Reflections on the Dream

Reflections on Grant Park 2004 – 2021 11/4/08

I saw America gathered on a cold November night

Black and white, yellow and red with all blends in sight

I saw America gathered together as one people on the lawn

Children of integration, people of hope, “silver spoons,” and ghetto moms

I saw America gathered with joy stretched and reaching

College Students, blue collar workers, business men, and teachers

I saw America gathered “One Nation Under God”

People of all faiths, people of no faith, all with hope for what the future holds

I saw America gathered a shining light to the world

Examples of hope, oneness, unity, and love, speaking with one voice

I saw America gathered watching History on a new track

Bringing down walls of race and fear that for too long held us back

I saw America gathered fulfilling ancestral dreams

Of Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King

I saw America gathered to let the whole world know

That differences can be transcended and peace can be attained.

I saw America gathered and it made me very proud

To be part of this great country where voices can be heard loud

I saw America gathered and I prayed, that God would give

Our new president wisdom. as on this difficult path we live

I saw America gathered together as he spoke

With humility and pride, confidence and strength, wrapped in words of hope

I saw America gathered, eager to open a new door

Not black or white, rich or poor, simply Americans

…and nothing more!

*Back in 2008 after the disastrous Bush years of the invasion of Iraq, I and many other Americans were drawn in by Obama’s message of Hope and Change. Although the “Hope and Change” did not turn out the way I had anticipated, watching the crowd who came out to see President elect Obama at Grant park in 2008, to me, was a very moving experience. Immediately following I was inspired to write this poem at midnight as I watched it play out live on TV.

Sadly the desire to work together was immediately crushed by partisan politics, both then and now. Division and polarization has brought great harm to the country. Many of the dreams expressed in Grant Park that election eve seem to have gone up in political smoke!

Now, as President Biden begins his term, many of these dreams are revisited. This poem is my naïve dream that we could all come together, as they did in Grant Park, to create the Hope and Change our country needed.

Posting this on d’Verse open link night. I read this today on our virtual poetry group this afternoon. It was so great to see and hear everyone who participated.

Join us at: https//dversepoets.com then click Mr. Linkey and read more poems.

A New Day Dawns

Crocus blooms today

Spring reminds us Love rises

Beauty shines brightly

*****

Above the fray of discord

A New President walks home

Stray flowers in the sunshine pushing spring!

Photos taken today along my walk: Dwight L. Roth

Connections

All creatures great and small need connections

Birds seek each other’s company

finding joy and strength together

People too need connections to thrive

This past year has been a challenge

struggling to find new ways to connect

that won’t make us sick or kill us

***

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Merril asked us to think about this pass year and write a poem about connections. All through this Covid-19 time the birds have stayed connected, while we all have stayed apart. We really miss our connections.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Life’s Old Bones

Charlie was a farmer all his life. It was a small farm; about a hundred acres. He milked cows every day until he was seventy years old. It was a good life, but much of that was gone now. His wife died a year ago in April. His only daughter married a man who worked in the technology field. The only alternative was to sell the farm.

On auction day, folks came from miles around. Tractors and implements sold quickly. The thirty milk cows did as well. The farm sold for more than a half a million dollars.

All that seemed insignificant now, as he stared at the shell of a dilapidated barn, out the window of the rest home. Charlie thought to himself, “Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy, One day I will collapse, just like that old barn.”

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Linda asked us to write a flash fiction of exactly 144 words, using a line from a poem, Spring Azures from the book Wild Geese by Mary Oliver. The line is… ‘Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy.’

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com then click on Mr. Linkey to read more stories.

Love Crosses All Boundaries

Years ago these two cute little girls were the best of friends. They did not think about race or color, just that they really enjoyed each other’s company. Makes me wonder why it is so hard for adults to to the same. We need to work on Dr. King’s dream and make it become a reality.

Teach your children well

Love crosses all boundaries

Be their example

***

How are you doing your part?

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Fake Truth

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities!

Voltaire ~

Most of us like to hear what we already believe is true! We gravitate toward that narrative and feed on our idea of truth. This was very evident in the atrocities at the Capital in Washington, DC; all done in the name of patriotism and based on absurdities and misinformation.

Sadly, the game of politics is often a game of misinformation. What starts out as a grain of truth gets twisted and spun into a cotton candy swirl of falsehoods. And we tend to cheer on the person or platform that says what we want to hear, even when sounds absurd and crazy.

PBS did a documentary on Alex Jones, far right radical talk show host who promoted things like the 9-11 attack was a government plot and the Sandy Hook massacre of children was all just a group of staged actors! You might think, how would anyone believe that; but, though he was banned from talk radio, he expanded his following on the internet and has millions who listen and believe what he says, as absurd as it may seem. Even Roger Stone and Donald Trump were on his show trying to get his followers to support Trump, which they did. Trump’s repetitive statements repeated over and over again are simply repeating what Jones said to his followers.

And it worked! Volatire words were played out in real time. as people who actually believed they were patriots, attempted to storm the capital to disrupt and take over the Senate proceedings that were being conducted at the time. What a sad day for America. What have we come to. Khrushchev was right when he said, “Communism doesn’t have to destroy America, it will be done from within by your own people.” Unless we get together and find common ground, this may well be our fate.

Twisted truth destroys

America’s foundation

Time for Trump to go

The following clip is a documentary from PBS . It disturbing in content, but very enlightening as to how all this could happen . It is well worth your time to view.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities!

Voltaire ~

I found the Voltaire quote on the blog website of my friend Ivor Stevens.

Furious, a Haiku ‹ Ivor.Plumber/Poet ‹ Reader — WordPress.com

The King

Fearsome and beautiful you sit on my rail

Letting me know you are the king

Birds disappeared on arrival

No lunch from my feeder today

As you contemplate your next move

Your eyes hold a Covid loneliness

One of isolation and sadness

Exquisite creature, do you feel our pain

Or is the lonely soaring life

Your everyday normal

*****

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Grace asked us to us personification in our poem. Hawks are such magnificent creatures. I love when they come and visit me from time to time. This one was much closer than most, asserting his dominance of the territory perched next to my bird feeder. I can almost tell what he is thinking as he rests on my deck rail.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com then click on Mr. Linkey to read more poems.

A Living History

This is not a painting

It is a living family history

Not just an abstract splash of color

But, a life’s journey

A story that began a lifetime ago

Moving 2500 miles to Alberta

Building a little house in the big woods

Raising his family near a Cree Indian village

By the shores of Calling Lake

*

This is a story of mid-life change

to the big city of Edmonton

Becoming a respiratory therapist

A new career of serving others

Retiring to a condo

*

Memory fading to dim

More than Mother can care for

Her brain tumor required attention

Care needed for both

*

End of like can be full of surprises

This is not a painting

It is our family’s story

Painting: Dwight L. Roth 1-2013

Today at d’Verse, Mish asked us to choose an object, that means something special to us, and write a poem beginning with the line… “This is not a _________” Eight years ago we flew to Edmonton, AB to make care arrangements for both of my wife’s parents. Her mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor and her father was suffering from Alzheimer’s. It was a traumatic time for all of us. When we finally returned home the end of January, I poured my emotions into this painting depicting their life in Alberta. To me, this is much more than a painting. It is a piece of family history!

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com …click on Mr. Linkey and read more poems.

Hair Daze

Oh, the glorious memories of past days

Combing long flowing hair with swept back duck-tails

Smooth waves that would make a surfer gaze

Sadly the glory days leave only tales

But, I do remember the TV ad…

Brylcreem… A little dab’ll do ya!”

Photo: Me in about the seventh grade!

Today at d’Verse, De Jackson is taking me into my past, asking us to write a Quadrille poem (exactly 44 words) with the word dab in it. When I as an adolescent, I had lots of hair. Brylcreem was my hair cream. It is amazing what you could do with it when combing it back into the Elvis Presley style duck-tail wave. Funny how the jingles never seem to leave your brain. 😎

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com …and click on the Mr. Linkey box to read more.