Keeping Quiet

IMG_E1511 (2)
I read this poem earlier this week and thought it was very appropriate for the time we are experiencing, with our stay at home order. Maybe a little silence would be in order.
KEEPING QUIET
by Pablo Naruda
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about…
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with
death.
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

“Pablo Neruda was a Nobel Prize winning Chilean poet-diplomat and politician. Neruda became known as a poet when he was 13 years old, and wrote in a variety of styles, including surrealist poems, historical epics, overtly political manifestos, a prose autobiography, and passionate love poems such as the ones in his collection Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924). He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.”

                                                                                                                                                                ~From Wikipedia~

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

Plague

IMG_1200

How quickly our perspective changes;
Like fighting children on the playground
arguing over insolent remarks;
Now lined up before the school master
waiting to be disciplined;
Wondering if // and when…
How hard // or how little?
Who even remembers
what the fuss was about?
When we are facing the chalk board
with our life written on it
our past…
our present…
our future…
For now the plague has come.
We all are Egyptians
with no blood on our doorposts;
Waiting to see
if the death angel
will pass us by…
And when this dark night is past
we have a Red Sea to cross.
The promised land awaits

Photo: Dwight L. Roth
At d’Verse, Bjorn asked us to face our present reality of quarantine along with our reflection of past epidemics and the Black Plague of years gone by. Today we are writing a poem using the prompt plague!
Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Armor of Blame

EER_0251.JPG

Cold steel words now cover me head to toe.
I bind cold blame around my pierced body
Thinking it proves righteous indignation.
Not the first // mine will be the second blow
A fight to the death // my sword sharp words live;
Casting blow after cutting blow I charge…
Battle-scarred, bruised, and battered we retreat…
Alone // Would be easier to forgive?
Oh, no! … for I fight alongside Id and Ego;
Too much at stake to forgive your many sins.
Blame is my protection // choking my heart;
Stand and fight // I learned defense long ago!
Forgiveness // love // leaves me vulnerable;
I go down fighting // while I am able.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today Frank , at d’Verse, asked us to write a poem that includes blame and forgiveness.  I wonder why we put ourselves through all the pain when forgiveness could save us the agony. It all comes down to being right! How could I forgive you if I am always right!!?? I believe this is the problem in our country as well.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Black or White

Back Alley in Philadelphia 001

When someone thinks they have all the answers, it makes me take a step backwards. Many atrocities have been done in the name of being right. The more rigid we become in our thinking, the more we want things to be either black or white.  It seems politics is often driven by fear. As we listen to our political candidates, we get the impression that they have everything figured out, and all of their solutions are in black and white. No matter how right we feel we are, I believe we must be open to interact and exchange ideas with others. This poem talks about the importance of grays in our life.

Black or White

I want life to be black or white

Everything easy and I am right

But it really doesn’t work that way

Life is full of contradictions they say

 

Why can’t life be black or white

Perhaps I wouldn’t be so uptight

But grays are part of every life

I’ve known pain that cuts like a knife

 

The world wants things in black or white

Good or bad we have to fight

To protect our perfect way of life

Seems it causes bitter strife

 

To always think in black or white

Fills me with fear and causes me fright

Extremes affect the way we think

And leaves our nations on the brink

 

Why can’t we realizes we need the grays

Shadows bring accents in many ways

Creativity and paradigm shifts

Would not be possible without the mix

 

Must we think only in black or white

Judging our brothers when “they don’t do right”

Or can we simply love their flaws

The grays and shades are part of us all

 

Black and white makes everyone halt

Shutter and cringe at every fault

Blends are the creations we all need

To love our brothers, and not to bleed

But I guess as long as there are two

Black or white will judge them too

 

Love the differences don’t get up tight

Live in peace and let’s not fight

Recognize that if we want to survive

Black and white will not keep us alive

Thinking we are always right

Life will surely be a fright

 

Black and White Photo taken in Philadelphia – 1976 – Dwight Roth