NaPoWriMo update

Hi, hi!  So you may have noticed I haven’t been posting poems every day.  I am still participating in NaPoWriMo.  However, I have decided I would like to keep some of my poems for potential publication outside the blogosphere.  So some NaPo poems will show up here and some will be saved to be savoured in other publications.

That said, I am not on task with NaPoWriMo.  At this moment, I am up to ten of eighteen poems.  We’ll see how the rest of the month goes.

Thank you for reading and hanging with me.

NaPoWriMo #3

bright hum, light song
bubbles popping to the soothing
of my soul
skin immersed in a sweaty bath
body turns
ride the waves
hours slip down the drain
tomorrow will come
tomorrow’s calling for rain
tomorrow’s a day closer
to you in my bed.

© 2017 by Robin A. Sams

NaPoWriMo #2

like a shell shut tight at the bottom of the sea
brushing sea grasses and weeds
they bend to her      and bend away   away
for though she is soft
though she opens wide when the waters are warm
her shell is dull      and quiet as the deep
—it terrifies
have you ever heard a shell scream?

she isn’t a shell
but a woman         she has always been quiet
always the world   percolating in her brain
shifting           creating realities
questioning this one
and someone asks to see inside
she tries    but the words she easily traces
in the sand at the bottom of the sea
take an eternity
to make sound out loud
there is little patience in this world for silence
because the brain fills in the gaps
where a handhold should.

© 2017 by Robin A. Sams

NaPoWriMo #1

Hello, my blog readers.  It has been months since I’ve blogged.  I have written very little for months.  Life is too big for words sometimes.  It’s a funny thing.  Sometimes life is so big, and I need the words pouring across pages.  Other times, life is so big, and the words are sparse.

However, inspired by a friend and a boyfriend, I have decided to take part in NaPoWriMo again this year.  (I didn’t do it last year, as I was focusing on a novel I have yet to complete.)  I want to get back into the habit of writing regularly, and this seemed like a great opportunity to do it.

So here is my first poem for the month, following NaPoWriMo’s early bird prompt of a haibun:

you turn the knobs, and hot water cascades down your arm.  a first shower.  together.  we strip quick and get in, dancing around who will be under the showerhead.  making up after breaking up on this strange night.  your arms circle me with warmth from within

without was so cold
shivers scavenged my body
this night manifold.

© 2017 by Robin A. Sams

On dealbreakers and the election

The US election has come to pass.  I am heartbroken.  Sad, angry, afraid.  I am not alone.

And there are white people who voted for Trump saying they voted for him because of his policies on the economy, immigration, foreign relations, etc.

Here’s a story.  A true story.  During one of the previous elections, I was considering voting for the Green party candidates.  I agreed with a lot of their proposed policies.  However, I then read that the candidate was Catholic and that affected their stance on abortion (in a way that limited abortion).  For me, a threat to a woman’s bodily autonomy is a dealbreaker.  So I didn’t vote Green party.

The fact that Trump’s racism, misogyny, and other bigoted policies/ideas/beliefs were not dealbreakers for a significant percentage of white people is disturbing.  (I am only speaking to the motivations of white American voters here.  I am a white woman.  I will not speak to the motivations of POC who voted for Trump.)

For too long, white people have insisted that racism no longer exists, or that they don’t see race, just people.  Well, guess what?  I see you.

The world sees you.

And I hope with every last ounce of what Americans are supposed to consider great about America (life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, etc.) that you pick up a big mirror and look.  Look at yourselves.  Hard.

We see you.

In a way, it’s good.  The racism and other bigotries are all out in the open now.  No more couching them in the language of “colour-blindness” or hey-you-can-marry-now-why-are-you-still-complaining.  No more microaggressions and subtle discriminations.

This post is not simply to guilt-trip the white people who voted for Trump.  I recognize that I, as a white woman, must accept some portion of blame, even though I voted for Hillary.

I should have been louder about supporting Hillary and about why I did.  (I have voted for third-party candidates in the past.  This time, however, I saw the clear danger Trump and Pence presented and knew I had to vote for Hillary, because she could win.  The US’s two-party system is flawed and frustrating.  However, there were too many lives at stake this time.)

I should have worked harder at expressing my fears and exposing the ridiculousness of letting a man with zero experience and a ton of arrogance, bigotry, and a lack of caring into the highest office of power in the United States.

Yes, there are some people I never would have convinced.  Some people are like a wall™ you can never get through, or even over, to their hearts.

Now the work of all of us is much harder.  It is coming together to protect those most vulnerable, most in danger from the out-in-the-open racism, homophobia, misogyny, xenophobia, and ableism.  It is being louder than hate.

Yes, a part of me wants to wash my hands of America.  I have that privilege.  I live in Canada.  I can choose not to visit the States so long as Trump is in office.  I can even seek Canadian citizenship.

There is also a part of me that can’t turn my back on the mess.  I have friends and family in the States.  I am too invested in my ideals of equality/equity and freedom.  People will be harmed in Trump’s America.  I will not ignore that.

What will we do now?  Do it now.



Well, I’ve lapsed in my blogging again.  It’s summer.  I’ve also been occupied by personal stresses and the impending US election (yes, I’ve sent in my voter registration).

I did want to do a post, however, to let you all know about two great anthologies published in June in which I am excited to have work.

The first anthology is a Prince tribute published by Yellow Chair Review.  It’s called A Prince Tribute …only wanted one time to see you laughing and can be purchased here. My poem “Now you are gone” found a home there among sexy, sweet, sad, and beautiful poems draped in purple.

The second anthology is called Unrequited:  An Anthology of Love Poems About Inanimate Objects and is edited by Kelly Ann Jacobson.  It can be purchased here or here. My poem “Singer” found good company in this anthology that features poems to food, appliances, backyard decor, nature, and more.

As I am not sure how frequent my blogs will be for the next little while, if you want to keep up with me you can catch me on Twitter.  I post things about writing, politics, food, and personal stuff on there.

Enjoy your July!

All Vegans

Around the time I wrote my last blog post, I was reminded in a vlog by YouTuber Lilly Singh of something important:  promote what you love.  (I had also forgotten that Lilly Singh had already done a video similar to the one I envisioned:  Things People Say to Vegetarians)

So this blog post is a post to promote vegan things and people I love.


Farm Sanctuary has three shelters at either end of the continental United States (two in California and one in New York) that house escaped and/or rescued farmed animals.  (One of the dreams high up on my list of dreams is to spend a week or so at one of their shelters in the company of the animals.)  Not only do they directly help farmed animals through sanctuary work, but they also lobby for legislative changes to help farmed animals and provide educational materials through their web site.  They also post videos of the animals in their shelters.  My favourite is Pigs and Pumpkins.

Vancouver Animal Defense League is a more local animal rights activism group.  They hold anti-fur protests and are working to ban shark finning in Canada.  They can appear more in-your-face with their beliefs, because they are out in the public actively protesting and working to change things for animals.

Favourite vegan food recipe sites:

Oh She Glows

Vegangela (this web site is giving me a database error; in case it’s not temporary, you can also check her out on Facebook)

Post Punk Kitchen

Favourite vegan cookbooks (you’ll recognize some of these author names from the web sites above):

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero  (I love this book; it is my go-to cupcake recipe book)

The How It All Vegan series by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard

Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero (a reference to the Evil Dead franchise; how can you not love it?)

The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Vegan Recipes To Glow From The Inside Out by Angela Liddon

The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur:  Over 140 Simply Delicious Recipes That Treat the Eyes and Taste Buds by Kelly Peloza

The Everything Vegan Cookbook by Jolinda Hackett and Lorena Novak Bull (the Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Quinoa makes this book)

Favourite specialty vegan foods (these tend to be more expensive than I can afford on a regular basis, so they get relegated to the specialty category):

Dandie’s Marshmallows

Daiya cheese alternatives

Tofurky roast feast (our Thanksgiving/Christmas staple)

Cocoa Camino coconut dark chocolate bars (I can actually get these for a great price at the local Green Store)

I may be forgetting some things/people, but those are my favourites at the moment.  ❤