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Thursday, April 04, 2019


by Jean Varda

It's a Sign!

It’s a sign, the black charred ground
the empty space where ponderosa,
cedar and oaks once stood tall and stately
It’s a sign, the sparseness of insects
and birds, the temperatures
unbearably hot or unbearably cold
It’s a sign, the school shootings
the police killings of unarmed men, the
families at the border being separated
from their children and turned away
as they flee violence and are only
faced with more. It’s a sign when more
people are pushing shopping carts
on the street then shopping carts in the
store or sleeping by the river in tents
and makeshift shelters.
It’s a sign when artificial intelligence
has taken over almost everything we do
and children stare into digital screens
every chance they get. It’s a sign when
the highest death rate is due to suicide
and drugs, when a nineteen year old
kills herself because she cannot bear
the guilt and pain of having watched
her best friend die in a massacre at
her school. It’s a sign when children
are the ones gathering by the millions
in the nation’s capital to ask the adults
to do something about the semi
automatic weapons that killed their
friends. And when children sit in offices
of politicians begging them to pass
legislation on the environmental
emergency so they have a future on
this shrinking planet when they
should be playing hopscotch
                                and eating jelly beans, it’s a sign.  

Jean Varda gave her first poetry reading at Stone Soup Gallery in Boston Mass. Presented by Poet Jack Powers. This was followed by performances on street corners, prisons and churches with her mentor story teller Brother Blue. Then to San Francisco to join Kush with Cloud House, and the largest collection of San Francisco Beat poets on film. She has published six chapbooks of poetry, establishing Sacred Feather Press. She started four open mics, taught poetry writing workshops, hosted a radio show, was nominated for a pushcart prize. All while raising two daughters and working as a Hospice nurse. She now resides Chico, CA where she works as a nurse and a collage artist.