Darkness in War

Eve Conant interviews her mother, who was born in 1934.  Her National Geographic article, “Caught between Hitler’s troops and Stalin’s:  How one family escaped,” captures vivid memories of her mother living in Kiev when Germans invaded the Ukraine in 1941.  This poem attempts to capture the darkness of war, then ending with the light of freedom.  This May marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe.

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Memories of war, never fading

Dreadful darkness, haunting many lives

Living as refugees, now homeless

Caught between nations, bloody war thrives

 

Millions facing harsh deportation

Never to return to their homelands

Surviving in freezing factories

Providing labor in foreign lands

 

Escaping from a train, fate calling

Always moving, life stays on the run

Sleeping outdoors, sometimes in cold barns

Blistered, painful feet for everyone

 

Witnessing death, in deserted fields

Scars of war, visions never ending

Eyes and ears skyward, fearing warplanes

On the run, danger not pretending

 

Surviving life’s dark, brutal escape

Recalling this journey’s final trek

Arriving on American soil

Drawing freedom’s card, from life’s new deck

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Monday Memories: Journey to America

This poem was originally published in November, 2018.  It has been updated in a few places to enhance the message.  Witness the impact of America’s open door to immigrants with this poem.  

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Images of immigrants arriving at America’s shores

Families hope the United States offers much more

 

Huddled and crowded together on ships bound for another land

Dreaming of moving forward and receiving an outstretched hand

 

Most Americans trace immigrants back to their family roots

Their ancestors arrived ready to energize lives with a boost

 

 

 

Singer Neil Sedaka proclaims the immigrants’ anxious arrival

“The Immigrant” sings of America waiting, without any denial

 

Coming to America is immortalized as Neil Diamond sings

“America” tells a fascinating story that only his lyrics bring

 

Both Sedaka and Diamond write beautiful and appropriate text

America can do better than people shouting, “You are not next”

 

 

 

Imagine the excitement felt upon seeing Lady Liberty

She has welcomed people to America for an eternity

 

Her torch offers a brilliant beacon of new hope and light

America extends a welcoming hand, ending their plight

 

This openhearted Lady, gifted from France, stands solemn

She invites the less fortunate to disembark in long columns

 

 

 

Emma Lazarus, an offspring of immigrants, expresses it best

Her poetic words in “The New Colossus” surely pass the test

 

Her inspiring words paint an ironic and emotional image for all

To see how a mighty Lady and America will forever stand tall

 

 

 

America’s melting pot overflows from a gentle and peaceful place

Tales from immigrants deserve to be heard without undue haste

 

Immigration has recently become a passionate, national debate

America’s history shows patience in opening its welcome gate

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The lyrics of “The Immigrant” can be found at Neil Sedaka.

The lyrics of “America” can be found at Neil Diamond.

The verses of “The New Colossus” can be found at Emma Lazarus.

 

Monday Memories: Never Taken for Granted

Here is another edition of “Monday Memories.”  This poem was written back in December, 2018, and its message may be even more relevant today than nearly a year ago.   May America or any nation never take anything for granted.

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Never taken for granted

 

A young nation moves forward to be brave and free

To remove the shackles of oppression so others see

 

A soldier takes a bullet in a far, distant land

To protect freedoms that will always stand

 

Thomas Jefferson will never have to write a sequel

To state for all to read, “All men are created equal”

 

A minister preaches to a racially divided nation

To envision “free at last” will be his final station

 

A newspaper criticizes the government with much to say

To reinforce freedom of the press is always here to stay

 

A hesitant nation awakens while its other allies fight

To bring her vast resources in a victory full of might

 

A mother takes a stand at a school board meeting

To support a worthy novel that is taking a beating

 

A crowd protests peacefully in a city very near

To bring attention to issues without any fear

 

A writer uses his words to bring an issue to light

To encourage all to make a difference and fight

 

A President hides behind the sins of Watergate

To shamefully resign from office will be his fate

 

Workers strike to protest low wages and more

To organize labor unions to even up the score

 

A young politician inspires and leads the way

To become a worthy leader with much to say

 

Other nations come to the aid of a valued friend

To bring support with the troops that they send

 

Students stare into TV cameras with one voice

Violence in schools is truly not about a choice

 

A former republic declines and fades away

To witness freedom’s erosion without delay

 

Christ’s red blood stains an old rugged cross

To bring a second chance for all who are lost

 

Never taken for granted

 

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