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Sunday, August 25, 2019


by Sister Lou Ella Hickman

As the Amazon burned and the world faced an ecological disaster, President Emmanuel Macron of France bluntly criticized Brazil’s leader this week and threatened to kill a major trade deal between Europe and Brazil. President Trump, on the other hand, posted a tweet only Friday evening, saying that the United States was ready to help contain the fires, but adding that “future trade prospects” between the United States and Brazil “are very exciting.” Photo: Under increasing international pressure to contain fires sweeping parts of the Amazon, President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil on Friday authorized use of the military to battle the massive blazes. Credit:Leo Correa/Associated Press via The New York Times, August 24, 2019


                        my arms  scorched
                        with solidarity’s fire
                        ask   is this the world’s misplaced rage  
                                                        is there some unknown  unseen  monster
                                             that feeds on our anger, fear, and hate
                                             that spews back flames
                                             to consume the earth's primal green breathing


                                            the media question blares
                                            what can you do to help
                                            let your skin also burn
                                            with solidarity’s fire

Author’s note: I had a severe psoriasis flareup that began approximately the same time the Amazon fires began.

Sister Lou Ella Hickman, I.W.B.S. is a former teacher and librarian. She is a certified spiritual director as well as a poet and writer.  Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines such as America, First Things, Emmanuel, Third Wednesday, and TheNewVerse.News as well as in the anthologies The Night’s Magician: Poems about the Moon edited by Philip Kolin and Sue Brannnan Walker, Down to the Dark River edited by Philip Kolin, Secrets edited by Sue Brannan Walker, and After Shocks: The Poetry of Recover for Life-Shattering Events edited by Tom Lombardo. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2017. Her first book of poetry entitled she: robed and wordless was published by Press 53 in 2015.