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Poetically Yours Ep. - 76 - Push through

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Provided by Tracy Noel
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Tracy Noel

Welcome to Poetically Yours. This segment showcases poetry from northern Illinois poets. This week we feature Tracy Noel.

Noel is a native Chicagoan who returned to her Midwest roots after 20 years. She has traveled extensively, with passionate interests in native cultures and ecology.

In 1988, Noel received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Northland College in Wisconsin. Since that time, she’s tried her hand at many challenges and occupations. They include tree-planting, cleaning up after the EXXON/Valdez oil spill, sustainable agriculture research, for-profit and subsistence farming in numerous regions, landscaping, catering, teaching, tour guiding, fisheries research and public speaking.

While living in Oregon for 14 years, she directed a small non-profit organization and a Youth Garden Project, educating about and advocating for healthy food production, food equality and preservation of natural resources. Meanwhile, she helped to develop a vibrant movement to support healthy and just local food production for local consumption.

In recent years, she has been a farmer and trainer for a non-profit training program that helps people rebuild their lives through food production. Presently, she teaches horticulture to incarcerated individuals.

A skilled boater, Noel likes to experience new places “from the water”. She gets most excited about sharing good food, spending time with family, hot summers, cold winters, sunshine, and lightning bugs. And she is most proud when people call her a farmer.

Noel wrote her poem “Still I Rise” after hearing about a poetry challenge on NPR. She didn’t submit her poem but now she’s sharing it with Poetically Yours listeners.

Still I rise each morning to greet the wonder and the grief of a new world formed by fear

After a year of closures, I open my eyes to see the results of schools locked, shops shuttered, eyes shut forever

And my heart breaks for the courage and the loss

Still I rise with each breath a testament of a life lived

After 54 years of moments, I am reset by time into this one by a nation in trauma, in protest, in grief

And my heart breaks with the knowledge that I am we

Still I rise against each injustice with my voice for those who are kept silent

After too many wars, too many blind eyes, turned heads, lives snuffed, too many untruths spoken

My heart breaks the silence with my words

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.
Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.