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What Can I Do?

I posted What Can I Do on December 12, 2012 as a response to the Sandy Hook school shootings.

Several weeks ago, Kathy asked if I Google myself. I replied I had, but there was not a lot. I told her I thought there was maybe a page related to Teacher as Transformer, my Twitter account, Facebook, presentations I made, etc.

Kathy Googled me and found a link to Amazon. It was a book review for a poetry anthology published by Silver Birch Press.

I have poems in the anthology. The review included Barbara Mojica‘s comments: One of my favorites is “What Can I Do” by Ivon Prefontaine. Here are a few lines: Change begins in me./I am a catalyst/I look inside:/Call forth a gentle spirit-/Give it voice.

As I explore mindfulness in daily life, I thought this was an example of two related phenomena. First, as a writer and teacher, I do not know how my words and actions might transcend time and place. Second, as a result, there is a demand on me to be mindful of how I speak and act.

Here is the text of the poem and below is a video with a reading and more context to the poem.

On a sombre day–

Grief and sorrow the order,

Message heard:

Change begins in me.

I am a catalyst

Look inside:

Summon forth a gentle spirit–

Let it speak.

In light, love happens–

Resonates,

Reaches out its hand

Beckon others to join.

Rings on clear pond,

Ripples of love touch,

Love cascades forth,

Good people meet.

Good touches good,

Prayer meets prayer,

Love conquers hate

Join together.

Good people summoned–

Their tears catalyze,

Grieve and heal as one.

About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

29 responses »

  1. Wow, what an honour. Happy for you.

    Reply
  2. Beautiful and powerful Ivon

    Reply
  3. Powerful! Love it!! Blessings and peace.🙏✌

    Reply
  4. Beautiful poem, Ivon. The depth of feeling that it evokes reminds me of some of Parker Palmer’s poems. His most recent book has quite a few contained in the essays. You teach with your words, you know…🙂

    Reply
  5. Just up the road from us. A gut punch that never heals. Beautiful Ivon.

    Reply
  6. Beautiful poem.

    You also have reminded me of a project a friend of mine is involved with – a book of poems and commentary called “Bullets Into Bells” … you might also find something in there to feed you.

    Reply
  7. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    REVISITING A QUESTION STILL LARGELY UNANSWERED…!

    Reply
  8. I last visited El Santuario de Chimayo a few days after Sandy Hook. There is also a small chapel for children, and inside are shoes, flowers, photos, and prayers. I stepped inside and was completely overcome with grief.
    I tried to visit again a few days ago, but it was late morning on a Saturday and there were hundreds of people. It’s been “discovered” by tourists now. There was no parking for blocks and I didn’t bother.
    On my first visit, there were maybe eight or ten others. My second visit was after Sandy Hook.
    I need the silence and solace of a true sanctuary when I visit. I’ll have to go early one morning, off seas, mid week.

    Reply
  9. Reblogged this on Becoming is Superior to Being and commented:
    Reading your poem today for the first time was very appropriate on the day I learned of Harold Bloom’s passing.

    Reply
    • Thank you Kenne. I just finished reading a Elie Wiesel: Teacher, Mentor, and Friend and found overlap with what Bloom spoke about it in terms of one’s faith or lack thereof. Wiesel said it was an act of faith to question Yaweh. To change the world we begin with ourselves.

      Reply
  10. Samuel Beckett described the situation of a certain kind of artist who interested him:

    “Having nothing to express, nothing with which to express; Together with the need to express.”

    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  11. Congratulations, ivon! Beautiful poem and reading. Enjoyed the video chat as well.

    Reply

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