Time Is What We Make It


Time Is What We Make It

Fifty-one years have passed since the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. America lost a pure soul and a charismatic leader who tried to unite people. Many television programs devoted time to memorialize one of the true kings of justice and equality. His surname is such an appropriate fit.

Someone said that “Dr. King is more alive today.” He certainly lives collectively in the hearts of many Americans and people from all over the world. Many of us can recall and recite different excerpts from his famous speeches. Perhaps what we should remember more is that Dr. King knew that humanity had a life’s lesson to learn. He knew that it may not have been learned or internalized immediately. And five decades later, that lesson is just as pivotal.

We must be “appalled at the silence of good people.” Too many of us continue to accept injustice. Some of us prefer to look the other way when we see homeless individuals on the streets of every major city in this country.  This country, the greatest democracy in the world does very little to change the intolerable state of existence of homeless people.

Martin L. King III reminded us recently that the best way to honor Dr. King’s memory is to do something to eliminate the poverty in this country. He cited that there are 36 million Americans that live in poverty. That is appalling. Twelve million children live in poverty. That is appalling. Where have the good people been for the last fifty years? Jonathan Kozol warned us of the “Savage Inequalities” he observed a few decades ago in the poorer school districts of our more important cities. Not much has changed. This is appalling.

According to the census data compiled by Kids Count, in Louisiana, twenty-eight percent of people under the age of 18 live in poverty. Mississippi statistics report 30 percent and New Mexico falls in the third place with twenty-six percent of this age group living in poverty. This is appalling.

Dr. King spoke of the “triple evils of poverty, racism, and violence” and still fifty-one years later we have more prisons than ever to house our violent criminals. Yet very few opportunities for reform and for restructuring the individuals who need help the most. We are bombarded by violence everywhere from the children’s cartoons to television and movies. And, fifty years later, yes, racism is still alive.

Should we be concerned about the time that has elapsed? Well, according to Dr. King, “Time is never right and never wrong; time is what we make it.” So, it is about time that we make good use of the time. We must start a roll call at churches, schools, community centers, and any type of organization that claims in their statements of mission that any or all the triple evils have to be dealt with collectively. We must not only roll up our sleeves but be ready to remove all the obstacles that obscure or shroud the clock of time well used.

Many of us are so absorbed with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter where we share pictures taken with the pink colored lens. Many of us live in solos. We forget the importance of the real life community. We follow people we don’t even know just because they look good or cute. We accept what is posted on social media as the definite truths. We accept alternative facts as truth. We forget that our greatest strength as a nation is our votes. We van be the change. Dr. King proved that united we stand.

History views as prophetic Dr. King’s last speech that fatal day in Memphis. But, his very last words to Ben Branch, a musician, are mind-boggling.

Dr. King asked him to play his favorite song, Take My Hand, Precious Lord.

The following is an excerpt:

“When the darkness appears
And the night draws near
And the day is past and gone
At the river I stand
Guide my feet, hold my hand
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home”

Our nation is capable of making good of the time. We must think of ourselves as a great corporation. The stakeholders must all invest and help others to grow. We must keep our eyes on the clock and make sure that when the time comes for us to clock out that we have worked hard to effect social justice. We must emulate the work of the king of social justice and civil and human rights.

Our politicians need to roll up their sleeves and walk the walk. It is time. We must remember that Dr. King was only twenty six years old when he started his journey to effect change. He won the Nobel Peace Prize and was the youngest person to have received it at the time. He professed economic justice for all. He was here for a very short time; very much in the presence of good and with a great awareness of what needed to be done. We have a long way to go. Or do we? We are better equipped to get more people involved. There are no excuses. Are there?  I can’t think of one excuse that would exonerate us from our failure to act now. Representative John Lewis said that Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. “redeemed the soul of America.” We must live up to that redemption one by one.

 

 

 

Loving Words


Wordle: The Paradise of words

Words are so important. They can rise you up or bring you down to the lowest point ever. They have always captivated me. I cannot let one word go by unnoticed just because I do not know its meaning.

I especially like the ones with soft, sweet sounds. The words that melt your heart. This is why i am proposing a challenge starting today until January 31st. Make a list of the sweetest sounding words you have ever heard. Use the hashtag #lovingwords@poemattic.com.

Let us remember the power of words. Let us use words wisely and make them resonate for the good of humanity.

On the 8th day of a New Year


A tad late at wishing everyone on WordPress a Happy New Year! I certainly hope that this year will be more harmonious, full of wise choices, less political bickering and more, at lot more tolerance and love. Last year was at a tough year for me and my family. We lost a few loved ones and grieving is most definitely a long process.

On this 8th day of our New Year, I hope we all have a “Year of Magical Thinking”. I borrowed the title of Joan Didion’s national best seller of 2005, which I have just recently read. The book helped me through my grieving process. It is an extraordinary read for anyone who has had to accept the death of a family member of dear friend. A true must read.  But the title also connects to my newly found optimism that we will collectively begin to read more, think things through more objectively and clearly as well in quite stillness and complete mindfulness. Therein, lies the magical thinking.

Mario Gianluigi Puzo’s novel The Godfather uses the reference of “going to the mattresses” in the voice of Sonny:

“No, no, no! No more! Not this time, Consigliere, an adviser, especially to a crime boss. No more meetings, no more discussions, no more Sollozzo tricks. You give ’em one message: I want Sollozzo. If not, it’s all-out war: we go to the mattresses.”

I ask for all of us to go to the books, the sacred documents of our founders penned and to the words of thoughtful, mindful writers. Read, write, react, respond and foster great ideas and stand up for our democracy. I ask you as a teacher, a mother, a grandmother of four, a proud American and of course as a poet.

There is a Chinese proverb that says, “Outside noisy, inside empty.” I see this in politics today and it scares me.  However, we have the moral responsibility to make the “Noisy” go away. Hopefully, something will fill the emptiness. The emptiness inside any individual can only be filled by that individual. I can only pray for people who have that void.

On this 8th day of the New Year I hope you can join me in growing hope for the present, for the now. We must nurture it like a plant and keep it safe from storms. and coldness today. Death has taught me that life is too precious and too short. One of my favorite authors Dr. Wayne Dyer said it the best:

                                               “Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal.

                                               Live this day as if it were your last.

                                              The past is over and gone.

                                              The future is not guaranteed.”

 

 

There seems to be much uncertainty today. It may overwhelm us this very moment. I felt that way. But it made me ill. I began asking myself, what I can do today to change that feeling, erase the fear. The response was the same each time. Act now. Think magically now. All shall pass. Happy today! Happy today, the 8th day of the New Year!

 

 

VOTE!


I am seeking peace!

Check out my idea of what that means to me.

Tonight all I want is peace and calmness.

And my message to all of you is

Please vote!

Let us pass peace forward.

Is not peace what we all want and need?

 

 

 

If I Could Cry


In a poem titled The Quarrel by Stanley Kunitz, he writes: “If I could cry, I’d cry, but I am too old to be anybody’s child.” As I reread many of the poems of this Poet Laureate, I found some poems that resonated.

I have been feeling down lately. Sad because of the violence and hatred that seems to appear everywhere.  Sometimes I want to cry but I can’t. What good would it do anyway? So in honor of Stanley Kunitz I have written the following poem using a line from his poem The Quarrel.

 

She is just three and a half

but knows me so well

she could sense there was something wrong

with her beloved abuela*

who she calls “guela”*.

I did not want to tell her

what was in my heart

“If I could cry, I’d cry, but I am too old to be anybody’s child.”

I thought about how lucky she is

to have all her grandparents.

What a blessing.

 

“If I could cry, I’d cry, but I am too old to be anybody’s child.”

and I am too old to be beguiled

and sweet memories have been filed

away in a cloud somewhere.

 

“If I could cry, I’d cry, but I am too old to be anybody’s child.”

What good would it do anyway?

Who listens to the cry of an orphan?

 

“If I could cry, I’d cry, but I am too old to be anybody’s child.”

There is just too much to cry about.

There is no doubt.

Or is there?

“If I could cry, I’d cry, but I am too old to be anybody’s child.”

 

  • grandmother
  • grandchild’s way of saying abuela

 

 

We Are Who We Love And No One Can Change That


We are who we love and no one can change that.

We are a part of their souls;

We met somewhere in time;

And the memory remained.

 

We are who we love and no one can change that.

Our hearts knew each other before

we became earthly.

The awareness was purposeful.

The love was simply too great.

It could be said,

It was fate.

We are who we love and no one can change that.

Be glad who you are.

Love had all to do with it.

We are who we love and no one can change that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Again


I have been away from the writing board for a few weeks now. Sadly my beloved father-in-law passed away and we had to go and help with so much that is required after a death.

My father-in-law was my father. I lost my dad many years ago and he began to fill in that gap slowly but surely with much love as my father would have done. I relied on him for advice, his mentoring and a fatherly hug when I needed one. He will be missed.

My son delivered a very emotional eulogy depicting his grandfather as a noble family man. As I listened to him I heard my husband’s, my dad’s and my father-in-law’s voices all in one. My son had learned well their collective teachings. He never met my father but I had shared so many of his stories that my son got to know him well. I was so proud of him.

I learned a lot about life these past few years as I watched and listened to my father-in-law deal with his illness. I have learned to appreciate so many things more now. The little things especially. It is amazing how many of the mourners remembered precisely the short  encounters with my father-in-law. Many close friends characterized their memorable experiences as seeming insignificant to anyone else but themselves. They emphasized how some of these events (mostly acts of kindness) had changed their lives.  But now more than ever the family swelled with pride to know how he made a difference in so many people’s lives.

His legacy will carry on through my son and daughter and hopefully my grandchildren. We are what we do. A life is the sum of the great things we do for others. This was the best lesson of all. He served during World War II, he loved his country with great passion and cherished his wife of 70 years and his entire family. Rest in peace Don Will, you did well.

 

Hail to the Queen of Soul!


I was in fourth grade when my dad took me to the Apollo Theater in NYC. Little did I know then that I was listening to whom would be known as the Queen of Soul. As a teenager I sang many of her soulful songs. Of course,  R-E-S-P-E-C-T will never resonate the same. She taught a whole generation of young women about self worth and about standing up.

I played her CD of goose bump raising Gospel songs today. For the first time in a long time I felt a little more inspired although sad by the news of her passing. She was Amazing Grace. No one can or will ever sing America the Beautiful like her.

I hope we remember the importance of her legacy and also engrave in our minds and hearts that we need to love and R-E-S-P-E-C-T each other. May she rest in peace.

What do I tell my grandchildren now?


Ever since I became a grandmother all I think about is my grandchildren’s future and if life will be good for them. I fear that they will not have access to the same natural resources that I had as a youngster because we have abused the planet and mother nature for so long. I dread the moment that I will have to explain to them why some people hurt and hate other people. How do you explain that some people suffer so much because they have different beliefs.

I saw a television ad for an organization that helps children that are very ill cope with their sickness. Many of them are at risk of a short life expectancy. The infomercial made me weep. I thanked God my grandchildren are all healthy. The images presented are difficult to watch. Especially when so many children die because they do not have the adequate medical care.

But then it hit me. What will I tell them when they see tragic events or when they witness hatred and bigotry? What will I tell them when they are faced with bullying?

I remember talking to my children about these issues when they were growing up but I feel like it is all different now. There are more instances of tragic events related to bigotry, hatred, drugs, and natural catastrophe. It may be that I am simply older, and do not have the emotional strength to deal with all that happens these days.

I wrote this poem to read to my grandchildren when the time comes I may have to explain that bad things happen.

I would like your opinion if you have grandchildren or young children.

 

Well, I’ll tell you children

what you saw happen

just happens

and sometimes

we cannot prevent bad things from happening.

Sometimes all we could do is hope;

Sometimes all we can do is try to cope;

Sometimes you will need to question.

 

Many times you will feel helpless

But do not let yourself feel hopeless my darlings;

do not let fear disarm you.

 

Believe that you can be strong

Learn the difference between right and wrong

and never make others feel they do not belong.

 

My sweet children

all I can tell you today

is that tomorrow will be a better day,

because you will help make it so.

 

Only you can be the change

Only you can make the difference

and always remember

love is very powerful.

 

Love yourself

and others too

and always, always remember

Grandma loves you too.

 

 

Navigating the World of Poetry Publication


Great advice!

Vita Brevis

by Brian Geiger

Setting the Stage

Many poets view editors with the same distrust and artistic frustration that musicians harbor toward their record labels. They’re often seen as little more than oppressive, even bureaucratic, barriers to creativity who, by some stroke of luck, became the gatekeepers of the larger artistic world that so many poets dream to be a part of.

This view is completely understandable. It’s frustrating to know that the fate of your work is in someone else’s hands, that something you’ve so carefully crafted must first be put on trial by a judge and jury whose credibility you may already doubt.

And there’s a feeling of invalidation there, too. Implicit in a rejected poem is a rejected poet, damning feedback from the professional world that seems to say that you’re just not up to snuff.

The world of poetry submission is nothing trivial. It’s uniquely…

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We share the same diversity


Thinking about our diversity.

Creative Mindfulness

We share the sun

We share the need to quench our thirst

We share the awe of when we watch a full moon

We share the lakes, rivers, oceans

We share the same emotions

We are more the same than different.

If you think about it

We share the same things in our planet

We are one that way.

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