Tumultuous 2018

Tumultuous 2018 – A spoken word poem about the past year.


2018 began with a frightful flu that quickly turned into pneumonia; grave enough to produce an awakening of my own vulnerability and mortality.

And as I struggled to breathe and gain strength, our country also gasped and choked, coughing up discord, bellowing chaos and despair, coupled with unprincipled deeds pushing us further away from democracy and decency.

While I healed, the nation came down with a poisonous affliction. America was heavily infected with bigotry. An ailment that previously hid in the shadows of every city and slithered out only in darkness. 2018 saw it vaulting into the sunshine to spread its deadly tentacles into the light of day.

Hatred was no longer disguised and concealed. A horrific epidemic rapidly spread across the country that was cringe worthy to the majority, yet targeted the minority, as safety became less accessible day after day, and ordinary citizens found there was nowhere to hide and no one to save them from the storm troopers infected with the Trump Plague, carrying out orders that were cruel, demented, and often lethal.

Schools transformed from places of learning to halls oozing blood. Babies torn from their mothers’ arms as dogmatism reigned from sea to shining sea. Cries of children, not soldiers, rang out in the night, their moans wafted in the wind from “California to the New York Islands” to verify if America still had a conscience.

This virus begged us to ask and update the age-old question; “If a tree falls in a forest, does it still make a sound?” to “If children weep in cages does a nation still hear their cries?”

2018 was headed by a leader who alienated our allies and embraced our foes; took away our clean environment and our food regulations. Our health care was at risk, and our debt piled higher with each tick of the clock. And a madman in DC smiled and wanted parades while shaking hands with dictators. This was the 2018 I remember.

Yes, as I recuperated from illness and regained my own strength, our nation came down with a sickness that I fear may never heal. Not without preventative medicine.

I learned this year that preventative medicine is needed to care for our bodies and also to cure our political souls. Honesty, integrity, and simple kindness can wipe away greed and corruption as effectively as antibiotics cure disease.

Our nation is sick. It is time for it to heal. We must wipe away the germs that destroyed its health and find a way to bring it back to its former glory.

The cure is a simple one. The vaccine is written in the words in the poem engraved on the statue of Liberty. Every time a person reads it they will heal. Share the cure! Save a life.

THE NEW COLOSSUS by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”





12 thoughts on “Tumultuous 2018

  1. Oh I so relate to your feelings about what has and is happening to our beloved country. After the election result which I could not believe and finally came out of a deep depression. I penned the following:


    © 2016 Barbara Grace Lake

    When all hope dies
    Can ever threads remain
    Of former ties
    To call it back again

    Does hope join dreams
    Mid broken solemn vows
    As uttered means
    Enthralling men to bow

    But threads there be
    So hope is still aware
    Within a sea
    Of monstrous self despair

    We are alive
    Our souls unfettered bare
    And hope survives
    If mantle we would wear

  2. IMO your best post ever, Lesley, and that’s saying something. When everything’s at stake, I believe we are inspired to speak straight from the heart, no bells or whistles needed. With so many lives on the line, from Yemen to Los Angeles, with our democracy hanging by a daily thinning thread, we definitely need to embrace kindness, vote for humanity, engage in acts that heal, protect, and preserve. May 2019 give us the courage and means to bring peace and healing the world over.

  3. Amy, THANK YOU so much! Coming from you I am honored and humbled. Before writing it I thought about what could I possibly say about the roller coaster ride we all have been on in 2018. The year dragged on endlessly at times, but also sped by in a flash, depending on if we were looking back or stuck smack dab in the middle of all the political chaos. So, I thought I would try a different approach to writing about a year I wouldn’t want to relive. I could have said so much more… but then I didn’t quite want to circulate all the dust that was just beginning to settle.
    I too hope that 2019 brings us peace and healing. We need that worldwide. I have spent hours (If you add up the days this year) questioning why so many people have suddenly allowed themselves to be swayed over to the dark side. (Star Wars Reference.) Fiction becomes reality and History repeats itself when we fail to embrace our humanity.
    May we do better in the coming year. Here’s to kindness and caring. Cheers.
    Thank you again for your lovely comment.

  4. we just need to survive until 2020. Never before did i want a year to go by quickly. 2019 will be extremely great or extremely horrible- but it will be “extreme”

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