In the face of Adversity…

This week’s Quotes of the Week deal with a harsher aspect of reality – but also a beautiful part of it. Pain, in life, M. Kathleen Casey once wrote, is inevitable, but suffering is optional. Pain is a part of life, but it also presents an opportunity for us to shine, for us to overcome, for us to prove the mettle of our humanity. This week’s quotes deal with that adversity, and its overcoming…

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.
~Winston Churchill

“If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I would not pass it round.  Trouble creates a capacity to handle it.  I don’t embrace trouble; that’s as bad as treating it as an enemy.  But I do say meet it as a friend, for you’ll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

“Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies?
~Erich Fromm

“I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders.”
~Jewish Proverb

A father’s love

Staring out the window

the old man sees the picture:

laughter and smiles, these bodies still they

tackle and break and the ball

it floats between, less a joy than a symbol

of a father’s love–

he young, to full of life and love

for dearest son–

he still the younger, laughing, adoration still

he sees this game, a day, a week

and weeps upon the broken knees,

this weary flesh–oh time, time

has rotted;

there is no game for he, this is

Life, life he shall not have, nor give,

but still he looks to the growing faces

of the life beside,

and to this image can but smile–

in that child’s eyes

a word, a look are all he needs

to know the love, the deed–

he cannot do, but love can show

in other ways–

sometimes he just needs the reminder.

Oh these regrets, such bitter things–

thank God, thank God, that child

still smiles at me.

My latest contribution to the wonderful One Shot Poetry Wednesdays! Once you’ve had a look, check out some of the other One Shot Poets as well– they’re a skilled bunch of poets, looking to form a community and support one another.  Enjoy!

Blackest Blood

Black blood breathe

beneath the rocky deep

burn bright and high

waves broil, frothing

into the flames of your passing

but the gold-toothed smile

burns brighter still.

Sizzle, sizzle, boil and bubble

worlds part before

the tremble of your passing–

send tremors to the core

of all the staunchest hearts

come hell or high water

There will be Blood.

Wounds fester

like blisters burst

your fevered pitch defies

the madness of their dreams–

the sky and the sea weep black tears

and all are consumed–

come Death or Life.

The Power Within

This next Haiku is dedicated to my sister-in-law: a wonderful woman, with a strong spirit, and a smile that could light the darkest of rooms. She also packs an unexpectedly strong right hook. Perhaps not the image you would expect when someone utters the words “Black Belt” to you, but she certainly lives up to the title she’s earned.

Small frame, strong spirit

The smile no indication—

Power sleeps within.

I Will Not Don the Black

I will not don the Black

I will not bend the Knee

I will not break my Oaths

Or break my Word for thee.

Take my Head

Or take my Hand;

Break my Body a Thousand Ways—

My Will shall ever stand.

Just because you own the Law,

Does not make you Right—

Just because you hold the Crown

Does not ignite my Fright.

Only One

Twenty thousand souls abreast

May call me yet the heaven’s blest.

Midst twenty thousand strong

I say that life may yet be wrong,

But to be seen by one amidst the throng

Is yet to know that I belong.

What darkest eyes may set awry,

That single smile may yet supply

In heart and mind my dear ally

But for that sigh, that cruel goodbye.

Give to me that Crown—

Right quick, before I drown.