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.

 

 

 

I See Them Mostly in Photos Lately


Twitter Screen tap to download

 

 

I see them mostly in photos lately

I see them mostly in photos lately
I am grateful for the opportunity though
Occasionally a short video
will pop up
with a clip of a loved one saying hello.
Text messages are more likely to show
up on my cell and not an actual phone call.

I wonder what my mother would say
about Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?
It is really not all the glitter or hype
people make it out to be.
I wish for the days of meeting personally.

She’d probably say,
“Give me my family closer to me any day
to hug and kiss and to sit around
the dining table to pray
for every meal.”
How much I miss the days
of Sunday visits and making family time a big deal,
where nothing was virtual, only real.

Forget the messages
Limited to 140 characters (letters) in a single tweet
Not too many words for me to fully say
How much I miss them so

Do not get me wrong;
Social media tools are and will be going strong
(For a long time to come)
to keep us all connected.
I just miss the intimacy
I hate to live in the fantasy,
technology seems to promote,
everyday more and more.
It does not matter how far or remote
We may be from all our love ones,
Skype or Google Hangouts will save the day.

So it will suffice for me to say
Keep streaming the videos on YouTube,
God only knows what else will be
I suppose His Grace provided  the intelligence
For us to interface.

We have to wait and see.

By Melba Christie 2014

There is a Paradise of Words



Paradise of words

There is a paradise of words
brilliant, exceptional, enchanted
Some still unimaginable
Full of pleasures beyond feeling
to be owned by only a few of us
who understand their delight 
and the sensation words bring to the soul
words meant just for you or me
perhaps intentionally 
on purpose

I love all words 
I love when they decide to dwell inside 
my heart and mind
but most especially
I love the adjectives

I love words 
when they finally find each other
and mesmerize the poet
captivate the playwright
court the novelist
or muse the songwriter

I love the words that question
the impossible, the self, the irrational

I know I may never meet you all 
or feel your intensity and strength
or understand your significance
in my lifetime

But my vow today:
is to seek you
attract you to my poetry
and love songs
so that hopefully
I am remembered.

Another great find


In a few posts I have described the things I have found in my attic. Most times my finds bring me back to a time and place I had forgotten about. I love antiques. I started collecting antiques at an early age. My dad loved to go to antique shops; he’d take me with him on his scavenger hunts for “treasures of the past” as he coined them.

During a visit with my daughter we finally had the opportunity to go an antique store housed in an old barn. What a place. You really need a day to see all they have to offer. As I was browsing at all the stuff I came across a 1940’s Royal typewriter. It was just like the one my dad had at home. It was stolen right after he passed away. I was heart-broken because my dad so loved his Royal machine as my father called it. I actually learned to type on that machine. I couldn’t believe I was looking at the same model. It came with its original case.

I asked the store owner if I could test it. He warned me he was selling as is. I dug deep in my purse and found a shopping receipt. I placed it on the typewriter and typed “Dad”. It worked! The ink was RED. I almost cried. I was so excited.

I bought it right away and could not wait to get back home to put it on my antique desk. I cleaned the machine until I managed to get a shine. I cleaned each key meticulously and I put new ribbon in. I knew I would need to get used to the keys and started practicing. I typed “asdfg” with my left hand and then “hjkl;” with my right hand to exercise my fingers.  I had a flashback to my high school typing teacher. She was a drill master. She listened as we typed to make sure we were in unison like a band playing. The keys are harder to manipulate but the sound they make is like music to me to my ears. It took me a few days to get into the rhythm. After all it had been at least thirty years since I had used a manual typewriter. Word processors and computers was all I used.

 

practicing

I love my Royal machine. I will use it to write some posts. I write letters to my grandson on it. Most of the letters let him know about family and things I want him to know about me and his great grandparents.

I love the bell when it is time to hit return and start a new paragraph. Every time I hear it I am reminded that writing and poetry is about life. This machine makes me feel like a royal. I hope to write many letters to my grandson on it. I told him the machine will be his one day.

 

My first Royal post.

 

 

 

where letters lay                                                                                           Melba Christie (c) 2017

Haiku 52


Coqui!
Coqui! (Photo credit: wormwould)

 

The Coqui is a tiny cricket frog common to the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. Its call is unique and clear, My cousin’s nickname is Coqui and when she would go out at night we could hear the Coqui calling out her name. My beloved grandmother would respond in Spanish with this short rhyme when the cricket frog called out my cousin’s name. It means: No, Coqui is not here.

“No, Coqui no esta aqui.”

I was listening to a Coqui this evening and the clarity with which it sang reminded of my grandmother’s refrain. Thus Haiku # 52 is born.

 

 

 

 

 

secret calls at night

 

all of nature listen to the

 

unique Coqui

By Melba Christie

 

 

 

poem makers


Writing a poem

sometimes requires

extra stamina,

a conversation with one’s muse,

an extraordinary happening,

listening to nature,

carefully observing the work of ants,

an endearing gesture,

a big hug,

a dimpled smile,

a sad story on TV,

looking through the family album,

the visit of a sweet memory,

sorrowful news,

an old fashioned love song on the radio,

or just listening to your own heart.

 

 

 

 

 

Haiku Deck


http://www.haikudeck.com/p/guUa5mvfut/teach-someone-something

 

 

 

 

The image is a small watercolor I painted a few weeks ago in honor of St. Patrick‘s Day. The message is simple but profound at the same time. I have a passion for teaching. Many of the wonderful ideas I have learned and the creative opportunities I have had, have been taught to me by a passionate teacher. Paolo Freire believed that a nation could become literate if everyone who knew how to read would teach someone else to read. All it is, is passion. Teach someone something that you love to do, then as a result, you pass on the skill and the love of whatever that teaching is  for eternity.

I hope you like the image and I hope you go ahead and “teach someone something you love.”

Here are some quotes to ponder from the writings of Paolo Freire:

“We offer a model of learning which is not dry and academic but is based upon sharing our experience and using the ‘social knowledge’ that we all have. In this model of learning we can all become both co-learners and co-teachers.”

“The teacher is of course an artist, but being an artist does not mean that he or she can make the profile, can shape the students. What the educator does in teaching is to make it possible for the students to become themselves.”

Reading is not walking on the words; it’s grasping the soul of them.”

 

 

 

The Storms in My Mind


Clouded sky

I  have to get rid

of the storms in my mind

It has to be today

As the sun shines

to remind me

that  better days will be

 

I have to get rid of the storms in my mind

the violent winds of yesteryear

beat against the memories

I try to keep safe

 

I have to get rid of the storms in my mind

the winds scatter hopelessly

to cleanse the thoughts that torment us

the most

but I am still their host

 

I have to get rid of the storms in my mind

and it has to be today

when the rainbow zipped through the sky

(Oh my!)

to remind me

love cures all.

 

I have to get rid of the storms in my mind

It has to be today

It has to be today

 

I want to dedicate this poem to the many young people who suffer from depression. I met someone recently who impressed me so much but the storms in her mind are too strong.  Depression is very present in our nation. Learn to recognize the signs.

26 Acts of Kindness


Poemattic believes deeply in the concepts of Acts of Kindness or Passing it Forward. We are proposing that WordPress bloggers and their followers join us in the 26 Acts of kindness movement by writing poems about kindness, fostering kindness, illustrating kindness or demonstrating kindness simply by writing a 26 word poem and sending it to Poemattic to publicize. Poemattic will post all types of formats and hints for you to follow.

Follow us on twitter and post your poems there as well. These are some of the Acts if Kindness that I have heard about so far.

  • Collecting Money for Newtown Families.
  • Paying for prescriptions for Seniors at a local Pharmacy
  • Paying tolls for total strangers

NBC and Anne Curry have posted many others. Get your inspiration for writing poems from the descriptions of the acts of kindness.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57560308/ann-curry-proposes-26acts-of-kindness-goes-viral/

Some of my favorite quotes about kindness:

Like kindness, a smile from the heart not only purifies the human mind but also illumines the human heart. – Sri Chinmoy

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly
endless. – Mother Theresa

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness. – The Dalai Lama

Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair but manifestations of strength and resolution. – Khalil Gibran

No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted. – Aesop

Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you. – Princess Diana

The words of the tongue should have three gatekeepers:  Is it true?  Is it kind? Is it necessary? – Arabian proverb
You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never
know how soon it will be too late.   –Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

WordPress Bloggers Quotable Quotes


I continue to read the great material the WordPress bloggers write every day. I feel like I have access to many muses with such diversity of discourse and thought. Thoughts about thoughts that can be mind boggling at times. To all those who follow my blog I am very grateful for your continued support. You inspire me to become more thoughtful about the words I choose and about what I write. Thank you. Happy blogging!

From: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/texaspoet
“Many write poems to sell. Others to gather a form of following of one’s ego. My only reason in writing my poetry is to share my own personal journey with others.”

From: http://zenscribbles.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/to-curse-or-not-to-curse-that-is-the-question/
“While I know that real life is not all sunshine and daisies and curse words are employed quite regularly in the everyday language, I don’t see their purpose or literary merit when it comes to fiction. Some might say that it’s realistic and manages to show just how angry or peeved a character is, but as someone once told me, you don’t need to use swearing to show that. A good writer will be able to show the reader just how angry their character is by employing other techniques.”

From: http://nhwn.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/top-10-gifts-for-writers/
“What do you give a writer? You can’t bottle inspiration, buying an agreeable agent would probably be out of your budget, and I don’t think the antidote for writer’s block has been discovered yet (though I’m betting a placebo would do just as well).”

From: http://101books.net/2012/09/20/ian-mcewan-on-his-writing-process/
“I love hearing about the writing process of successful novelists. It makes me realize that these people are just like me–they’ve figured out there is no set formula on writing and they do what works for them.”

From: http://nhwn.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/writers-are-teachers-are-you-ready-to-teach/
“TeachNow changed my understanding of what it is to be a teacher. I learned that the teacher doesn’t need to know everything. I learned that teaching is less about instruction and more about helping students rediscover what they already know. I learned that teaching is also about holding space and giving students permission to explore and experiment and create. My friend just posted this quote on Twitter and it reminded me of everything I learned with TeachNow: “The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge.”
~Seymour Papert

From: http://akissofbliss.wordpress.com/
“If others are putting you down or pointing out your flaws, then consider the source. Smile, and outshine them with your positive attitude.”

Word Press Bloggers Quotes of the Week


 

Word Press Bloggers Quotes of the Week

“When it comes to books and their movie adaptations, I’m with the “Books are Better” team.”
From: http://zenscribbles.wordpress.com/   –  IN WHICH THE AUTHOR RANTS, RAMBLES AND SOMETIMES MAKES SENSE

This blog offers some food for thought. 

 

 

 

“If an email is entitled to Constitutional protection but an unavailable Tweet is not, what exactly is the dividing line that will allow citizens to understand when the Constitution protects their communications?”

 

 

 

 

From: http://somelaw.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/if-you-tell-140-million-people-something-is-that-private/

 

Photo by Melba Christie

“Science can definitely be humanised – whether that is in the anthropomorphic sense, or just in terms of the relevance of an abstract concept to human life. But can science be expressed in a further abstracted form – as art? Science is already abstracted from what we can perceive (as is art), so combining the two implies a double layer of abstraction.”

It is amazing how art illustrates science and science is so artful. This blog has a very interesting perspective.

From: http://anatomyofstory.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/science-and-art/

 

 

From: Zen Habits Blog

“Be present. For some reason, this extremely important skill is never taught to us when
we’re kids. In truth, the younger we are, the more natural this skill is. As we get older, we
start thinking about the future and the past, and the present seems to slip away from us.
Some skills for living in the present would go a long way.”

 

 

 

 

Photo by Melba Christie

 

From: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/nov/03/creative-writing-better-pen-longhand

“I find that writing longhand I can enter a zone of comfort I find hard to achieve when sitting in front of a screen – I find typing annoying, if I’m honest, not the mechanics of it, but the sound.”

 

 

Dear Bloggers,

I am reading many blogs these days. I have come across some fabulous writing and some very soothing poetry. I love science and enjoy finding out about the mysteries of nature. Thank you all for your gifts of thoughts and insight.  I will keep reading and quoting. 

I want to thank those of you who sent me comments and are following me.

Happy Blogging!

Melba Christie

 

 

 

 

Today is May


May Day Postcard
May Day Postcard (Photo credit: paukrus)

I visited a memory today

from many moons ago

This very first day of May

We sang and danced
around the maypole
that must have been
five stories tall
and my dear friend E—
chuckled as I looked up
in awe of swirling, winding ribbons

of crimson, fuchsia, and baby blue
and became a little dizzy as I always do
when I go round and round and round

I can hear the sounds
of flutes and shakers
announcing spring is here

a memory visited me today
this very first day of May
and one thing’s true
I still have you
my friend
to share this glance into yesteryear

 

  • May Day (recipeforabeautifullife.wordpress.com)