To Know Good

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Photo: Valario Davis on Unsplash

 

 

“So how do you,” he asked,

“Know good

From bad?”

 

“By the heart,” she replied.

“By the actions that

Build

And prop up,

And the words that

Support

And patch the

Cracked places

Inside broken parts.”

 

“And how,” he pressed,

“Do you know what

Just needs

Giving up?”

 

“By the soul,”

She patted the warm place

On her lap.

“For breath

Matters,

And hope

Matters,

And kindness

Is superior to any

Pass-by-night

Emperors

Full of promises

Of might,

Touted

For our good

But seeped in

Falsehood meant

To bring on

Plight.”

 

He shuddered

And she stroked his wet cheek

And held a cool

Palm to his brow.

“Now sleep,

And let spirits

Of light,

Hold back the bad

And

Fill your cup

With good

Till the world grows

Up.”

 

 

 

For RDP Sunday: For Our Good

 

 

 

They’ll Return

majestic KarenForte

Photo: Karen Forte

 

They’ll return

To the sky

To the bluffs

To the forests.

They’ll return

To true pride

To the strength

And the chorus,

Of the way

Things can be

When the truth

One can see

And the powers

Of we,

Will refuse to

Agree

To deceits of those

Pretending

To celebrate

Being free.

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Return

 

 

One Face, A Whole World – Yom Ha’Shoah

 

This is the photo of Sarah Kol (1933-1944), my grandfather’s niece. She was murdered, age 11, along with her mother Ida, my grandfather’s eldest sister, and many others, by the Nazis in Auschwitz-Birkenau.

She is one of the millions lost to the rabid hate the Nazis practiced, spread, and fed.

Each one of those millions lost was an entire lost world.

Each murder left a gaping hole where their lives and accomplishments, their stories, their loves and joys, their children and grand-children who’d never be, would have been, should have been …

My grandfather lost many in his family in the Holocaust.

My grandmother lost many in hers.

Other branches of my family lost loved ones, too.

Many families lost even more.

Some have no one left to remember. Many have no photos. No one to tell their stories.

So we must. As we can. Tell of those we know.

Remember all.

Little Sarah’s is but one face of many.

Hers was a life all its own. Snuffed out but not forgotten.

May her memory be a blessing.

May all their memories be a blessing. Six million. More. So we remember.

So we never forget.

Little Sarah, you were born but a year before my mother. The Nazis killed you, but they could not kill your memory. You live in each of us. The memory of your mother and siblings and cousins and aunts and uncles lives on, too. I see your face in my sisters and many cousins and nieces.

We are you.

And we remember.

 

 

The Order

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Photo: Linn W on Unsplash

 

She’ll refuse, for she must,

The order

To adjust.

She will hold up the laws

And go forth

Just because.

She will not, not today,

Bow to cults

Or obey.

She’ll refuse, for she must,

In her own heart

Have trust.

 

 

For the dVerse poetry challenge: Order

 

 

The Truth

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Photo: Randy Laybourne on Unsplash

 

There was something she didn’t share, but knew.

She held it, close, against her heart. A snuggle for her spirit. They could not take away what they did not realize she understood.

So she hid her comprehension. Her perceptions. Her realizations that what was presented as truth, was not.

Real Truth, that which resonated with her soul, was different. It sang.

She’d been quite young when she’d learned how to discern the babble from the song. It hadn’t been easy to maintain Truth, to blanket her face with masks of complacent adoration. Still she labored at it, keeping hope afloat.

 

 

 

For the RDP Sunday prompt: Truth

 

 

Not Welcome Here

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Photo: Franck V. on Unsplash

 

You are not welcome

Here,

With your

Contaminated fear.

You are not welcome

Here,

With words that hurt

And terms that mean to harm, divert,

Self-aggrandize, and

Smear.

There is a bigger risk

In hate

Than in keeping

Near.

You are not welcome

Here,

If you weaponize worry

To steer

Away from empathy,

Away from truth,

Away from the real challenges we share

As we ride great distances

On this one

Sphere.

Call this by its name.

Not by the rhetoric

Of racist,

Misinforming

Jeer.

Address it not in

Murky swamps

That deliberately

Throw mud into the

Gears.

Humanity is better

Than your insatiable need

To infect the

Atmosphere.

We’re on to you.

We see.

We hear.

We will hold steady to what

Matters.

We support the hardworking, factual and

Compassionately

Sincere.

But you?

You are not welcome

Here.

 

 

 

For Linda Hill’s SoCS writing prompt: Welcome

 

 

Quite Simply

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Photo: Zane Lee on Unsplash

 

“Quite simply,” she said,

“The very times when some in power

Are seeking to perplex you,

Are the times when you best make sure

That you are not at all confused.”

 

“For when what should be simple

Is deliberately made unclear,

And what’s logical is spun

Cheaply to cost dear,

It ought to signal your eyes

To remain widely open,

And your ears to insist on holding only

To the truth.”

 

She sighed and touched the blue print

Faded on her arm,

Seared like yesterday

In her heart and mind.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Challenge: Perplex in 90 words

 

 

Out Focus

Photo prompt: © Ted Strutz

 

He wanted to take the glasses off but it was not allowed.

The penalty was devastatingly permanent.

True Focus was reserved for a selected few. A privilege. Stealing it would result in losing all sight. Both eyes.

He blinked and tried to calm the nausea that came with the distorting lenses. He never got used to the dizziness. Or the headache.

He didn’t think they were meant to.

“Loyalty above clarity; Fealty, not facts.”

It was chanted. It was law.

A disoriented population was the goal.

He grieved for the realities that had been ignored when freedom still had hope.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

Slippery Slope

Not penguins InbarAsif

Photo: Inbar Asif

 

 

Down the slippery slope

Of icy past

And current treachery

They go,

Balancing precariously

On the edge of

What to do

With what they know.

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Slope

 

 

Just Be Careful

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Photo: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/march-on-washington_n_3825167

 

I knew she was going to D.C. for the 50-year-anniversary of MLK’s March on Washington. She’d been in the original one. And on the Freedom Rides. I was so proud of her. I also couldn’t sleep. I wanted her to go. I just couldn’t rid myself of a nagging worry-worm.

“Just be careful,” I texted.

“XO,” she replied hours later.

I watched the march and President Obama’s speech on TV, a lump in my throat for the path and possibility of this country. I scanned for her in the crowd, echoes of concern in my mind, hoped she wasn’t hurting.

“I’m fine,” she said two days later, “just don’t be alarmed when you see me. I tripped when I got off the bus in D.C. Broke my wrist.”

Apparently she’d wrapped a scarf around her arm and marched. Then traveled many hours home before seeing a doctor. True to form.

 

Adding this clip from that day which stands the test of time in its relevance:

 

 

Note: True story from August 28, 2013.

For What Pegman Saw: Washington D.C.