Truth and Lies

Very unsettling to see

truth and lies woven into the same strand

Hypnotized by strong need to believe

when obviously on shaky ground

Being right at all cost

closes eyes to see what went down

Feeling all is lost

Settling into the quicksand around

Truth and lies come in many forms

People believe what they want to hear

Everyone takes their stand

as truth and lies are woven into the same strand

***

Painting – Dwight L. Roth

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.

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

Violent Ideology

When ideology supersedes the common good

the cause becomes a righteous one;

Rhetoric gets substituted for truth

and action replaces common sense.

*

Trying to guard our constitutional rights

while neglecting our social contract…

that all men are created equal”…

is a failure of moral responsibility.

*

If we are to survive as a country

we must show one another

respect and dignity

in the face of disagreement.

*

Without cooperation and compromise

our dreams get squelched by violence

as we implode on ourselves…

knowing WE are right!

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

My poem today was inspired by thoughts from John Paul Lederach’s Saturday news letter , The Pause.

John Paul Lederach 
Senior Fellow at Humanity United and Professor Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame University.

New Beginnings

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.

At the base of each drying leaf

Is a bud full of life and potential

Waiting patiently for summer’s heat

Or winter’s cold to pass

In the cool of spring

The refreshing showers

The promise of warmth

Sap rises in the cambium

Pushes open that small bud

Enlarging into a new fresh leaf

Green and vigorous

Full of life

Remember…

Behind all that crushes you

Makes you feel devastated

Hopeless and distraught

Lies a bud of strength and potential

Waiting for you to recognize

That your spring has arrived

Once more

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Bridge Over Troubled Water

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

Winter’s discontent

This is a very interesting back story telling how the song came to be!

Videos fromYou Tube

If You’re Happy and You Know it…

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

**********

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

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

The Headless Horseman of the Apocalypse

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.

Riding through the dark night of the soul

Comes a headless horseman on a golden steed

Snorting fire and ashes he rides with great speed

No one can stop the galloping Spector

No Donkey nor Elephant, not Fox nor Hound

No one dare be so bold

As the ghastly night round him grows cold

He defies all those who would slow him down

Many have tried and been left on the ground

Some have screamed and some have yelled

But nothing can stop the apocalyptic wail

Out of the swamp through the fog of night

Rides the horseman of the apocalypse

leaving all in a fright

He comes charging the bridge in full moonlight

Not a myth not a tale nor a short lived wail

Will rise up to challenge with ghastly pale

The pending disaster that rides on his tail

In the morning sun he’ll surely be restricted

It was not true as many souls predicted

He’s here for now and he’ll be for a spell

This wild man with no head has tales to tell

The powers tried to slow him down

In that midnight hour as he rode into town

But the pumpkin wielding warrior

Simply brought scare and horror

To politicians far and wide

Bringing chaos and confusion now all is lost

He won’t stop till that last bridge is crossed

********

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

The Humble Servant

Bing photo

What do you think would happen if Trump and Biden washed each other’s feet?

Today is World Communion Sunday, remembering the suffering and death of Jesus. It is celebrated by many Christian churches. When I was young, our church celebrated communion twice a year. Along with the bread and the cup representing the body and blood of Christ, we also practiced foot washing. This also was a part of the original story where Jesus washed his disciples feet, and told them to do the same for each other.

In the time of sandaled feet walking dusty roads, it was common for a servant to wash the feet of guests who arrive. It was probably one of the lowliest jobs in the household. This was the humble act of service his followers needed to do for each other to remind them that in God’s eyes we are all the same. We are all humble servants of one another. This concept seems to be lost in today’s society.

I had this flash of a thought in relation of the upcoming election and the debates scheduled. Wouldn’t it be interesting if, instead of castigating each other, Trump and Biden would simply come on stage and with a basin and a towel and wash each other’s feet! And in this act of humble service say to the American public, whomever you choose, we will be the humble servant to the other! Wow my imagination really did run wild today!!

Let me wash your feet

Humility and service

heal division’s wounds

To read the story click the link below:

Offered Wine… Served Kool-Aide

Beware you serfs, sucked in

by superfluous words wrapped in thorns

pricked and pounded by talking heads

offering hot air opinions

floating away,

bursting in mid air

bottle rocket promises full of

spectacular show and nothing more

*

Beware of blunderbuss arrows

pulled from your quiver of bias

shot from tensioned bow pulled

back, bleeding hearts left crying

wounds that never heal, running

blood red, not black, white, or yellow

dreams stained streets crying for hope

futures down times drain,

never coming to fruition

*

Beware you serfs, feeding off crumbs

from the masters table thinking

caviar and filet minion

Promised “a chicken in every pot”

only to find bones and feathers

floating in cesspools of bigotry and hate

destroying the marrow of society

grinding bones of workers

into mortar for castles of gold

*

Beware you serfs when you watch

cherry picking favorite words and lines

feeling like twisted truth is genuine

offering you Wine … but serving Kool-aide

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Lisa asked us to consider the Vatic Voice, the voice of the prophet in our poetry, speaking as though from the voice of God! I decided to try something different for me with a prophetic political rant. Tonight is the first of the Presidential Debates. Never have we had such extreme differences in the candidates. It is easy to simply choose someone who thinks and talks like we do, but there is much more at stake. We are choosing a way of thinking for the future of the country. The two candidates are really irrelevant, in my opinion. We are voting for a philosophy.

Join us at: https://dverse poets.com Then click on the Mr. Linkey box to read poems written by other poets as well.