Posts Tagged 'Compassion'



For Gabriell

For Gabrielle
a madman
left a silver trail through your brain
mandating you give up your life

stubborn you stood against
the gun that does not kill
refused to go

you battle through each day
wet with frustration’s tears
cheers for each small victory

Now you fight a new battle

you stand with raised fist
whisper your battle cry

“enough”

and I
stand with you

If World Leaders Had Ears

If world leaders had ears

they could hear people crying

not for want of treasure

but for their hunger

for need of care

for desire of equality

and for the children

 

 


If world leaders had eyes

they could see their people hurting

not for opulent mansions

but for freedom from oppression

for freedom from brutality

for freedom from humiliation

for freedom from ignorance

for freedom to find a better life

for their children

 

 


If world leaders had arms

they could reach out to their people

not for purpose of boast or brag

but for want of bringing comfort

for want of aiding the aged

for want of embracing the sick

for want of lifting the fallen

especially the children

 

 


If world leaders had hearts

they could feel their people’s need

not turn their backs and glance away

but be filled with compassion and grace

be filled with knowledge of what is right

be filled with love for people, not wealth

and have the wisdom of children.

 

 


Hal C Clark – June 5, 2011 rev

 

Our world is still filled with violence, terrorism, hatred, and other maladies. I wish it wasn’t so, but this is where we are. In spite of what we have, I still like to imagine a better world and solutions to our problems. Saying they don’t exist doesn’t solve anything. For me, a major problem is in what there is too little of.

We are here, on this earth

In this life,

for one purpose:

to love and be loved.

Any activity which does not

promote this purpose

is wrong.

We all differ in our opinions, and that is as it should be. I see no constructive purpose in attacking the person who doesn’t agree with our opinion. Discuss the differences, yes. Try to work out a solution, yes. Attack the person as if he is the enemy, no

 

We have enough enemies in our lives, among our nations, without recruiting new ones. In my dream world, I imagine living life with peace in my soul. There are others in the world who believe as  I do. It is time to stand for our beliefs and speak out.

America for All

America for All

 

This is a strange land,

A tumbled, upside-down land

Where our economic woes are caused by

the elderly and the poor,

the sick and weak

and the children.

Where the elite on Wall Street,

proclaiming total innocence,

harvest great wealth and power

from our financial losses.

Where we demonstrate our peacefulness by

spending our resources waging war on other nations

and killing more civilians

than soldiers.

Where we boast of equal rights for all

while denying rights

to the impoverished

or those of certain

races, cultures, religions.

Where speaking freely of your dreams or opinions

can brand you as

a traitor.

Where we can dream a dream

of the Constitution’s America,

the United States of America,

and hope someday we can all

make it real.

Hal C Clark – April 21, 2011

I get very tired of hearing how the lower and middle class are the reason we are having economic problems in the United States. According to members of congress, if we could just eliminate spending on education for our children and let the elderly die off instead of taking care of them, our nation would create more wealth. I, for one, am ready to move away from more wealth for the wealthy and set our sights on prosperity for the nation.

The poorest Americans pay the highest percent of their income on taxes. I realize they often don’t pay Federal income taxes. I have heard it said that half of all Americans pay no Federal income taxes, but that is because their earnings put them below the poverty level. But they do pay the property taxes on the apartments they rent, sales taxes on purchases, and any overhead and taxes from the services they use (utilities, transportation, etc.) These Americans tend to spend almost all of their income each month at the retail level.

The middle class pays most of the income taxes in America. My tax rate, all considered, is about ten percent higher than that of the Koch brothers because they can afford the tax attorneys to hide income and defraud the system. The business expenses in this “small” business include several private jets, numerous houses and vacation lodges, and any cars they might want.

Cerrtainly, we need to increase revenue and reduce spending in order to catch up with our debt, but why put all the burden on the lower and middle class whose splending carries our economy. The top three percent, who control seventy percent of the wealth in this country, spend less than one percent of their income at the retail level, whereas middle income families spend most of their income at the retail level. Ninety-seven percent of americans are working with 30 percent of American wealth, which is why the income of lower and middle income families continues to drop while the income of the wealthiest climbs at an exponential rate.

My frustration at seeing some of the wealthiest Americans being able to buy power to control the government of this country is apparent. I can’t change the direction we are headed by myself. Some corrections must be made. As I said earlier, I think it is time to move away from more wealth for the wealthy and toward prosperity for the Nation.

It is time to speak out about how we feel. A silent majority has no power. Be bold.

All of Me

All of Me

 

I remember that night

when I was just eight

and Mom was passed out with

the glass still in her hand.

It plays in my head like a

scary movie

that never ends.

As I lay in my bed on

the edge of sleep,

a knife of dim light

washed over my pillow and disappeared.

I trembled as I listened to him

breathe in the dark.

*

He had never come into my room,

this man who lived with Mom.

He sat on my bed and the springs

shrieked in protest as

he placed his hand gently on my chest,

driving tears from my eyes,

the breath from my lungs,

and leaving a stain of fear

on my nightgown

where he touched me.

*

Still quiet,

he pulled my hands away from me to

a part of him that was

hot and swollen,

his pumping blood beating a

tempo against my hands

like tiny drums.

I cried out when he pushed his fingers

into a private part of me

and cut me into

small pieces.

I closed my eyes and hid what was left

in a hollow place

deep inside me.

*

He moved my hands on

himself, breathing more quickly until

he made a small sound and

there was wetness on my

hands and arms

that felt like glue.

Don’t tell your mom

what you did, he said,

and left as quietly as he came.

*

He has invaded my room often

since that night,

but using that angry, hateful part of him

instead of fingers and

each time taking away

a small part of me.

*

Three years and

I have nothing left.

He has taken away

all of me

that was me.

I can give no more.

As he comes through my door,

eager,

bare and ready,

and climbs on my bed,

I reach beneath my pillow,

place the blade against his chest,

and watch as it disappears.

Hal C Clark – February 2011

Each year, thousands of children are sexually abused, usually by someone they know well. The children are scarred for the rest of their lives, although many eventually learn to cope with the pain. They don’t understand why these things happen to them, often believing it is their fault or that they deserve such treatment. We are all familiar with the stories of priests molesting young boys because these stories make the headlines. So many of the cases we never hear about, but the victims are still all around us. This is a cancer of our society and MUST be stopped.

I do not believe killing is the answer to anything, so it surprised me when the line “I reached beneath my pillow” came to me and I let the victim have the last word. It says something about the desperation, humiliation, degradation, and futility of the experience. I decided to let it stand. It is time to do something about this problem, and public awareness is the first step.

Please leave a comment and let me know how you feel.

September 15, 1963

Who were they?

Four young girls

dressing in choir robes

within a church.

What was their crime?

They concealed within their cells

the wrong DNA,

too much pigment

in their skin.

What did they want?

They asked for respect,

their American rights,

to keep their dignity

and opportunity.

Their sentence:

Death by dynamite,

by men shrouded in

white robes

and hoods.

Executed this date,

no appeal.

Hal C Clark – April, 2011

We recently visited Birmingham, AL and explored the downtown area where we came upon the church where the bombing took place. I was saddened by the thought of the hatred that caused this tragic event. These four young girls never had a chance to grow up, have children of their own, or enjoy the progress in race relations to come. As William Stafford would say, it was a failure of compassion.

I have been away from this blog for a while, but I hope now to be posting new work each week.

Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage

 

They haunt me in my briefest sleep,

     They’re never far away,

Their shattered bodies stay with me

     In the night or light of day.


From somewhere came a storm of fire;

     We fired back at the place.

Women’s screams and children’s cries,

     Red-spattered on each face.


Mothers and their small children

     Lay in gory refrains,

And nowhere can the guns be found

     ‘Mid twisted, torn remains.


Shards of a loving family,

     A grimace shrouds each face,

Embrace in bloody agony, their

     Bodies like antique lace.


How can these be my enemies?

     No guns or arm held high,

There, children’s cherub faces

     Without a will to die.


I’m in a constant battle,

     And one I did not wage.

I’m here to do my duty,

     Then turn another page.


No stranger, then, to murder,

     But like a sin to me.

To take life from another,

     Not what I want to be.


In this keen internal strife,

     My mind cannot resolve.

The killer and compassion

     In acute torment revolve.


And so, I can’t get past the pain,

     The noise and solitude.

I see the masks of those I’ve slain,

     Feel guilt I can’t elude.


 

They visit me in briefest sleep.

     They do not go away.

Their anguished eyes stare back at me

     Through each tormented day.

Hal C Clark – November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

This is a tribute to the men and women who endanger their lives to fight in our wars. Some are killed, some have physical injuries, while others have psychological injuries not easily seen or evaluated. Trauma to the mind is just as debilitating as a physical injury, and to those brave men and women who suffer this kind of injury, I dedicate this poem.

Nutopia

Nutopia

 

I am an ambassador from Nutopia

And proudly fly our pure white flag

My heart often yearns to go home again

So in dreams I visit and dwell without fear.

But there are no roads to take me there,

There are no armies, no treasures anyone would want.

And we all get along and let all have a life.

Defenders collect aggressors who threaten their essence.

Why do so many hold in their hearts

Hatred and avarice, intemperance, greed?

My thanks to John* for inviting me there

To a homeland sans strife bringing peace to my soul.

So I dream of that day, of that glorious day

When I can go home.

Hal C Clark – Sept, 2010

*John Lennon

I don’t know how many John Lennon fans are in this group, but one thing he was dedicated to was peace. Nutopia was a mythical land of his imagination, and it is a place I would like to visit, if not live. I can never understand why people must hate each other but I feel it must be based on greed, selfishness, or insecurity. I feel sorry for people who do not have the capacity to love unconditionally, as God loves us. He loves us no matter what we do. In that, we can be truly thankful.


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