I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

17 February 2017

Regarding Doom and Gloom

There will be civil war in America, I heard it said,
and so I am careful not to blow on the sparks
with my own (foreign) rhetoric – or not too much.

It may well start with civil disobedience. I see
on facebook many friends’ anguished posts
and proud commitment to not shutting up

in the face of what they view as tyranny.
While others are bemused and then enraged
by such refusal to accept an election result.

I’m shutting up like mad, myself, not to offend
people I’ve always known as fair and kind
and, it goes without saying, intelligent …

nor yet to encourage others in divisiveness.
For who’d want civil war? Or do they not believe
it could really come to that? Everything else has come.

The parallels with Hitler and the rise of Naziism
are often drawn by the fearful and outraged.
And I recall, reluctantly, what has long been said:

it was the averted eyes and the silence
of ordinary, good people that allowed
horror to pile on horror, corpse on corpse.

I don’t live there, I tell myself. I cannot comment
on things that don’t concern me. I can’t know
the on-the-ground reality. I do not have the right.

Then, feeling a little sick, I begin to remember
that what stopped Hitler was the linked arms
of other nations standing firm and fighting.

There will be war, I hear it said, between
Australia and the USA, or even between the USA
and the world. Surely not possible! Surely not?

I put my head down, zip my lips; I hope it will all
go away. But poems will out, irrepressible as truth.
(Poor helpless things, both: changing nothing.)


Linked to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #341

30 comments:

  1. I hear you, kiddo. Sadly, what is happening south of my borders and far from yours, will affect all of us in some way. I woke this morning with a poem about nuclear war in my head. That is how bad it has gotten in mere weeks. And no one is stopping it.

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  2. These are difficult times. One wants to turn away......but can we? The madness will affect the whole globe.

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  3. Yes, I do know of course that it affects the whole global village. This poem is just one aspect of my reaction.

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  4. Something to celebrate and to fear:

    "Then, feeling a little sick, I begin to remember
    that what stopped Hitler was the linked arms
    of other nations standing firm and fighting."

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  5. I believe in the links in the chain of human kindness, of which you are fine example. Keep blessing us with your flowers and words. :) In gratitude ~

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    1. Thank you, Iulia , for this timely reminder. I must keep remembering one of my favourite quotes from the I Ching: 'The best way to fight evil is to make energetic progress in the good.'

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  6. It is hard to know the truth. The media feeds us one thing, but there is kindness all around. Stay positive. We will win.

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  7. Indeed I do keep watching the rest of the world as well. I hope that the European Union, Canada, Australia, etc. will not give this tyrant credibility. It seems, however, that other countries are working to stay in favor of him.....just like the Republicans who hope he will help them fulfill their own agenda. I fear that when they wake up and see that he is working for only his own agenda and his own power it will be too late. People say work to change things by the next election cycle (2018); but I do fear by then we will be so entrenched in his dictatorship/fascism it may be too late.

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  8. It is evil time now. One good thing is only the spineless, coward, corrupted & loveless souls are supporters of chaos. However it will pass but not before taking a heavy toll of honest and good souls. Too much materialism, greed and oil-money are the mischief-makers. But people will not learn. Your poem shows grave concerns for all involved.

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  9. the last two lines, echo what I think Rosemary.. this has been something I have been thinking about a lot.

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  10. I feel free to criticize the a power when he attacks other nations. When he support the nationalist opposition with fascism on their agenda. I think that he violates the constitution... (and I have read it)...

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    1. When the US president use lies about our country I feel the right to interfere.

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  11. I love your poem and its respectful evenhandedness. These are indeed strange times, and like you, I am concerned, observant, and hoping all will be well.

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  12. these are trying times for Americans and yes i understand your feeling

    "I don’t live there, I tell myself. I cannot comment
    on things that don’t concern me. I can’t know
    the on-the-ground reality. I do not have the right."

    have a good Sunday

    much love...

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  13. Certainly the rest of the world looks on bemused that a nation priding itself with its democracy should now be threatened with tyranny. I hope the other nations of the world do not attempt to placate other tyrants and come home waving pieces of paper as happened in to Britain's Prime Minister in 1938 before WW2.

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  14. These are difficult times.. I can't hardly believe what our world is facing let alone the stuff on the news :( God have mercy..

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  15. Oh Rosemary - you reached in and hugged my soul - please let the poems continue not only to slip out but to spill out as a balm, salve and salvation for this time of insanity - Until then, no matter what or when we have the poetry of each other.

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  16. I love the reflective tone in this poem, and love the respectful way it is written. It is unthinkable that in such a short time the thought of war between two allies is mentioned. It shows how quickly the world as we knew it has changed. Sigh.

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  17. Those last two lines are so powerfully moving and, also, heart-wrenching to think that even the power of the truth might remain helpless in its efforts to make change.

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  18. I really like this because of how conversational it is. Like you are talking right to me. I think this really brings home the power of your words.

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  19. Your piece certainly shows how concerns transverse continents with like minded thoughts.

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  20. Yes there's doom and gloom everywhere I look. There's already a war between hearts. It may definitely turn to a civil war. I think you have every right to comment. You are a world citizen.

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  21. Thanks to all who tell me I have the right to comment. Perhaps it is even a duty. But is it wise? Or would it be inflammatory?

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  22. "poems will out"

    If ever the poets of the world stop writing, the world is doomed.

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  23. An important piece, Rosemary. I find myself wondering what effect this man is having on the children of the world – on those little souls who are the hope of humankind. All the histrionics and name calling, the bullying and putting down of others, the denigration of free speech, the hate-speak, the disrespect for those with other religions and ethnicities – must be terrifying to children.

    Little eyes and ears take in a lot. It comes to them from the TV, from their parent’s overheard conversations, from older siblings and kids on the playground. Children need to know that adults are taking care of things and keeping them safe. That is not happening, anymore.

    I agreed with Meryl Streep when she said: "This instinct to humiliate when it's modeled by someone in the public ... by someone powerful, it filters down into everyone's life because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose." Sadly, little children lose the most. I cannot understand how any woman who has ever loved, nurtured or listened to a little child could attend one of this man’s sick “rallies” and take part in one of his “hate fests”.

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  24. It is easier to have emotional distance when there is geographic distance as well. Unfortunately, it is all to close to home for me.

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  25. I can understand your reluctance to get involve, Rosemary, but for myself, I don't have that luxury, as the trans-community is directly affected, by his comments, appointments and legislation passed, under President Trump's term. I refuse to go quietly, like so many of my trans-sisters and brothers did, to their death, by the Nazis, during their reign of terror, in Europe.

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    1. A very good point, Therisa, underlining and extending Rommy's. And a good reminder to those of us further away – as Myrna says, we are all world citizens. I do in fact speak out against all kinds of injustice when I am aware of it and challenge hate speech too. The problem is that from here I don't always know the facts and details. We hear such different things from different sides, and some of it – on both sides – sounds as if it must be biased and/or exaggerated.. When YOU tell me how directly you are affected, I know I can trust what you say. I know you as one who confronts truth squarely, without exaggeration and with enormous courage. Thank you for making your comment.

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