[Last month, at the behest of my friend Colleen Wainwright, I made a contribution to an organization called WriteGirl that helps young women become skilled writers, through writing workshops and by partnering them with professional women writers. Colleen’s campaign offered several rewards for contributions, and I chose the option to have a poem written for me by one of the WriteGirls on a topic of my choice. I asked that the topic be Their message to my generation, considering what a mess we have made of the world we are leaving to them. I told them that if this was too difficult an assignment, that was fine — they did not need to send me anything. Earlier this week I received the poem that follows from 21-year-old Portia Jeri Frazier (photo above). Needless to say, I was dumbstruck — well-crafted, clever, creative, exhibiting the skills of an exceptionally competent and experienced poet. Portia has kindly given me permission to repost the poem on my blog along with her photo. She of course retains all rights to this work, which should not be reproduced further without her permission. If you’d like to see more of Portia’s, and other WriteGirls’ work, they have several award-winning anthologies you can buy. Thanks, Portia, and Colleen, and all the WriteGirls and their mentors, for your important and inspiring work.]
Me & You
by Portia Jeri Frazier
To measure a generation against the vastness of the earth,
We humans overestimate our own worth.
The earth is without time, holds deeper memory.
It has survived change, brought about by misery.
How many species have risen on her skin?
How many have passed, taken back within?
Our danger is to ourselves, and to our animal kin.
The earth, she can shed us, and have new life begin.
Effects are transient, with no lasting impression.
I do appreciate your confession.
There is no blame, no finger to be pointed.
No need for new heirs to be anointed.
Her strength is recovery, however long that may be.
No fear in the sky, or in the rising sea.
Sun heats the water. It rises into steam.
Collected in clouds, then rain as in a dream.
The heat builds, and ice melts as before.
The earth tilts her axis toward a new shore.
She is the master of juggling,
Nothing new in struggling.
Here to evolve
Me and you,
Do what is right,
Change what matters.
Decide for yourself,
Leave blame in tatters.
Here to evolve
Me and you.