Saturday, April 9, 2016

Carol A. Hand

So many tales of suffering
ongoing, sometimes unintended, abuses
So many superficial whys
A system that only offers lame excuses
for doing the same things day after day

The exploitation of the earth and her peoples
their cries for help lodged deep in my spirit
Why do the cycles of oppression continue?
I know for a fact others can feel and hear it
yet needless suffering goes on year after year

For the sake of diamonds, oil, or gold
life is cheap, we’re all expendable
The allure of power kills compassion
It seems war is un-end-able
causing death and destruction century after century

Yes, suffering may bring wisdom to some
But it kills so many millions more
I wonder if world peace is possible
If not, how much longer can we endure
while suffering continues for millennia to come?

Are other alternatives still viable?
Can we give compassion a voice
in each here, in each present moment,
with each individual’s choice?
Do we have eternity to find the answers?

lake superior sunrise 2


Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

63 thoughts on “Saturday, April 9, 2016

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      1. Same here. And as you can tell by the other comments, there are many of us, we are not alone!

        Almost all of my sentences, when speaking with friends about these issues, end with this; …I don’t know? In fact, it has become something we laugh at, even though it is not funny, not in the least.

        Your poem touched many today, Carol! And that is, as Martha would say, “A very Good Thing!”

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Thank you for your affirming comments, Dave, and for letting me know I’m not the only one who doesn’t have answers. 🙂

          (And I have to admit I’m curious to know who Martha is.)

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Martha Stewart.

          I have far too much time on my hands, and my memory is still working, unfortunately.

          She evidently used this as a catch phrase years ago, and Saturday Night live used it in sketches.

          You don’t have the answers, Carol? I’m very disappointed!;-)

          Liked by 2 people

        3. Thank you for solving the puzzle, Dave. (I have rarely watched TV, except for the short time I worked in Illinois when I was addicted to a country music competition show, I think called Nashville Star. Heaven knows why country music – it’s not my favorite genre but the contestants touched my heart.)

          Liked by 1 person

      2. The “answer” Carol, to paraphrase Shakespeare, “is not in our stars but in ourselves…” There is but one way to resolve the current state of things on earth, and that’s to become compassion. The problem with that approach is that compassion does not work within collective efforts because compassion is not reciprocal. Compassion is not love, a reciprocal energy. Compassion is a self-sustained energy, a personal choice and personal action based strictly on self-empowerment. People are brainwashed to believe that only through collective effort can change happen. They believe this with unfailing faith despite historical evidence proving it utterly wrong, and hopeless. As long as people rely on collective effort to bring about change, that’s how long they will remain the slaves of other, predatory collectives. Satyagraha, or non-violent non-cooperation works only through individuals, not collectives. Gandhi certainly showed its limitations as a collective effort: as soon as the British left India, the country broke up in genocidal madness, Hindus versus Muslims and had to be broken up- twice! Every oppressive structure depends upon collectives to maintain itself. Destroy all collectives, including the sacro-sanct “family” concept and you destroy oppression’s food source. Simplistic, and in appearance completely ineffective, but it’s the only way. The future, assuming man has one, will demonstrate this truth.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you for your important, thought-provoking comments, Sha’Tara. There is much deep truth here, I think, about the need for each person to find and live their own deep essence.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. i’m touched by this deep
    compassionate yearning
    question, Carol!
    if only human minds
    were a bit more evolved
    to love the brief gift of life
    without need for possessing
    any more than food, shelter & community 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Such clear and noble goals, David. Thank you for sharing your compassion and wisdom. May we all learn to walk softly on the earth and care lovingly for all of our kin…


  2. You express my frustration and sadness exactly and better than I ever could. It eats it at me just as it does so many others.

    I don’t think that the future is foreclosed although it is certainly the case, tragically, for both the past and the immediate present.

    What can I do? Refuse my own personal complicity in so far as I can and try to dispassionately discern the roots of the injustices as best I can and to communicate these tentative insights to the people I know or who are part of my circle of acquaintances, to plant seeds, so to speak. Beyond this, I can only bear witness to injury, being of limited influence.

    On the other hand, one should also not forget that as bad as things are for far too many, life nevertheless thrives. Many are yet able to laugh and play and wonder at the astounding mystery and beauty of just being alive despite all of what is undeniably ugly. Savor what moments of ecstasy you can if and when you can. Do it for those for whom circumstances proscribe it. Otherwise it is all for nothing and squandered.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Norman, these are deep, important, and lovely reflections. Like you, I have limited influence and no answers other than those you have so eloquently described – to be fully present where we are and choose integrity, peace, gratitude, joy, and compassion…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Old pap and I ask the same questions, though we can’t state them so “poetically,” and agree with all the above comments. Unfortunately, we’ve already used up several eternities without finding satisfactory answers, and another “eternity” may not be in the cards.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I held my breath while reading this, Carol, the same questions echoing in my head. I waver between hope and despair. I ask myself, how deep and broad does the destruction need to go before humankind awakens? Each day, the horror entrenches, and nothing changes even though millions cry for compassion. For too many it will be too late. We need to continue to speak for hope, but I’m afraid things will need to get worse before they get better…and many more will needlessly suffer. Sorry to be so blue 😦

    Liked by 5 people

        1. Thank you for letting me know. Sojourner mentioned he had the same problem this morning. Let me check his comment. I think he found a different way to do this. I’ll also check my settings in wp administration…

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow powerful words. I believe we are at the crossroads of humanity, we can continue being sheeple or stand up and reconnect with the universe. People are waking up spiritually and we need to encourage this but not force it. But we are running out of time. I feel things are going to get worse before they get better , but they will. I hope I see you on the other side.

    I thing we need to move back to living like native Americans or aborigines, they live in harmony with nature. Being a reiki healer I have my guide who are guiding me to more shamanic ways recently, though various means including meditations. I am starting to use native American music in my healings too. Any suggestions of reading or practice would be welcomed.

    Keep up the great work 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Equality. It’s good to hear from you and see the new direction for your blog!

      I love your insights. One in particular is so often overlooked – “People are waking up spiritually and we need to encourage this but not force it.” Best wishes with your healing path 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for your kind words. Yes it’s time to focus on mending society now as everyone is aware of the corruption. The new focus is to build or facilitate the building of the next stage of humanity. With move back to living with nature as this is the only way humanity can prosper. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Your poems and stories are always such a reminder to me, Carol, of the bigger picture of the world we live in. I’m glad. One needs to feel the grief to really understand it, and recognize the changes that need to be made. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Hi Carol, I rage because I want things to change now. I know you feel rage also, I hear it in the middle stanza of your poem. How can people inflict violence on each other and the earth? Nothing will change quick, no matter how much we rage. It’s slow. We do our best. And make it known we are not going away. We help instead of becoming part of the problem. After generations, in the future, it will change. It has to. Meanwhile, excuse me if a I rage, spray painting clearcut equipment, cutting motorboats free to crash down the river. Ha ha! I’m joking. Instead I take pictures of the stars, hoping to show folks the sky is more valuable than oil and gold. With all that said, It’s tough. Yours in rage and respect. Bob

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love your comments, Bob. I do feel rage, but it alternates with deep, deep sadness. Yet as you so eloquently say, “We do our best. And make it known we are not going away. We help instead of becoming part of the problem.” In my heart, I too believe it must get better – I’m a sucker for happy endings. Best wishes to you and your wonderful family.


  8. We live in a fallen world, always have! And we are all flawed in some way no matter how loving, caring, and compassionate we may be. But that doesn’t mean that each and everyone of us can’t make a diference in our generation. In fact that is the purpose of our lives, to come, to learn, to love, to share. It won’t make a perfect world but it will allow us the opportunity to make it a better world in our own little sphere and time if we choose to do so. And what a privilege that is, is it not?! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Actually, the thanks is all mine. The poem was very cathartic for me. I was tied up in knots over precisely this ‘thing’ most of the winter, but couldn’t find a way to discharge the emotion. Reading your poem was a tonic.

        I didn’t, however, like the way the WordPress platform formatted the text. Would you mind if I did a copy and paste, of course making all proper attributions? I’d have more control over the format and could better approximate how it appears on your webpage.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I appreciate your feedback a great deal Norman. I have been struggling with these issues as well as I worked on the book I have been writing. The first draft is finished, waiting to be edited. I still wonder if it’s worth it to take it the next steps…

          You may certainly reformat. In fact, I seem to be having a issue with “reblog” feature on my site anyway 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        2. “I still wonder if it’s worth it to take it the next steps…”

          Relax. Take a deep breath. Take a day off. Maybe look at it again a month or so from now. Edit. Then let it marinate some more. Then . . . then ask whether it’s worth taking it to the next steps. My guess is you will see that quite obviously it needs to go out into the world and do what it must. Anyway, until the steps are taken, how can you possibly decide?

          Emotions. Troublesome things. First the damn you. Then — but only then — do they commend you.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Sage advice. I am taking a break. I’ll be learning how to start plants indoors this year and planting organic seeds maybe tomorrow. Then I plan to use boards I salvaged from an old fence and shed floor to build outdoor planters. I have no idea if either task will work, but at least the results will be tangible…

          Liked by 2 people

  9. Reblogged this on marias treasures and commented:
    Carol Hand is a member of the Sokaogon Ojibwe Community. Her thoughts are always profond and moving. I’m honored to be able to share one of her poems with you. Each of us can make a difference; if only we choose to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your lovely comments, Maria, and for sharing this on your lovely blog site.

      (I hope the frosts spared your lovely gardens and blooming fruit trees. We still have little snow patches and below freezing nights here…)


  10. Carol I updated the comments I made when I reblogged your poem. Just know that I treasure having the opportunity read your words; share our thoughts, your fears, and hopes for a better tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

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