Sunday, March 25, 2018

Listen to the Kids

And you of tender years
Can't know the fears
That your elders grew by
And so please help
Them with your youth
They seek the truth
Before they can die. - "Teach Your Children", Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, 1970
Listen to the Kids

I took the photo "Listen to the Kids" because it seemed so apt -  with its verbiage, "YOU CORRUPT OLD ASSHOLES". And with some kids on the left and Central Park as a backdrop, it is so March for Our Lives and so New York.

The "kids" have inspired the generations that came before them, the jaded baby-boomers especially. But also the alphabet generations who comprise their parents.  Many of us now have hope for the future for the first time in years.

I couldn't march for health reasons. But I was determined to show up to make a stand. So I hung out on Central Park West near 82nd Street  while  single block by single block the cops released yet another wave of demonstrators into the throng. And I took photos.

Here are some of my favorites.

Like the children in most of the photos I took of kids, this child protester gave a big smile and was proud of her banner.

I like this photo of millenials taking a break from the March. They were handing out stickers, and seeing I am a hundred years old and must have looked exhausted, they asked me if I needed any help. One of them offered to, and took, a photo of me with the march as background. I am not posting it anywhere however as I really do look several decades older than I am.

This gutsy teenager was dressed to kill. Loved her summery dress and detachable winter sleeves. And of course her "FCK NRA" with the sight-in  target.

No truer words ...

Humorous banners were out in force. As were the chants. "Little hands, little feet". And the macabre "America Land of the Dead",  as well as the more serious "This is what democracy looks like", and "NRA! NRA! How many kids did you kill today?"

This multi-tasking boomer caught my eye. He wore his heart on his lapel. The headline of the newspaper he was reading was about our mayor Bill de Blasio's who is being accused of corruption - "Straw man spills beans on Blaz".

The Smiling Music Lover

Vote AND March for Our Lives

This protester told me that his sign was "a sign you have when you aren't having a sign",  and that he'd never made a sign before in his entire life. His protest button reads "GRAB 'EM BY THE MIDTERMS" and shows the Capitol building wearing a pink pussy hat.

Waiting their turn. Police released people into the march block by block, starting at 86th Street.

Like most pre-teen, this little girl was accompanied by her mother. Like the other little kids she was happy to smile for the camera.


Although some children had had help with their signs, many had colored in the lettering or added pictures or designs to them.

Lining u at the 82nd Street barricades, waiting to be let through. Crowd control. The police and organizers did an excellent job.

No words

The pensive boy

This little one made her own poster. "I March for MY To Life" with a drawing of a gunman firing at a "skool, with a "no" line through it". Ten out of ten!

A minimalist millennial. Man, wtf all lower case, on a piece of letter-size printer paper.

Standing with #EmmaGonzalez. As we all should.

I took about a hundred photos. A few of my favorites are on Instagram @kate_juliff

"Teach Your Children" is on YouTube HERE.

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Invalid - Three Poems

This blog post is dedicated to Laurel and Jai Ap - two millennials 
who, along with the Parkland students,
give me hope for the generation
who will hopefully have a world left to manage.

A Thousand Autumn Leaves
I haven't been my normal blogger self lately, having spent a couple of months in hospital. But I managed to escape, and amongst ghastly things like blood transfusions, morphine, and getting some of my internal organs rearranged, I am still in the land of the living. Just.

While there I wrote a few poems.

Here are three of them.

Life on Land - An Evolution

Ghost-like they creep
Ascending through the stages
Of walker, shuffle-stick and cane
Till complete independence is achieved.
Here in the half-life-hell of the intensive ward
where failure is success and
where "sans everything”
is the name of the game.

A Fragile Autumn Leaf from China

Peaceful and serene she lies there.
A fragile autumn leaf
past its prime.
In her hospital bed.

She hails from a village
near Beijing where she was born
the year that Tolstoy died, 1910.
She speaks only her local dialect.

On evenings she offers  food
to anyone who passes
and speaks to me gently
as if to wish me well.

Tonight I saw her sleeping.
dreaming, clasping a tissue
as if it were a fan
and she was shyly greeting
her lover in nineteen twenty six.

Social Integration
(Before you can leave rehabilitation, you have to show you can walk on the sidewalks of Manhattan. It is called "Social Integration"!)

My first day under the sky
tentatively treading
on the uneven streets of New York.
They make me use a cane.
They set milestones every few meters.
I used to walk a mile
in these shoes.
Such is the winter of my discontent.

That's all folks!