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Dear March...That blame is just as dear as Praise/And Praise as mere as Blame -Emily D.

· The Stay Project,transformation,artmaking

As we enter deep and anxious into the season of rhetoric, some of us we three poets are noticing memes like the one in which an animated brain says to an animated heart, "Heart turn around," to face the world on fire, and Hearts says, "Nope," preferring to keep its aortal eye on the rainbow.* Yep. Yep. We recently met a human we'll refer to as The Happiest Poet Ever, and wondered at that dichotomy. March is a kind of birth, an opening. The crocus are not yet beautiful, pushing through the ice.

Talk to us. Show us something. Stay, here.

*[thank you to the & Kristen Nelson]

Krayna Castelbaum

Dear Mr. Trump,

I’m writing letters to people who could use heartfelt words. Lamps in the dark, if you will. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I didn’t choose you when I sat down to write.
There I was gazing quietly at my notebook when suddenly my pen scribbled your name on the virgin paper. Quite the surprise! But that happens when the mind can wander freely, when thoughts aren’t lined up like combat soldiers ready to fire off the next missive.

I’m no psychic, but I know you’re a deeply troubled man, Mr. Trump. I know, too,
the commercial face you employ like a death mask won’t budge on this point: Denials aside, your blustery behavior betrays you. I’d wager a bet that contact with the full range of feeling is too much for you to bear. Thus removed from a vital part of yourself, you’ve suffered a loss of empathy, which can only take root in a hospitable environment.

I want to offer warm words to the vulnerable boy you once were, to poor Donny, who wanders the chambers of your heart in ghostly exile. Here is my letter to him:

Dear Donny,
What a fine boy you are! I’m sorry you’re alone. You don’t deserve that. I know you wish your mommy would read "Charlotte’s Web" to you at bedtime, whisper, “I love you, sweetheart,” then kiss your head softly as you fall asleep. I know you’re hungry for a look from your daddy that says you’re more precious to him than all the tea in China. You adore your daddy. All you want is the glad feeling of your small hand held in his.

I know it’s scary, how Big Donny huffs and puffs and blows up. He wants to be liked, be the boss. But even being president doesn’t make him happy. He marches around that big house and never sees you, though you remain within him in every moment.

But I see you, Donny. You want to play hide-and-seek, snuggle with your mommy, throw the ball with your daddy, eat popcorn and watch “Lassie.” I see you, and I love you.

Your new friend, ML :-)

It’s tragic, Mr. Trump, dangerously so for the entire planet, that you’ll go to the grave never able to acknowledge Donny. I’m sure this makes you squirmy, but before you run off, consider this: No amount of empire building, power or popularity makes up for a lack of warmth. There’s no substitute for the love of a tribe that firmly yet gently steadies us to find our true place
in this spinning world. If only you knew the force of such love. Now that would be


Most sincerely,
Misty Liberty

Krayna Castelbaum, dedicated Poetry Instigator, migrated to Bend, Oregon from New Jersey in 2003. Krayna honors her abiding passion for the creative spirit though poetry and visual art. She publishes the Poem of the Month, facilitates monthly Poetry Playshops, and hosts other spirited events in Bend and beyond. Krayna can be sighted in downtown Bend handing out poems to passersby every Wednesday afternoon. Learn more:

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