Monday, July 1, 2019

7/8/19 Barbara Atkinson features

7/8/19 Barbara Atkinson hosted by Jim
Barbara Atkinson identifies as a  bicoastal writer and performer, transplanted a few times between Bucks County PA and Berkeley CA. She is also a scientist, social organizer, and dance enthusiast. After teaching herself to read, she earned a Bachelor of Rhymes degree from kindergarten, her most prized diploma. In the many intervening years, she has written numerous poems (rhyming, metered, both, and neither), short stories, cartoons, songs & song lyrics, tributes in verse, and paraphrases of popular classics. Sometimes this erupts into spoken word, with venues ranging from summer camps to PTA benefits to soccer team family picnics to holiday parties at her workplace and more. 

Barbara's poetry has been occasionally published, beginning with the Nutshell literary magazine of Moorestown Senior High School in New Jersey, then the Penn Women's Literary Magazine in Philadelphia, and a chapbook entitled "Poets in the Pews" by the First Unitarian Church of Oakland, and most recently in Turning Point Journal, Elders Action Network Spring Issue on Earth Relations. Ms. Atkinson volunteered in Nicaragua from the 1980s through 2000s on solar energy projects, traveled and worked in Central and South America, and composed a few of her poems in Spanish. Her current labor of love is being full-time mom of a teenage daughter, some of whose multiple talents are writing and drama. "Poetry is when the family reunion in your head stops and it's just you talking..."

Solar Benediction

            we are           
                        gasping for comfort
                                                             of warmth and motion
                        we have burned our ancestors
                                     spilled poisons in the waters
                                     cracked earthquakes underground
                                     squeezed the last drops from the sands

As the majestic icebergs melt
    and tempests violently toss the air
           roaring louder

We look upward to the sun
            burning out more slowly than any
            generating winds
                        and tides
                                     and green food

Lunches are never free           still
            humble            desperate
                        we raise our arms
                                     trying to catch
                                                 the loaves and the fishes

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