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Poems and life.

Poems and life

I wrote a poem about a rose but I was not merely thinking about a rose. My mind was more centered on people - elderly people.

A woman read the poem and asked my permission to read it at her mother’s funeral. She thought it was fitting and appropriate for the occasion since her mother had a great love for roses. She spoke of the garden her mother cherished in Mount Moritz, Grenada - her beautiful garden of roses. I told her to go right ahead and read the poem and I expressed my condolences over the lost of her mother.

I know how that feels for my mother passed away1995.
I write poems and people interpret them and I am glad that they do because they often see in my words and expressions that which I do not see. I am often amazed by the way people interpret my poems.

When I wrote the poem called “The Rose”, I was picturing all those old people who once in their lives were energetic and vibrant like a river in its youthful stage. But age crept up on them and sadly, some of them were not treated as kindly or admired anymore when their physical charm faded. Many of them end up neglected and confined to homes for old people. I believe that inner beauty does not necessarily diminish with age and once a rose, always a rose.
The poem:
The Rose

I saw the rose,
Attached still
To a tilted stem,
Its head bowed,
The luster gone.
But still it was
A rose.

And just like us,
It had aged with time.
The gleam was gone
And wrinkles came
But still it was
A rose.

O fleeting dream,
The march of time
Transforming tool
That dims the shine.
But at evening sun
When petals fall,
The rose is still a rose.

I wrote a poem about a tree that caught my eye one winter morning in Brooklyn. I looked at it and noted the leaf-less branches that protruded like spikes into the air. It stood naked and unnoticed in the frigid park. I mentioned in the poem that “It presence pulled no eager eye.”
But then the spring arrived and the buds sprung to life and it was a different tree yet, the same tree.

Yes, it was the same tree only more attractive to the human eye. I thought of life and occasions when people flourish and many take note of them. There are people in this life who will cling to you when things are rosy and you have much to offer. When you bloom like a tree and attain your full potential, you become an attractive magnet for many. You are no longer the gray and dismal spike projecting in the cold. But one must be careful and prepare for unexpected change for “Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wings, those who cheer you today might curse you tomorrow, only one thing endures—character.”
The poem:

A Solitary Faded Ornament

A solitary faded ornament,
Dark silhouette in spiraled stance,
A shadow of its summer bloom,
Exposed to cold and gloom.

A small, gray pigeon perched atop
A branch bent in the wind.
An unclothed form, like barren wood,
In Prospect Park it stood.

And no one stopped to cast a glance
Or pause beneath its arms.
Its presence pulled no eager eye;
In haste they all walked by.

But then the lilac buds emerged,
As spring’s bright light appeared.
And singing leaves in rushing breeze
Rejoiced after the freeze.

And pulled all were by nature’s art,
The allure of beauty’s charm,
They relaxed below the canopy,
A gloriously adorned tree.

And then there are times you are not yourself. You feel drained , mentally exhausted or just depressed. You need a time out to get in tune with your inner self. You need to be energized once more. It is time for meditation and prayer. It is time for your quiet spot. Like the sporting individual, you take a time-out to refresh yourself.

The poem

Renewal

When burdens come and cares oppress
And faced with troubles I detest,
As stormy clouds hinder my sight,
I reach for hope, a ray of light.

And to my haven I go in haste,
To my quiet spot no time to waste.
And there I sit and meditate,
Free myself from spite and hate.

And deep within I dig to feel
Caged joy my spirit could unseal.
And, as the clouds are swept away,
Comes an ecstatic pinch that words can’t say.

Renewed I stand in upbeat poise,
Undisturbed by booming noise.
I stare ahead, and all I see;
A rugged path seems clear to me.


There will be days of little sunshine. But hold on a minute, that too will change for “change is constant.”

Sometimes the sun then the rain.
Sometimes a smile and then the pain.
Sometimes the loss and then the gain.
Sometimes neglect and then the fame.
Sometimes the day, but comes the night.
Sometimes blindness but then the sight.
Sometimes a hill and then the flat.
Sometimes the ball, sometimes the bat.
Sometimes the rest before the test,
The time to try your utmost best.
Sometimes a pat upon your back;
Sometimes a kick will knock you flat.
All this I say so you will know,
Sometimes you reap, sometimes you sow.
Life is not

Re: Poems and life...continued

There will be days of little sunshine. But hold on a minute, that too will change for “change is constant.”

Sometimes the sun then the rain.
Sometimes a smile and then the pain.
Sometimes the loss and then the gain.
Sometimes neglect and then the fame.
Sometimes the day, but comes the night.
Sometimes blindness but then the sight.
Sometimes a hill and then the flat.
Sometimes the ball, sometimes the bat.
Sometimes the rest before the test,
The time to try your utmost best.
Sometimes a pat upon your back;
Sometimes a kick will knock you flat.
All this I say so you will know,
Sometimes you reap, sometimes you sow.
Life is not a rosy bed.
Sometimes hunger before you’re fed.
So, if you are in depression’s hold,
Stay the path, be very bold.
Sometimes we rise, sometimes we fall.
Persevere, keep standing tall.

And finally, the time comes for us to move on and not cling to depression. The past is the past and we cannot bring it back.


Move on, Brother; don’t be crushed by time.
Sister, you can reach that line.
Burdens like a big stone fall,
Knock us hard and make us bawl.
But rise we must and face the day,
Like mango leaves in breezes sway.
At times the rain precedes the sun,
And seasons in their course do come.
So pain today will never last.
The joy will come; just hold on fast.
The life that stirs within the soul
Will edge us on to reach that goal.
No pain no gain they often say.
Keep pushing on; you’ll have your day
AnthonyWendell DeRiggs.