Jim loved going up to Old George’s house to visit. George waved when he saw Jim coming up the lane on his mountain bike. Old Blue bounded off the porch, barking with joy, as Jim arrived.
“Hi George” “Hi Old Blue!”
“Hello Jim, come on up, sit on the swing awhile!”
Jim plopped down on the swing, while Old Blue lay down by George’s feet as he rocked in his old rocking chair.
“I guess you heard about the Presidential Election coming up in November? Jim said.
“Oh, don’t get me started,” George replied. “Back in my day you could take a man at his word. These days it is all meaningless political nonsense!”
“What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow out of this stony rubbish?”
“Seems all of them will say most anything to get elected. Truth and integrity are lost.”
Today at d’Verse, Mish asked us to use a line from T.S.Elliot’s poem, The Wasteland, and write a Prosery piece. It is flash fiction and must be 144 words that includes the line: “What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow out of this stony rubbish?”
I decided to continue my story with Old George and Jim, this time addressing politics.
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.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities!
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
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!
I found the Voltaire quote on the blog website of my friend Ivor Stevens.
This past week I noticed that my daffodils were beginning to push up through the ground. I have never seen this in November. Sometimes they show through in February, but never in the Fall. Trees have now set their buds and wait through the long winter for a new Spring. As I think about all that has taken place this week, with the election and the projected change in our country’s leadership, I thought this might be a good poem to reflect upon.
One of the most iconic songs of my lifetime is Bridge Over Troubled Water. It spoke to the turbulent times of the 1960s Civil Rights/Viet Nam War Era and it speaks to our situation today. As we wait for the final vote count in US Presidential election, we wonder what the reaction will be. The days ahead may be just as turbulent as the 60s, or we can choose to build bridges that bring the nation back together again. This song, I believe, speaks to the choice we make. Our future as a nation depends on it.
Angry words divide
Time to build bridges of peace
This is a very interesting back story telling how the song came to be!
Lillian’s Happiness Project prompt, today at d’Verse, reminded me of the song we sang as kids: “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands…” “…stomp your feet” “…say AMEN!” It is amazing how may people get stressed out from things they have no control over. Tomorrow is election day in the US. If you watched all the ads on TV it is no wonder you are depressed and stressed. We can only control how we respond to life. What will you do to make tomorrow better, no matter who wins?
Don’t let tomorrow’s election steal your happiness
There is much more to life than a political agenda
Live life as you always have bringing joy to everyone
Help a neighbor… Call a friend… Smile
Let you happiness reflect the joy and love within you
I wrote this wild poem four years ago as a response to the upcoming election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The conversations then were not that unlike what is being said now, as many could not imagine that Trump could win the election. As we all know he did win and is now trying once more. Only time will tell. It is amazing how the muck of politics goes on and on and the alligators in the swamp keep getting fatter and fatter.