Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Starburst - a poem

Starburst!  Purple in the sky

Millenium spray far and wide

Particles, each becomes a new star

With a new destination

Sparkle above from the dark abyss

The precious light radiates from

A million new stars granting

 Light and Hope to those below

Copyright (c)  2013  Suzannah Wolf Walker  all rights reserved

Mother Nature - an haiku

What world abounds here?

Electrifying colors burst

Mother Nature, Queen

Copyright (c)  2013  Suzannah Wolf Walker   all rights reserved

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Dreams - a poem

What dreams are these
that float into my leary

Soft and filmy they rise
so I can see just enough through the mist
as I sleep; the wondrous forms

Merge and melt together
blurred and diaphanous they are as
I reach to touch and to hold them

They are waif-like ghosts gently
reminding me of some far away persons,
place and time; impossible to grasp

Entreating me to follow and join them
on their quest in the billowy fog
I touch only to feel them disintegrating between my fingers

Everywhere I turn, befuddlement
as the phantasmas glide past
my stupor, my trance-like state

A cellulose quest just an illusion
as a sheer blanket descents to cover 
my translucent dreams

Lulling me back into a warm slumber
that is dark, dangerous and deep
What dreams are these . . . .

Copyright (c)  2013  Suzannah Wolf Walker   all rights reserved

Monday, July 29, 2013

Nature's beauty - an haiku

Crisp, fresh, morning air

Mountains mirrored; placid lake

Waterfall cascades

Copyright (c)  2013  Suzannah Wolf Walker  all rights reserved

Friday, July 26, 2013

Beautiful Nature - a photo essay

Monarch butterflies arrive from their incredible journey   (
Pristine lake and waterfall   (
Lovely lilacs give off their wonderful scent    (
Walk barefoot through the cool grass      (
In the Swiss Alps   (
Nepal and the Himalayan Mountains     (
Wildflowers in a meadow   (
Calla lilies in the sunshine.   (

Sweet gardinia scents 
Lovely butterflies are here!   (
Crystal clear waters of the Caribbean   (
Butterflies and nectar, ahhh!  (

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sandcastles of our Minds - a poem

The packed cool, wet sand builds a turret
on the side of a sandcastle

The other side now must be
balanced with another turret

Slowly the sandcastle takes the shape
of the castle of the dreams of the lady so fair

Balanced perfectly as a fortress that holds
the hope, prayers, and dreams of the lady

What impenetrable, strong walls it has 
never to be breached with pain, sadness, or grief

The towers stand tall and strong
holding the enemies envy and jealousy

Captive and unable to ignite
their conflagration of destruction

Oh, how the dungeon holds prisoner
greed, pride and power unable to be unleashed

The walls stand packed firm in the hot sun as in dreams
the walls and moat protect the encroaching tide

But, alas, no matter how strong the walls
the unrelenting tide rolls in and onto the sand castle of the mind

The continuing running tide destroys the walls, towers and dungeons
unleashing the pain, sadness, and grief; the greed, pride and power

Of the world onto the inhabitants who cannot
escape the the invading hoards of enemies

A dreamy sandcastle but a brief memory now
as the sandcastles of our minds

Now consumed with the travesties unleashed
on a castle made of sand.

Copyright (c)  2013  Suzannah Wolf Walker   all rights reserved

Friday, July 19, 2013

Trayvon Martin - not completely innocent

While we all grieve for Trayvon Martin and his family in his tragic death, I am tired of hearing of "innocent Trayvon" in this incident with George Zimmerman.

Trayvon is not completely innocent in this situation.   Yes, George Zimmerman should not have profiled him and he should have stayed in the car.  And, I do believe George Zimmerman profiled Trayvon, perhaps not racially, but certainly criminally. Zimmerman should not have done this.  Martin was just a teenager walking home from the store.  He was not doing anything wrong at this point in the situation.

However, the situation changed when Martin chose to "sucker-punch" Zimmerman in the face breaking and blooding his nose and bashing his head on the concrete.  These are not the actions of an innocent child.  These are the actions of a teenager trying to kill another human being.  

Martin's mother says he was not a confrontational person, but he certainly confronted Zimmerman in this situation.  It was Zimmerman that was beaten and bloody, not Martin.  While it is tragic that Zimmerman felt the only way to defend himself was with a gun thus fatally shooting Martin, Zimmerman was justified in defending himself any way he could.  

It is interesting that while Zimmerman's background and school records were entered into evidence, we never had any background or school records of Martin entered into evidence.  That is because Martin's school records included suspensions from school, fighting, and photos of him holding guns.  As an underage teenager, Martin is breaking the law by handling or having a gun in his possession.  None of this was permitted to be entered as evidence in the trial.

While I agree, that only this incident should be looked at in trial, the prosecution should not have been able to bring in evidence of Zimmerman's past school records if Martin's were not allowed in.  Of course, the prosecution didn't want any school records of Martin allowed in because it would have shown Martin as violent.

While we grieve for a teenager that is dead and gone from his family, this teenager was not completely innocent in this tragic situation.  Martin could have crossed the street and walked there.  Martin had a cell phone.  Why didn't he call 911 or his parents for help if he felt a 'creepy' man was following him?  

Both Zimmerman and Martin could have avoided this confrontation.  Yes, Zimmerman was the adult, but what could he do once Martin attacked him?
Each of the combatants is responsible for this tragic death.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

George Zimmerman Acquitted

George Zimmerman has been acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin and it is a tragedy of monumental proportions.   It is with a heavy heart that we received the jury's decision of acquittal. There is no rejoicing in this verdict or any happiness because a 17-year old boy is dead. We mourn the death of Trayvon Martin and extend our condolences to the Martin family.

However, the jury did make the correct decision in this case.  George Zimmerman did deserve to be acquitted.  Whether we want to admit it or not, this case was racial right from the beginning.

I understand George Zimmerman's frustration in young African-American men recently burglarizing and frightening the people living in their housing development.  I understand George Zimmerman wondering about Trayvon Martin walking along and looking at the houses as he walked.  I can understand Zimmerman's concern that night.

I can understand a 17-year-old African-American boy walking home from the 7/11 with his Skittles and can of pop/juice.  What is tragic is that both Martin and Zimmerman looked at each other with suspicion, racial biases and profiling of each other.  Zimmerman felt he needed to call the police and shadow the young boy.  Martin felt he needed to confront the man shadowing him, rather than just ignoring him and continuing home.

Although Zimmerman was zealous in his neighborhood watch position, it was a position that the gated community he lived in wanted him to do.  They were sick of recent break-ins all done by African-Americans. Martin did not like being shadowed by a "creepy *** cracker,"  and Zimmerman didn't like the presence of "f****** punks" or  "a****** punks" bothering his neighborhood.  Each person involved here was using negative and profane language and words about the other to the people they were talking to on their cell phones.  Each viewed the other with suspicion.

Yes, Zimmerman should have stayed in the car and Martin should have continued walking home instead of hiding out to attack Zimmerman.  And, of course, Martin had no idea Zimmerman was armed with a gun and Zimmerman had no idea Martin was not armed with a gun.

It was Martin who threw the first punch and it was Zimmerman with the broken and bloody nose.   It was Zimmerman with the bloody cut up head and it was Martin who used the concrete walk as a weapon that night by bashing Zimmerman's head on the concrete walk.

If someone was bashing my head on the concrete, I'd probably pull out a gun I was armed with and shoot in self-defense also.  Although Zimmerman was heavier, he was shorter than Martin.  Although Martin was slender or thin, he was taller than Zimmerman.  Yes, Zimmerman could feel overpowered by Martin and apparently he did.

It is tragic that Zimmerman was armed with a gun.  Hence, my stance that we need gun control in this country.   But, in this situation, if Zimmerman was not armed with a gun to defend himself, then Martin could have killed Zimmerman when he bashed his head on the concrete.  There are so many 'what if's' and 'could have's' in this case.

Trayvon Martin threw the first punch in a violent action and then ensued in a fighting confrontation,  and yes, George Zimmerman had to defend himself the best he could.  It is sad that a gun was the best he could do, but I do not fault Zimmerman for defending himself any way he had available to him.  It is sad that Zimmerman had the uneven advantage of a gun and all Martin had were Skittles, but Zimmerman had the right to defend himself, especially when his head was being bashed on concrete.

Although, my heart breaks for the Martins, who saw their son make a candy run to a 7/11 store and then he never returned home alive again; however, Trayvon Martin is also as much responsible for his death as George Zimmerman is.

Yes, we live in a country that has a culture of death.  This is why we need gun control in this country. This is why being suspicious of or profiling others who are just walking along the sidewalk is wrong. This is why confrontation and fighting as a solution to a problem is wrong.  This is what we have to change in our country.  It is time to reflect, learn and take positive actions on how we can avoid situations like Zimmerman and Martin were involved in.

It is time to stop the 24/7 news cycle over analyzing this case constantly on cable TV.  It is time to give the Martin and Zimmerman families time to heal from this tragic event and tragic court case.  It has been seventeen long months of two families and a nation being consumed by this case.  It is time to heal now.  May the Martin family and Zimmerman family find the peace now that both so desperately need.

Copyright (c)  2013  Suzannah Wolf Walker   all rights reserved

Thursday, July 4, 2013

I know Rachel Jeantel

photo by ABC News

I know Rachel Jeantel.  Well, I don't really know her personally, but I know of her because I have taught many students like her when I taught in an inner city high school.  Over the years I taught many girls like Rachel Jeantel, and they have been given the unfair image of the obese, ignorant, uneducated 'ghetto girl.'  This is not who Rachel Jeantel is.

Rachel Jeantel is the friend of Trayvon Martin, killed by George Zimmerman, on that fateful night in Sanford, Florida when Trayvon was walking home from a local 7/11 store after buying some candy.  She is the last person to talk with him before he was killed and overheard some of the confrontation between Trayvon and George Zimmerman before the killing.

I have found Rachel's testimony of that night to be truthful and compelling.  She is a lovely, soft-spoken young lady who was trying to tell her story, her truth, in court so that the jury can make a judgment and decision on George Zimmerman's stand that he killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense.

All people have done is to tear her down and negate her testimony because she was difficult to hear and to understand.  Yes, she had trouble articulating her story.  But, that I blame on the prosecution attorneys for not preparing her for testimony in court.  Yes, Rachel was out of her league and comfort zone sitting on the witness stand in court.

And, never has the cultural divide between African-Americans and whites been so evident as when the defense attorney, Don West, challenged her testimony on cross examination.  He demeaned and humiliated her, even asking if she understood and could read English.

No, Rachel could not read cursive writing.  That is true of nearly all inner city students today.  That is even true of many other students today.  With everything being done on computer in school nowadays, keyboarding has taken over cursive writing as the way to communicate in written form.  I am typing this as I compose this essay, I am not writing it first in cursive writing and then typing it.  This is how the world of computers works today.  There is not as much need for cursive writing as there was when I was a child or even when I was Rachel's age. (19 years)

The world has changed, as Chief Justice Roberts has so eloquently and gently nudged us to realize in his recent opinion written on the civil rights laws of the 1960's.   But, the attitudes of an older white male towards a large African-American woman from the inner city have not.  That is the problem and the disconnect between Rachel Jeantel and Attorney Don West, as well as the attorneys for the prosecution.

No, cursive writing is not necessary to inner city students as it was in the 20th century.  Hello folks, we are now in the 21st century and 'the times they are a changing.'  Also not realized by many whites in this country is the vernacular spoken by many African-American students today.  Even, as their teacher, I was always playing 'catch-up' on the current slang they spoke.  Many times I had to stop my lesson and inquire as to what an African-American student meant when he/she used a word such as 'cracker.'

Yes, in my students eyes, I was a 'cracker.'   Was that a racial slur against me?  Not in my students' eyes.  Inner city African-American's do not consider the word 'cracker' to be racial or a racial epitaph.  I have had many discussions with them about this word.  So when Trayvon Martin called Zimmerman a 'crazy *** cracker', in Trayvon's and Rachel's world that was not a racial slur.  I do realize many whites may not consider that so.

Understanding the cultural divide between whites and African-Americans needs to be bridged before passing judgment on Rachel Jeantel as inferior to the rest of us.  She is a young woman who speaks three languages, one of them English, and I (also an English teacher as well as a Spanish teacher) found her English to be very well spoken.  I have heard worse English grammar from African-Americans than Rachel Jeantel.  Her mother, who I understand is originally is from Haiti, speaks Creole French, the native language in Haiti, and that was the language spoken at Rachel's home, so this is the first language Rachel knew as a child.

I believe Rachel also speaks Spanish.  So here is a multi-lingual young  African-American woman.  How many young, white women Rachel's age in America are multi-lingual?  Not many, I can attest to.

Although Rachel was nervous and unsure of herself, she is not stupid, ignorant or uneducated.  We must take the time to know someone and to help them in situations new to them as testifying in court was new to Rachel Jeantel.  If we don't  like Rachel Jeantel, it illuminates and says more about us (whites)  than about her.  Rachel was just doing her civic duty.