Category Archives: New

Open Letter/4/

Preamble to The Constitution for the United States of America

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Dear Reader,

Prior to the last election, I was appalled and dumbfounded by the individual who rose up and, eventually, became the candidate. Subsequently, this individual assumed the role of the 45th President of the United States.

I was (and continue to be) appalled and dumbfounded because he appealed to the basest of human emotions – fear, greed, prejudice, hate, bullying, and immoral economics.

He juiced his base over and over again with these tactics. He still does.

He threw out red herrings to distract and detract. He still does. It works.

He continues to take no responsibility for what his words and policies provoke. He’s opened Pandora’s Box of biliousness, throwing our country into a time of toxic leadership, that permeates each crack and crevice of living. It’s as if the blindness of party loyalty and party line continues to support the putrid stench his administration has released.

Is this our “perfect Union”? There is very little, if any, “domestic Tranquility” these days; and, it’s becoming less so as I write.

The “Blessings of Liberty” are for all the people, not a few. “We the People…” means everyone – regardless of party, religion, color, sex and/or sexual orientation, national origin, and/or race.

This is my last “Open Letter” regarding this administration. I thought “Open Letter /3/” was it. However, the abominations have become so atrocious and heinous that I’m compelled to write one last time. I do not condone, nor can I sit silent and allow this administration’s activities to continue without speaking up again.

I have one request, Dear Reader, and that is that before you cast your ballot in 2020, you step away from all the noise, find a quiet place and go deep into your conscience. No matter what side you’re on, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you deeply, honestly and truly believe that the current administration has earned another four (4) years in office?
  • Are their values your values?
  • Is this an administration that holds true to the spirit of
    the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America?
  • Imagine what America could be with another four (4) years under this administration?

As you think about these questions, consider whether your responses are rooted in morality or economics.

Sincerely,

Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer
Labor Day, 2019

“I stand alone.” ~ Jessan Dunn Otis ~ #poem

I stand alone.

 

I stand alone.

Splattered by a bolt of sun.

It’s morning.

  (c) 9.7.18

Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer

       

Sun's rise / September, 2018 / photo credit: Jessan Dunn Otis, Writer (c)
photo credit: Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer / September, 2018 / Rhode Island (c)

Open Letter /3/

“Open Letter /3/” by Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you’re a leader.” John Quincy Adams

Dear Reader,

My tolerance for the present administration in Washington, D.C., has come to an end.

The major players in this administration, after more than enough time in office, have shown themselves to be two-faced, triple-talking, bigoted, smear-happy, opportunistic, money-grubbing, throwers of red herrings; and, masters and mistresses of chaos and confusion.

Enough.

Stop.

It continues, ad naseum.  Day after day. Week after week.  Tweet after Tweet. (Using the Twitter account of a former private citizen, who is no longer a private citizen since swearing in day January, 2016.)

Enough.

Stop.

Words matter.  Actions matter.  Words and actions reflect the character of a person. The words and actions of the major players of this administration become more transparent, self-revealing, disturbing and profoundly embarrassing. Undignified. Rude. Petty.  Insulting international leaders, long-standing allies, while insulting then complimenting and admiring other leaders of less than applaudable character who torture or murder their own citizens and systematically squelch and incarcerate any whisper of dissent against their own government.

This is some kind of surreal madness.  A world turned topsy-turvy. Up is down.  Truth isn’t truth. What was stated one day is mocked and denied the next day.

Does this administration believe that enough folks will forget a couple of years from now and be duped again?  Do the folks who voted this administration into office continue to believe that these elected officials are making decisions based on their best interest or their own?

How long can the duplicitousness of this administration continue?  How many more lies? How many more insults, slurs and misogynistic, racist, bigoted barbs to be shot out and then denied and/or spun away?

Enough.

Stop.

I, for one, have had more than enough.  Have you, dear Reader, had enough of this, too?  If you answered “Yes.”, my next questions to you are: What are you doing today? What are you going to do the next opportunity you have to stand up and speak out for what you believe?

Finally, I have never liked bullies. I am decidedly uncomfortable with inflated, self-centered personalities.  Those three attributes in one person who is the President of the United States is chagrining, disheartening and, ironically, motivating.

It is my goal that Donald J. Trump be a one-term President.

Most Sincerely,

Jessan Dunn Otis

This is the last in a series of three (3) “Open Letters”.

 

Sailing With My Father – #poem

Sailing With My Father 

 

Historically a quiet man with an

extraordinarily dry wit

 

When sailing your quietude

became fierce, sailing on

the edge

 

The hand with a piece of shrapnel

from a war on the tiller, holding

steady

 

Face turned windward, eyes

noting obstacles, checking

cat tail direction

 

The rush of wind caught to

fill the sails

 

We were happy.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dedicated, in Love and Memory, to my father, Mahlon Hendrickson Dunn, Jr., 1914-1992 / Until we meet again.

 

© Jessan Dunn Otis, August 6, 2018

Open Letter /2/

Open Letter /2/ 

Dear Reader,

To write that we are living in interesting times is an understatement.  To sit back and witness the proliferation of slurs, insults and innuendos and to say nothing is a relinquishment of one’s essential right as a citizen.

I’ve witnessed many changes in administrations over decades.  I am hard-pressed to recall such venomous, vitriolic and smarmy behavior as I’ve seen throughout the past two + years.  Stooping to the most despicable displays of bullying, consistent strategies of distraction, while slipping in another barb at that one, another demeaning comment about this one.  No side of the aisle is truly exempt in this.

Enough.

Stop.

However, this behavior does not stop.  It rolls across our television screens. Is repeated and reprinted, re-interpreted and propounds itself all over social media – day in, day out.

Enough.

Our democracy is founded on a few, essential principles – one being that all [people] are created equal.  Another principle is that we all have certain, inalienable rights.

Just those two principles are enough to remind me that the founders intended to form a civil society – unlike any other society.

Where did that civility go? How did that lack of civility bring us to this quagmire of dirty, pathetic, embarrassing harangues and hissy fits?  Is this your interpretation of democracy?

Enough.

We, the people, don’t have to agree.  In fact, we can be almost diametrically opposed on one or more issues.  Neverthemore, when we, as a country, cannot accept and agree to simple, civil discourse, we’re all in very deep trouble.  When we, as a people, can only live in the narrow, bigoted, opposition condition of them v. us, you v. me, then I say: “Stop. Enough. Step back. Take a deep breath. Clear your head of distracting noises.  Begin, again.”

When the pendulum swings to its apex, it must, in time, swing the other way.

My concern in all this is, if we don’t re-establish a more civil national conversation, we will continue to run and stumble (not walk) down this path of insults, embarrassment, contention, lies and destructive behavior.

Enough.

Stop.

Is this what we, the people, want?  Is this what you want? Is this your vision of what civil discourse and democracy is?

Sincerely,

~ Jessan

Jessan Dunn Otis | Writer

This is the second in a series of three (3) “Open Letter” posts.

Weeding With My Mother – poem

Weeding With My Mother

 

I learned to weed a garden

    squatting next to my mother

 

Once I began to learn what was wanted

    and what was unwanted

The rest was easy

 

Bend down

 

Get my hands dirty

 

Smell the earth

 

Look carefully

 

Make clean spaces

 

    Talk softly.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Dedicated with Love and Memory to Helen Constance Smith Dunn ~ 1912-1980 / Until we meet again.

 

© Jessan Dunn Otis, June 30, 2018

The beauty of this place

The beauty of this place

 

Sweet, salted sea air     Pine and palm     Sugar sand and St. George Island – sand dollar, shark tooth   “TomTom, how you doin’?”  “I’m doin’ alright.”   Tillie Miller Bridge between here and Tiki – Plump, Gulf shrimp and Apalach oysters   Hickory smoked chicken and ribs (no rub) and sunfried jellyfish

 

Seagulls     Sea terns     Great blue herons     Dolphins spyhop and blow every now and then     Distant light on Dog Island in a 2:20 AM blueblacknight

 

Sopchoppy   Eastpoint   Panacea   Alligator Point

 

A few days back Julie and Artie left, again, having returned from leaving once before and we all walked this beach, beyond the pine tree point, further than any of us had gone before – sea-silvered driftwood, beheaded brown pelican in the brambles of sea grass and pine needles     Warming sun     Cool, hard-packed, low tide sugar sand under bare feet   Sassy leaping pine-stained, sepia rivulets

 

The laughing gull has returned each morning, greeting and reclaiming its territory and, more than likely, calling out “Sea urchin!” to the others that, eventually, return — glide, drift, rise and drop, land     Eat, stay — then, again, depart  —  leaving this length of calm, shallow bay to terns, herons and egrets to forage

 

The beauty of this place is as intricately delicate as the silent glideflight of eleven brown pelicans in singular formation, skimming the shallow wave crests – moving from east to west – becoming, eventually, a pulsing line disappearing into the horizon

 

The beauty of this place

 

The red smirch of Crystal hot sauce spilled at the edge of a previous high tide line, scattered with Apalachicola oyster shells from our early evening appetizers, has been consumed by the storm-driven, rough chop of last night’s rain, wind and the approaching full moon     Wind out of the Southeast, breaking diagonal crests of gunmetal gray and the red buoy strains on its chains as the tide shifts and the channel churns

 

There is violence in the beauty of this place, too  –  ships lost, lives swallowed whole, coyotes grab dogs, alligators grab anything

 

Waves meet land and visibly reverberate back into water, again –

making     unmaking     remaking

 

A broken buoy drifts     Freed until it’s caught on low tide sea grass before this tide turns     The sun breaches darkening, layered afternoon storm clouds to the West, while brilliantly illuminating the etched, white sandbar over there

 

Burble of language bounces inside my ear – “Hey! How you doin’?” heard so often it becomes as familiar and unnoticed as the wave and the air and this light

 

The beauty of this place is as much a mystery to me as you

 

Bert and Kathy, Hattie and Zack – come and met and gone     Orange and onion salad, frittatas made and shared   Al and Sandy, Sharon and Larry, Scotty, Doug, Gen and Ted     Sun-warmed, woman laughing with Pat — LaVerne with her easy, flashing Apalach smile     Kim and Tony and oystering all Monday morning across from St. Vincent because the rip was too chopped

 

Three brilliant, crested egrets graze along this shore, dolphins pass and blow and continue on, as heedless of us as the swarm of terns that rise and twist and glide away to feed further down on this storm-tossed, driven gloss

 

WOYS, Oyster Radio, 100.5 FM, plays softly as the shrouded sun journeys further West     The playful pinwheel whirls and chatters, stick jammed between the weathered 1st and 2nd boards of that well-worn picnic table     Just outside this open window, burlap oyster bag flaps

 

Steelwater, forbidding wind along this coast of Carrabelle     Another invisible finger whips this water, etching new (yet ancient) patterns

 

Tide turns, distant sandbar, barrier beach revealed     Unseen fish school as flocks follow and feed, far off

 

Damp, salted air     Thin, singular electric line that leads from shore to dock light               Whisper of wave and wind

 

The beauty of this place

 

No matter where I go nor what I do, the beauty of this place will taste like home as salt is in my tears

 

The apparent void dissolved     The horizon I can never reach will always draw me in, seeming to want to go further than my eye can see, when the greatest daring starts within

 

The beauty of this place…
~ ~ ~

Dedicated to: Suzanne Creamer, Stephine McDowell, Marlene Moore, Jennifer Moro, Albert Otis, Jennifer Pickett, C.J.(Joe)Pouncey, Sassy, Judi Rundel

~ ~ ~

HoHum RV Park/Carrabelle, Florida/January-February, 2004

 

(c)Jessan Dunn Otis / 2004-2017