COMPASSION a poem by Bette A. Stevens

Bette A. Stevens, Maine Author

compassion-poem-bas-2017Compassion is…

Compassion in life is a beautiful thing. But exactly what is compassion? I’ve always thought of compassion as love in action. After writing the poem COMPASSION, I searched Google to find a definition. The synonyms fit perfectly into my preconceived notion for the poem because they not only included love and mercy, each synonym requires action (stirring) on our part to metamorphose the ideaof compassion into the realty of compassion.

May compassion reign in our hearts and hands.

~ Bette A. Stevens

Google Search:

com·pas·sion
kəmˈpaSHən/

noun: compassion; plural noun: compassions

sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.

“the victims should be treated with compassion”

synonyms: pity, sympathy, empathy, fellow feeling, care, concern, solicitude, sensitivity, warmth, love, tenderness, mercy, leniency, tolerance, kindness, humanity, charity

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The Shared Universe

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On the well-worn path through the dunes, she heard the surf’s blended cacophony of lives past and present. Crossing the beach, she walked on hard-packed sand below the tide line. Gulls wheeled above, with sharp cries. A fiddler crab with one huge claw held aloft cantered toward her, skirting a patch of mangroves. A fine mist rose along the shoreline which seemed to bend into infinity.

The waves going out gave her a pull, a beckoning, and she took off her shoes. She watched small creatures scurry toward the rippling water and dig into wet sand the color of antique ivory, feeding on nutrients stirred up by tidal action. Like the subconscious feeding on the most interesting bits and pieces of our everyday lives, she thought, and working them into a private mythology, a mythology that stays beneath the surface, and is seldom if ever shared with anyone else. And yet it feeds into everything we do, into the shared universe.

© Mary Clark 2014

5 Star Review Of Miami Morning by Diane M. Denton

A Beautifully Written Journey of Growth and Faith, Review by Diane M. Denton

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As I read deeper into Mary Clark’s new novel, “Miami Morning,” I began to have the sense of following a pilgrimage, a journey of growth and faith. Out of the “levels to her life” as a teacher, community activist and friend, Leila emerges smart, cultured, amiable, supportive, and sometimes self-depreciating, a forty-something woman who engages her senses as she perceives her surroundings like an artist and doesn’t shy away from challenges. She has a need for place and purpose, whether she is in Miami teaching Social Studies, helping to beautify and maintain a playground, and making sure a bright student losing his hearing doesn’t fall by the wayside; or on a year’s sabbatical in South Africa as part of a team setting up clinics in small villages and working to diminish the marginalization of the disabled.

Almost serenely aware “of being on the threshold of accomplishment”, Leila’s restlessness doesn’t make her impatient or impulsive, just active, her movement not always surefooted but, like many a Miami morning, contentedly and expectantly taking her towards an “opening horizon”. Her steps are more proactive than reactive. For example, after breaking up with a lover, she is determined not to cling to “the anguish of love”; instead she accepts the teaching post in South Africa to pursue fulfillment as a teacher and public-spirited, evolving individual.

Certainly, Leila’s quest is for more insight and meaning on the “long journey of life”, but she also seeks a way towards trust—of others, but mainly of herself. She values her interactions with students, colleagues, and friends, is constant and accessible in her relationships, while being easily solitary and essentially private. She gives the novel its heart and spirit, and is someone I immediately engaged with and cared about.

Read full review on Amazon

Review of Miami Morning by Poet David Selzer

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading MIAMI MORNING. Its title raised expectations which were more than satisfied. The work is rich in characters, themes and incidents – and reads well throughout.

Mary Clark juggles and interweaves – sometimes only mixed metaphors will do! – an impressive range of plot lines very skilfully. So skilfully, in fact, that it seemed, for example, quite natural – rather than contrived – that the main protagonist, Leila, should meet up again with Mark, a probable soul mate, by chance on a Cuban beach!

I like Leila – her concerns and interests, her eclectic friendships, her alternating self-worth – and was engaged by her throughout. Mary Clark describes the wide range of relationships Leila has with a wide range people very convincingly.

life-is-an-adventure-1The author’s descriptions of people, places and weathers are very evocative. Just as I know I’d like Leila, I know I’d like Miami, for example – urban, urbane, and both disturbingly and reassuringly tropical. The accounts of the high school students brought back (good and bad) memories of working with adolescent learners very vividly.

Read the full review of Miami Morning on Amazon

Please visit David Selzer’s website. I’ve been following it for several years and have always been delighted by the range and depth of subjects taken on, and by the high quality of his writing. This is one of the poems I’ve most enjoyed: The Reclining Gardener.

Learning as You Write – Guest Post…

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Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

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Writers are advised by editors, agents, academic and self-appointed experts to write about what they know. Some people have pointed out that would be boring. As writers we live in a world of imagination. Some tend to exaggerate, or have a quirky point of view, but many of us simply wonder what’s beyond the known world. We daydream, pay close attention to and analyze our sensory experience, and experiment with ideas. In other words, we go beyond the bounds of ordinary existence. In a way our characters are avatars for ourselves as we explore a made-up world, one created from what we know and what we are curious to know.

When I wrote Miami Morning, I broke the rule on writing what you know. Instead, I was fascinated by what I could learn about topics that were new to me. As I wrote, for instance, I was challenged, just…

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT MIAMI MORNING by Mary Clark @mceyes #WomensFiction

Rosie Amber

Today’s team review is from E.L Lindley, she blogs at http://lindleyreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

#RBRT Review Team

E.L. has been reading Miami Morning by Mary Clark

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Miami Morning by Mary Clark is the story of idealistic teacher Leila Payson. It’s a novel that affords the reader not only the opportunity to follow Leila on her journey through life but also offers a glimpse of what life is like working within the public schools’ system in Miami amid ever changing educational ideology and internal politics.

The novel begins on Leila’s 41st birthday, she is enjoying a comfortable existence having been a social studies’ teacher for fifteen years. However, her sense of peace is undermined as she begins to reflect back over her past. Clark uses Leila’s memories to draw the reader into her life as we are given an insight into key life changing events, such as the death of her mother.

A defining experience…

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2016 Election

I wrote this to some online friends in other countries:

You might be wondering about what is going on in the culture of the USA. For one thing, the Democrats have no one to blame but themselves – and I am one. We used to be the party of the working people. We cared about the working man and woman, and championed being able to improve the quality of life for them, and for all Americans.

More than 20 years ago companies began moving to other countries and leaving many towns and some cities without an economic base. We did nothing, and the Republicans did nothing – until this election cycle when one person saw the anger and resentment at being marginalized and tapped into it. Democrats talked about creating jobs, lowering taxes on the middle class, and making education more affordable, but their one big idea was to raise the minimum wage. As if everyone’s working at Walmart or a fast food place. What people want is good paying jobs, real jobs. Instead of thinking about electing the first woman president, Democrats needed to be thinking – as they used to do – about poverty and the dignity of work. The Republican leadership didn’t get it, either, so they missed the Trump Train. 

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate and her husband and staff, came off as elitist insiders and that only fueled more anger. Unfortunately, Trump infused his campaign with rhetoric that blames immigrants and Muslims for problems they have not caused, and this is a dangerous thing. He used the anger to stoke the flames of hate even higher. Today, many of those who felt they weren’t being listened to by the powers-that-be in Washington, D.C., feel vindicated, but they may also feel empowered to take revenge.

Both the right and the left in the US complained about the move into a global economy, noting that there were victims, mostly small businesses and working people. The Democrats had a candidate who was a strong voice for these concerns, but he lost in the primary. He won the “Rust Belt” states, though, and that along with what he was saying should have been a wake up call for the party.

I think many Democrats, and the Republican leadership, assumed their fellow Americans would never vote for a racist, sexist, foul-mouthed boor. They didn’t understand that the anger was so deep people would excuse or ignore, and even revel in, that behavior.

My biggest concerns about Donald Trump are: the blaming of specific ethnic and religious groups; racism; aggressive denial of free speech to those who disagree with him; ignorance about international relations; and his impetuosity. 

Writing: Patterns and Change – Guest Post…

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Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Story Mapping

I have written memoirs and historical fiction before and tried my hand at short stories, but Miami Morning is my first novel. The mistakes became apparent to me as the book neared completion. What to do? Rearrange all the chapters? Write it again? Then there are those supporting characters. Are they playing a role or am I simply fond of them?

These questions refer to the creation of a coherent pattern, one that the reader will see as sensible and magical at the same time. I decided to work to make my mistakes comprehensible, and resolve not to make them again. Finally, I began to see the threads coming together. One of the fascinating experiences of writing is seeing a pattern emerge from the themes, ideas, and characters’ trajectories.

It was interesting as well to realize that my main character, Leila Payson, in bringing together the various threads in…

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New Review of Miami Morning

I’d like to share this in-depth review of my novel by Martha Char Love, the co-author of the fascinating book, What’s Behind Your Belly Button? A Psychological Perspective of the Intelligence of Human Nature and Gut Instinct

Deep and Thoughtful, Yet Easy To Read Story of The Challenges of a Miami School Teacher

Miami Morning is an excellently written novel that is a “must read” for anyone who has been involved in the educational system. It is a book that would be highly enjoyed by anyone who is or ever has been a teacher, student, or parent. Since I have been all three at one time or another, I truly loved reading this book and savored the experience by stretching it out a few weeks. The author, Mary Clark, has divided the book into very short chapters (usually only a couple of pages each), and so I was able to enjoy making this book part of my morning wake-up-to-the-world ritual by starting each day with a relaxing read of a couple of chapters, along with a cup of coffee.

The main character is Leila Payson, a Social Studies teacher in Miami, who goes to South Africa to teach and learns the importance of listening to the people with physical challenges that she served as though they were “equal citizens” of the community rather than “her students” or “disabled.” When she brings this lesson of compassionate perspective back to Miami and applies it in her teaching there, she is able to help resolve a number of challenges that students share with her, including those who are struggling with problems like drug addiction and life issues like disabilities including hearing impairment. As she weaves through these challenges with her students, the reader is privy to both her inner philosophical dialogues and profound communications with students and colleagues. I thought that the highlight of the book was in the deep questions brought up concerning the importance of a strong community for a person facing hearing impairment. She makes a psychologically powerful case that no one overcomes adversity without help from others.

Read the full review