Freedom: Haibun

This is for Frank Tassone’s Haikai Challenge. Tomorrow is a federal holiday that celebrates the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr. Frank has asked us to reflect and write about freedom. Here is MLK’s “I Have a Dream speech.

My grown daughter is visiting. She dances into the kitchen in the morning, and I join in with a song. I’m happy that this is a safe place for her, and that here she feels the freedom to be silly. We both do.

Too many people think freedom means waving a flag and repeating slogans. But greatness does not come from denying others the right to love, to learn, to live without fear of a knock at the door. Freedom generously shares a dream, but requires effort and vigilance. Freedom looks forward in hope, not backwards to repression.

 

dreams hibernating

wait for spring’s awakening

hearts dance in sunshine

 

 

 

 

The Light Shines, Over and Over

sunlight_throug_palisades

By LacZ (Own work), “Sunlight through Pallisades,” [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

“Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.”

–Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”

 

We pause now to gather strength

to fight for justice

over and over

to strive for courage, hope

lost and then regained

over and over

change happens for good, for bad

thoughts and actions

over and over

two steps forward, one step back

over and over

through the ages

we find the crack

to let the light shine in.

 

 

I wrote this poem yesterday afternoon before I heard of Leonard Cohen’s death. I guess it was of those strange coincidences in life that I had been thinking about him.

This poem is for Secret Keeper’s Writing Challenge.

The prompt words were: Pause/Over/Strength/Age/Change