Tiani and Kira-mother and daughter-write two poems for you

Today we have two poems–one from Tiani Coleman, the President of New Hampshire Independent Voters and one written by her daughter, Kira about the experience of growing up with a mother who is a political activist.

Kiraandme2011

Tiani and Kira Coleman, 2011

 

****

 “I wrote this poem as an expression of my political and life journey.”  –Tiani Coleman

Voyage to Independence

 

Born, with dreams.  Smiling.

The inner voice guiding – no worries

Do good . . . and it returns tenfold

Hope.  Joy.

 

The path is clear, progress constant

Foes exist to thwart – in theory

But there’s nothing to fear

In this black and white world if you choose the right

Always . . . Answers, safety, certainty.  Purpose.

 

Don’t risk, or veer.  It’s all laid out

For the fortunate few who know

The Truth.

Live it.  Hold it.  Defend and promote it.

Follow those who went before.  It works.

 

And so it was.  ‘Til the seasons changed.

Hope may spring eternal, but Spring doesn’t stay.  There’s Summer

Fall and Winter, too.  And all are needed for life to

Continue.  For new things to evolve.

 

Trusting.  Serving.  Blind, unawares.

Used, used and betrayed.

Confidence shaken.  It’s dark – cold.

In the void . . . carry on.  It’s

All you can do.

 

Cultivate the grey, intricate shadows.  They’re rich

With possibility.  And when the Light

Bursts down, life rises up in a

Beautiful embrace as never before.  Authenticity.

 

Not a beam of certitude . . . Rays of

Understanding.  Perspective:  gratitude, humility.

Empathy.

Not – us and them.  Harmonious contrasts.

Each and All valued.  Liberty and Equality.

Hope.  Joy.  Love.

Tiani Coleman

 

****

My Mother is an Activist

Kira Coleman

At nine o’clock I’m falling asleep

Under an armchair

at the headquarters.

My hair: spread across the floor

My fingers: about to be stepped on

My mother: still in a meeting.

 

She used to push me on long walks in a stroller:

just the two of us.

We must have walked every neighborhood in the county

given every house at least one flyer

 

At eleven I pushed that same stroller

full of my little brother and a Costco bag of candy.

We were in an awful lot of parades under that

summer sun.

 

We distributed an awful lot of little signs.  My grandpa,

I remember, at eighty-four years old pounding signs into the

desert clay

 

They lost the race, of course.

None of us had any other expectations

from their hodgepodge volunteer campaign

We understood even as children: they didn’t have

the money to buy the election.

They didn’t even have the money to pay my mother.

 

At seventeen I went to another convention

on my birthday.  I’d imagined a big

building — like the buildings we went to when I was three

but this was an independent convention.

This was a tent convention.

 

Still, it was the same conventional story

watching my little sister

 

Her little blond ponytail

pressed against the hard plastic seat

Her little pink coat standing out against

all the actual politicians in the room

she wondered just like I did —

 

Mommy, when can we go home?

Kira Coleman

Kira Coleman

 

Afterward:  Kira Coleman, 17, is a junior in high school and the daughter of Tiani ColemanTiani Coleman was elected Vice Chair of the Salt Lake County Republican Party in 2001 and Chair of the Salt Lake County Republican Party in 2003.  In 2010, she agreed to be the campaign manager for Hyer for Congress, running on the Democratic ticket, challenging Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) in the most conservative district in the country.  In 2012, Tiani officially declared as an independent voter and began advocating for systemic electoral reform.  She moved to NH with her family in 2013, and is now President of New Hampshire Independent Voters.  Says Kira, “My mom asked me to write her a poem for the blog; when I told her that I don’t have enough political passion to write political poetry, she said I could write a child’s perspective.  It perhaps did not come out how she had expected… The perspective of a child on long meetings and lots of adults arguing about stuff is not bound to be particularly positive.  I would, however, like to note that I do have a lot of respect for what my mom does and for her motivation and integrity in the political world.  That being said, I have no intention of future political involvement.”

___________________________________

Our celebration of National Poetry month continues throughout April with poems chosen or written by P4P members.  

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8 Comments

  1. two wonderful poems by Wonderful American Patriots !!

    Reply
  2. Gwen Mandell

     /  April 20, 2016

    Found myself crying reading both 🙂

    Reply
  3. Harry Kresky

     /  April 21, 2016

    Tiani,
    I feel so close to your journey. The struggle to give up knowing and certainty — to embrace conflict and development –is a life’s work. Your daughter is lucky to have such a good teacher.

    Harry

    Reply
    • Tiani Coleman

       /  April 21, 2016

      Thank you, Harry. Glad to have crossed paths with so many good souls. Honored to know you.

      Reply
  4. Very nice. Both were heartfelt and touching, but I chuckled when reading the final sentence of the afterward. 🙂

    Reply

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