A couple of weeks ago I got a e-mail mail containing a chain letter in English asking me to send a poem or quote to somebody and then put my name second on the list. I NEVER answer chain letters. NEVER!
But this time I hesitated, and reflected. The request was sent to me by a woman whom I am fond of…. I love poetry and miss sharing it with friends…. I am anxious and uncertain, as we all are, and as are these times… I am questioning everything in my life, so why not question this decision?…. As time progresses, I increasing believe and hope that our lives must change after the Covid-19 pandemic…. Desired change can start with me.
Therefore, I responded to the chain letter … and was richly rewarded by lots of beautiful thoughts and poems, which I have copied to you below.
I tried to do the same thing in German, but got almost no responses. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s a cultural thing. So I’ve added a couple of things of my own, or that I found on the internet for the German pages of my blog.
By the way, last Tuesday was the Spring Full moon, when the moon appears larger, because it’s closer to earth. The picture is taken from my balcony.
John Donne Meditation XVII: Devotions upon Emergent Occasions
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and grew gardens full of fresh food, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.
“And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
“And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.”
An African saying
Worrying does not
take away tomorrow’s
troubles, it takes away
Doubletake by Seamus Heaney
Human beings suffer,
they torture one another,
they get hurt and get hard.
No poem or play or song
can fully right a wrong
inflicted and endured.
The innocent in gaols
beat on their bars together.
A hunger-striker’s father
stands in the graveyard dumb.
The police widow in veils
faints at the funeral home
History says, Don’t hope
on this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
the longed for tidal wave
of justice can rise up,
and hope and history rhyme.
So hope for a great sea-change
on the far side of revenge.
Believe that a further shore
is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
and cures and healing wells.
Call the miracle self-healing:
The utter self-revealing
double-take of feeling.
if there’s fire on the mountain
or lightning and storm
and a god speaks from the sky.
That means someone is hearing
the outcry and the birth-cry
of new life at its term.
History will remember when the world stopped And flights stayed on the ground And cars parked in the street And trains didn’t run
History will remember when schools closed And children stayed indoors And medical staff walked towards the fire And they didn’t run
History will remember when people sang
On their balconies, in isolation
But so very much together
In courage and song
History will remember when the people fought For their old and their weak Protected the vulnerable By doing nothing at all
History will remember when the virus left And houses opened And the people came out And hugged and kissed And started again
Kinder than before
Ask for it – unknown
Ask for healing, clarity, peace, wisdom,
and guidance. Ask for abundance,
creativity, light and love. Don’t be timid
in your prayers or your request. Be
bold. Be positive. Be grateful as
everything you’re asking for is already
making its way to you
John Milton Paradise Lost, Book II
This horror will grow mild, this darkness light:
Besides what hope the never ending flight
Of future days may bring, what chance, what change
Worth waiting, since our present lot appears
For happy though but ill, for ill not worst;
If we procure not to ourselves more woe.”
‘It Only Hurts For A Little While’ from CD ‘Croonin’ with Anne Murray
It’s so easy to be smart with somebody else’s heart!
Leisure, William Henry Davies
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.