Project Hope

by Florence Ondré      8/5/13


Project Hope has helped us cope


With surviving superstorm sandy


Victim’s pace given space


Unwrapped us like Halloween candy


Waves came in crashing; homes and lives smashing


In aftermath, sane was old news


Broken and bent; energy spent


We straggled in by ones and twos


Stranger than fiction, our stories of friction


Sparked up a new kind of flame


Within difference in some, rose a new kind of one


Acknowledging so much the same


A circle was born in piece-mealish form


Leading onward by gentlest crew


Sometimes we’re myopic and slightly off topic


Still one as we all muddle through


In rants, tears and raving, our own lives we’re saving


While feeling we’ve gone down the drain


A labrynthian reeling without any ceiling


Upheaves every cell of our brain


Rules change hours by day; in Machiavellian way


To hamper and truncate our path


Driven b.s. crazy, we’re a little less hazy


By Monday night’s sharing our wrath


Overwhelming sadness gains glimpses of gladness


With topics for practising focus


Unravelling together helps us all weather


Seeing real under pure hocus pocus


We curse worse than sailors; we’re weepers and wailers


Losers of faith, family, friends


We’re tattered and torn; on winds of change shorn


Of all we thought we could depend


Each week we unfold; heart warm from the cold


Tentative, baby skin new


Bedraggled and strange; shocked, rearranged


With courage, we show up the few


Patience at nil; in repetitive drill


It can look like we’re stuck in the mud


Then just when we’re weary of hearing things dreary


Insight can land with a thud


Understanding arises with smiles and surprises


Just when we think that we’re done


The importance we share is the fact that we care


When the rest of the world’s cut and run


Recovery’s brutal with not much in neutral


Nothing of rest or reprieve


With lies and deceit the dim, daily treat


Monday night is our one sure relieve


We can say what we wouldn’t in couldn’t and shouldn’t


Honesty down to the core


Without judge and jury, emptying sorrow and fury


Eases this surgical chore


A word on an easel helps with retrieval


Of strengths we’ve forgotten we had


Giving us pause and plausible cause


To see our inner good in a mountain of bad


In this circle, there’s quiet, weird rhythm and riot


As we talk, listen, flail and sit still


The longer we stay, we learn each in our own way


That the road is not always uphill


And if only brief moment in constant, contentious foment


There’s a place to speak honest, truth, free


Here victims can rise through any storm skies


To become victors eventually.



Thank you, Chris, Jackie & Mohamad for your kind, gentle, nourishing, caring and constancy in a world gone off the rails.  Lights-off moments in mini meditation, held off until we felt safer, gave us the small yet powerful pieces of peace to take to our mats and shelters. You have reminded us that we have the power to stand in the center of our own peace. You are in our hearts always.


To Project Hope: Thank you for being. The gift of the creation of your existence gave us, survivors of superstorm sandy, a much needed light on a path through the darkness of our great losses; our homes, community and lives as we knew them.


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