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Category Archives: Humanity

Nookwezigan (Smudge)

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For many years, I worked on a First Nations reserve. It was part of my job to become familiar with some of the Ojibway language and culture and to promote it within a daycare setting. Native American customs and spirituality have always intrigued me and still do. The legends and rituals shared with me by my co workers opened my mind to other ways of thinking. I admire the simplicity of thought and their many symbolisms of nature.

While attending a Native Early Childhood conference, I chose a workshop involving an outdoor excursion. We slowly climbed a steep, grassy hill, leaving gifts of tobacco along the way for ” the little people”. At the top we rested on large rocks and meditated on a breathtaking view of the valley below.  When we returned to the community center we sat in a circle to be “smudged”. Nervously I anticipated my turn as a seashell with burning sage was passed around the group. I watched as each of my native colleagues stood one at a time, directing the pungent smoke towards their body with beckoning hands. Drawing it close and gently pushing it away. Cleansing themselves of negative energy. I was welcomed into the ceremony, treated no differently than the rest. As I embraced the smoke I believed what they believed. This was healing.

 

bashkodejiibik

i am not Anishinaabe but

mino giizhigad

 

Translation:

sage

i am not native but

it’s a nice day

 

Written for Paul’s poetic prompt, “Medicine” over at dVerse Poets Pub.

 

 

 

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RAMblings on Faith

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I’ve lost faith. Not in myself or any one person…but in society as a whole. We’ve truly outdone ourselves, haven’t we? Our power is devouring us. Self-destruction disguised as bits and bytes of betterment. Perhaps once we’ve surrendered the rest of our intelligence to a robotic regime, we’ll cycle back to playing with sticks and rocks. Building our own fires out of boredom ….just to see if we can. History repeats itself. We’ll sharpen our knives again instead of our minds. But will we ever sharpen our awareness? We have only scratched the surface of our abilities to evolve into humanity. On the contrary, we’ve regressed. We’ve even lost faith in friendships, walking on eggshells around social behaviours we’ve already mastered. Texting conversations that freeze, then flow again, with license to ignore as if the norm.

I have faith in potential. Before I allowed video games to sweep my children into a “Call of Duty”, we collected shells on the beach until the sun nestled on the horizon. Clouds were clouds. Facial recognition meant nothing more than counting freckles. Collecting precious smiles that burst into laughter over almost nothing. We traced the shape of the moon as the grass tickled our skin. I remember. They remember.

I have faith in possibilities. I see starving children no longer starving. I see the end of violence. I see lonely people surrounded by love. I see it all because it’s all there waiting for us to create. Much more rewarding, I would think , than superimposing fictional characters into a digital environment. You don’t need goggles. Just a good heart. I do have unwavering faith in God, but I fear he has lost faith in us.

 

lone seagull sets sail

sun waits patiently for more

waters uncharted

 

 

It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets Pub and the topic is “faith”.  You are all welcome to join in. I am pleased to be your host. Doors open at 3 p.m. EST and this poetic prompt is open all week.

Image credit: pixabay.com

Til(l) Now

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we toil in toxic soil

planting intentions,

nurturing our contemplated

marinated seedlings of hope

and it feels righteous

downright righteous

is this not the path to peace?

when hope dies in the eyes of

the oppressed and forgotten

how many prayers are enough

for the darkness to fade,

for light to be cascaded

over hate so barbaric?

oh but we sing and we say

we are the world

We are compassionate

you…and me

aren’t we?

we must step off of our

overturned garden crates

weed out our own fears

and act

 

Amaya Cranston Engleking has joined our team over at dVerse.  Her poetic prompt for us today is to “write an epigraph poem (not an official form) in which a quote about global peace, social justice, or human rights is embedded”.  I chose the following quote…..

It is not enough to be compassionate – you must act.”- His Holiness The Dalai Lama

 

Image credit: pixabay.com

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shipwrecked

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We bobble like iron bubbles

Anchored to docks of despair

Waving flags, still bragging

About love of country

Humble hearts whisper

In feathers, doves

But hope does not float

Intentions are stuck in

Stagnant sea scum

Blood flows and God knows

We are tired

 

 

Written for this week’s Quadrille prompt over at dVerse Poets Pub

Image credit: pixabay.com

 

 

E-volving

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“We are all just prisoners here

of our own device.”

Well isn’t that nice….

Robotic, hypnotic little

Sheep grinning, grazing

On bits and bytes of

Techno trash and hashtags

Phubbing our friends

There’s a word for that?

Doesn’t deserve one

We sulk like fools

In our own game

Propagating our own pain

Immunized, mesmerized

Publicized, then wondering why

Our hearts hurt

And our heads are spinning

This is the fork in the road

My friends

The end

Or the beginning

 

 

Hope you enjoyed “Musical Muse”, my offering as a poetic prompt this week at dVerse Poets Pub. Choose some lyrics, preferably one line from a favorite song and grow your own poem from it. You are not limited to the original theme of the song. Instead, forge your own poetic path.

**Quote is from the lyrics of “Hotel California”, The Eagles

Image credit: pixabay.com

 

 

Flicker

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When nightfall finds you

Breathless under muted moon

Your shattered heart fumbling

Tumbling faster than your thoughts

May you count stars instead of tears

Echo the moments, over years

Summon one precious particle

Of light within your soul

Carry on, my friend

Carry on

This life is not over

 

 

Written for dVerse as Paul brings us a beautiful prompt for Poetics, called

“Blessings”

Collaboration for Peace – 52 – Pass it On!

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We did it!! We set out, 52 poems and photos ago, to collaborate in bringing peace to this cyber-village of poets. In the process we each found a kindred soul and a shared passion that was not bound by borders. Now that we have reached our goal, we are asking you to continue this journey of peace. Reach out to a fellow poet or photographer (amateur or otherwise). Combine your talents to express your thoughts about peace and inspire others to do the same. At the very least, you will challenge each other, and make a meaningful connection from across the miles. Let us know in the comments if you have decided to take on the challenge. We would love to hear from you and follow your collaboration.

For our last post for “Collaboration for Peace”, Candy and I decided to share our answers to some questions about PEACE. Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments.

What does peace look like to you?

Candy: Peace is a moment (or two) of calmness in a busy life. A time without fear or worry.

Mish: It’s not about rainbows and butterflies, peace signs and such. For me, peace looks like a world united, with non judgemental faces and open minds.

 

Photo: Mish

How do you experience inner peace?

Candy: Being outdoors is where I find peace to quiet my inner self, to prioritize. As an introvert, I need those moments to recharge.

Mish: When I feel turmoil in my life, I try to remind myself of my priorities, what truly matters in my life and eliminate the “small stuff” that gets in the way. I find inner peace when I am in nature, examining a wildflower in the woods or watching a hawk soaring above me. I think the simplicity of nature has many lessons for discovering inner peace.

Photo: Mish

What do you believe needs to happen for peace to happen?

Candy: We need to learn to respect others and appreciate our differences. And then follow up with actions that demonstrate that respect. A genuine smile goes a long way to promoting peace.

Mish: We have to break free from societal walls. We need to build bridges instead of walls. Respect and embrace our differences. Become part of the melting pot. Let go of our fears. Stop celebrating any country as the strongest or the best. No country is better than another. These arrogant personas do not support the goals of peace.

 

What can we do as individuals to promote peace in the world?

Candy: Don’t give in to what is popular but do what you know is right. If you want to promote peace in the world it must start in your own neighborhood – a ripple of peace that will spread outward.

Mish: Reach out. Speak to others who look nothing like you. Learn first hand about their culture and beliefs. Give up the stereotypes. Become educated before you speak. Make connections. You will be enriched and enlightened.

 

Thank you to all of you who have “liked”, commented and supported our Collaboration for Peace project. We hope you continue our journey of peace.

We leave you now with our final collaboration, a poem written by Candy and a photo taken from one of my most peaceful places.

Photo: Mish

Peace Enough

 

I wish you peace enough

to last not just for tomorrow

but until we no longer

need to wish

 

I wish you peace enough

to share with those you love

and those you fear

so you may fear less

 

I wish you peace enough

to carry you through

turbulence and pain

so your heart may smile again

 

I wish you peace enough

to calm your inner self

then ripple out from you

to calm your world

 

© Candace Kubinec

 

You can follow Candy’s blog at rhymeswithbug.com

Thank you, Candace Kubinec for sharing this experience with me, for your amazing way with words, your lovely photography and especially for your friendship.