Tag Archives: opression


The prompt today was “nerve.” Here is where that one word led my mind.
Version 3


I admire those who have the courage and the verve
to choose a filmy cut-out dress that shows off every curve,
for I admit I have neither the figure nor the nerve!

  There is no scale for bravery, no ruler and no gauge
for those who memorize their lines and stand up on the stage
reciting without benefit of the printed page.

Some men face off lions in the lion’s den,
and women face off dangers from the selfsame men,
while I sit home and face the dangers of the brush and pen.

Some may find their courage in the finest wine––
others at the bottom of a tankard or a stein,
but my imagination is where I go for mine.

Conviction is so easy when it’s written on a page
unhindered by imprisonment in cell, compound or cage
or the threat of facing zealotry’s cruel rage.

Some of us are lucky in the details of our birth:
our health, our parents  and our looks–our beauty and our girth,
but most of all the place that we are given on this earth.

There are others not so lucky, born to famine and to drought
or to repressive governments where those who have the clout
give no room for self-expression or enquiry or doubt.

This is where it takes pure nerve to stand up to the strong
who’ve exercised the cruelty of power for so long
to say at threat of life and limb what you feel is wrong.

I say these things in safety from a place that is secure.
I need not rage in silence.  I need not be demure
or face punishment for thoughts that others deem impure.

I’m lucky in the problems that I face from day to day,
for nothing that I want to drink or wear or do or say
is labeled with a “thou shalt not” or listed as a “Nay.”

I admire those who have the courage and the verve
to speak truth as they see it and face the cruel blade’s curve,
for I admit I have neither the valor nor the nerve!

Version 2

(For Raif Badawi– sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashings for writing his beliefs on his blog and Ali Mohamed al-Nimr, Dawood al-Marhoon, and Abdullah al-Zaherall minors sentenced  to death by beheading simply for attending demonstrations.  Incredible to realize I would be put to death for what I am saying right now if I lived in Saudi Arabia or Egypt.)




The Prompt–Generous Genies: Remember those lovely genies who grant wishes? Well, you’re one and you’ve just been emancipated from your restrictive lamp. You can give your three wishes to whomever you want. Who do you give your three wishes to, and why?

I would give my three wishes to Raif Badawi in hopes that he would know how to use them to first free himself and then to free the people of his country from oppression and perhaps use the third to end the reign of terror of Isis. Since Mark Aldrich (in his blog) started publicizing the course of Raif’s life in prison and his sentencing to 1,000 lashes for simply stating his beliefs, this young man has been much in my thoughts.  It seems to me that he might be better equipped than the world’s western leaders to figure out a solution to the threats we all feel, but certainly not as personally as he does.