Judging

After driving through the rush hour traffic, I am proud

I have managed to make it tonight, to be part of this crowd

Until I look around and see that all around me

Are mothers well-dressed in all their finery

I touch my messy bun from which strands of my hair

Have escaped haphazardly, revealing how little I care

About my appearance- I am the only one here at parents’ night

In my uniform – hospital scrubs, I just don’t look right

Suddenly I feel very self-conscious, I want to leave

Other women are certainly judging me, I believe

They probably think I’m quite disorganized

That this was an event to dress for, I had not realized

*

The best-dressed of them all catches my eye

She makes me jealous with her elegance, I won’t lie

Then I guess in an effort to soothe my insecurity

I tell myself that all she does is probably just look pretty

While I work hard day and night saving lives

I don’t need to compare myself to trophy wives

Who have the luxury of spending their husbands’ money

On grooming, expensive outfits and jewelry

*

Of course I have not realized that in my fear

Of being judged, I am the one judging here

The woman in question strikes a conversation with me

When I mention my busy schedule, to my surprise she

Recounts how as the top executive at a multinational company

She had a late meeting and had to run just like me

Her perfect outfit that exemplifies elegance

Was for her important meeting, to project confidence

*

How mistaken was my assumption, I then realize

And look at all the other women with a new set of eyes

Unlikely I’m being judged and I certainly have no right

To judge others by their appearance tonight..

*

Don’t judge a book by its cover, they say

Don’t judge at all is the lesson I’ve learnt today!

Define me

Let me ask you this question, please do not mind

How would you feel if you were defined

By what you lack, not what you possess

I suspect that might cause you some distress

You may have your struggles but you can do so much

So many lives you can positively touch

Besides, a blow to your self-esteem it might be

If you were called out by your deficient quality

That could a downward spiral create

Of negativity, poor motivation and self hate

*

I hope this never happens to you, but you see

That as a human being with a disability

My disability is often used to qualify

My entire person, and I wonder why

Yes there are some things that I cannot do

Yes that is a body part I lack, that’s true

I have willed myself to get past this

And I know when you see me it is hard to miss

My obvious disability, but that is just a small part of me

I am so much more than my disability

Yet when you call me a paraplegic or an amputee

You label me by what is the worst part of me

*

When that happens over and over again

It discourages me, causes me more pain

I have been trying my hardest to be productive

And as much as possible, a normal life to live

Such a label just takes my motivation away

When said repeatedly, it makes me want to stay

In my role as an invalid, and object of pity

Which was certainly not what I wanted to be

*

So here is my humble request to all of you

If you are able-bodied, just think it through

Before calling someone by their disability

Words have power more profound than you see

So I could be a person with a limb amputated

Instead of an “amputee” as otherwise stated

People with disability need recognition

By what they can do, not by their condition.

The Amazon is burning

Environment, Guaranta do Norte, Brazil - 20 Aug 2019

The Amazon is burning, the story is great

For headlines sensational, the actual state

Of the rainforest concerns but few

So many forest fires these days- what is new?

 

The Amazon is burning- at the hands

Of human greed, those forested lands

Being useless for business, needed to be cleared

And fires are common anyway- so what is the fear?

 

The Amazon is burning- but the rainforest should be

Resilient to withstand such adversity

Fires occur every year, don’t forests regenerate?

All we need to do is watch and wait…

 

Some people cry out that our human pursuits

Are destroying our planet- that smoke and soot

Blotting out the sun is made out to be 

More dramatic than it is really…

***

The Amazon is burning, we will have to care

The domino effect may spread everywhere

Climate change is no longer a concept nebulous

Natural disasters affect each one of us

In the fight against nature, unlikely we are

Even if we win battles, to win the war. 

(Image source: https://people.com/human-interest/humans-started-amazon-rainforest-fires/)

 

 

 

 

 

Trapped by stuff

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Traps are not easy to identify….

Once I earned enough money to buy

A house, shiny car, some quality stuff

I thought that would be enough

That counted as success, and being perceived

As successful in life was important, I believed

It felt good to be able to afford things nice

Satisfaction seemed to have a relationship with price…

**

Deeper pockets seemed to quench my desires

So more and more stuff I began to acquire

It was liberating to not have to care

About spending money almost anywhere

Every new (costly) purchase felt like a treasure

My acquisitions did give me (short-lived) pleasure

**

Leisure time dwindled, responsibilities grew

I continued to acquire objects new

Sometimes not realizing it was a duplicate

The original lost in the chaotic state

Of my beautiful house that had more vacant space

Than I could use, but I was not yet ready to face

The truth- my  possessions had me trapped

Maintaining them left my energy sapped…

**

Over time I have come to realize

That spending money wisely implies

Spending it on experiences that stay 

On as memories to be savored another day

Acquiring objects was just weighing me down

Until the concept of minimalism I found

I now have less stuff, but I have the luxury

Of time- owning less has set me free!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outrage

gunviolence

How do we, again and again

Defy logic, simple and plain

How do our brains, self-aggrandized

Something so straightforward not realize-

That the archaic second amendment

Should not over human lives be precedent

There is freedom to own any type of gun

But living freely under the sun

Is no longer a freedom we can for granted take

When innocent lives of children are at stake

Why is it that some of us do not see

The debate in all its absurdity

Truth has been colored, cloaked, revised

So many misleading arguments devised

To deviate from the truth, the actual issue

Creating divisions even deeper, it’s true..

**

In anger I pen these lines, painfully aware

That no matter how much I might care

If part of the solution I cannot be

My outrage is an exercise in futility

Let me, my anger towards action steer

For we need a world without fear..

Image source https://floridapolitics.com/archives/266188-sean-shaw-a-legal-strategy-to-combat-gun-violence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overscheduled

Twenty-four hours I have in a day

Surely they are plenty for work and play

I need to work ten hours, anything less

Might make me appear lazy, I confess

But what is the point of working all day

If work is not followed by evident display

Of activities of leisure, that showcase

My disposable income, my refined tastes

So dining out, parties, and travel to places exotic and mundane

Jostle for space in my over-scheduled life,

barely leaving me sane

Ownership of expensive objects is so out of date

I need novel experiences to expand my discerning palate

Posting an instagram picture of the perfect mountaintop view

Is as satisfying as the vista itself, I tell you…

So what if all the travel has worn me out

Surely a little less sleep I can do without

Then there is caffeine to help me go the extra mile

And endure my fuller than full life with a smile…

**

Just when I am wondering if all the boxes usual

Have been checked in every fashion possible

I get a reality check from who else but my son

Who, when asked about his idea of fun

Replies that flying paper airplanes with his cousins

Trumps all the travel, all the luxury trappings..

**

Trust a child to throw you in to a state of introspection

Re-evaluate priorities, perform an honest dissection

Of your life- that is where I am at right now

Thinking of scaling back on activities to allow

Myself breathing space, and time to see

How a fulfilling life ought to be…

Silent rage

DSC_0266.JPG

She screamed silently, yet again

At the sexist allusion to her brain

Spoken in a tone of condescension

Quite clear was the insinuation

Her competence was being questioned, without

Knowledge of the situation, no doubt

Because of her gender…

As if being a woman, petite, slender

Was enough for a man to discredit

Her qualifications, disregard her merit

As a physician in a field competitive 

With instances like this daily she had to live

She could feel the rage building up each day

Knowing there was nothing that she could say

To improve, for herself, this situation

Any retort would be subject to misinterpretation

Being labeled difficult would just make matters worse

For her in the professional universe…

**

Like women around her, she had learnt to ignore

Being called “sweetie”, “honey”, “cutie” and more

Yet each time this happened there was a surge

Of rage within her- it would be on the verge

Of overt manifestation, until it was restrained 

By years of conditioning, she had been trained

To disregard such words, totally inappropriate

To address a doctor, a colleague or a subordinate-

She had been referred to as such by everyone-

Patients, seniors, staff, mentors- ad nauseum

Each time, though, she resented how these words undermined

Her professional status- disrespected her capable mind.

**

Then there were those remarks, snarky and snide

When being a competent doctor and a “good” mother she tried

Enraged her, though once again she cried out

In private, further criticism she could do without..

**

Working in a misogynistic world, she seethes inside

Works even harder to prove herself, her anger she hides

Accomplished women everywhere face similar predicament

They scream quietly, rage is their driving sentiment..