Posts Tagged 'love'

Debts

I am far behind
on my opportunities to use
those three words
so often thought, infrequently heard

I find myself wishing
for one more hour
with my parents

wishing I could go back with
my kids back to a younger age
to make up the deficit there

to listen a few moments to a friend
when I didn’t have the time

and my wife to whom
I can never say enough
I love 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.

Prison

Prison

How sad to see

so much humanity

filled with green bile,

masked in seething sneers,

wrapped in the cloak

of hatred, and

shod with greed and avarice,

delivering pain and humiliation

in the name of righteousness.

Where does love

grow its gentle tendrils

among such stony soils?

Where can they find

a valley within

for the vivid flow of compassion?

How can they force themselves

to live in this prison;

their own creation

of wretched hell?

Hal C Clark – May 21, 2011

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.

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.

At the 9/11 Temporary Memorial

So many gods, so many creeds

So many paths that wind and wind

While just the art of being kind

Is all this sad world needs

                       Coexist

We recently visited the temporary 9/11 Memorial in New York City and were haunted by what we saw there. Across the street they are building the permanent memorial and you can sometimes hear the sounds of construction.

A few minutes earlier we had been in the small church a block away from the World Trade Center buildings that had acted as the first trauma center, helping victims find medical help. It had been partly covered in debris from the collapse of the buildings, debris that took almost a year to completely clean up.

Here in the memorial are twisted beams and recovered shoes and combs and other personal items (including cell phones). In the basement is a bulletin board where the staff posts the comments of visitors from many lands who visit the memorial. Among the comments I found the above poem and copied it down. I don’t know who wrote it but it carries a brief but powerful message that resonated with me. It is a poem I wish I had written.

We will long remember the event, but unless we stand in that place and feel what the victims must have experienced, we have missed the most important part. We don’t have to hate each other. We will never all agree on anything, but we can agree to respect each other’s lives and grant each other the choices that God grants to all of us. Until that happens, we will continue to hurt and be hurt.

Triolet on Love’s Blessing

Triolet on Love’s Blessing

 

The more I give away, the more I gain,

Like bread loaves in a basket, without end,

Love flows to me and cannot be contained.

The more I give away, the more I gain.

My heart so fills with peace from love’s refrain

That souls around me can but comprehend.

The more I give away, the more I gain,

Like bread loaves in a basket, without end.

Hal C Clark

May 2010

A triolet is an eight line poem in which the first line repeats as the fourth and seventh lines and the second line repeats as the eighth. The rhyming pattern is abaaabab. It looked like an interesting form and I had an idea for a short poem, so I tried it.

The “bread loaves” of course refers to the feeding of the 5000. I find in my life I find myself so filled with God’s love that I overflow to others. If you are filled with love, you can’t contain it all and it will find a way out.

Enough preaching, I suppose. I do enjoy exploring new ideas and would appreciate your comments any time. I appreciate those who read my poems and comments.

One final note: We went to see “Letters to Juliet” today and it was refreshing to see, in our world of violent and senseless movies, a warm fuzzy movie. I really liked it.

Compassion

Compassion

 

Her ling’ring smile calls out to say

“My hope is running wan and thin.”

His eyes show pain in pleading tears

For someone’s arms to shelter in.


Their houses sit as rubble piles,

Their water in roadside pools,

But what can I, one person, do

With resources minuscule?


So, what if life would now be changed,

If I should be there, not here?

What tiny act of humankind

Would help calm my daily fear?


If I can manage one small part,

To do whatever I can,

I’ll build a bridge from me to them.

For all of us, hope is God’s plan.


I’ll save some pennies, cull my clothes,

Serve meals to those without homes,

Read books to those who cannot see,

Tend aged with brush and comb.


Oh, I am known by many names

In my harried, hurried day,

But my real name is compassion,

And I cannot turn away!

Hal C Clark – March, 2010

This poem started as an exercise from the book “Poemcrazy” by Susan G. Wooldridge, and I decided to develop the idea. If you are not familiar with this book, I highly recommend you check it out. It tells the story of how she developed as a poet.

Anyway, I wrote this because I believe each of us should do his or her part in helping others. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and it benefits both the receiver and the giver.

My wife and I sponsor (through World Vision) three 10-11 year old girls, all from areas where HIV/AIDS is a major problem. One is from Mauritania, Africa; one is from Rwanda, Africa; and one is from the Dominican Republic, near the area of the earthquake. The money each month helps improve conditions for the girl and her family, and makes it more likely that she can continue her education. The other part I like is writing letters to the girls, encouraging them and asking questions about their families, country, etc. It’s great to get their replies and watch their progress.

Greg Mortensen started a program years ago of building schools for the children in Afghanistan and he gets money for his foundation partially from the “Pennies for Peace” program in which school kids in the US bring spare change from home and drop it in a container. This program has raised a lot of money and helped to build 31 schools in the sparsely populated areas of Afghanistan. The people of these communities supplied the labor and the good will, and Greg has done more to bring peace to these people that all the politicians in Washington.

In our own United States, many children get only one or two meals a day during the summer (School programs help during the school year) a problem improved by local food banks. The purchase of one or two extra canned items on each trip to the grocery, and donated to the local food bank could make a big difference over a year.

We have all kinds of government programs to solve all kinds of problems, but I believe what really makes the world work is the compassionate acts of individual citizens working quietly behind the scenes. God bless all the givers!

Symphony

Symphony

 

We find what we are looking for

     I’ve very often heard it said,

I look in my life’s travel bag

     And try to find a common thread.


A snarl

A wrinkle

A big furrowed frown

A screeching challenge in the street

Pink combat boots

A shy fragment of a smile

Trash scattered

Tall weeds

The fragile golden goblet of a daffodil

A child and her mother, hand-in-hand

A blaring horn

A tiny, sky-blue butterfly


I see what I have packed away

     And vow to choose more carefully,

For what I want to take along

     Is all the earth’s fair pageantry


My heart fills up and brightens when

     I, through my senses, understand

My living God’s bold symphony,

     As scored by His loving hand.


The fragments that we hear and see

      Are part of a much broader fare

And beauty can be found in all

     If we but seek to find it there.

Hal C Clark, April 2010


This poem wrote easily at first, when I thought I knew what I wanted to say. The list after the first stanza contained some good things and some bad things in it. When I finished what I thought was the last stanza, it seemed incomplete. What was missing? The item that puzzled me most was the pink combat boots. I still don’t know where that came from, but I like it.

As I thought about those boots, it occurred to me that they might be a symbol of women standing up for themselves and their rights, as more and more women are willing to do today. With that in mind, I looked at the other items and found that, if I tried climbing out of my limited viewpoint, all of them could be positive. That was when I found the last stanza that tied all things together into a bigger, all-knowing view. If God can find the positives in all of creation, shouldn’t I at least try?

Well, isn’t that why we write: To try our best to understand our world, and then share our understanding with others? What makes my blogging such a positive experience for me is the supportive environment I have found among the blogs I visit. Among bloggers, I have found support for the two needs of all humankind: validation and dignity. If we have those two roses, we can deal with whatever thorns find their way into our lives.

Memorial – OKC

Memorial – OKC

In a fragment of a moment they were gone.

Sitting, standing, smiling, stumbling, tumbling

Twisting, flying, crashing, crushing, sobbing,

Bleeding, exhaling, growing cold…, still.

So still.

Snuffed out by brutal hatred like half-burned candles

Under some cruel, hellish breath,

And nineteen tiny candles

Only briefly touched by flame.

So brief.

In the quietness of evening a broken assemblage

Of departed souls sit mute within

Glowing rows of straight glass chairs

Cascading gently down a grassy slope

So serene

With no laughing conversation, giggle, sigh

On chairs with names carefully inscribed

Sit squads of silenced soldiers

Unwillingly recruited to an obscure battle never won.

So quiet.

In this holy place, consecrated with

The spilled blood of each departed,

Visitors pause, listening, sensing the silent

Presence of kindred strangers, and pleading

For a breath from even one.

So final.

In this sacred place I breathe the air they breathed,

Just before they breathed no more

I sense the pain and ecstasy and hopes

And fears and joys they must have felt before

Being stolen from their families

So unfair.

Some, swallowed by inferno and yet

Somehow untouched, in pain still ask,

“Why them and why not me?”

They weep and pray for those who died

And promise, “I’ll always remember.”

Please remember.

Hal C Clark – Feb 2010


About Memorial – See more at http://www.oklahomacitynationalmemorial.org


The morning of Wednesday, April 19, 1995 began as a normal, bright spring morning in Oklahoma City. Then, at 9:02 a.m. a rental truck parked in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, loaded with tons of explosives shaped to bring about maximum death and destruction, exploded. One hundred forty-nine adults and nineteen children were killed in the blast, most instantaneously. Rescue efforts occupied the following week while the Nation mourned.

Several years ago, on a sunny afternoon, we visited the memorial. It occupies two city blocks and is centered around the reflecting pool which replaced Fifth Street. An American Elm, now called the survivor tree, somehow weathered the explosion, stripped of all its leaves and with several broken branches.

One lone wall of the original building remains and is inscribed with over 600 names of people who survived. On the footprint of the destroyed building is a gentle slope covered with grass and 168 metal chairs, each with a lighted glass foot. On the glass of each chair is inscribed a name of one of the dead. The nineteen children’s chairs are smaller. But for one, all of these children were in the day care center located on the second floor, immediately above the truck.

Since my visit, I have been haunted by what I saw there, and felt. The memorial involves you and brings you back to 9:02. Even though the rubble has long ago been removed, I had a sense that the echoes of those lives still remain in that place. It is library-quiet; the only sound, the trickle of water in the reflecting pool.

A chain-link fence stands at the west end, left over from the days of rescue and recovery, covered with gifts of remembrance: watches, flags, stuffed toys, necklaces, pictures, many children’s things. These are the recent gifts. The originals are archived in the museum across the street. The gifts keep coming, fifteen years after the tragic event.

I think often about that memorial. I can’t seem to get it out of my mind. The above poem is an attempt to make sense of what happened there. It is so easy to love those around us, love all humankind. Hate must be labored over and fed and intensified by shutting out empathy and caring and compassion. Hatred is an anonymous beast that cannot be tamed. Why does it persist? Only God knows, but He didn’t create it.

Hal C Clark

Feb 11, 2010


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 30 other followers

Post Calendar

September 2020
M T W T F S S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  

Blog Categories

Archives