Women of Achievement Poems 2018

Wonder Woman

for Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson

Since Hannah-Beth landed on this planet,
it’s never been the same. Already by age ten
she spoke out for women’s rights. Ask the boys
of Boston’s Little League. She fought to join them
and they backed her: “best guy on the team.”
She’s still batting homeruns for fair play.

Early on, she took down any bully.
Ask her sister Reyna. When their older brother,
visually impaired, was picked on, you can almost
hear her backfire, “You gotta problem?”
New England tennis champ in her teens,
she also played the lead in school musicals,
getting all the laughs. Show biz is “good practice
for politics,” she jokes. “Keep them engaged.”

Out front and center wherever there’s cause
or crisis, lucky for California she moved here
as a young attorney. Of the 80 bills she’s crafted,
her proudest is Equal Pay for Women,
described as her “35 year instant success.”
Famous for how she sticks out her neck,
it’s no wonder she received the Giraffe Award
adding to a scroll of others. Named Legislator
of the World by many organizations, she insists

The Time is Now to end NRA’s control, to save
our children, our future, from murder in the classroom.
A passionate Chair of the State Judiciary Committee,
she addressed the break-down of our democracy,
reciting words engraved on the Statue of Liberty:
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses
yearning to breathe free.” Hannah-Beth, Wonder Woman,
thank you for all the ways you hold the light,
and speak truth to power reminding that women
“hold up more than half the sky.”

by Perie Longo
Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Emerita
AWC-SB Women of Achievement Awards, June 2018


The Surprising Dr. Carrie Hutchison

Visit with Carrie awhile and presto! the key
to communication is yours for keeps: Listening.
And she knows, with a PhD, Chair of the SBCC
Communication Department. Listen close
like you’d listen to the slither of a lizard
or water swishing along the shore of a lake,
her favorite place to be. Listen with integrity,
objectively, no thought to what you’ll say
before the other is finished. Listen to the spaces
between words to understand beliefs, concerns.
Listen with a wide lens, like their life depends on it,
and yours. Together, you will leave uplifted,
more clear in this confusing world. Listening

is the impact she tries to make each day,
more important than her books and lectures.
Listening to those far different than yourself
matters. Courageously, she resists the status quo,
travels with her students to far flung countries
without our “amenities” to teach how others live.
Learn need, how to initiate change. And listen
to how they laugh, no matter how grim
their circumstance. She’s serious about that
and social justice, co-founder of SURJ,
Showing Up for Racial Justice. To resist injustice

takes action, her medicine to cope at this time
when lack of communication is at an all time high.
As is misunderstanding. To lighten her load,
ten years ago, brokenhearted, she checked out
Craig’s list, answered an ad for a rock band singer.
Here before you, is a professor who walks
her walk and rocks her talk, favors Bob Marley’s song
Redemption, back tickles with her two kids, and
admits she is definitely like the nocturnal hedgehog,
a vocal communicator, who knows exactly how
to make a difference in an unpredictable world.

by Perie Longo
Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Emerita
AWC-SB Women of Achievement Awards, June 2018

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