The Moment We’re In

James Abbott McNeill Whistler |1834-1903 | Chelsea Houses

“We gave up our rights
to connect with real people
putting things on pause”

— §tacy §weeney

John Paul Lederach is someone who, behind the scenes, has helped transform conflict across the world over decades, in places like Northern Ireland, Colombia, and Nepal. He’s been a teacher to On Being about moral imagination and social courage. He is also a haikuist and has long kept a daily haiku journal. Now he is creating an “unfolding poem,” for which he’s gone back to his journals from the last week of 2019, when the world first had mention of a possible “new virus.”
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xiii.
march fourteen, ‘twenty

“they say we’re at war
i think we’re falling in love
with the human race”
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This is my “unfolding poetry” with an unpopular oil painting by Whistler, to the moment we’re in. Cutting and pasting excerpts from my journal is a great way to summarize my main points into haikus. I prefer captions.

— “We Gave Up Our Rights”
April 12, 2020

“We gave up our rights
to connect with real people
putting things on pause”

— “Seeming Sameness”
March 21, 2020

“I listen to the
seeming sameness of service
I lost track of place”

— “The Sweetshop”
February 2020

“O sugar, you spoil
my appetite in one bite
my sugar sick soul”

— “On Your Side”
January 18, 2020

“Today’s a surprise
like yo-yos you exercise
the sun on your side”

— “The Sea is Deep”
December 31, 2019

“Will our sails be slack
will you break into my sleep
Lord, the sea is deep”

— §tacy §weeney