Nature’s fire works of spectacular color can match any 4th of July fireworks! I stopped by the local garden store last week to pick up a few things. While there, I could not help but see the beautiful Hibiscus that were on sale. Just like exploding fireworks Hibiscus are short lived, lasting only about a day. I picked up three small orange ones that were on the reduced sale rack. Hopefully they will bloom and give me fireworks for the rest of the summer!
I wrote this poem almost ten years ago. Thinking about the 4th of July and what independence day really means, I realized that it is all in the perspective from which it is viewed. It may be uncomfortable to look back at history the way it really was and know that for many generations, equality was nowhere to be found. A lot has changed in the last ten years, but inequality still exists in our nation. What will you and your children do to bring about change for the common good?
When all the fireworks fade into ashes
And the Bar-B-Que grills have cooled.
When the wide eyes of the children close in blissful sleep
Do you ever wonder what Independence Day really means…
To the ancestors of African slaves brought here in the holds of ships
Who look back at our forefather who bought and sold them,
Forefathers who wrote, “all men are created equal,”
And realize, the dark ones were not included.
In the words of, Thomas Jefferson, “less than human…”
Or, perhaps, to the Native Americans who loved the free and open spaces
Only to be run off their lands, pushed into the deserts,
Left where summer heat scorched them
And winter snows chilled them to the bone,
Where animals were few and crops refused to grow…
Were they a part of “All men are created equal?”
No, in the words of our former Presidents,
“They were just savages… they were less than human.”
Or, perhaps, to the ‘”Illegal Aliens” who scrub our floors,
Pick our fruits and vegetables, build our houses,
And mow our lawns and mulch our shrubs,
Are they part of “All men are created equal?”
No, in the words of many of us, “They are just ‘wetbacks,’”
Nameless illegals, “…Who should be sent back where they came from.”
Though we may not say it, some of us think they too are less than human.
How quickly we forget the dark side…
How soon we lay aside our guilt, insult, and pain…
We rise as a flower in the sidewalk crack,
Stepped on over and over again,
Yet, we rise and bloom from the strength of our roots.
Independence Day is a time to “Bloom”…
To draw from the strength of our roots… not to forget, but to move on
To all that we can become, in a land where in God’s eyes,
On our bus tour of the city of Strasbourg, France, we passed the headquarters of the Council of Europe. It was founded on 5 May 1949 by the Treaty of London. After experiencing the atrocities of WW II, Sir Winston Churchill had a vision of the nations of Europe coming together to work for peace. The purpose of the Council of Europe is to promote Freedom, Democracy, and the Rule of Law. On this Independence Day I am thankful for organizations that promote peace rather than conflict.
Today I attended the funeral of a friend’s wife who died after an extended struggle with cancer. It was a heartfelt service with words and music well suited for the occasion. The celebration of her life and her love for her family, her church family, and God was evident through out the service. Sometimes freedom is the release from all that weighs us down in this life
Frank Tassone Haikai challenge for this Saturday is to look at what Independence Day means. Some think of it only in relation to our country and the 4th of July. But independence day for others might include relief from abuse, as Martina McBride sang about. For others death is independence day. Those suffering from cancer or Alzheimer’s or other debilitating diseases find death as a release from physical constraints. Freedom and Independence has many meanings. Come join us:https://frankjtassone.com/2018/06/30/haikai-challenge-40-6-30-18-independence-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/