Hands; a photo prompt, a poem

https://allaboutwritingandmore.wordpress.com/2017/10/08/daily-picture-prompt-280/

They raise their hands, beautiful hands,
Hands that have known labor, have kneaded,
Have created, have loved and been loved.

Praying to the creator, a creator, Mother Nature,
"End the storms. Save our brethren."
And the clouds tower above them like city towers.

From plenty, they sense the devastation, the need.
Politicians storm the fortresses for a picture.
They shout, "We are here with your relief."

Paper towels tossed into a crowd who wish for
Water, food, medicine, jobs, homes.
The cleanup has begun, with a single roll of paper.

Beautiful minds are shocked at the blatant
Lack of care. The victims are brown, black, and white.
They are a colorful mosaic, whirled and swirled by wind.

Voices come through the air, the web, the functions of 
of which convey disbelief, horror, future action.
But for luck, there walk we in similar straits.

Caring is call to action. Share, share alike, give.
From coast to island to coast the storms remain.
You only have a short time to build. Build.

A legacy is formed by the footsteps you leave.
I step in my ancestors steps. "Here is a broom,
I will sweep. A mop, I will scrub. Soap to wash..

The bitter taste of anguish, in the mouths. Eyes that 
Pierce though miles away. Stories that will be told to 
Grandchildren, of the great storm, of a roll of paper tossed.

Foggy, the Recollections of the 60s

My brain has foggy recollections, memories,
Of the things we were promised,  to be given,
As children, a world of peace, of standing in protest,
Flowers garlanding rifles held to sway children
By children no older than themselves.

The soldier shot, nerves and muscle, scared,
Not thinking of killing, not thinking
Of pelting rocks. Afraid. Unsure. A child of time
Given orders to stand by, to wait. Make them go away.
Orders again years after Kent. Waiting for the fog to come here, too.

Foggy recollections of Camelot, children in play,
Played in vinyl, surround sound. A glimpse into intense
Cherishing of time. The President’s Missus. Bravely
Facing the loss of a civilization, as she sat waiting, as the nation paused, then
Rushed out of the White House, a widow, out of time.

She was tall, classic, classy, a champion of children, well-educated
A woman who bore solitude in her heart. Her public face perfect.
A woman bearing in her arms, the children. Protecting them.
Mourning her husband John, her brother-in-law Robert, Martin
Luther King, all three martyrs to peace. She remained silent.

But her dream of peace arising from battle and blood was
Taken up and thrown, like feathers from a nest quickly disappearing
Erasing the stigma of violent victimization as others took up the flag of
Skin, of religion, of contesting savagery. Or so we thought.
Life fell from her hands into the ocean of solitude and ignorance.

She was a princess , a wife, lost, out of time but standing, but seen as
Perfection. Mother, editor, dressed in dark memories swirling in fog.
Clothes of the soul, shared by photographs stolen when she didn’t want to be seen,
Of private moments. With the population who couldn’t buy the tags of her style.
It’s so hard to see her now, under her packaging, with memory fading.

Foggy, recollections of the time. Childlike I believed, I still believe,
Making the decision to stand in the line of fire, to protect, being
Like her in my soul. Strong, able, sad, but never at peace.
For the world didn’t change as promised. Fog flew into the spaces as
She slipped away into obscurity and fairy tales. Moving into subtitles of time.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/foggy/

Survive

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/survive/

Survive, they tell us,
On narrow-edged razors
Placed, just so, on a budget 
Of bloodlust. Politics
For the common man, reduced to
Serfdom, where the poor
Are sacrificed for the glut
That wealthy others feed upon.

Survive, they tell us,
On a release of the 
Restricted intelligence,
So that terrorists walk free
After butchering children.
An alarm clock of hatred,
A mocking of decency. 
Unworthy of ordinary life.

Survive, they tell us,
When the crowds surged
Forward, enraged. Engaged,
With the hate, the fear, 
The mongering. My health,
Now a kicking point, for to be
Sick is a crime, a punishment
Given by God Almighty.

Survive, they tell us,
In a century of knowledge,
As idiocy and lies are perceived
As the only truth. Ice caps
Fail, polar bears plunge
Exhausted into Arctic water.
Rivers begin to laugh
As they move towards combustion.

Survive, they tell us,
As children drink lead for breakfast,
As the aware, pushed toward
A long sleep dreamless, give
A sip, a toast, a cheer, propelling 
pushing destiny for shiny heroes,
Forgotten moments later
As their lives deteriorate, wounded.

Survive, they tell us,
Laughing at the confusion
In newsrooms. Truth or Dare.
Truth or Dare. Resist.
I walk on a knife blade
Where time is frozen.
Survival of the fittest,
Now a mortar field of guesswork.
Resist.

 

Pace the Change of Hearts

Weekly Writing Prompt #82

Pace your hate, as you line up for the cause
Of suppression.
Homogenous populations, all the same, in tacky
Red hats that
Support a change to control the liberal masses
And their ideology
Of helpful compassion. They give to others what
We don't have.
Betrayed by life, we blame all of you who want to
Continue Roosevelt's policy.

Heard on Fox news, conflicted and wounded,
Unmade in their beds.
Giving a face globally of self-centered anger,
A movement thought dead.
Those who hate, have buried seed, seed from
Eons hidden from light.
Majority voters, liberal thinkers, compassionate
Lovers of all,
Who are these new oppressed? Your mother, father, sister,
Brother, uncle, niece, aunt.

All liberals want is a chance to be happy, to share,
To be kind and considerate.
This is a crime, signed by a swirly pen, by a old man
With tangerine skin, gibbonlike,jumping up and down,
Red hair dyed so that he cannot be old. A screamer,
A bully wishing to be
King of the swamp, the dark underbelly, anti-regulations
Of protection.
Our new leader, a sociopath, a leader of sociopaths,
Of spies and lies.

This is what the haters wanted. A chance to burn with
Fire and fist.
To force back into the box the godless, the "fairy",
The rebel child.
Force back into the box the librarian who allows that
Filth on her shelf.
Force back into the haze, our global responsibilities,
The cost we should not
Bear, and bare the back without brother, the bible 
Thumper in bunny clothes.

Beware your hate, for you are a candle in the dark,
Beware your match.
Reason is a dangerous opponent on the battlefield,
Where compassion 
Equals hope, hospitals, schools, wells, medical care,
Where a bridge
Is not too far, it pulls, tugs, pushes our knowledge
Of others, like a kite.
Beware the actor, the captain, the ship, who find 
Lie after lie
And tattle to the world. Pace your hate, because I
Will extinguish it.

March, March, Left and Right

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Mar. 25/17

a

A marching band, that
Is where I spent the happy
Hours of growing up.
Finding the after beats,
Honking on a horn of silver.
Marching in Minnesota,
California, Oregon,
Las Vegas, all over Alaska,
Maryland and Pennsylvania.
I loved to march
Watching those with battered
Lips, lick them in quick
attacks by the tongue
Which would really rest
On a concert stage with Carol Channing.
Loved the changes in season
And when we marched in the
Chinese New Year's parade
In San Francisco, and the
Tuba players had firecrackers
Tossed in the bell to
Drive the evil spirits
Of military service out.
We marched at openings,
Closings, and when we 
stood still, the world cheered.
I loved to march wearing
Orange and black,
Green over green,
Left foot, right foot,
Straw foot, hay foot,
Angles and diagonals
Squares of precision.
I always thought that
The band would hold together 
Over time. But they marched
Away, each to their own pace.
I'm a victim of moonlit hair
That pretends to color,
Looking at the stars 
In a cold March night,
And dreaming of the cadence
Of drums, beating and beating
And bb ee aa t i n g g g g
As they march out of sight and sound
Disappearing into time.
I dream of marching into the stars
Lit for all times 
If you would just look up.
Can you hear the tune?
The brass, woodwinds,
And the percussive beat
Of living a life.
Percussion leading me
In living every day
With the guidance of
The drum major pounding
In my ears. Boom bah boom
Bah, Boom. Then we rest.

Meaningless (a dailypost word prompt)

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/meaningless/

Meaningless, all those hours you spent,
Raising your voices, lifting your glasses
To Cheer. It was meaningless, harboring that hatred,
For a man's skin color and shouting
The South shall rise again, everywhere, 
For their health is endangered while
Their mouths run, compassion wins.
Meaningless challenges the courts
Rule: that the poor can be healthy,
Rule: that insurance is a right
If you pay for it, and you will pay
For it, because we aren't grown up,
Not enough that it matters,
To hand our gratuitous illusionary cash
Over to social programs. To a single system.
Meaningless, the lack of tact
To hammer over and over what the masses
Refuse to understand, that they are part,
The most important part, for they work at the 
Bottom of a triangle and seek to pull themselves 
From poverty. So they shouted, hated, hurt
Made bleed when all they had to do was share.
Meaningless, the first one hundred days,
While apes jump up and down as the President
Learns to color and write his name.
Meaningless his statement of KING.
I acknowledge no king, emperor, ruler,
Whose hearing aid and heart are missing.
Meaningless, caught in a box crayons
Without benefit of a piece of paper
That says "In pursuit of happiness."
Scoffing, I bow to mediocrity, pretend 
I can understand...But I don't.
It's all meaningless.

Luck

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/luck/

Luck has waxen wings;
Flying through rays of glorious yellow
With a tail of radiant red.
Glaring and daring the sun
To deny it a future.

Luck has paper wings,
Sodden and ground-bound, stricken,
Laden with gravity, a leaden power,
Which pulls it kite-like
Through puddles of tears, betrayed.

Luck has feather wings,
Ignoring words of failure, mockery.
Moving in between tears.
Dropping lightly, butterfly like,
Starlike, super star, nova.

Luck has eternal wings,
Laughing at the crowds who flock
Like joyous crows before a feast,
Who beg her for a morsel. Teasing,
Recreating herself endlessly.

Luck has lunar moth  wings,
Dominating the nighttime, peeking
Into dreams bereft of reality.
Children's dreams, hopes, parent's prayers,
Planning a voyage into time.

Luck has nimble wings,
Speeding past the impossible,
Ringing the tones of celebration,
Paying out at pinball machines,
With paper strips and silver coins.

Luck has steam powered wings.
No misfortune, nor even tasks 
To pull one through for she is not idle
Hands search, alone in the dark. For her wings
Are gossamer ideals put to work.

copywrite 2017 Ann WJ White
All rights reserved

What Choice; a haiku

https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2017/03/15/heeding-haiku-with-chevrefeuille-march-15th-2017-choices/

One or the other,
We fain a belief, or do we?
A ballot question.

 

Arid: Reflections on a Morning

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/arid/

Morning comes with stale coffee lingering in the air.

Dogs in and out, and in, then out. Two words erupt.

Then fall to pieces as likely to grow as limestone.

The cord is missing, my laptop still and thoughtless.

Bright sun burns my eyes, warms my hair,

Overheats the brain straining to find a foothold

In actions positive and bright. But the morning hour,

With its teasing laughter, places me in an arid state.

Atmosphere, dry as my mouth,  nothing  grows today.

Pages to remain blank. Inkless as the well in which

I dip my pen while seeking some other way,

I wish to be in the barren deserts of sand in

Timbuktu, where treasures lie beneath,

Hidden for centuries. Their gift? Knowledge

For the eyes of Africa, hidden from the French,

Manuscripts of jeweled splendor, golden highlights,

Speaking of mysteries solved long ago.

Surrounding a barren land with science, government, humanity.

Like cacti, needling those who would steal their worth.

These documents from the twelfth century, thirteenth,

Fourteenth, Fifteenth. Poetry of the stars to linger.

I would linger in the libraries and ponder how, in an arid desert,

The jewels of creativity could bloom and grow.

I would dally at the question posed of a green world.

How could I, in the setting of new leaves and buds,

Think myself without the soil of imagination?

Such a silly thought that morning is more dry, than the

Deserts of Mali or the great Sahara. Perhaps tea

to motivate and enervate? Or a simple peeled orange?

 

Translate; in memory of Bill Manville (W.H. Manville) who died Valentine’s 2017

Translate my pain into inspiration.
A grief that turns my heart to sterling,
A metal that will not leave me stranded,
A mourning that imbeds a jasper arrowhead.
He has gone, looping his words between
His memory and mine. Remaining.
Older brother of soul, teacher of order,
He had taken Valentines, paper cutouts,
Red hearts and Pink silliness,
Dark visions combating the light.
Wrapped them in cushions of unsweetened
Advice, given freely, powerful in their
Scent of citrus, their odor of sage.
Wholesome and forgiving. He listened.
Silence now that his breathing
Has erred on the side of quiet.
His heart filled with the love
A teacher has for student.
Transient as they grow, but his eternal.
I must write to find my heart again
Where I laid it out for him.
How many, many types of love there are.
So many ways taking the crystal bonds,
Which when broken remain
In our memory of precious laughter,
Honest criticism, layers upon layers of
Rebuilding. He gave these seeds to us
To plant in our inner gardens, to bloom.
Watered by tears of grief, blinked,
They will grow. Tiny green hopes, words,
Writer to writer. Clearing weeds
Nourishing plots of future dreams.
I hear his voice in the wind
Teasing me, scolding me, holding me close.
Calling me to finish what I had begun,
To love those he loved, to work, to stand
On two feet knowing he believed in us.
We must carry his gift to us,
The world’s visions, the expected literacy.
Must share our voices, must care, we must,
Even when the caring scares and scars us.
His footprints stay with us, his books,
His stories, his belief that the world
Must read, write, share and pass
The compassion of an old friend to a new.
We carry him now, heart to heart.
We will honor him by our words, soon.
But written as the storms come,
Rain beating the earth in a primal flood
As he flows away from us, following the flood
Of our sorrow. The transportation of our hearts,
Flooded and sitting now filled with salty tears.
Our memories are precious, sketch in words,
Written as the tears streak, but forming
Wary wry smiles, smiles that will not betray.
Oh the memory of those smiles, he loved us.
I will carry him with me in my pocket of life.
Filled with random pebbles, coins, a leaf,
An acorn or two, a magic ring, a fallen star.
This hole of sorrow, this well of loss,
Fill it with swords, shields, puppies
Pictures, mystery, letters, trials,
Hopes and dreams. Do not forget…
You see, I loved him.
I loved him as brother, father, friend,
Mentor, teacher, and confidant.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/translate/

Bill Manville, of Sacramento, California died on Valentine’s Day 2017. He was a published author, a teacher, a traveler, radio host, copywriter, U.S. Army Veteran and dearly loved by Beverly. He ran a class on the internet called Writing to be Published. He was a well loved member of AA.

Volunteering at his local library, he ran a class on writing that was open to the public. He understood the need, the urge, to write and that writers need support at all levels of their ability. Being a gruff, loving, inspiring man, he passed the gift of what he had learned to others with an open heart. Whether the class succeeded of not, he urged them on. Revising, placing students in groups to evaluate each other, support each other, he gave us a rare gift of insight into ourselves.

He worked tirelessly in the pursuit of helping others escape the madness of addiction, remaining anonymous except for his first name. If a song represented his attitude towards others it might have been this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjhCEhWiKXk also know as Bruno Mars “Just the Way You Are” He accepted people as they are. Truly a testament for human to be remembered as, Bill was “amazing” just the way he was. Of course you would have to change to words from girl to guy. Volunteering as a rehab clinic volunteer, he understood that by helping others he would help himself remain successful as a long-term sober recovering addict.

Celebrated as a Book of the Month author, he also worked as an editor for Cosmo, contributed columns to the Village Voice, Key West Solares Hill, The New York Daily Times and the Huffington Post. Magazine articles appear in The Fix, Cavalier Magazine, the Saturday Evening Post. He published his books through MacMillan Publishers, Duel, Sloan and Pearce, Simon and Schuster,  NAL, Delacorte, Dell/Random House, BSForge Press and Tor Publishing. His works include: Cool Hip and Sober, Goodbye, Saloon Society, The Man who Left his Wife and Had a Nifty Time, Writing to Be Published, and Breaking up. He was a contributor to the fourth edition of the Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism (commonly called The Big Book at meetings.)

Bill also hosted a radio show, Addictions and Answers on KVML in Sonoma CA, which delved into real stories of the struggles faced by others dealing with alcohol addiction. With over forty years of research into the material he had available to him, he was able to paint a realistic picture of the process of becoming sober, something that was both a personal and social matter of importance. He believed in the process of sobering up as a lifelong purpose. One of the transcripts of a show he hosted with Dr. Dave More is available through the NYDailyNews.com, http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/parents-cope-moms-dads-turn-kids-ambien-adderall-day-article-1.1092155.

He attended the University of Pennsylvania, but graduated from Sarah Lawrence College. His next stop was the University of the Mediterranean, Nice where he explored life in all of its fullness and color. As his works were being published, he was encouraged to begin teaching. So he did. He was a member of LinkedIn where he looked for aspiring authors to take his online course.

No one can summarize the character, love, production and history on a single page and with such short notice. I have done the best I can. So a final toast: To all who aspire to sobriety or writing, we have loved him, learned from him, and will never regret that opportunity he shared with us.