Duty ~ By ElizaBeth Coira

Is it my duty
Obligation
Responsibility
To put on
A pretty face for you

Simply because I’m a woman

As though my life
Weren’t meant for more
Than the shadowy
Fantasies
Of others

As though my life
Weren’t my own
Beyond what a man
Would pay for

No my friends
That moment has passed
Of social sickness
Putrid illness

At least in my mind
But what’s true for you
Do you buy and consume
The old bloody ruse

How funny
How entrenched
The sins of old
Designed to confine us
And subjugate

One from another
Equal lovers
Partners make
For very poor soldiers

Converts and subjects
Free thinking
Free loving
Free wielding
Free me
Free you
For we

Are meant for more
Than such trifles
Distractions
Pawns
In a muddled
Man-made game

I’m looking forward to sharing this piece, and a couple others, TONIGHT, at the Spokane FemFest–Feminist Art Festival! Checkout this clip of our recent interview on Good Day Spokane, highlighting the event! And join us in Spokane, Washington tonight, 6 pm at the Bartlett, if you can!

Walk A While With Me Friend ~ We Can No Longer Remain Silent

Please enjoy my article for the March/April 2018 edition of the Loon Lake Times

Walk A While With Me Friend – We Can No Longer Remain Silent
Reflections from the 2018 Women’s Marches in Eastern Washington
Copyright ©2018, ElizaBeth Coira

  • Compassion. Common Sense. Humanity. Love. Equality and Equity. For All.
  • The Earth. The Water. Scientific Research. Human Rights, regardless of race, size, shape, identity, disability, affiliation, or sexual orientation.

  • Bodily Autonomy. Healthcare and Access. Family Planning, Birth Control, Reproductive Rights. For our Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Cousins, Friends, Neighbors, Ourselves.
  • Legal Protections and Recognitions. In the Workplace, in the Home, in Public, in our Neighborhoods, Schools, and Community Streets. To Keep Us Safe from harassment, assault, rape, abduction, gunning down, and systematic economic discrimination.

  • Build Bridges Not Walls. What about the real-life humans, critically contributing to our communities and economies. They immigrated simply trying to survive and perhaps even make a better life. Their aspirations may not be so different from yours or mine. Are we comfortable with relying on them to pick our fruits, clean our offices, slaughter our meats; only to shout “Shut Up, and Get Out”? As we gorge ourselves on cheap hamburgers, pesticide-laced apples, and twisted up versions of the “American dream”. And their children who arrived at young and tender ages, sharing classrooms, sports fields, and school lunches with our children for most of their lives; shall we shout “Get Out Too,” as we show them the door, with a steel-toed boot and baton in hand?

  • Safety in Schools for our Children and Educators, from the tyranny of violent threat and chaos. Investment in Public Education Funding, for the infrastructure, supplies, teachers, and counselors guiding and shaping young minds—Our Future.
  • Legal Protections for all from military grade weapons built for rapid, automated modes of nothing more than mass destruction. How many stacks of slaughtered, innocent civilians will it take, as politicians and lobbyists watch from ivory towers and yachts, golf clubs and private jets? Our “all or nothing” public dialogue about guns must seem so pathetically simple, amusing, and profitable to them.

Above are just some of the issues that mobilized over 4.2 million Americans at Women’s Marches across the country, the weekend of January 20th – 21st, in what some are tallying to be the largest demonstration in US history. Here in eastern Washington friends and neighbors also gathered, united in protest: 6,000+ strong in Spokane, 100+ strong in Chewelah. Our neighbors and friends, families and colleagues showed up, spoke out, refusing to be silenced by the unfortunate attempts of cowardly online bullies, drive-by verbal attacks, and even familial and workplace intimidation. So many of us in eastern Washington are no longer content to look the other way when misogyny, racism, unchecked greed, and power grabs of various sorts threaten our lives and our American democracy.  Continue reading

Celebrate! Life & Times at Loon Lake, WA – My Mother, My Earth

Mother’s Day was just yesterday…and the world is finally bursting into spring here in eastern Washington! The grasses are greening, the swallows have returned. Robins are fattening up on wiggly little earthworms. The frogs are singing, the wild turkeys are strutting, and deer are finally back in our neighborhoods.

As I wander the woods and shores around Loon Lake, I am awed and amazed by the intelligent interconnection and design of all of us living beings. It seems we’ve all been waiting anxiously for the lake to melt, for temperatures to climb, and for the fish to be awakened. I feel privileged to have glimpsed a loon on Loon Lake this spring, a rare sighting in recent years. She swam and dove, preened her feathers, then let out a series of her haunting calls. I am guessing her mate was nearby, and she was calling to say perhaps that it’s dinner time.  She dove way down deep, in search of a fishy bite to eat. I wondered what it’s like to see what she sees. I read loons can dive up to 100 feet; and I’ve heard Loon Lake is 103 feet at it deepest.

Would you share your fish with a loon? Most children I ask enthusiastically say yes. And so many adults I meet around the lake, are curious and captivated by the mystical loon. So many feel the love of Mother Nature pulsing through our veins; we see it too in the loon, and the towering Ponderosa Pine.

Why then do I see others, deliberately aiming their boats to run through a flock of waterfowl? Why then do I see trees “harvested” for no apparent reason—their carcasses and limbs left in heaps? Why then do I see piles of trash lining local roads, and even parts of the lake shoreline? What we do to others, we do to ourselves. Our planet deserves better, and so do you.

With Mother Earth and Mother’s Day on my mind; I reflect on my own incredible, loving, kind, caring, fearless Mother and Mother-In-Law. I can understand the love from my Mothers much like the love I witness all around us, courtesy of Mother Earth. I’m wishing you all a very happy spring… and summer too, right around the corner. As the lake population swells this season, as families gather together to enjoy each other’s company; please remember to consider all the beautiful life that lives and thrives around Loon Lake, and that our actions impact one another. We are lucky indeed to have heron and osprey, eagles, loons, turtles, and kokanee in our very own backyards. But the delicate balance that allows all of us to thrive, needs your attention…your care…your consideration. As a neighbor I thank you for helping to keep our lake ecosystem clean, healthy, and vibrant; together as a community we can ensure Loon Lake remains the special place that it is…not only for present, but also future generations.

In the spirit of Love, Mother’s Day, and Mother Earth; please enjoy the above poem I wrote for my own Mothers, accompanied by a photo of the sun’s reflection in the ever-inspiring waters of Loon Lake, Washington.

 ElizaBeth Coira is a Writer, Poet, Workshop Facilitator, Communications & Strategy Consultant, & Loon Lake Neighbor. You can enjoy more of her poetry and photography at ElizaBethCoira.com or HomeGrownSojourner.com.