537. A Safe Place

Yet another Georgia O’Keeffe image used on the latest poem from the 2015 August Poetry Postcard Fest, and another reference to one of the more grisly events in the summer 2015 European refugee crisis.

I look back at this and, in the wake of experiences I’ve had since I wrote the poem, how much of the academic world has regressed into a need to create “safe spaces” I offer this quote:

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers. 
M. Scott Peck

Now I get that the intention in classrooms and elsewhere is to prevent hateful behavior against people from groups that have borne the brunt of it over the centuries and I have no desire to create spaces where hate is promulgated. I do think being uncomfortable leads to self-knowledge and why are we here as humans but to gain that and learn how to love.

May all sentient beings find a safe place and may we learn the real value of each and every one as we go through our own blessed lives.

537. A Safe Place


About Splabman

Paul Nelson is founder of SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) in Seattle, the Cascadia Poetry Festival and the August POetry POstcard Fest (PoPo). www.POPO.cards. He has published a collection of essays, Organic Poetry & a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, WA, A Time Before Slaughter (shortlisted for a 2010 Genius Award by The Stranger) and American Sentences, a book of 17 syllable poems drawn from the first fourteen of his 20 years of daily practice. The tenth anniversary edition of that book includes Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia. He’s interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Wanda Coleman, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, George Bowering, Diane di Prima, Brenda Hillman, George Stanley, Joanne Kyger & many Cascadia poets (see: https://paulenelson.com/americanprophets/) has presented his poetry and poetics in London, Brussels, Bothell, Cumberland, BC, Qinghai and Beijing, China, Lake Forest, Illinois, Ukiah, CA, and other places & writes an American Sentence every day. www.PaulENelson.com
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