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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