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.

Spirit Questions (a Rubáiyát)

I wrote this a few years ago for the d’Verse Poets Pub. I thought it would be good to reflect on as we exit 2020 and enter 2021. We have lost a multitude of people this year to Covid-19. Death has a way of bringing things into focus. It brings us face to face with our own mortality. The thoughts in this poem reflect on spirit within each of us.

Where dwells the spirit before life begins         

Waiting to entwine with genes at man’s whims

Does it float in space riding red stardust

Or in ocean waves where the raindrops swim

*

Where dwells the spirit when I took my first

Breath of life // of heart and lungs merged thirst    

Spirit seems at home in this flesh and bone

Fragile body // heart pumping till it bursts

*

Where does my spirit dwell when life is done   

As eyes close in death and the race is run

Breath leaves the body and the spirit rises

Rejoining spirit with Spirit // lives on

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

The Mirror Never Lies

IMG_6338.JPGAge has a way of drawing us closer to the mirror
Studying the trails of life etched on our face
Reflecting the future // that is yet to come;
Removing the cataracts of denial as changes took place
Demanding we see life for what it is in the clear and bright.
Age calls us to reflection on years gone by
On joys and sorrows that have come and passed us by;
Reflections on things we held near and dear
Of friends and family that brought us cheer
Age has a way of revealing the truth
Of life of death // of faith and the eternal;
Calling us to remember // as we study our face…
Though this may not be the image we’d hoped for;
Shattering the mirror does not alter or erase.
The mirror never lies

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Scars and Stones

See the source image

President’s Day is on Monday. Today Frank Tassone, asked us to write a Haikai poem that talks about a president or presidents past or present. As I read Tessa’s poem today, talking about the presidents on Mount Rushmore, this thought came to mind. See what your think!

Past presidents sit
high on pedestals // seats of
stone // immortalized.
New presidents leave their mark
Scars on the landscape of man
Could their marks reflect
fractured attitudes of us…
Supporters who vote?
Presidents are a mirror…
Take a good look at yourself

Come join us at: https://frankjtassone.com/2019/02/16/haikai-challenge-73-2-16-19-presidents-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/

Check out Tessa’s poem here:  https://tessacandoit.com/2019/02/16/haikai-challenge-73-2-16-19-presidents-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/

Picture of Lincoln Memorial: thousandwonders.net

Faith

Sunrise.jpg

Faith

My faith in God is not something to be proved. Rather it is something to be believed and lived. Faith is a belief about truth, with a little experience that helps reinforce it. I have found faith to be rather elusive at times in my life.

When all is well faith comes easy, but when “life happened”, as it does to all of us, it threw me for a loop! I was spiraling downward fast with no answers in sight.  My prayers went unanswered. Things seemed out of control. There was no way I could fix things. The only thing I had left was faith that God was in control, and things would work out for my good. Even then I had my doubts. I was frustrated and angry.

Through it all, I found prayer was what I needed to change me, not others. In time, and with help from some good counselors, life finally got back on track. I learned a lot about myself and about God. It definitely changed my understanding of faith. A lot of what I thought was faith was mostly culture and religion, but my belief in God and his eternal providence and grace is still strong.

Burning through blackness

Spring sun rises // Dark is light

Grace for the graceless

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Mish asked us to write a Haibun about some aspect of faith. It has to be written from our experience.  A Haibun has a concise prose segment followed by a  seasonal haiku. Come join us at d’verse.

https://dversepoets.com/

 

Burning Star

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Ever hitch yourself

To a shooting star

Only to find it’s 

A comet flying through space

A cold solid chunk of ice and rock

Living off shining reflections

 

Find yourself a star

Burning brightly

Full of passion //fire

Better yet… 

Be that shining star

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Photo Dwight L. Roth

Monday Quadrille called for by Victoria at de’Verse~Poetry Pub. Today’s prompt is to use the work burn in a Quadrille. Come join us and read all of the great poems by our group.

https://dversepoets.com/