, William Wells, William Kelley Woolfitt, Mike Wright, and Changming Yuan,
Lisa Mangini (Editor), Kimberly Burnham, Jason Primm, S D Stewart, Paul David Adkins, Jefferey Alfier, Martin Balgach, Janet Barry, Kristen Berkey-Abbott, George Bishop, C L Bledsoe, Duncan Campbell, Melissa Cannon, Darren Cormier, Matthew Denvir, Jacob Edwards, Laren Eyler, Jessica Forcier, Amy Gentile, Jason Hibbitts, Marianna Hofer, Nicole Hospital-Medina, Ann Howells, Marcia Hurlow, Jennifer Roth Jackson, Susan Johnson, Hillary Kobernick, Jean LeBlanc, Kathryn Locey, Edward Manai, Karen McPherson, Kelly McQuain, Zackary Medlin, Ann E Michael, Jesse Minkert, Mack J Mitchell, Brian D Morrison, Rich Murphy, Mike Petrik, Will Pewitt, Frederick Pollack, Melissa Reddish, Stephen R Roberts, Jay Rubin, Michael Saleman, Shae Savoy, Carolyn Foster Segal, Amanda Sibernagel, Gerald Solomon, Jessica Stilling, Doc Suds, Wally Swist, Allison Tobey, Brendan Walsh, William Wells, William Kelley Woolfitt, Mike Wright, Changming Yuan, Sheri L Wright. (2012). Paper Nautilus 2012. Published by Paper Nautilus.
Not Taking Advantage of Your Amazon Author's page?
Kimberly Burnham helps authors get their books out into the world more broadly by improving their free Amazon Author's page and book pages, posting a book review on her blog and on her LinkedIn Pulse blog (over 12,000 followers) Promotion packages start at $50. Contact her at NerveWhisperer@gmail.com. See her Amazon Author's Page.
See her list of publications including her latest book of brain health meditations, Awakenings: Peace Dictionary, Language and the Mind, a Daily Brain Health Program.
Designed to enhance memory, creativity, and inner peace, Awakenings: Peace,Dictionary, Language and the Mind, a Daily Brain Health Program is available free of charge as a Kindle eBook on February 14-15, 2019. [Click Here].
Please share and write a review on Amazon.
I am looking for guest blog opportunities and a position as poet-in-residence. My current project is writing dictionary poems using words in different languages for the English word "peace." You can read some of my poems on Poemhunter .
As poet-in-residence I would write poems on different words in different languages and broadcast them throughout the social media blogosphere. Each poem would link back to your site where the word or language appeared.
I would expect some sort of stipend and a six month to one year placement. Please contact me for details if your organization is interested in having a poet-in-residence to help get your message out. Nervewhisperer@gmial.com
Buy the print or eBook, review Awakenings then contact Kimberly for a free 20 minute brain health consultation. Email or Phone
(Regular rates $120 per hour or 10 sessions for $650.)