Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Richard for THIS.

And to Mark for accepting and publishing [FROM] 147 MILLION ORPHANS: A HAYBUN


The universe of [147 million] "orphans" is a complicated environment -- just witness how I can't just say 147 million orphans without the caveat of brackets and quote marks; no one really knows how many orphans exist  worldwide, and "orphan" is now applied to not just kids without parents but kids whose families are mired in poverty and therefore are "orphaned" into scenarios that might improve their plight (e.g. placed in orphanages for feeding programs or for adoption).

Of late, I've been concerned about a real life situation of an orphan aging out of orphanages. In Colombia (to cite just one example) studies show that many of the children commit suicide before they reach age eighteen, and of those who survive, as much as 60% of the girls become prostitutes and 70% of the boys become hardened criminals.

When I was last in Bogota, I had the chance to visit a group home set up for orphans who'd aged out of orphanages with nowhere to go.  These folks had to have a job or be continuing their education in order to get basically a dorm-room in this shelter.  It's a great idea (we have a similar facility here in Napa Valley).  But more such facilities are needed.

I'll leave it there for now. Except to note (more for moiself than anyone else) that Poetry, that hard taskmaster, is more than words.  Perhaps because actions, too, as a matter of technique, are tough to beat for powering up words.

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