Wednesday, September 6, 2017

"He Wasn't Cruel"

He wasn’t cruel—
         But he owned her
Possessed her body
         (not her soul-for she had none)
She was a toy for his whims
         A reward dangled before his sons
He demeaned her through his subjugation
         Degraded her
                  Kept her impotent and isolated
Took her hope and sold it to the highest bidder

He wasn’t cruel—
         But he denied her the power of choice
Stripped her to the bones of despair
         Controlled her mind
                  Consumed her life

         He wasn’t cruel

Copyright 2017 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

“What’s in a Name?”

         I unexpectedly found myself deep in the morass of racism last night when one of my in-laws posted a Wikipedia link about Robert E. Lee. She proclaimed that one of our local high schools bearing the general’s name shouldn’t have its name changed.
        Her argument was that Lee fought honorably for “states’ rights.” When I and another family member pointed out that he led secession from the United States to protect the immoral act of slavery, she countered that he struggled with the issue and felt states’ rights to allow citizens to own slaves superseded the rights of those slaves. She rationalized that slavery wasn’t even the main issue, but that economics drove the states to draw up their declarations. Then she added the statement that she’d read somewhere that Lee wasn’t cruel to his slaves.
         Think about this.
         In the year 2017, someone I know has stated that states should have had the right to maintain the institution of slavery.
         My brain went bat-shit crazy! Fortunately, the other person in our Facebook exchange began attaching very accurate sites with concrete evidence—the actual Declaration of Secession for each Confederate state. Every single state either referred to slavery directly, or inferred to the institution by mentioning “property.”
         I’ve read tons of complaints recently about the “negativity” that overwhelms social media; and how people want their feed to be positive and up-beat. I’ve had a rule over the years that I don’t go onto someone’s page and pick fights, but when I saw that pile of shit last night I realized I cannot and will not stay silent.
         To be truthful, until now I’ve never given much thought to the names of any of our local high schools, but honest reflection tells me that our Robert E. Lee High School should have borne the name of someone like Grant. These Confederate leaders fought for a dishonorable and immoral cause—and they lost.
         The proliferation of tributes to these men suggests agreement with their beliefs by those of us who’ve allowed this practice to continue. The time to correct this misconception is now. The mindset that these men heroically fought for a noble cause needs to be countered with diligence and fortitude. 

Copyright 2017 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

"This Week Sucks"

I've lost my "voice" this time around. You know me. I pull together thoughts and words and blog about it. This time, I feel like anything I say is inadequate. I've always wanted to live my life true to my belief that our world can change. It can be better.
Right now, I feel grief. This new wave of racism, so obviously condoned by too many people, killed something within me.
Then the other day, I learned of the suicide of a friend bound with me through Huntington's disease. The all-sacrificing role of a caregiver can pull you into dark places as you helplessly watch someone you love battle and lose to a terminal illness. You get thrown back into living only because of her death. Some caregivers dive into advocacy. I work, partly to fill the hours of the days left open after my mother died. My friend, who spent years in caring for his beloved wife, withdrew into his grief until . . .

And so, this week sucks.

Copyright 2017 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Sunday, August 13, 2017

"His Way"

pseudo intellectualism     
demanding attention with parasitic tenacity    
irrational and illogical    
he vomits     
spewing intolerance and injustice under the guise of patriotism    
he infects and incites    
taking pleasure in belittling    
priding himself on accomplishments borne by breaking others    
he kills    
in the hearts of those he can’t love    
demeaning those who need because he cannot give    

 Copyright 2012 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Thursday, July 13, 2017

“Long Days and Late Nights: The Rat Tale Continues”

Right now, my muddled brain functions on only three hours of sleep. I have roof rats to blame for this late-to-bed and early-to-rise schedule. Yesterday morning, one of my husband’s live traps captured a youth, which he released into our park.  Before our exterminator arrived yesterday, my son and I decided to investigate each room in our house. We followed a trail of dropped dogfood into one spare room. Its black floors hid the fact that at least one critter had supped in the room on several occasions. We found the three other bedrooms and bathrooms totally free of rat sign, but in previous days I’d cleaned signs of visitation in the family room, living room, drum room, and laundry.
         My son shifted an étagère and found foliage from one of our plants stuffed under it. A rustling drew his attention to a large basket filled with silk ferns—and a roof rat! Their scuffle resulted in the rat darting and dashing between the piano and the wall and escaping into the kitchen where she dove under the dishwasher.
         Around this time, the exterminator arrived. He hustled and bustled around the house, placing a variety of traps in the different spots we pointed out to him. He also set two large poison traps outside. As he placed one by the pond, he spotted the female, so we know that this family has their custom entrance to our home. He suggested to my husband that we continue with our live traps, and David left immediately to buy supplies to build bigger traps.
         When David returned, I convinced him that we needed to move around the living room to clean and disinfect every surface. He went to bed around 11:00, but I stayed on task well after midnight. Then my son and I plotted our strategy for today’s battle. I will continue wiping down with Clorox wipes every item the varmints could have possibly contacted. For this morning, I’ll concentrate on the Roland drum kit and maybe summon energy to dive into the laundry room. When my son’s available, he’ll help empty out the spare bedroom. We’ll clean, disinfect and reorganize as we go.
         Because the rats have forced us into this cleaning frenzy, we will also retile the room before reassembling it. More long days and late nights ahead.

Copyright 2017 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

“Coping in Trumpland?”

         I didn’t plan this journey into Trumpland. I didn’t put this nightmare adventure park on my Bucket List of places that I must travel to before I die. Instead, the people around me abducted me. With hands cuffed, feet bound, and mouth duct taped, they forced me to join them.
         I kick and scream and struggle. I resist.
         I don’t want to be here.

        Trumpland feeds fears.
        Trumpland belittles kindness.
         Trumpland strips dignity from its citizens.
         Trumpland operates as a for profit business.
         Trumpland makes up its own rules.

         If I complain, insults thunder over me and drown out my protests.
“Stupid Snowflake.”
“Mouthy Bitch.”
“Worthless Cunt.”

I respond with phone calls and emails, petitions and protest rallies.
I focus on the one thing I know best—educating those who do not understand. That means I spend hours each day reading, fact checking, and sharing.
I do this because I want to go home.

Copyright 2017 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman