poetry, Travel

An Amazing Tree is a Symbol of Hope, Peace, and Endurance

path with several ginkgo yellow trees
Ginkgo tree lined path-flickr.com cc

Half the month of October is gone, fallen by the wayside like the autumn leaves.

My favorite autumn tree is the Ginkgo. It’s a tree I rarely see where I live, but abundant in Denver where I frequently visit my kids.

There is a Ginkgo tree in China that is 3,500 years old (give or take a decade). In China, the ginkgo  is a symbol of hope and peace.

After Hiroshima, Japan was bombed in 1945, the only living trees were a few Ginkgoes, which are presently alive. In Japan, the tree is symbolic of endurance and vitality.

An interesting aside, for book lovers, is a Japanese tradition. The ginkgo leaves were used as book markers as they are believed to drive away silverfish and other pests from paper.

During my last writing retreat, we had a free write of three minutes. I thought of Gingko trees.

Leaves shimmer gold

on a living fossil

Shaken by winds

of atomic magnitude

jolting earth, quake of destruction

Rises again, moves

across Asia to my world

 Saffron reminders

of hope and peace,

 gentle as a baby’s yawn

Lights the path with a glowing aura

gives itself for my delight.

To see some gorgeous photos, check these out:  An Ancient Chinese Ginkgo Tree Drops an Ocean of Golden Leaves.

Peace and hope for the rest of October.

 

Creativity, difficult times, Encouragement, Faith, Frank de Acosta, Inspiration, poetry

How Love Trumps Hate – A Poem and Photograph

glass flask, alchemy, chemistry
Glass flask, photo by Marissa Anderson, flickr.com

 

Alchemy is an ancient practice shrouded in mystery. Its practitioners sought to turn lead into gold through a purification process involving heat.

The word “transformation” is a synonym for alchemy. So is “magic” and “power,” both which can describe love.

Love, an emotion, is also a quality we all need more of during these difficult times in our society.

This poem demonstrates the power of love, which trumps hate.

 

Alchemy of Love (Love trumps Hate)

Never lose grace in faith
Believing there is beauty
To be found in everyone
All of us at one time
Have walked in brokenness
Through the dark corridors
Of our hearts and minds
An empathetic kindness
Compassion without condition
Received from another
Can be the spark that turns
A lost, dark, wounded soul
Towards the healing of light
Mending frayed, fragile lives
Prayers reaching to embrace
The stranger as relation
Engenders the true power of love
I say this with humble gratitude
Knowing I have received love
Undeserved; given love, unrequited
We are called to walk a sacred manner
Believing there is alchemy in love

Reflection by: Frank de Jesus Acosta

This photo made the rounds on Facebook. Eric Gaines, a police officer at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, was standing at a bus stop on March 1 when a teenage boy stopped to pray over a homeless man. The officer snapped this photo.

Eighteen-year-old Stephen Watkins said he was on a bus home from school when a song he was listening to inspired him to get off at an earlier stop in order to bless a complete stranger.

“I prayed for him. I said, ‘God right now you’re using me to bless this man,’” Watkins told WJZ-TV. “Thank you for showing me this song.”

teenager, young man, praying, homeless man
Teenager Praying for a Homeless Man; photo from Facebook.

Life can be difficult, sometimes devoid of sense verging on hopelessness. Let’s chose compassion and love to make life a little better in our tiny part of the world. Maybe, just maybe, that gesture will travel and touch someone’s life like this poem and photograph did for me. Keep the faith.

Inspiration, poetry

Measuring the Days of Our Life – #Poetry

 

Tree of Life in Spring
Tree of Life-Photo by H. Koppdelany, flickr.com

 

For whatever reason, maybe the wind swaying the palm trees in my backyard or the patio chimes sounding, I felt wistful.

Maybe I felt like that because I finished a difficult scene in a novel I’m writing. It could be the stir of memories or the longing of wanting something which seems impossible to achieve.

Whatever the reason I came across this beautiful photo and had some thoughts about what the photographer might have been saying.

 

Thinking About Life

 

And the days pass like the leaves dropping from trees

tumbling one after another, every year,

faster than the one before.

 

Layers of memories, once vivid, fading into a blur.

 

We grow older, leave our past,

drift across the present and into our future.

Short shadows now cast long.

 

We look to the sky, knowing our view is measured.

 

How much of the blue do we see,  

as much as when we were young?

More now that we are not?

 

How we will miss that sky, 

scribbled with wafting clouds.

How we will miss the brilliance of a sun-splashed day.

 

The pages of our life keep turning,

nearing the end of a chapter,

nearer to the end of the story.

 

What do you see?

 

Encouragement, Hope, poetry

The Insanity of Hate-Poem

alvaradofrazier.com
alvaradofrazier.com

 

Yesterday morning, CNN broadcast the first service at the Emanuel AME church. The Rev. Goff said:

 

“The blood of the Mother Emanuel Nine requires us to work until not only justice is served in this case, but for those who are still living on the margin of life.”

His quote is an attitude of love in the face of hatred.

The gunman said he was going to start a “race war,” to which the Rev. Goff addressed in his sermon:

“Lots of folks expected us to do something strange and break out in a riot,” Goff said.

“Well, they just don’t know us,” he said, as the congregation stood and cheered.

The tragedy of the Charleston shooting remained in my thoughts and showed up in a poem during the dead of night. 

The Insanity of Hate

Hate is an acid
erodes humanity,
dissolves innate morality.

Hate misshapes
eats away reason
from the slow drip of racism
fed by stereotypes
begat by fear, blame, otherness.

Hate eats the heart
throws up paranoia
irrational rationalized thoughts

Hate takes a gun
commits violence, destroys
turns world's upside down.

Hate is a four letter word
so is LOVE,
motivated by HOPE,
fueled by WORK,
for an end to violence.