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Janni Lee Simner
27 June 2018 @ 02:20 pm

Split Borders

Parents are property,
Children an immediate danger.
Mean, this humanitarian crisis.
The democratic republic
Separating parents from children—
Families fractured by policy.

Unconstitutional,
Cruel,
Unlawful,
A violation
Of due process and
Equal protection.
Vexing.

The administration appeared
Unprepared for the fallout
“The child has rights,” a spokesman conceded.
“This is a complex situation.”

Amid the chaos,
The president continued to rail against
Those fleeing danger and persecution,
Asylum claims,
Our land,
Judges,
Laws.

An unmistakable message:
“You can’t come in.
“Don’t come at all.”

Respond, lawmakers.
Shift focus,
Keep families together,
Lean into that vote,
Cross that bridge.

Take action.


Poem found in “Federal Judge in California Halts Splitting of Migrant Families at Border,” The New York Times, June 26, 2018.

Mirrored from Janni Lee Simner / Desert Dispatches.

 
 
Janni Lee Simner
14 June 2018 @ 10:09 am

Unprecedented

A choreographed
Freewheeling wager.
Flattery,
Cajolery,
And a slickly produced video.

A bulletproof confrontation.

Diplomatic language,
Recycled statements,
Verifiable missiles.

Sleep well tonight!

A showdown with diplomacy:
Three hours of meetings
Plus a lunch of prawns and crispy pork.

Provocative vague details,
A thumping soundtrack
Of benevolent peacemakers:
An inspirational view.

Aides fidgeted.
Reality TV?
Science fiction?
A buddy movie.

At ease with each other,
They walked on a balcony,
Smiled occasionally,
Heaped praise.

Human-rights abuses?
Hardly a priority.
It is a rough situation over there.

It’s rough in a lot of places.


Poem found in “The Trump-Kim Summit Was Unprecedented, but the Statement Was Vague,” The New York Times, June 12, 2018

Mirrored from Janni Lee Simner / Desert Dispatches.

 
 
Janni Lee Simner
11 June 2018 @ 11:21 am

Surprise Performance

Melody
Drama
Teacher
Students
Classroom
Stone

A massacred education
A defining moment

The goodness and tragedy
Will never be erased

Tears
Light
Life
Hurt
Rage
Sorrow
Art

Every day
In every class
Students shine
Get up
Take action
Through passionate honesty


Poem found in “Parkland Students Give Surprise Tonys Performance After Teacher Gets Award,” The New York Times, June 10, 2018.

Mirrored from Janni Lee Simner / Desert Dispatches.

 
 
Janni Lee Simner
06 June 2018 @ 12:36 pm

Newly Minted

It was simple, pure, and sweeping,
It was haute couture,
It was everything people had hoped.

It was not Cinderella,
Not fantasy or old-fashioned fairy tales.
Independence
While respecting tradition
And keeping her covered up.

It celebrated strength in the substance of its silk.
It had an edge of Hollywood, a Hepburn feel.

Wintersweet,
Held in place by a flexible band
And rigid creativity—
Such smart symbolism.

Yellow and new grass green,
Optimism, happiness, and a new dawn,
Let them shine.

Poem found in “Meghan Markle’s Wedding Dress Was Made for a Person, Not a Princess,” The New York Times, May 19, 2018.

Mirrored from Janni Lee Simner / Desert Dispatches.

 
 
Janni Lee Simner
30 May 2018 @ 10:48 am

Asylum

In a bare compound off a dirt road:
Bureaucrats
Borders
Migrants.

They want to escape:
Dust
Joblessness
Poverty
Persecution.

If the answer is yes,
They are spared the risky journey
Through the desert
And on the deadly boats.

“We’re here to stop people from dying,“
Said the deputy,
But few are actually approved.
The message:
“Stay home.
Do not risk a perilous journey
For a claim that would be denied.”

Humanitarian ideals
Striking out:
New methods,
Questionable results.
Something has shifted.

The bus stations are empty.
The police check identity documents.
A sign outside bears the flag
And warns passengers not to travel without papers.

“Those with legitimate claims have a chance.”
But it is very low.
“We can’t welcome everybody.”
It is a policy without heart.

The smugglers herd together:
Beat them,
Rape them,
Extort money.
Some are sold into slavery
Before being loaded onto rickety boats.

Officials look for cases
Whose persecution might qualify.
In a day of interviews
At the sweltering center
Candidates waited pensively
Looking resigned as they sat on benches.

A refugee
Showed scars on her body
And on her 2-year-old child.

A woman
Asked whether she ever phoned her family:
“I never tell them where I am”

A girl
Who spent time in a camp:
“If I return, they will put me underground.”

After nearly two hours a verdict finally came:
“You will have the right to enter legally,
You will be granted a residence permit,
You will be given accommodations
You will have the right to work.”

Barely.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Poem found in French Outpost in African Migrant Hub, Asylum for a Select Few, The New York Times, February 25, 2018

Mirrored from Janni Lee Simner / Desert Dispatches.

 
 
 
Janni Lee Simner

Malware

Hoping to thwart a sophisticated system
The F.B.I. made an urgent request:
Turn it off.
The malware is capable of
Blocking, collecting, disabling
A global network.
Hundreds are already under control.

To reboot
The Department received permission
To seize the domain,
Command the domain,
Steal sensitive information,
And carry out disruptive Justice.

Stolen circumstances,
Global reach—
The potential for thousands of victims worldwide.

Found poetry from “F.B.I.’s Urgent Request: Reboot Your Router to Stop Russia-Linked Malware,” The New York Times, May 27, 2018

Mirrored from Janni Lee Simner / Desert Dispatches.

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Janni Lee Simner

doingwhatyoulovecover-medium Doing What You Love: Practical Strategies for Living a Creative Life is now out in paperback! This chapbook draws on my quarter-century of writing experience to share insights and inspiration previously only available by attending one of my talks or, more recently, downloading an ebook.

It makes a great gift for any writer in your life who could use a bit of a pep talk. (Including you!)

['Taking risks, rather than being an impractical and foolhardy act, might be  one of the most practical and business-savvy things we can do.']

Available wherever books are sold:
Amazon (bundle with the ebook for 99 cents more)
IndieBound
Barnes & Noble
Or visit your favorite local bookstore and ask them to order you a copy!

Mirrored from Janni Lee Simner / Desert Dispatches.

 
 
Janni Lee Simner
09 November 2017 @ 09:51 pm

And here’s my schedule for TusCon 44 this weekend.

Friday, November 10

7 pm: Meet the Guests
Ballroom

Saturday, November 11

9 am: Best SF/Fantasy for Preschoolers
Panel Room 2
with Janni Lee Simner, Larry Hammer, and Mira Domsky

4 pm: Autograph Session
Canyon Theater Foyer
with William Herr, Mary Fan, Eric Schumacher, Geoff Notkin, and Janni Lee Simner

Sunday, November 12

9 am: The Importance of Knowing What Your Story Is
Ballroom
with Kathryn Lance, Eric T Knight, Gloria McMillan, D.S. Harders, and Janni Lee Simner

2 pm: Finish it!!! How to Know When Your Work Is Done
Panel Room 1
with Linda Addison, Jim Doty, Janni Lee Simner, Catherine Wells, Jeffrey J. Mariotte, Marsheila Rockwell, and Paul E. Clinco

Mirrored from Janni Lee Simner / Desert Dispatches.

 
 
Janni Lee Simner
02 November 2017 @ 11:15 am

I’ll be a panelist at Tucson Comicon, down at the Tucson Convention Center, this weekend! Here’s my panel schedule:

Saturday, November 4, 10 a.m.
Science Fiction and the Nourishment of Hope
with Kathryn Lance (moderator), Ed Hoornaert, Janni Lee Simner, and Catherine Wells
Mohave/Maricopa Room

Sunday, November 5, 1 p.m.
Epic Sci-Fi and Fantasy Worlds
with Natalie Wright (moderator), KJ Kabza, Kathryn Lance, and Janni Lee Simner
Mohave/Maricopa Room

Sunday, November 5, 2:30 p.m.
The Basics of Storytelling
with KJ Kabza (moderator), Monica Friedman, Kathryn Lance, and Janni Lee Simner
Greenlee Room

I’ll also be (of course!) at TusCon 44 November 10-12. I’ll post my schedule there next week, or you can check it out here.

Mirrored from Janni Lee Simner / Desert Dispatches.

 
 
Janni Lee Simner
23 October 2017 @ 12:25 pm

If you enjoyed the Writing for the Long Haul series, head over and check out Cynthia Leitich Smith’s new Survivors series, where well-established writers talk about career endurance as a writer for children and young adults.

When I started out, publishers seemed reluctant to take chances on new voices. And in the pre-Potter industry, there wasn’t the widespread idea that writing for young readers was a viable and attainable career path (or at least one with the potential to generate a livable income).

Consequently, fewer younger people were pursuing it.

As a GenXer, I also entered the field as a shockingly young writer by the standards of the day.

I knew only a couple of published authors (and only online) who were around my age. The overwhelming majority were at least fifteen years older.

Most were a full generation older.

Now, the pendulum has swung hard the other way.

Read more here.

Mirrored from Janni Lee Simner / Desert Dispatches.