Posts Tagged 'rhyme'

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

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.

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.

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.

Gettysburg

Gettysburg

 

Today I planted both my feet

On Gettysburg’s broad, grassy hills

Where Mister Lincoln once had stood

To speak of deeds both brave and bold,

To honor men now buried there

Who fought for what men dare to seek:

The freedom and the liberty

To chose a way in which to live.

What thoughts were there in Lincoln’s mind

As he looked out upon that field

At circles of the myriad graves,

And knowing what his hand had caused?

But in his heart he knew ’twas true,

The value of our nation’s light:

Our constitution’s guarantee

Of rights for each and every man.

Is this the cause to make a man

Resort to killing other men?

Is there not any other way

To solve our petty differences?

The sadness in the spoils of war

Surely lived in Mister Lincoln’s heart

As he looked upon thousands of graves

Of men whose lives exist no more.

Hal C Clark

July, 2010

On July 1st and 2nd, we were in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania touring part of the battlefield and some of the museums connected with the battle. This was the anniversary date of the battle (July 1-3, 1863) and lots of people were about. I especially wanted to see the National Cemetery that President Lincoln dedicated on that November afternoon (November 19, 1863).

The markers were arranged in semicircles and as many were marked as they could identify, either by name or by the area they came from. It is a quiet place with lots of space and trees for shade. I sat there for a while, trying to imagine that day.

History records 51,000 casualties there in those three days: 8,000 killed on the battlefield, 6,000 more died soon after from their wounds, others taken prisoner, some unaccounted for.

Later I went to a house in town where President Lincoln spent the night and prepared the final draft of his address. The featured speaker was Edward Everett, a noted speaker of that time who spoke for about two hours. When he was finished, the President stepped up. He had been invited as an afterthought, to give a “few appropriate remarks.”

I have included a copy to the address in this post. As you may notice, President Lincoln had a very concise and complete way of speaking, saying more with these few words than Edward Everett had with all of his (By his own admission).

As always, I would appreciate your visit and your comments.

Executive Mansion,

Washington, , 186 .

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal”

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow, this ground– The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.

It is rather for us, the living, to stand here, we here be dedica-ted to the great task remaining before us — that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln, Draft of the Gettysburg Address: Nicolay Copy. Transcribed and annotated by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois. Available at Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division (Washington, D.C.: American Memory Project, [2000-02]),


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

Join 30 other followers

Post Calendar

December 2018
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Blog Categories

Archives