That’s done!

A month can zip right by when one is engaged in community and writing!  As of Saturday, the regina mom completed the in-person requirements as writer-in-residence at the Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre.  A great Regina Beach and area crowd turned out to the launch of TALES FROM THE LAKE so if you’re interested watch for more about that over at This hot place.

Over the month, a couple of young friends I worked with on the Ryan Meili campaign have given birth and, thanks to a Facebook conversation about diapers, the regina mom remembered this poem, posted here in honour of the new babies, Thomas and Sasha.

Clothesline chat

    for June

She is not ashamed to hang
her toddler's diapers on the line, even
though neighbouring lines boast
like‑aged children are potty‑trained.

She smiles to the other mothers
shakes and clips moist white flags
to the wire despite decades old decrees 
children be free from diapers at precisely age two.

She visits another mother, helps 
move a table to the basement where 
on a wooden clothes rack 
diapers drip dry.

c. Bernadette Wagner

(And posted with gratitude that the times have changed.)

Celebrating Imbolc: A Poem in Progress

Horoscope: Ground Hog Day

Brighid, the ancient hag of winter, kindles
sacred fires to melt earth’s white blanket

transforming you as she did Galatians and Brigantians
long before Patrick danced green among the Celts

Her healing waters wash away toxic patterns that tax and consume,
erase attitudes that build you into what you are not.

Old Brighid, young Maiden-Mother-Crone cum
Christian saint blesses houses on her feast day, the Cross-Quarter Day

when winter passes halfway through, when once
candles made sacred at Candlemas lit houses and villages,

morphed into the Feast of Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
until St. Brigit’s decanonization. Her fire, snuffed.

A ground hog rippled across the ocean.

 

c. 2013 Bernadette Wagner

For all my sisters

the regina mom gives thanks this weekend for all the women who work to make this world a better place, be that in the world at large, in the home and community or within herself.

 

There’s a global war on women.

 

Even though we women make up 52 per cent of the global population and we own only one per cent of the land, we survive.

 

Even though climate change impacts women around the world more harshly (try gathering wood, food, water in a drought zone or flood zone every day), we survive.

 

Even though we earn 73 per cent the wages of men and are over-represented in part-time, low-pay jobs, and even though the world economies once counted us as chattel and told us our work was not work, we survive.

 

Even though cooking, cleaning and caregiving, the three Cs of women’s work, are worth between $234 and $374 billion in labour that remains unpaid, and even though we never received the national childcare program we were promised and yet we still find time to fill the gaps when governments offload services onto communities and families, we survive.

 

Even though, right here in Saskatchewan, one child in five — a full 20 per cent — live without adequate food, shelter and clothing, and even though more than 43,000 of our children live in poverty and 60 per cent of children living in households headed by a lone woman live in poverty, and children around the world continue to live in deep poverty, we survive.

 

Even though governments dismally fail to acknowledge our inequality, respect our issues — or even hear our voices — and instead, privatize economic decision-making, grant corporations more rights and less taxes, doctor documents, cut funding to programs, close doors to our organizations, oppose same sex marriages, peel back our reproductive rights, ignore our human rights, spurn and deride us, tell us to “go slowly,” that we’re “too radical” and dismiss us as “dumb bitches” or “Feminazis,” we survive.

 

Even though violence against us is epidemic the world over — we are assaulted emotionally, psychologically, physically, sexually — even though 50 per cent of us will experience violence to our person in our lifetime and we have sisters, daughters, grand-daughters who are treated as illegal goods to be trafficked and sold into sexual slavery, and even though we are stoned to death, gunned down, disappeared or murdered, we survive.

 

Even though we live our lives in the global war waged against us right here and right now, as it has for centuries — even though we die daily, we survive.

 

We survive because we are strong.

 

We are strong because we are one community. We are one community with a diverse population: women of colour, Indigenous, Métis women, who have immigrated, emigrated, who are refugees, who are urban, rural, peasant, homeless women, are mothers, grandmothers, child-free, who are sex workers, waged workers, volunteer workers, who are lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, queer, are religious, atheist, agnostic, spiritual, women with disabilities, healing powers, visions, who are older, younger, middle-aged…

 

We survive because we are coming to know the power of diversity, to know our power as women. And we know that our time to wield power is at hand.  Watch us.

 

c. Bernadette Wagner

The prochoice poem I read last night

Preamble

Tonight I wear red in support of my feminist sisters,
the Radical Handmaids, who gathered today on Parliament Hill
in opposition to Motion 312 which re-opens the abortion debate
tomorrow afternoon in the House of Commons.
And I share this poem.

 

Birthing change

1

Once upon a time his blue eyes dazzled her
maiden dreams           led her down dirt
roads, onto prairie trails, into abandoned
houses, churches, barns, unwittingly
preparing her for an entry that quivered her world,
sent her solo, pink-slipped, and with a growing belly
to face family, to seek and not find
solace in a religion she turned upside-down and inside-out.

2

His greenbacks, her choice:
law-breaker.  One little lie dupes doctors, the system.

How can she live knowing sin in so many ways, knowing nothing
will ever be the same?

3

She clings to the shiver of ecstasy
builds another world      in her mind other
possibilities, dreams.  How she clings, still.

4

He drove her to the streets.

5

She found circles of women singing
bread and roses, chanting in the streets
The personal is political!

Community, like a blanket, receiving,
bearing witness, holding,
keeping faith.

c. Bernadette L. Wagner

A political poetry break

the regina mom participated in the Saskatchewan Council for International Co-operation (SCIC) Global Justice Poetry Slam last week. This poem got her into the second round where a false start netted her a wicked time count violation that knocked her out of the competition.

This week, she gets to try again. SCIC recorded the performances in Regina and the ones in Saskatoon, too. You can see them at YouTube and vote for your favourites. Vote for trm by clicking the thumbs-up under her piece at YouTube.

 

Investing in the Future

The Regina Mom has just learned that she’s going here to work on her next book of poetry.  And so she needs to raise money–fast. As a result, she’s hosting a Sizzling Summer Salon and Silent Auction with writers, artists, and musicians of her acquaintance on Wednesday, July 14 at 7:30 p.m.

30 tickets are available and they’re $25 in advance, $30 at the door, providing there are some left by then. Note that a Paypal link will be in place by tomorrow.  Note also that any money raised over and above that necessary to attend the prestigious writing school will be used to buy the Regina Mom more writing time.

Here’s that Paypal link. The payment will go to hubby’s already established account and he’ll notify me.

O Canada, I believe: A ‘No Prorogue’ poem

O Canada, I believe: A ‘No Prorogue’ poem

O Canada, I believe we have a problem. PMS: Prime Minister Steve. Canada’s Prime Minister prefers to ignore advice from scientists and diplomats in the warfields, silence watchdogs and whistle-blowers and shutdown dissenters and to let Parliament decide–Later*. A mere war-criminal or -monger, he is Disaster, Capital’s arrogance and greed, personified.

O Canada, I believe our system needs some medicine. When it allows abuses of democratic power by a Minority government leader to evade investigations into the torture of detainees– well, O Canada, there’s something wrong. We need to talk. And we’ve started. We are here.

O Canada, I believe in the energy of our activists and our votes, in the people on this street and all the streets all over our nation and beyond. It’s the energy that’s given us public healthcare, unemployment insurance, minimum wages… Personhood.

O Canada, I believe in the maple leaf – the Manitoba Maple that lives in these parts. I believe in the leaves on trees, the air we breathe, the water that flows and the earth that grows the food we it. I believe in the power of symbol to connect us.

O Canada, I believe we care. I believe in our capacity to care, to take care, of each other in our families and communities, in this province and our country and all around the world. I believe we do it, not for personal gain, political games or polling numbers– We do it because we genuinely care.

And, O Canada, I believe in the strength of diversity. Though partisans would have us divided, we hold together, one voice, united. No! No prorogation!

O Canada, I believe in the power of the people. I believe in the power of the people to create a flashpoint, to make a difference, to take back democracies.

~ Bernadette L. Wagner
January 23, 2010

* from the poem, W.L.M.K. by F. R. Scott

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