Skip to main content


On November 8, 2016, Donald J. Trump won the Electoral College to become our President-Elect, at the absolute shock of most of the country...

The same day, a person close to me, who I have always loved dearly, experienced a bit of a break with reality. The cracks I saw forming in my friend’s life with those closest to them mirrored the chasms forming in our ever more polarizing nation. I had just recently become a mother, and all of the tension in my friend’s life and the nation made my mind spin over the world my daughter had just been born into. I imagined Lady Liberty as a kind of mother to us, and how she might react, unable to believe the country she had watched over so long changing in ways she could not grasp.

Mother Liberty
by CLS Ferguson

Mother Liberty has lost her mind
There's something infiltrating
the system in her brain
that usually separates right and wrong, logic and farce
Right around where so many have tread,
at the front of her head, behind her crown

Perhaps her madness is from her father,
fathers really
no one knows which is really responsible
They all had in common a bit of madness
Abusing Liberty's natural born children,
then forcing her to adopt foreign kids she hadn't ever met

Mother Liberty always sought
the right man to be her partner
She had man after man
They started out more old fashion, racist, sexist
But got a little better each time
Every divorce left her heart a bit worse off than the one before
Each new marriage a bit of hope
at least on the groom's side
It got worse when she and Dad divorced

Now all Mother Liberty sees is orange
She's cut off her children, natural born and adopted
She refuses to speak to her best friends
And no one can speak anything real to her
She just keeps standing, green and slightly rusted
Denying anything has changed

Her children of color march because
Liberty’s police were killing them
Her natural born children dance in traditional dress
Her daughters march, some for her daughters born,
whose rights were threatened
Some for her daughters yet to be born,
whose right to live was threatened

All her children cry out to her
"We need you, Mother Liberty!"
She won't respond
"Don't you want to be a part of your grandchildren's lives?"
"Send me pictures," she says, and just keeps looking eastward.

Photography by Cat Gwynn 
CLS Ferguson, PhD is a communication professor at Mt. San Antonio College and California State University, Northridge.  She paints, sings, acts, models, produces independent films, and has published many academic articles and two academic books.  Her portrayal of The Black Rose in Silence, which she also co-wrote and produced, earned her a best actress award and a best film award at the LA Neo Noir Festival. Her music video, Secrets & Lies recently earned accolades on the indie film circuit.  CLS has published poetry in Shangri-La Shack, Still Points Quarterly, PQLeer, Dirty Chai, Sheepshead Review, Drunk Monkeys, and other places. Her poetry collection, God Bless Paul is out on Rosedog Books and her co-authored chapbook, The Way We Were with JC Jones is out on Writing Knights Press.  She and her husband, Rich are raising their daughter, Evelyn and their Bernese Mountain Border Collie Mutt, Sadie in Alhambra, CA. You may visit her website here. 

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!


Popular posts from this blog

I AM STILL HERE by Janavi Held


This was composed by a very gifted and beautiful soul: a regular contributor to our poetry project, and dear friend of mine, Janavi Held, whose life is gradually being taken from us by an incurable illness. She has been suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Internal Adhesions for six painful years now, and neither her insurance nor the government healthcare will help her. She reaches out to us, her sisters, as a last plea. This is a poem she wrote yesterday on her birthday, in which she offers us the gift of her friendship. May it touch your generous hearts and inspire you to reach out to her in her plight.

Dear Friends,

The last time I was able to leave the house was by ambulance on my way to the hospital. After many long hours in the emergency room I was admitted and taken upstairs. After everyone left I sat on the hospital bed, knees to chest, bracing my body against the pain and trembling.

The light of this cold day was fading. I turned my eyes to the la…

THE JOURNEY by Mary Oliver

Today we honor Mary Oliver (1936-2019) and all the words she left behind. May they inspire you on your journey! 

Excerpt from Mary Oliver’s book Long Life: Essays and Other Writings:

"Poets must read and study...but, also, they must learn to tilt and whisper, shout, or dance, each in his or her own way, or we might just as well copy the old books. But, no, that would never do, for always the new self swimming around in the old world feels itself uniquely verbal. And that is just the point: how the world, moist and bountiful, calls to each of us to make a new and serious response. That's the big question, the one the world throws at you every morning. 'Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?'"

The Journey
By Mary Oliver 
One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice-- though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. "Mend my life!" each voice cried. But y…

I KEEP GOING by Kai Coggin

(EDITOR'S NOTE: I am sharing this beautiful message by poet Kai Coggin again today, after Kate Spade's tragic death, to give hope to all those thinking about ending their lives right now. If you ned help, please call the National Suicide Hotline: 800- 273- 8255. Your life is a gift to the world. We need you here. Please never forget that.)

To keep going is sometimes both the hardest and easiest step to take out of darkness...
It may not look like a promise to smile, or to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and conquer the world today… it is just a gentle nudge of Spirit, it is holding your head just above water for one more moment, one more hour, one more day, until there is no longer the struggle to keep going, you just unshakably ARE. 
Suicide was a lying shadow of escape that lingered in my life for years. Today, I am thankful to be able to say that I no longer have those thoughts of permanent escape. I no longer lend myself to the darkness in that way, but so many creative s…