Tag Archive | relationships

Come Join the Dance

BBC-Radio-Orchestra-April-1971-The band struck up a joyful tune
With beat lively and fast;
“Come join in, the host proclaim,”
“We’ll party and have a blast!”

But some of the guests ignored his words;
Others just stood around.
A few joined in the circle;
Many were by fear so bound.

 

The band played a more gentle tune,
A melody subdued,
Which made some guests begin to sway
With a quiet attitude.

 

The ones who liked the faster beat
Sighed and wandered away,
While some talked over the music,
Touting what they had to say.

 

At last the band began to play
A song with depth of heart.
No one could resist its sound,
So they stopped drifting apart.

 

As the people heard the music
Speak to their very souls,
They joined together in one dance
That began to make them whole.

 

So may the band play on and on
Until there’s joy and peace;
Until all people everywhere
Live in hope that will increase.

 

Powerful People

As Mr. Trump debates whether he will keep the US in the Paris Accord, I have this thought:

We are powerful people.
We can choose for ourselves:
Will we give in to control?
Or will we stand on our own?

We can decide what is right;
No one ever does that for us.
Thoughts, feelings, actions, words
Are always results of our own choices.

Stand tall, powerful people!
Think, choose and live;
Never sell out or give in;
Own what you say, do and believe.

Simplicity

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There is a kind of simplicity that is undesirable:
It’s the simple minded demand that all situations, no matter how complex they ar, be addressed with simple explanations and solutions.  “Don’t bother me with the facts,” such a person says.  “I don’t care about the details; they only confuse me.”  The lack of insight and engagement is both mind boggling and burdensome.

Soundbites and the opinions of talk show hosts will suffice for these shallow, unwise ones.  To think for themselves would probably give them a headache!

Then there is a simplicity that is beautiful and noble.
It is often quiet and unassuming; bathed in thought and prayer.
People who practice this lack of complication enjoy the good things of life; yet they are not in pursuit of prestige or extravagance.  A beautiful sunset delights them.  Time spent with family and friends is priceless.
One hallmark of such individuals is astuteness.  These ones think with both sides of their brains.  They question, explore and research; never settling for the status quo.  If you were to visit their homes, you would find shelves full of books, art and music in every room, along with creative endeavors.  They might not have the most uncluttered place you’ve ever seen.  That’s because they are busy with thought, creation and relationships.
Another quality is the very high amount of respect and honor these people have for the world:  Their fellow humans, animals, the environment, principles such as decency and generosity.
This simplicity is a paradox, filled with all shades of reality and nuance.
To know people who live this life is to be inspired and encouraged.
How very different these two kinds of simplicity are!  One word; opposite meanings.
That really describes our world, doesn’t it?  The Earth and her inhabitants are concentric systems, interwoven into complex patterns and relationships; yet there is a simple matter of watching, listening, tasting, feeling, smelling, enjoying and caring for all that is around us.

May you discover and appreciate the lovely, noble sort of simplicity that revives and nurtures you.

The Anchor

All I know and hold dear;
Norms, values, ideals and beliefs;
Community, family and friends;
Hold me securely
On a firm foundation,
Regardless of how the winds blow.

 

Ah let the waves rock me;
Numerous conflicting opinions;
Contradictions and paradoxes;
Honest differences
Over all that life brings
Reasoning that defies logic.

 

An anchor in my soul
Never lets me wander too far;
Corrects my course and draws me back;
Helps me consider
Other alternatives
Reminding me of who I am.

I DECIDE

I was thinking about all of the struggle and turmoil that gets reported to us each day.  I was reminded that each person gets to choose his or her identity and quality of life, even when others vie so hard to take control

 

This poem is dedicated to each of you, dear readers.  May you recognize your ownpower, rights and choices:

****

 

Things may happen
In the world around me;
But I decide
Who I’m going to be.

 

Tragedy tries
To steal joy away;
But that is mine
To choose every day.

 

Fear does its best
To destroy my peace;
But I hold fast;
With courage that won’t cease.

 

Unhappy news
Intrudes on swift wings;
But I refuse
To hear what it brings.

 

The power is mine
To live well and strong;
I am the one
Who sings my own song.

.

ACCESS AND ITS PARADOXES

This is one of the short essays I wrote for my application to graduate school.  I thought it might be fun to share.  Enjoy:

 

 

I wonder how Louisa May Alcott and Emily Dickinson would react if they could experience the age of access in which we now live.  For that matter, what would C. S. Lewis and his best friend, J. R. R. Tolkien think?

 

Gone are the days when life was confined to a relatively small area; when poetry was limited to upper class, more educated aristocrats and scholars or relligated to the fringes of “mainline society,” in the hangouts of beatniks and hippies.  Now, it is available to anyone in any place who wants to read, write or listen to it.  This is both a wonderful development and a challenge that presents some rather difficult paradoxes.

 

Global access is by far the single most influential force in all writing, including poetry.  It has changed the entire landscape from more locally centered, culturally governed subjects and styles to one that is broader and in some ways, more homogeneous.  Forms meld together as the international culture becomes stronger.    Everything about it is different:  The immediacy of response to a poem; the ability to read without purchasing; an audience that is as large and varied as the world.

This access crosses all boundaries, from geographical, physical ones to those caused by preference and prejudice.  It allows people to transcend cultural limitations and preconceptions by exposing them to thoughts and styles that are totally outside their realm of experience.

 

When I read the blogs that I follow, I find poetry from Asia, Africa, Australia, all of Europe, Jamaica, Canada, the United States, Latin America and the ends of the Earth.  Some are written by serious, professional writers; others by people who demonstrate very little skill.  The styles and subjects are an interesting mix of things that are completely unfamiliar to me so that I have to go look up words, along with expressions of love, joy and other experiences that each human shares.    Every class, belief system and orientation is represented.  All of this, and I don’t even have to leave my home!

 

Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of international access is the paradox it creates:  One side is that we communicate, at least on some level, with people around the globe while remaining in the comfort of our own houses.  We share ideas, learn new concepts and points of view; information on any topic is available in an instant.  Having said that, the other side is that we face a new kind of isolation:  There are people whose entire social life is via computer.  They do not see or interact in person with another human being.  The key to any paradox is to embrace both sides.  In this case, that would mean enjoying the electronic connection while seeing to it that we maintain personal relationships in our own communities.  We only know each other in a deep sense when we are fully present; yet we can know about people and their lives through their compositions.

 

When I write something and post it, I can do so without disclosing that I am unable to see, which puts me on a more equal playing ground:  No one is making exceptions because he or she thinks I am less capable; each reader takes my presentation at face value.  I know a handful of people with disabilities who choose to “hide” in this manner.    They are not alone:  A growing number of individuals who are observably different are choosing online careers and relationships so that they can avoid the pain of live interactions.  After all, one of the dynamics of the Internet is that people only reveal what they want to.  This is an advantage and a pitfall.  On one hand, anonymity protects secrets; on the other, we don’t get to meet the whole person.  There is a certain knowing that we miss because of the electronic barrier with which we now live.

 

One mitigating development is Voice over Internet Protocol ( VoIP,) such as Video calling, webinars and other applications that allow people to interact more directly, reducing some of the disconnection.  The ability to see a person, listen to what and how he/she says things is a crucial part of communication that simply is not available with the written word by itself.  In poetry, this is especially true.  To read a poem is like looking at a musical score:  It needs to be spoken (or sung) and heard.

 

Poets and authors who have written before this age of global access had something that we dare not lose:  Personal connections and live performance.  If there ever was a time when we need to keep these alive, it’s now.  Let the Internet be a resource and tool that serves us; may we never come to serve the Internet