Hope, Inspiration, Poetry, Videos

pinkie pattie, pinkie punkie & pinkie pia’s peace day poem

Coincidentally, World Alzheimer’s Day is also the United Nations’ International Day of Peace.

Mom, Pia Roma and I made this video on September 21, 2009, to mark #PeaceDay. I wore a green ribbon around my left wrist in support of the revolution that was happening in Iran that summer.

Mom had been showing symptoms of Alzheimer disease since 2006, and she momentarily forgot Pia’s name when we were making the video. But she clearly articulated the meaning of peace in a few words: “Love your neighbours in all the countries,” she said.

What a tragedy that so many people, including too many world leaders seem to have forgotten what peace means, when my mom, who lived with dementia, knew it very well until the end.

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Advocacy, Life & Living, Poetry

tears to my eyes

This is a poem about the sad state of world affairs, and about missing my mom who died a year ago.

tears to my eyes

©2017 punkie

Dedicated to my mom, Patty, September 27, 1928 – August 17, 2016.

tears fall when the sun sets
well up at its rise
the least little thing
makes me wanna cry

floods, fire and famine
the rapes and the wars
drugs, death, and destruction
know nothing of doors

the poor and the tortured
sail boats in rough seas
the old and infirm
fall down on their knees

the sailors soon drown
in their thousands unrescued
the diseased and disabled
suffer the likes of ceausecu

haters in cars kill
women in streets
fly nazi flags
as the president bleats

“the news is all fake,”
he claims in a tweet
to the cheers of alt-rights
while the rest of us weep

“red, white, and blue,”
great patriots say
blacks, muslims, and jews
well, they’re not so okay

our climate is changing
mother earth has a fever
woe is me! a denier
has a hand on the lever

bodies split open
insides wide exposed
push nuclear buttons
make people explode

the wrongs I am seeing
I wanna forget
but how can i? who would?
with so much blood being let?

if there’s a god
in some heaven above
i hope she soon sends us
a whole whack of doves

i long for a taste
of afternoon tea
with gingersnap cookies
and love taps on my knee

a kitten, a mitten,
a bird on the wing
your face, peaceful space,
and how we used to sing

the world has gone crazy
it’s crystal, it’s clear
hold on tight, don’t let go
to that which is dear

treasure the moments
laugh while you can
time runs through fingers
like hourglass sand

one year ago here
a part of me died
now everything, always
brings tears to my eyes


©2017 Susan Macaulay. I invite you to share my poetry widely, but please do not reblog or copy and paste my poems into other social media without my permission. Thank you.

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Life & Living, Memories, Videos

5 years ago there was war and peace

Mom & I wearing green ribbons in support of the Green Revolution in Iran (2009)
Mom & I wear ribbons in support of the Revolution in Iran (September 20, 2009)

September 20, 2014: On June 20, 2009, people around the world watched one young woman die in the streets of Tehran in the midst of a revolution. Her name was Neda Agha Soltan. Her story is here. Time described her killing as “probably the most widely witnessed death in human history.” Neda’s dying breath still resonates in the hearts and minds of millions of Iranians.

During the summer of 2009, when Mom was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, she and I made a trio of videos. I asked her what she would say to the government of Iran, what she thought of a government that would torture its own people and what she would say to a victim of torture. Despite living with dementia, she was focused, articulate and spot on in her responses. Here’s how she answered the first question:


She had no problem discerning right from wrong, and she was crystal clear about what people must do to make positive change. In one of the blog posts that accompanied the videos I wrote:

“She knows it takes strength and conviction to stand up and fight for what you believe in. It may even take a revolution. But in the end, if you have enough determination, you will prevail.”

Five years ago today, on September 20, 2009, Mom and I tied green ribbons around our wrists because we both believe people should live together in peace and harmony. Somebody took the picture above. At the time, there was a tentative peace between me and my only other sibling. Now there is nothing but ongoing war.

Ironically, our family has been torn apart over the issue of my mother’s care, and sadly, our situation is not unique. I am fiercely determined and have no doubt in my ability to create change, but I fear it will be too late for my Mom. My hope is others will benefit from the sharing of our experience, the fruits of my ongoing advocacy and the echo of my mother’s voice long after she’s gone.

There is a reason for everything. There is purpose in the telling of this story. I hope it touches and inspires you and many others.

September 20, 2014

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