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

 

Saturday’s Silence

Corrymeela_Programmes

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

EER_0771

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

IMG_7032.JPG

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

EER_0023 (2)

“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

IMG_0170 (2).JPGThe 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

Peace and Freedom

EER_0017

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.

Independence Day

Thankful for peace and freedom

Hotdogs on the grill

 

EER_0018 (3)

EER_0019 (4).JPG

EER_0023 (3).JPG

EER_0025 (4)

EER_0024 (2)

EER_0022 (3)

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

The World in Black or White

EER_0288 (2)

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 or 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

*********

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Happy New Years 2019

EER_0259

A New Year’s Blessing
May your old year pass with peace and celebration
May you let all your worries remain in 2018
Hold your friends dear to your heart
Let loyalty and love be your coat of arms
Let your grief do its work in your soul
Never forget those who passed on
Keep your family precious and spouse revered
Treat everyone with dignity and respect
May your wishes become goals to attain
With God’s strength work toward that end
May you follow the light of the Spirit in your heart
Walk with God as you would your closest friend
Trust that all things will work out for your good
Be thankful for all of your blessings of life
May you live every day as the “Word made flesh”
May you be a light and a beacon to all
Happy New Year 2019

*****************************************

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Advent of Innocence

Advent Painting - Piercing the Darkness

Advent of Innocence
Today is the first Sunday of Advent in the Christian Faith. Emmanuel, God with us, was the prophesy of the promised Messiah. A time when God himself would take on the human embodiment to show us what it would be like to live and love in a life contradictory to the norms and darkness of the day. It is interesting to me that the Messiah came to us in the innocence of a tiny baby. The future life and sacrifice of Jesus brought forgiveness, grace, and peace to all who choose to believe.

The Word made flesh
Advent of innocence brings
Light piercing darkness

**********

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Shared with the Frank Tassone Haikai Challenge. Join us at: https://frankjtassone.com/2018/12/02/haikai-challenge-63-12-2-18-advent-and-or-hanukkah-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/