Let Freedom Reign

Let Freedom Reign
A Haibun

If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

(Read more quotes from Dr. King here. )

Image labeled for non-commercial reuse.

I believe that freedom is in the hearts of all, as is slavery. Those who are bound to beliefs that limit love and acceptance of others are ensnared. Freedom is within. It is not based on the color of my skin or yours. It is willingness to be open to others, whatever their race or ethnicity or their beliefs. Open wide my heart; set me free.

Mountain waters flow
curling around huge boulders,
free for thirsty souls.

Today, for dVerse Poetics, we welcome a new pubtender: Amaya. She asks us to write an epigraph poem, a poem about freedom or social justice that embeds a quote–that is, the quote itself unfolds in the course of the poem. I misunderstood the prompt–the embedding part, that is, so don’t, Do Not, follow my example. None-the-less, I will link this and in the meantime will see if I can do one correctly. I chose a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a Civil Rights leader who was assassinated in 1968. I remember that painful day clearly. His birthday was celebrated on the 13th and Monday was a holiday in his honor. This quote hit me deeply.

I will not make it to the pub till afternoon–same every Tuesday for a few months.

Winter, Midday, in the Desert

Winter, Midday, in the Desert

When I think of freedom, the image of birds come to mind–that ability to fly, to reach the heights. But even such freedom has its limits. Both wind and the anatomy and physiology of the bird species impose restraints–that is, forces both intrinsic and outside of the bird. True freedom, I believe, lies within the spirit: the ability to chose what we believe and to act according to our personal creed and the wonder of letting love guide us throughout life.

Warm sun unravels
winter chill. Gentle breeze bears
free-floating feathers.

Joining this to Frank Tassone’s Haikai challenge where, thinking of MLK Jr., we are writing of FREEDOM.

Labeled for non-commercial reuse.


Enclosure–dVerse Poetics


a Sonnet for Linda

I stand in darkness looking out the door.
Dim lights reflect in puddles on the street.
The night is young, but fear comes to the fore-
front of my soul as I admit defeat.

Imprisoned in my heart, I flee what waits
beyond the boundaries of this world I know—
imagining those things my mind creates—
(the pain) rejected oft’ so long ago.

To taste despair, so hopeless to move on,
I turn away, drink silently of fate
and pray for morn to bring a gentle dawn—
my garden, flowers, trees inside my gate.

Perhaps someone will come when I am dead,
scatter my ashes in that world I fled.

With Lillian as hostess for dVerse Poetics, we are writing about doors. I searched my photo archives and this photo of our front door made me think of someone I loved much who suffered from agoraphobia for years. When she died, the family released white doves. I trust she is free at last.

The doors to the pub open at 3:00 PM EST. I hope this prompt will open those creative doors for you.

Monday Meanderings–Holy Week and Passover

Image: Milton Knox

Image: Milton Knox

In the Christian tradition, yesterday was Palm Sunday, the beginning of a week in which the passion and death of Jesus is observed, culminating in Easter Sunday. Likewise, in Judaism, Monday opens the celebration of Passover.

Image: 123greetings.com

Image: 123greetings.com

In both traditions, the underlying theme is freedom…freedom from bondage, either that of our own personal inadequacy or that imposed by an outside force—in the case of Christianity, redemption from sin and in Judaism, deliverance from captivity in Egypt.

Whether taken as sacred truth or metaphor, the reality for all—believers and non-believers alike—is that few are totally free of enslavement of one sort or another. Just reflect upon the wide variety of addictions that plague society, poverty, government control, unhealthy relationships, physical limitations—the list is boundless.

This may be a good week, whether we ascribe to a religious worldview or not, to evaluate what is holding us back from becoming whole, fulfilled human beings. Is there one step within our power, one step each of us can take to become free in body, mind, spirit or emotion?


Choice–dVerse Poetics, Twitter Poetry

Photo: David Slotto This is a path in our neighborhood  that leads to the Truckee River.

Photo: David Slotto
This is a path in our neighborhood that leads to the Truckee River.

A new path invites
Does it lead to meadow or abyss?
Fear surrounds me.
If I follow will I be free?
If I don’t enter is beauty lost forever?

Linked to dVerse Form for All where Sam Peralta invites us to write a poem using exactly 140 characters, including punctuation and spaces. I edited an old one on Twitter, to be exact. Join us if you will.

War Letters–NaPoWriMo Day 5

The Letter

NaPoWriMo’s prompt for day 5 asked us to respond to a poem written by another NaPoWriMo participant. I’ve chose this one, written by Mike Patrick: http://thepoetsquill.wordpress.com/

Elizabeth, I Love You
by Mike Patrick  2011

From his pack he drew his ink,
a lone parchment and a quill
and laid them out beside him
in the mud upon the hill.

Moments before, he’d felt it;
with a thud the bullet struck,
dropping him onto the ground
where he lay there in the muck.

The cannons roared about him,
and the Minié balls whizzed by,
as he penned his last letter,
for Elizabeth’s goodbye.

Elizabeth, I love you,
and this heart within me cries
for the sight of you again
and the light within your eyes.

So young we were when married,
yet you made the perfect wife.
We didn’t know the drums of war
would bring agony and strife.

You placed a candle, facing south,
from the highest window sill,
to guide me when I return,
if should that be our God’s will.

This war that kept me from you
now forever keeps me here.
The moments which are passing
are the last for me my dear.

I pray you’ll find another,
Your life cannot be as one.
Blow out the guiding candle;
remember me to our son.

Elizabeth’s Letter
by Victoria Ceretto-Slotto 2011

The letter that you sent to me
I gave our son today.
The years have fled, but you were close.
Now, he must go away.

I never thought my heart would mend
the day I read your words.
But, for his sake, I did survive.
The years passed in a blur.

Eventually, I found someone—
the heart has room for love.
Our child knew that his father
was caring from above.

To him you are a hero,
he wants to be like you.
You would be proud of how he’s grown
to value all that’s true.

I’ve known a love like yours, my dear,
and then to have another—
More blessed am I than many
as wife and friend and mother.

Like you, his dad, our son is strong
and cherishes liberty
for which you gave your life, your all
so that we may all be free.

Today our boy must go to war–
your letter in his pack.
Another candle’s burning now.
Please guide him, bring him back.

Check out NaPoWriMo where poets everywhere have accepted the challenge to write a poem a day during the month of April, National Poetry Month: http://www.napowrimo.net/