Baby boomer · Memories · My Thoughts · poetry

Why Write Poetry? It’s How I Relate!

Why write poetry?

Why write poetry? During the pandemic, I wrote lots of poetry and included many in my latest book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? about how I processed the pandemic. But during that time, I wrote other poetry on other topics. That’s how I relate to life. Here’s a couple poems spanning a screen door and do you really know me:

Screen door

The Slam of a Screen Door

July 16, 2020

Slam

            A screen door

                        Not today’s version

                                    But a relic from the 50s and 60s.

It bounced a couple times

            When shut

                        No latch to hold it

                                    Tight

                        Pesky mosquitoes, flies and other

                                    Bothersome pests

                                                Escaped inside.

Sharp, resonating sound!

Not as protective

            As the 21st century!

But the slam

            The sound

                        Echoes through

                                    My childhood!

Running outdoors

            Giggling

                        Afire with life

                                    My brother chasing me

                                                With a water gun

Summer’s sound

            Of freedom

Slam!

            Close with a bang!

Mom’s repeated shout,

            “Don’t slam the door!”

            Never heeded!

We didn’t do it in anger

            Only in haste

                        In urgency

                                    To get outside

                                    To start the adventure

Slam

            Too active

                        And driven

                                    To catch it!

Focused

            On other priorities

                        Other possibilities     

                                    Outside.

A hike to Brown Springs

            To discovery

A bicycle ride

            To freedom

A secluded time in our treehouse

            To dream.

Slam

            Close noisily

A new day

            A new adventure

A door opened to the world

            And

                        Possibility!

Let’s Go!


Why write poetry?

You May Think You Know Me, But . . .

August 9, 2020

As I ponder a topic

            Old yet new

I marvel at the thought:

            Daily Honesty!

Honesty

            Truthfulness

            Sincerity

            Frankness

            Freedom from deceit or fraud

To be honest

            Is to be vulnerable

                        To risk exposure

                                    To lay bare my insides to you.

Are you safe?

            Can I trust you?

At this moment,

            I feel compelled

                        To do so.

I’m a country girl

            You know.

I grew up embarrassed

            And ashamed!

Not sophisticated,

            Like the ladies on TV

            Like the ladies in town.

I’m religious

            A Christian to the core

                        But unorthodox!

I’ve dabbled in

            Native American

                        Savored the peaceful sweat lodge ceremony

            Buddhist beliefs

                        Became a silent observer

                                    Valuing the art of listening

            Jewish wisdom

                        Honored the roots of Christianity.

I’ve divorced three times.

            One heartbroken

                        But necessary for my sanity

            One victorious

                        Because I stood up

            One heartbroken

                        But a major turning point.

I’m a political

            Independent for years

                        Raised Republican

                                    But moved on,

                                                Caused by disillusionment

                                                            With both parties.

I hate arguing politics.

            Remember many hurtful conversations

                        With my dad.

                                    We didn’t change each other

                                                In the process

Just bitter memories!

Saying that,

            I’m a liberal!

That’s not a dirty word.

                        Dictionary says, “tolerant, unprejudiced, unbigoted, broad-minded, open-minded, enlightened; permissive, free, free and easy, easygoing.”

                        I can live with those!

I yearn for equality

                        For all!

I’m a talker

            Love sharing my thoughts

            Love heart-to-heart conversations

                        On spiritually real topics,

                                    Not head stuff.

I hate gossip,

            Yet I get sucked in!

I love people

            All colors

                        Shapes

                                    And sizes!

            Young and old

So much to learn!

My heart has been broken!

            I’ve faced despair

                        Depression

                        Suicidal thoughts

                        Alcoholism

                        Promiscuity

                        Incest,

                                    Yet survived.

Recovery gave me my life back!

I was an English major

            I have book shelves lined with

                        Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets

                        Hemingway’s short stories

                        T. S. Eliot’s poetry

                        Hillerman’s southwest novels.

I’m a poet

            At heart.

                        Words inspire me to life

                        Words create images

                        Poetry gathers words and motion

                                    And creates life.

I’m a writer

            The voice of the plains

                                    Of my heart

                                                And

                                                            Marshall Flippo.

I’m a dancer

            When the music starts

                        It sets me free!

                                    The movement

                                    The rhythm

                                    The connection to the universe!

I’m a computer geek!

            The magic of technology

                        Captivates me

                                    And I want to create!

I’m fragile

            Sensitive

I’m strong

            Resilient

I’m the baby of five.

            My daddy’s little girl

            My mom’s “baby girl!”

Adored by my parents!

I’ve feared obesity

            My whole life

I watched my mom struggle

            And her mom

                        And many of the women

                                    On that side of the family.

I make friends

            I keep friends!

I’m a paradox.

            So, my honesty jumps

                        From here to

                                    There.

I’m an expansive spirit

            Today a soul on fire

                        A God-driven energy

                                    And

                                                A sleeping cat,

                                                            All rolled up into one!

That’s me!


Finally,

why do I write poetry? I love expressing what I feel in words, lines and imagery! A slamming screen door, honesty and looking at me. Poetry opens the door to all possibilities—I can write about whatever! That’s delicious!

What do you think of poetry? Do you write poetry? If so do you share it? Let me know!


~If you missed my post from the two weeks with an Easter flair:

~Celebrate spring with 20% off select book bundles at my Etsy Shop, Larada’s Reading Loft until April 30!

~NEW PODCAST to be released Thursday, March 17, 2022, discussing my new book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? : Live on Purpose Podcast at https://liveonpurposeradio.com/category/podcast/

~MY FIRST AUDIOBOOK IS AVAILABLE: Go to Audible to buy my first audiobook, Let Me Tell You a Story

~Do you listen to podcasts? Here are three podcasts with interviews about my new book & some Flippo stories:

Just Another Square Dance Caller: Authorized Biography of Marshall Flippo

~Buy a copy of Flippo’s biography on my website: https://www.laradasbooks.com or at Amazon.

~Here’s a variety of Christmas greetings from Flippo & Neeca, featuring his song, “When It’s Christmas Time in Texas”: https://youtu.be/mpJCUGffU3A

Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? mem

~Are you on a spiritual path? Do you want to heal from the horrible effects of the pandemic of 2020? Visit my website to find out about my new book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? and my other five books and three cookbooks: https://laradasbooks.com

Baby boomer · My Thoughts

War is Here! So, What Now?

Stop war in Ukraine

War is here. On Thursday, February 24, 2022, Russian troops invaded their neighbor to the east, Ukraine. I am sixty-eight years old—I was a child of the cold war and have witnessed several other warring events.

A Child of the Cold War

In 1962, as a nine-year-old child, I remember the tension the adults showed around The Cuban Missile Crisis. We were at my grandparents’ in Amarillo, Texas. I remember anxiety hung heavy over that entire visit. As a child, I registered the strong feelings, yet did not know the severity of the event.

https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/cuban-missile-crisis

My parents’ generation remembered the nuclear bombs in World War II, so they focused on keeping us safe from experiencing that horror. Being a child of the cold war, I remember drills at school to get to the bomb shelters, announcements on TV, and signage in many stores in Trinidad, Colorado, identifying where the bomb shelters were in their building. The threat of a nuclear attack from Russia lingered for years.

Vietnam War

Putin’s recent aggression brought me back to the Vietnam War era and my experience of watching it in our living room. I remember the death count mounting and the horror of jungle warfare nightly. It seemed to go on endlessly. The government drafted my brother at the end of the Vietnam War, but he didn’t have to go to Vietnam. Our family didn’t lose anyone in that war, but so many of my generation died!

Fast forward to my late twenties and early thirties after my first divorce—I often lamented I had lost my soul mate, killed in Vietnam. That idea haunted me during my drinking days. So, my heart has never embraced war, probably because of that experience.

Desert Storm

When Desert Storm hit in 1990, I remember seeing the newscasters with gas masks on, worrying about chemical warfare here in the United States. Being single, I went to bed many nights scared to death of the coming horror.

I taught at the middle school in Raton, New Mexico and we had just studied Dr. Martin Luther King during January, 1991. In studying King, we also looked at David Thoreau’s essay, “Civil Disobedience.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Disobedience_(Thoreau)

We talked about his sit-ins all over the South and King’s use of civil disobedience, and my students had listened more than I realized.

Then they queried me about what we could do in line with “Civil Disobedience” about Desert Storm. I talked to our principal, and he okayed a schoolwide assembly, not protesting Desert Storm, but war. My class organized this event, and we had it in the school gym. Several people (students and adults) spoke. We had pictures around the gym of National Guard members who had been called up. One of them, a janitor of ours, who we all loved, spoke from the heart, leaving all of us in tears.

No more war

When the students entered the gym, we ushered them to sit in the stands. At the end of the program, we invited anyone who was against war to join us on the gym floor as a sit-in against war. Everyone joined us—students and staff. We played patriotic music and just sat there on the floor together. I will never forget that day and how proud I was of my classes for becoming activists about their beliefs.

Now once again, war is here. . .

So Now, What?

Because of repeated warnings, the world knew Putin’s intentions for weeks. On Tuesday, February 22, 2022, I traveled south from southeastern Colorado to my home in Tijeras, New Mexico, listening for my four-and-a-half-hour drive to the newscasters trying to figure out what was coming! When would Putin strike? Were the sanctions tough enough? That listening didn’t relieve my doubts, fears, and anxiety, but I wanted to stay informed.

Will history repeat itself in Europe? Mom and I visited Eastern Europe in 1999 after the Berlin wall came down. It was an emotional trip going east from Germany into Poland. From Poland, we traveled south to Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. We then headed back west to Austria and flew out of Germany.

Being from the United States, I was shocked how we arrived in a different country so quickly on that trip! We are so spread out here in the USA, but within a short distance, we traveled through a couple countries in eastern Europe. That makes this war so much more intense, yet the consequences so threatening to all of Europe.

As I sit here thousands of miles away, I want to do something. Democracy allows me to share my opinion, and this blog works as a vehicle to do so. And you see—it’s because the United States celebrates our democracy I have the right of freedom of speech and share my opinion. I’ve seen many of the war protesters in Russia being hauled away to who knows where and what atrocities will happen to them.

Yes, democracy’s cost comes at a high price, but once again, we, who enjoy that luxury, have to protect the democracy of Ukraine. In protecting it there, thousands of miles away, we protect it here for me and you.

You might laugh at my question, “Will Russia invade the United States?” Don’t laugh, because it already has. Russian bots have filled Social Media with their propaganda and many Americans have fallen into their traps. Today, we have American sympathizers with Russia and Putin. Some politicians and newscasters lauded Putin as a genius, so the Russian invasion has happened to the USA—maybe not with boots on the ground, but with ideas and a division that Putin sees as a crack in our unity.

So, war is here. What now? What can I do? I offer two possibilities:

Silent Minute in World War I

During World War I, the Brits stopped and prayed for one minute each night at 9:00 PM, calling it the “Silent Minute.” They continued in World War II with an added dimension.

On November 10, 1940 at 9:00, all of Briton was gathered around their radios to find out how the war was going. The announcer explained that Big Ben chiming out 9:00 would be broadcast before the news from then on. The people of Briton were asked to take that one minute during the chiming to pray for, or visualize, peace. As everyone knew they were in for another night of bombing, there probably weren’t many who didn’t participate.

https://curiousrambler.com/big-ben-silent-minute-chimes-and-prayers-for-peace/

Join me nightly for a moment of silence and prayer at 9:00 PM to pray for Ukraine and their protection.

Pope Francis’ Appeal

See Pope Francis’ message appeal below to use March 2, 2022, Ash Wednesday, as a day of fasting for peace. Then I would encourage you to use this Lenten season ahead to continue to lift the Ukrainian people in prayer.

Pope Francis' Appeal - War in Ukraine

Finally,

War is here again—so what now? Even though I live many miles away, I choose to be a part of the solution, not the problem. I support Ukraine, our president, NATO, and our leaders in this stressful time. There are a variety of ways to support the USA’s stance: Red Cross donations, prayers, signs of solidarity behind our leaders, etc.

What are you feeling? How are you making a difference?


~MY FIRST AUDIOBOOK IS AVAILABLE: Go to Audible to buy my first audiobook, Let Me Tell You a Story

~Do you listen to podcasts? Here are three podcasts with my interviews about my new book & some Flippo stories:

~Buy a copy of Flippo’s biography on my website: https://www.laradasbooks.com or at Amazon.

~Here’s Christmas greetings from Flippo & Neeca, featuring his song, “When Its Christmas Time in Texas”: https://youtu.be/mpJCUGffU3A

Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? Meme

~Visit my website to find out about my new book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? and my other five books and three cookbooks: https://laradasbooks.com