For my dear Feminism and Religion family:
I’m sorry I have no words really this month. As many of you know I was very invested in Hillary Clinton’s campaign– and am devastated by her “loss”—or rather what I see as the corruption in the U.S. system which allowed a cheater to “win.”
So, I offer you in the spirit of picking myself up, and hopefully you also, this poem by a dear friend of mine, Terry Wolverton. Terry is a fabulous Los Angeles poet and every year sends out a card with a poem on it appropriate to the season. This year’s poem struck me so deeply that I asked if I could share it with you all. (The photo which illustrated the card is also reproduced here, by Terry’s wife, the artist and writer Yvonne Estrada.)
Here is the poem. I hope it gives you solace, as it did for me.
Make art. Tell the truth. Fight back.
This was the year Snow Men
rose up against us,
ripping trees from ground
with their stick fists.
Their icy pallor under dimmed moon,
their coal hearts.
Our fervor could not melt them;
we too stand frozen
in the blue light of computer screens
flickering with catastrophe.
So many who inspired us
have walked the long road this year,
leaving us to our own silence.
Only the wind sings,
song of smoke and promises.
We fear we cannot match their artistry.
We know we must be strong enough
to keep alive the fire,
keep its flames arcing heavenward,
gather around it everyone who feels the chill.
–Poem by Terry Wolverton, 2016
Marie Cartier. Dr. Cartier has a Ph.D. in Religion with an emphasis on Women and Religion from Claremont Graduate University. She is the author of the critically acclaimed book Baby, You Are My Religion: Women, Gay Bars, and Theology Before Stonewall(Routledge 2013). She is a senior lecturer in Gender and Women’s Studies and Queer Studies at California State University Northridge, and in Film Studies at Univ. of CA Irvine. She is also a published poet and playwright, accomplished performance artist, scholar, and social change activist. She holds a BA in Communications from the University of New Hampshire; an MA in English/Poetry from Colorado State University; an MFA in Theatre Arts (Playwriting) and an MFA in Film and TV (Screenwriting), both from UCLA; and an MFA in Visual Art (Painting/Sculpture) from Claremont Graduate University. She is co-chair of the Lesbian-Feminisms and Religion session of the national American Academy of Religion and co-chair at the regional level of the Queer Studies in Religion session, founder of the western region Queer Caucus, and a perma-blogger for Feminism and Religion. She is also a first degree black belt in karate, Shorin-Ryu Shi-Do-Kan Kobayashi style, and a 500 hour Yoga Alliance certified Hatha Yoga teacher.