Collateral Damage

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Collateral Damage

What happens to all those lives lost in war

Those blown to smithereens or shot and left

What happens to those back home who wonder

or to refugees leaving all behind who wander

What happens to the bodies found on the streets

and the nameless buried in mass unmarked graves

What will become of those who survive

battle after battle on the home front, never knowing

if this day or tomorrow or some future moment

will be their time to depart

And then, there are the children who will never be the same

Robbed of their childhood, scared for life

after seeing mortars and bombs blow up their homes

they huddle against their mothers hoping their train

will make it to the boarder, wondering if they will

ever see their fathers… there brothers… their neighbors

again following this living hell they are going through

The collateral damage of war goes on for generations

Some will choose to exit early while others will wake up

terrified, screaming from the nightmare of memories

attempting to make sense of it all in their dreams

Yet, generation after generation we continue to refuse

to turn swords into plowshares and live at peace

*

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Don’t Marry a Drip

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A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping 

of a leaky roof in a rainstorm”

It is not about the making up

Rather, about making a wise choice

Irritations wears thin rather quickly

So choose compatibility

when picking a wife

Today at d’Verse, Merril asked us to choose a proverb and write a poem that includes it.   I chose Proverbs 27:15 NIV Bible.

Join us at https://dversepoets.com

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

  • note: disclaimer- This post is not talking about my personal relationship with my wife! Rather, it is a general observation based on this proverb.

Finding Common Ground

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The death of Congressman John Lewis, bring a reflection of the intense turmoil  he lived through during the Civil Rights era. The struggle for respect and equality still goes on sixty years later.  As I look at the division that still remains, I realize it will not be resolved  without God’s love changing our hearts allowing us to live together in peace.

Some views are shotguns blasting away

Others sling shots pelting against the gate.

Let’s have a conversation they say…

Come together // find common ground

Solve our differences together.

*

How does that happen with shotgun politics

and sling shot twitter, that couldn’t hit a brick wall.

When our view is the only right view,

Each conversation become one of persuasion or condemnation…

A ticket to ride our train non stop to our destination.

*

Legislated change without heart change, brings little hope.

History keeps repeating with every rotation.

Change comes with give and take // listening and hearing

Appreciating uniqueness // instead of condemning it.

*

Only a revolution of the heart will bring peace from division.

Perhaps, “love your neighbor as yourself”

are words that could make our world a better place…

Opening the door to finding common ground…

Bringing the “Hope and Change” we really need.

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Here is a favorite song from the Folk era by the Youngbloods called Let’s Get Together

Perhaps what is missing in this generation is the truth in Folk Music… Music that brought people together!

Keeping Quiet

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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

 

Saturday’s Silence

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My sister shared this with me today.  The sun is bright, the air fresh. We are alive and well, grateful to be safe at home. I share this photo and words from the Corrymeela Community in Belfast:
God of grieving,
God of silence,
there is a strange gift in having time,
one whole day this holy week,
to sit with questions of why
and how long
and to hear no response at all.
To rush from Friday to Sunday,
from death to resurrection,
wouldn’t do either justice.
Nor would it dignify the life
of those whose daily pain and grief
and constant pleas for justice
go unanswered in the world’s daily rhythm.
Let your silence fill this silence,
until our empty noise dies out.

Corrymeela Community is a non-profit organization in Northern Ireland dedicated to help bring healing to those who were traumatized by the many years of conflict and violence  that occurred there between Catholic and Protestant factions.

https://www.corrymeela.org   

Expectations and Faith

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After seventy-two years of observing the way Faith and Expectation works, I have come to the conclusion that we put way more expectations on our faith than the writers of our scriptures ever intended. The following is something I have been mulling around in my mind for a couple of years. This is the best way I can express what I personally have experienced. You may see it differently and that is OK. To me faith is simple and easy to understand. Many have made it complicated and demanding, filled with unrealistic expectations.

I’ve prayed but had no answers;
Believed in miracles // still waited my turn;
Had faith to move mountains
but the mountains remained;
Read the promises of comfort in times of trouble…
Believed I would find peace in the storm;
Yet saw only blackness and overwhelming sorrow.
Believed Jesus would carry me when I could not go on;
Instead, fell flat on my face crying to God for help.
Discovered there is a time for everything under heaven;
Everything in due season // sometimes sooner // sometimes later.
So, when you pray don’t expect expected answers;
You will usually wait for things to take their course.
Don’t lay on God expectations beyond what might happen;
Leave the miracles for the unexpected occasion.
Don’t let your faith become a denial of reality;
Most illnesses take their course // healing may or may not come;
Most troubles will blow over in due time with scars to show;
And yes, you will feel scared to death through it all.
So, hang on for a wild ride on this roller coaster we call life;
And, if in the end we are blessed with a loving caring family
and friends //consider them a blessing from God.
They will sustain us and walk with us
through the valley of the shadow of death.
If not, we will endure to the end…
When our spirit rises to rejoin our creator.

*********************
It is interesting to me how different most prayers are from this example Jesus gave his disciples!

Matthew 6:9 –
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11
Give us today our daily bread.
12
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one…

NIV – Gateway Bible.com

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

The Spirit of Christmas

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When spirits join in perfect harmony
There is Peace
The joy of sharing one’s soul
Brings Balance
Spirits rise in joyful song
Experiencing Community
When spirits find joy in self-less giving
There is Gratitude
When God’s Spirit touches our spirit
There is Agape Love

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Posted on d’Verse for the prompt Spirit. We are to write a quadrille of only 44 words using any form of the word Spirit.  To me, soul and spirit are very hard to separate. Today I have looked at spirit from several different perspective.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Peace of Mind

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“What brings you peace of mind and cleanses your spirit?” This was our question for the d’Verse Poets Pub poetics this evening. For me it is not just one particular thing. I love sitting under the trees and watching nature hum all around me. Music soothes my soul, both listening and playing music on my guitar with others. I love going to the Nursing Home each week where I read stories and play music and sing with them. I always come away renewed! But, I have found that posting on my blog each day brings me the most peace of mind. If I have been busy all day, all that mind clutter goes away when I sit in my chair and begin writing a poem and finding a photo or two that I can add to it. Sometimes it is the other way around. If I have no particular inspiration, I look through my photo files and am always able to find inspiration. Connecting with all of you is most rewarding. It is not so much the likes on my posts, but the comments and personal interactions that make what I do here worthwhile. So, for that I say thank you for your support and encouragement.

Sharing thoughts with you
Connecting with such great friends
Brings joy to my soul

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Join us at:  https://dversepoets.com

 

 

Shedding Religion… Finding God

The older I get the simpler life becomes
I feel sort of like a tree shedding it bark
End of life // is not too far in the future;
makes me stop and think…
“What is really important and true?”
The older I get
the more focused faith becomes;
Moving beyond religious trappings
guilt, fear, and control;
(Knowing those
were nailed to the cross for me.)
Understanding God’s grace in my life
brings me peace;
Knowing I am blessed
to have lived this long
in good health.
I let go of all those things
I once felt obligated to do;
Understanding that the metaphors,
taken so literally by some,
Are there to guide me along the way…
not to prove right or wrong.
I let go of “streets paved with gold”
and “mansions over the hilltop…”
knowing God is Spirit;
No need there
of physical things
we hold so dear.
I believe the image of God
is not flesh and blood
nor what I put on or take off,
but rather an attitude of spirit
that is loving and compassionate.
I came to the realization
that all those prayers I prayed
demanding results
never got past the ceiling.
I realize prayer is meant
to change me // not them
Prayer brings me closer to God,
as I focus on my needs
and the needs of others.
Infomercial religion has no appeal to me
…nor or to God…
There is no place for peddling the gospel
for personal gain…
nor to exert control over the faithful.
Hamster cage religion
leaves me frustrated
and going in circles;
Faith and action bring a feeling
of authenticity and connection.
Church should be uplifting…
an encouraging fellowship
full of good news
connecting us with God
showing us how to love as Jesus loved.
To me the Bible is my guide …
not my God…
words of truth to live by.

Photo:  Dwight L. Roth