poetry friday roundup is here

“The right is ours. Have it we must. Use it we will.” ~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton


Happy November and Welcome to Poetry Friday at Alphabet Soup!

Here we are,  just a few days away from the most important midterm elections of our lifetimes.

It is a difficult, frustrating, disheartening, enraging, frightening time to be female in this country. Yet it is also an empowering, illuminating, pivotal moment for us.

The 2017 Women’s March was the largest single-day protest in U.S. history, with an estimated 3 million people participating across the country. With the current #MeToo movement, we are finally seeing some real-world consequences of the longstanding, widespread problem of sexual assault and harassment.



Where the system failed, when there are wrongs to be righted, women have and will continue to step up to the plate — and ultimately to the polls. Let’s not forget the courageous women who battled over half a century for our constitutional right to vote.

Anger + Anguish → Activism

On Tuesday there will be a record number of female candidates on the ballot — running for Congress, governorships and other positions in state legislatures. Several are poised for major breakthroughs for women of color.


🇺🇸 Big Blue Wave coming, powered by fierce women. 🇺🇸


Art copyright © 2018 Matthew Cordell


Because corruption, hypocrisy, misogyny, entitlement, racism, cruelty, oppression, subjugation, abuse, assault.


The right is ours:

to speak, to be heard and be believed
to peacefully protest
to advocate for reproductive, workers’, religious, and LGBTQ rights, healthcare and immigration reform
to fight for environmental protections and common sense gun laws

“Women’s Rights” are HUMAN RIGHTS


Turn the Tide Vote Blue original wave by Melissa Iwai/Pen and Ink Brigade 2018 (click to purchase)


It’s time for the old guard to step aside. Powerful individuals in elected office have been paid big bucks to run the show for a long time and they’ve messed things up royally. Congress is broken. All three branches of government are now controlled by one political party, a party that once stood for family values and “high moral and ethical standards.” Now splintered, corrupt beyond reason and totally unrecognizable, this party has been hijacked by an immoral, destructive, crooked con man who profits off the presidency. What happened to checks and balances? What happened to the honor of public service, civil discourse and common decency?

A pox on self interest, big egos, personal agendas, revenge politics, gaslighting, attacks on the free press and blatant, toxic, pathological LYING. A pox on rich, hypocritical, complicit officials and Supreme Court nominees playing the victim card.



When a woman summons up the courage to tell her truth, testifying under oath, why isn’t her word good enough, but a man’s is?

When a woman speaks out against injustice, she’s considered a shrill, hysterical shrew. When a man does the same, it’s an act of bravery.

Men don’t like being called out for what they’ve gotten away with for centuries. And the guilty ones stick together.

A time of reckoning has arrived; women will not be silenced.

Let’s transform our rage into a tsunami of VOTES for positive change.

Do not dismiss us, or relegate us to the corner sitting in kiddie chairs. We will decide for ourselves.




by Judith Harris

We walked five blocks
to the elementary school,
my mother’s high heels
crunching through playground gravel.
We entered through a side door.

Down the long corridor,
decorated with Halloween masks,
health department safety posters —
we followed the arrows
to the third grade classroom.

My mother stepped alone
into the booth, pulling the curtain behind her.
I could see only the backs of her
calves in crinkled nylons.

A partial vanishing, then reappearing
pocketbook crooked on her elbow,
our mayor’s button pinned to her lapel.
Even then I could see — to choose
is to follow what has already
been decided.

We marched back out
finding a new way back down streets
named for flowers
and accomplished men.
I said their names out loud, as we found

our way home, to the cramped house,
the devoted porch light left on,
the customary meatloaf.
I remember, in the classroom converted
into a voting place —
there were two mothers, conversing,
squeezed into the children’s desk chairs.

~ copyright © 2018 Judith Harris


Art by Monika Forsberg


It’s no longer a matter of red vs. blue, but of right vs. wrong. How we vote on Tuesday will determine who we are as a country.


Now, please leave your poetry-related links with Mr. Linky below. Don’t forget to put the name of the poem or title of the book you’re sharing in parentheses after your name. Enjoy the delicious variety of poetic goodness being served up in the blogosphere this week. Thanks for joining us!!




Art copyright © 2018 Ashley Wolff



“The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls. Every truth we see is ours to give the world, not to keep for ourselves alone, for in so doing we cheat humanity out of their rights and check our own development.”

— Elizabeth Cady Stanton (from an 1890 speech to the National American Woman Suffrage Association)

Copyright © 2018 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

40 thoughts on “poetry friday roundup is here

  1. Jama, you rock! We need to vote! If we don’t exercise our rights they may be taken from us while we’re not paying attention. Thanks for sharing “My Mother Goes to Vote.” These lines brought back many memories, “I could see only the backs of her/ calves in crinkled nylons” I’ll add my links later.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I am so hopeful, and you’ve given me more hope by sharing inspiring words, from yourself and from those strong women whose shoulders hold us up. I was struck somehow by that one word, “devoted” in “My Mother Goes To Vote”. It can be a good thing, but without thought or through giving up oneself through the doing is not good for either party. Thanks, Jama! VOTE BLUE! IS ever on my thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you, Jama. I’m on pins and needles, waking each morning with a clenched jaw (actually, I’ve been waking that way for the last two years). Come on, blue wave!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fantastic BLUE WAVE POST Jama–Love all the words, the poem, images, Blue Wave buttons, art, dishes and more! I’ve voted and am carrying the Blue Wave with me to spread across Chicago and beyond–hope it meets up with you and sends rippling waves all around the country–Thanks for hosting this call to Action Poetry Friday Post!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your post is a wonderful, inspirational call to action. There is so much at stake. Along with the words and the poem, the visuals from your post really struck a cord. “Grab them by the ballot box” indeed! I’ll be voting on Tuesday and my vote is going to sizzle as it enters the ballot box!! Thanks for hosting this week!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for your amazing post, Jama! It’s a real call to action, and I will share it with my friends. Our time is NOW. We must stand up for what we know to be right. The reflections of the child in the poem show that even the youngest see what adults sometimes cannot recognize. The art you share is so spot on. I love all of it, but “Grab them by the Ballot Box” tops them all! Well done, Jama!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for this important and absolutely gorgeous reminder. Sharing in a few, and especially with my girls – one of whom votes for the first time this year. Both in college – one with an absentee ballot and the other registered in her college town. Exercising this right matters. Thank you, Jama, for always bringing wisdom and beauty to us. x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for your timely, inspiring thoughts and the lively illustrations that make your post even more powerful! Doing everything I can to encourage voters here in Wisconsin and across the country. Hope hope hoping it helps.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Always an encouraging, uplifting and inspiring post! Thank you so much for your faithfulness in cheering us on and sharing great art and poetry. And thanks for rounding us up again!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh, Jama, I love you. That is all. 🙂
    Well, no, that’s not all. I love this post, too. 🙂
    And I love that I have already voted; I am hoping against hope for change and a blue wave.
    Thanks for this post, and thanks for hosting!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for hosting, Jama. And for this wonderful post. And just yesterday, I read that there are places in our country where women (white women, specifically) are “brought in” by their white husbands, who stand there and make sure the women vote as the men want them to. And nobody does anything about it. UGH.

    My original poem is about the election as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jama, this is a comfort, thank you. The lying is getting worse, and some days I think my head is going to explode from the corruption and everything the evil ones are getting away with. Thank you—there is hope!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Love this post, Jama!! Vote for women!! Vote BLUE!! It was heartening to see so many carved pumpkins urging people to vote!! Crossing fingers, toes and everything else for a blue TSUNAMI!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Poetry has always had a political component. Poets raise their voices against injustice, discrimination and hate. You have raised a flag in this post regarding the importance of exercising your hard won right to vote. Even from far away Australia, I fully understand the significance of all this. More power to you Jama, for sharing these important messages.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you for hosting this week, Jama, and sharing so many inspiring images and reminders of the importance of exercising our right to vote. As you so eloquently stated, “it’s no longer a matter of red vs. blue, but of right vs. wrong.”

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Jama, thank you for a delightful, rousing and important post this Poetry Friday. I enjoy every word and image. I have been at a conference this weekend so am sitting this PF out. But, I am popping to say thank you for hosting and I’m so glad to see your enthusiasm. I share it — all of it!

    Liked by 1 person

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