We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB in April

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Welcome to the second post – yep, back again! –  of the We Are the World Blogfest #WATWB!  You can sign up here.

Our special lead co-hosts for this month are Belinda,  Peter, Mary, Inderpreet, and Simon  and they are committed to stories about peace, love and joy.  Please visit their blogs as well.

Some other participants to check out include….  Damyanti Biswas, Emerald Barnes, Eric Lahti, Kate Powell, Lynn Hallbrooks,  Michelle WallaceRoshan RadhakrishnanSusan Scott, Sylvia Stein, Sylvia McGrath and many more besides.

So… on with the story.

I don’t blame anyone for the situation, said  Sankalpa Mahatara.

There is too much anger in this world. Why do we need more?
Mahatara was innocently stabbed during what appeared to be a rampage of youths through Canberra and Queanbeyan. He just happened to be there at the time. Mahatara is a carer for his mother and was stressed that this incident affected his ability to provide for her.  All he wanted to do was go back to helping his mother and working his job.

More of this story can be read in The Canberra Times. Queanbeyan, a regional  NSW city near Canberra, has its share of joys and woes. But this event shocked the region.  So many asked why these young people did such a thing and what sort of home life were they raised in?

What is interesting for us is Sankalpa Mahatara’s response.  He did not want to react to violence and hate with more of the same. He did not want to spread hate.  He saw the value of the simple things in life. An honest day’s work.  Care for family.  Courteously considering our neighbours in the human family.  He is a man of basic nobility, in its truest sense. May he, and his mother, know more peace in their lives.

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We Don’t Pass On The Hate

(In honour of Sankalpa Mahatara and his Mother)

We don’t pass on the hate,

We pause and breathe and wait,

There’s already enough hate.

We don’t point the finger of blame,

Our role is not to shame,

Nor is it to defame.

We don’t pass hurt around,

Ears pain upon its sound,

There’s enough hurt to be found.

We speak and act for peace,

From violence we seek release,

We give our lives for peace.

We seek the truth in love,

Open hand, not fisted glove,

Of goodness lived in love.

So spread some cheer along,

We thrill to hear its song,

Among friends and to the throng.

Simon C.J. Falk 28 April 2017

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~~~GUIDELINES~~~

  1.  Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news, about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.
  3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List below.

Can you help us on a team of Co-hosts?  Contact Damyanti on atozstories at gmail dot com.

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Reading Poetry online with #Spillwords

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I have posted material from Spillwords before.  Spillwords is an online place for short prose, poetry and micropoetry.

The post here is a poem called Looking for Love, courtesy of Spillwords.  The author writes not only of love, but of being misunderstood.

Here is another that was on the feed today What is Inspiration?

Do you have some favourite sites you cruise into for an idle 10 minutes of good reading?

 

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Anzac Day Dawn Service 2017 – #AnzacDay

NB: This blog is usually about poetry.  But it is not such a bad place for a text of a public address.  The post does contain poems.  It is also set out in verse to make it easier to read aloud. I remember, with great fondness, the hospitality of the Turkish people.  May they know peace.

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Anzac Day Dawn Service 2017 – Cenotaph, Callaghan Park, Temora NSW

 

Prelude

On behalf of the Temora Christian Leaders, thank you, once again,

To the Anzac Committee and their helpers.

Thank you to our Returned Service Men and Women,

who grace us with your presence,

 

And, thank you, to all of you who keep showing up year after year in such numbers.

At least, in the dark of the dawn,

no one can see if you tumbled into daggy dress at the last minute!

 

Last year, 2016, in late April and early May,

I was in Turkey with some companions.

 

We went to Gallipoli and made some memories, atop the memories already there.

What follows, like all memories,

Will be more from association than a systematic mini lecture.

 

Anyhow, there were many silent moments that day,

It is hard to know what to say in such a place.

 

A. The Landing

 

Our brave Anzacs arrived at what is now called Anzac Cove, at Dawn, 25 April 1915.

Some fell on the beach, others on the ascending escarpment.

 

With my companions last year, we arrived on a balmy, sunny day in peace,

But the landscape made evident what our diggers faced.

 

An open beach, bare of cover from enemy fire greeted them.

A steep slope, up the hillside, met them next, where,

From behind the cover of bushes,

Sheltered Turks rained fire on our troops.

 

We stood upon the sands and hillside where our valiant Aussies fell among their mates.

The serenity we felt was met by the eerie spectre

That the ground spoke.

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N. Trenches

 

As we went to the trenches,

we saw they were partially filled in by erosion.

 

But their network was visible still.

 

In the trenches, our diggers, dug, fought and fell, despaired and laughed,

Ate, slept and trembled.

 

They endured hot, sunny days, cold night and rains.

 

As we trudged in the trenches,

Some of us stopped, and leaned pensively against the pines.

 

Amid sunlight and shadows playing across the furrows,

We contemplated the light of bravery and the darkness of death

That moved there, all those years ago.

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Z. The Museum

 

The building project of the museum told its own story.

 

At various intervals work had to stop, not just for weather or supplies.

 

It stopped because, as the site was excavated, human remains and artefacts of battle were unearthed.

 

They had to be respectfully identified, if possible, and suitably catalogued,

Before construction of the museum continued.

 

The museum was finely and evenly presented. One sign board gave me pause:

 

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An Australian officer, was down, wounded, on the battlefield.

A white flag went up from the Turkish trench.

A Turkish soldier came and carried the wounded soldier over to the Australian trench.

Fighting only resumed after the kind Turk returned to his own trench.

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A. Headstones

 

Headstones hold precious memories

As loved ones seek them to be recorded.

 

At Commemoration Point (above the beach), a member of the Indian Mule Corps may rest beside our cavalry.

 

In this same cemetery, a headstone bore, appropriately – yet, also with a strange irony – an extract from

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Requiem poem:

 

“Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.”

 

It marked the grave of a man from the 8th Australian Light Horse.

 

The irony arrives when we consider that Stevenson’s poem concludes with:

 

“Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.”

 

That light horseman did not come home across the sea.

Nor did his horse head him home from the hill.

But, we remember him still.

 

At Lone Pine, where some were “believed to be in this cemetery”,

A Private Bright, of the 1st Australian Infantry, is commemorated with:

 

“He has changed his faded coat of brown

for one of glorious white”.

 

Indeed, his life may have faded,

But the bright promise of the white garment,

Of those risen in Christ, was now within his grasp.

 

Christ had given his life for his friends,

So too, had many, many service people.

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C. It Did Not End There

 

Our people went to war again: WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf Wars, Timor Leste and Afghanistan – just to name a few.

 

Our service men and women serve us still:

They assist in bushfires, floods, and cyclones.

They offer a career path of discipline and expertise to many.

 

 

  1. The Conflict Continues

In those who served us abroad, some still wrestle the torment within memories,

Like a molten magma, bubbling away, at times it bursts out to hurt them, and those near them.

 

Other conflicts continue – acts of terror and violence.

 

Last year I walked Turkey in peace. Civil unrest marks its days now.

 

7. Peace, Valour and Community Begins with Each of us

 

As is so often the case,

Peace, valour, and community, begin with the words and actions

Of each of us.

We commemorate our beloved and brave dead.

We stand, shoulder to shoulder, in the trenches of everyday,

To resolve our conflicts as they begin,

Before they run away from us.

 

The ancient Celts formed a kind of alliance, or treaty,

Between their love of nature and the Christian Faith.

 

A version of one of their blessings seems a way to move from here:

 

Deep peace of the running wave to you,

Deep peace of the flowing air to you,

Deep peace of the quiet earth to you,

Deep peace of the shining stars to you,

Deep peace of the Son of peace to you.

(Multiple versions, like this one, are on youtube.)

 

Eternal rest grant to our fallen, O Lord,

And let perpetual light shine upon them,

May they rest in peace. Amen.

 

 

Simon C.J. Falk 25 April 2017

Morning Motoring in the Mind and Moment

Morning Motoring in the Mind and Moment

 

While driving early this morn

A familiar sight emerged again,

In the car and

In the mind.

The sun shone,

A scene unveiled,

But

The mind clattered on

In its own

Gobbledy-gook and dumblety-dum

Gibbery-gibberish and bumbley-bum of

Thoughts-fears-events-memories-ideas-blah!

Then,

From my peripheral vision,

A vista formed

Upon the retina

Of the eye

And soul:

A thin veil of mist

Rested,

Like a gentle caress,

Upon the land.

Embracing trees

In its delicate fold,

Meeting the dew-damp earth,

Mist held

Suspense

Of air

And presence too,

As I gaped upon

What I saw

And,

For those minute moments,

The monotony of mind machinations

   Were stilled,

         Stopped,

               Present,

To the now,

And the scene

On the way.

 

Simon C.J. Falk 23 April 2017

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Rain Fell On An Autumn Eve

Rain Fell On An Autumn Eve

Rain fell

On an autumn eve,

In a sunny shower,

Of sound

And light,

That might

Wet the ground

A little,

And refresh

The gardens

For a time.

Gentle, it was,

As is

The remaining

Scent,

Sneaking up

Into the nostrils,

To tantalise us

With the new

bounty

From above.

Simon C.J. Falk 18 April 2017

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For Passover and Easter – William Blake

Both the Jewish Tradition and the Christian Tradition have celebrations at this time and  lambs figure in both.  It addition to that, farms near me are beginning lambing season. It reminded me of a William Blake Poem, The Lamb.  Thanks to the Poetry Foundation for sourcing the text.  

The Lamb

Related Poem Content Details

Little Lamb who made thee 
         Dost thou know who made thee 
Gave thee life & bid thee feed. 
By the stream & o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice! 
         Little Lamb who made thee 
         Dost thou know who made thee 
         Little Lamb I’ll tell thee,
         Little Lamb I’ll tell thee!
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb: 
He is meek & he is mild, 
He became a little child: 
I a child & thou a lamb, 
We are called by his name.
         Little Lamb God bless thee. 
         Little Lamb God bless thee.
Source: The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake, edited by David E. Erdman (Anchor Books, 1988).  Thanks to the Poetry Foundation as well.

 

Spinning As You Go

 

JamberooRainforestVineSpinning As You Go

 

Spinning,

Spinning

As you go.

When will it stop?

Who can know?

Round and round

To

      and    

                 fro,

Thoughts, demands, detritus

And on

Goes the flow.

 

Scattered,

Scattered across,

No wonder we experience

Memory loss.

Or did we attend

The first time around?

Do we hear the harmony

Amid the cacophony of sound?

 

So spin on

As for rhythm we hope,

A way through the darkness

We reach for and grope.

In busyness and badness,

Something calls out within,

A voice for the way

To focus the din,

To bring chaos in,

To our centre therein.

Simon C.J. Falk 12 April 2017

 

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For Those Who Could Not Be Here Now – #WATWB

For Those Who Could Not Be Here Now

When Belinda and Damyanti were calling us all together for this ongoing blogfest, there was quite the group.  For various reasons along the way, some have not been able to continue as part of the active group. But, they have supported us in vision and we carry their presence with us. They know who they are.

So… this post is a thank you to those who have been on the way with us, and, who are taking a break from active involvement.  Thanks not only to the ever valiant Belinda and Damyanti, but, on this occasion to Michelle, those post, F is for Fragmented , jolted me out of my procrastination towards this note of thanks.

For Those Who Could Not Be Here Now

You were there in the inviting,

When the summons came our way,

To gather in our writing,

And pledge to make the day

better for others reading, 

So with us still you stay.

Your titles might not sit upon

a linky-list adorning screens,

Although your names from rolls are gone,

We know you share our dreams.

Certain you will rejoin us,

As our blogs towards goodness tend,

Your absence causes little fuss,

As you’ll be with us by the end.

So we keep on collecting stories, 

From the fragments of many lives,

Of the greater and lesser glories,

Of famous or less known strives.

Newsfeeds we’ll light with gladness,

Away from trifles we’ll steer,

We’ll tell of peace and of compassion,

And imbue it all with cheer.

Do not feel at all remiss,

Towards our life, blogging friend,

For we carry your presence with us,

From now until the end.

 Simon C.J Falk 8 April 2017

 

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