The River Is Wide

Series produced by Susan J. Cook

Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
Image by: Susan Cook 
...wide river as ever... 

The River Is Wide is one listener's complement to public radio as media that has always made room for thoughtful, humane human discourse. These essays and poems are commentaries written by a political activist, psychologist and play therapist about the many provocative events in our state, country and world that remind us that the river is wide and each and everyone one of us is needed to cross it. We have much to lose- all of us- when our ideas and actions are premised on the belief that we never need any help getting across. Public radio that stirs the public conscience- free of personal influence peddling- that values thoughtful voice and speaks truth above partisan rhetoric - helps us all get across. The River Is Wide presents a series of Citizen's Guides, the occasional Congressional Guide when necessary, sonnets when no other format seems appropriate, an ode here and there In the Department of Poetic Justice, Sixty-second Moral Inquiries and brief commentaries . Public radio is a muse and PRX has become the pen and paper, yes, for many former and current letter-to-the-editor writers, including this one.

The series began rowing when a local editor refused to publish a letter criticizing a political candidate for a failure to acknowledge human rights violations by the Chinese government calling it "uncivil". Another inspiration has been the censorship of "The humble Farmer" from Maine Public Broadcasting (see The commentaries and entries in the Citizen's Guide, sonnets and odes In the Department of Poetic Justice, Sixty Second Moral Inquiries and the 'new' Two and One Half Minute Conspiracy Theory section speak to issues that stir the public conscience (and mine) and speak truth to power (everyone else's) especially surrounding freedom of speech in the media, injustice and harm.

327 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
The mid-term elections are almost upon us. Now that Obama care is working, what political issues might be nearby? What will help us make good choic...

  • Added: Jan 03, 2014
  • Length: 03:13
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
After Nelson Mandela was freed from the life sentence he was serving in prison, he often spoke about refusing bitterness toward his captors. But h...

  • Added: Dec 06, 2013
  • Length: 02:54
Caption: New Managed car regulations require us to cover more items than we did before and our company has decided that is Unaffordable... we are cancelling your policy.", Credit: Susan Cook
Well, we thought it might happen. Over at Automobile Behavioral Health they are cancelling managed car insurance policies because the new "required...

  • Added: Nov 04, 2013
  • Length: 03:39
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
Having survived the most recent episode of Gridlock by the skin of the Nation's teeth, we beyond the Beltway need to put our collective relational...

  • Added: Oct 19, 2013
  • Length: 03:26
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
Boys' State is an experiment in Democracy that a select group of high school boys attend in Maine this week. We can hope they will learn about the...

  • Added: Oct 17, 2013
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
In the 1950’s and 1960’s American citizens and the stalwart among them who were brave enough to run for political office had to learn to live with...

  • Added: Oct 31, 2014
  • Length: 06:04
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
If Woodward and Bernstein and Ben Bradlee had gone for the “gotcha” instead of the truth, the cost would have been the truth. The integrity that ...

  • Added: Oct 25, 2014
  • Length: 04:45
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
When we see the tools of discrediting the truth happily taken on, now or in history- we might say this. The cost of the truth is, it turns out, th...

  • Added: Oct 11, 2014
  • Length: 11:09
Caption: ...always a sailor., Credit: Susan Cook
My now 85 year old brother , is still, and has been his whole life, a sailor. His boat “Significant Other”, a J-24 racing yacht will carry two. ...

  • Added: Sep 21, 2014
  • Length: 03:07
Caption: Breathing: American Sonnets, Credit: Poems by Susan Cook
In Memoriam , "The Fall" (submitted 9/16/2013 in "Blue: American Sonnets" to the Beatrice Hawley (now Alice James) Poetry Prize)

  • Added: Apr 11, 2021
  • Length: 01:03
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
The cost of the truth is not tied to inflation. It’s tied to tolerance, inversely. The more tolerance that exists, the lower the price paid for the...

  • Added: Sep 06, 2014
  • Length: 04:23
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
The truth can be our moral antidote, our moral medicine, the vitamin that- yes, if someone is trying to tell us that nine dollars and something is ...

  • Added: Oct 04, 2014
  • Length: 04:23
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
The public officials and the political candidates who shape public discourse through the impulsive and shallow convey far more about their ethics t...

  • Added: Aug 23, 2014
  • Length: 04:21
Caption: A migratory bird without a home..., Credit: Susan Cook
Legislative ethics exist to put the brakes on political gamesmanship- whether it’s trading votes to pass a bill, get a fat salaried new Federal job...

  • Added: Aug 20, 2014
  • Length: 10:07
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
Internet search engines have no way of taking context into consideration. The closest Google has come is to hone the search by user’s zip code, wh...

  • Added: Jul 27, 2014
  • Length: 06:37
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
Recently, two Washington Post reporters looked at how human beings are valued in Donald Trump world, now, and as he turned the $200000 his father ...

  • Added: Aug 01, 2015
  • Length: 05:57
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
Twenty four hours or so have passed since a portrait of the older Atticus Finch as a bigot, complaining about the integration of “Negroes” into th...

  • Added: Jul 16, 2015
  • Length: 04:07
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
In 1948, the United Nations said seeking asylum is a basic right to seek protection from government persecution. In my state, there is now a contro...

  • Added: Jun 24, 2015
  • Length: 04:50
Caption: If they carry that lineage, I don't know..., Credit: Nova Scotia Museum/Susan Cook
I went to an exhibit of Native American basketry recently- made by Maine Penobscots and Passamaquoddies. The reception was as polished as any other...

  • Added: May 25, 2015
  • Length: 05:25
Caption: Contaminating Maine for Corporate Favors, Credit: Susan Cook
Well, in my state the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting published a lengthy article about a veteran lawmaker who is strongly supporting a ...

  • Added: May 20, 2015
  • Length: 03:23