Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Back to Love: Laurie's personal challenge poem

Hey everyone, this is Ruth, baton-tapped by Kerry into challenging fellow Toad Laurie Kolp to build us a poem that's different in some way from how she usually writes - and because she has written so much and in so many forms (I really think there's nothing she couldn't do), I asked her to give us something more, a turnaround, another view. You're going to love what she came up with:

Back to Love


All you need is love ~ John Lennon

What has this world come to?
We walk around like soldiers on land mines
tiptoe through department stores
stare at front doors of restaurants
prepared to draw in a moment’s flash
the weapon we must carry to live.
We hold tighter to our babies
send our kids off to school
in angst, with awareness
of bullies and misbehavior
cheaters, liars, thieves;  
inconsequential consequences
because there are none anymore
just more, more, more
I’ll buy you more!
Shut up, here it is-
cram this iPad in your mouth and leave me alone!
No, we prepare our beloved children-
precious gifts we have been given-
for the possibility
that a peer might pull a gun out and shoot
-bam! bam! you’re dead!-
for no other reason than
he or she can.
Anybody and everybody can
shoot dead the one who pisses them off
the one who says no, sets boundaries
in this materialistic world
where God has become unimportant
a misdemeanor
an old wives tale
a source of offense
for nonbelievers
preaching freedom
to deny His existence:
Take down the Ten Commandments!
Do away with prayer in school!
I watch the nation
crumble away like an ant pile dIStuRbed
a flurry of red ants (on FIRE) seeking, what? 
in this “land of opportunity”
once coveted world-wide
now falling apart-
not from global warming
or doomsday predictions
alien takeovers, UFOs
but because something’s missing
in our lives.
What is love but a gentle breeze?
A splash of fresh air
cooling in the stillness of doubt.
Morning’s first breath
a whisper in one’s heart
when answers do not come.
A pause, an intuition
that all will be okay
because we love, WE LOVE!
God is love.
Let’s love.
©Laurie Kolp


So what do you think, Toads? Did Laurie meet the challenge or what?! I marvel at how with one gentle breeze of a line she changed war into peace, gave hopelessness hope. I love it, Laurie! Thank you so much for accepting and responding to the challenge in this wonderful fashion.


Kerry O'Connor said...

I can't tell you how thrilled I am to see a poem this outspoken about an issue which is so pertinent to our times featured on the home page of Real Toads.
Laurie, how bravely you say the words that need to be said to point out the deficiencies of modern times, especially as they impact on our children.

De Jackson said...

Gorgeous, GORGEOUS, Laurie. As a mama, as a poet...I absolutely love this. But of course am not at all surprised. I love your work. :)

Hannah said...

This brings me to tears, Laurie!! You have such a truthful poignant way of placing us directly in the moment of your mind, conjuring deep felt emotion and meaning. SO well done!

A really cool God-incidence...the Poetic Asides two fer Tuesday PAD Challenge today is one that Robert has used before but it happens to be love and anti-love today!!! Too, cool!

Thank you for this you guys!! Smiles!

Laurie Kolp said...

Thank you. I wrote this last week after a mother was shot and killed trying to save her 3 day old baby from a woman trying to kidnap her... right outside the pediatrician's office in The Woodlands (were I once lived). She was taking the baby for its first check-up, walked out of the office and wham! The baby was recovered later that night and the woman, a nurse who'd had a miscarriage but didn't want to tell her boyfriend, is in custody. Not only does the mother leave behind the newborn, but two other children and a husband. Sickening.

Mary said...

Well written, Laurie. The contrast between the first stanza (bleak reality) and the second stanza (hopeful reality) makes for an amazing read. Let there be love!

Hannah said...

I had heard this story but not in such detail. This is APPALLING. My heart is grieved by such a lack of love. Thank you, Laurie for disclosing the story behind what inspired your poem.

Ella said...

I love the dark and light you have shown us. The opposites of our polarized lives...it is horrible what is going on~ It is everywhere, the undoing of all the goodness one tries to create!
Your words boldly express what so many of us think and feel!
Bravo on facing the challenge and making it something everyone should read. What has happened to our world?! Thank you Laurie! (((hugs)))

Kay L. Davies said...

I agree with Hannah. The story that inspired your poem is appalling.
I can no more imagine shooting someone than I can imagine stealing someone's baby.
Violence and terror are not new. Imagine living in the Middle Ages in Europe. But today's world is particularly horrible because we are NOT living in the Middle Ages. An educated woman like a nurse ought to know better. Children ought not to even know where to find guns to take to school.
You've done a great job here, Laurie, a great job.
Thanks, Ruth, for issuing the challenge.

Susie Clevenger said...

Laurie, I too have seen that horrible sequence of events played out on TV. You have so boldly stated in your poem the horror we find ourselves in without love. My hat is off to you. As I read this a song by The Black Eyed Peas kept playing in my mind...Where Is The Love? Perhaps one day your poem will be set to music.

Fireblossom said...

Stories like the one Laurie relates in her comment just leave me feeling sick. I can't even imagine anyone being that selfish, but some are.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh My Goddess! What a wonderfully realistic portrayal of the madness that surrounds us, then gentled by the second stanza which gives us ease and hope by offering the only possible solution: Love.

Ruth: great challenge and, Laurie, you transcended, with this poem. I wish this poem could Go Global!

I cant get over the horrible story of the young mom being shot. Absolutely heartbreaking.

Herotomost said...

So many different faces of humanity represented in this, from the polarizing poems to the story about the kidnapping. Being human is a precariouly delicate situation sometimes. You did a fabulous job with the challeng, I am proud of that effort to say the least. Hard hitting, straight forward and sad laced with the enduring hope that we have to keep in our hearts. Great Job. And Great challenge Ruth, very interesting.

Marian said...

kinda hits this mama bear right in the heart, Laurie. how do you protect children but allow them to be free, to flourish? very, very good. and what an excellent challenge, Ruth. just excellent.

PattiKen said...

Very powerful, Laurie. Your poem painfully speaks of all the terrors parents must face today. Every day I am thankful my kids were born before the boogie men all got loose.

When I consider John Lennon's line again after reading this, I have to question if love is enough.

Grace said...

Lovely and meaningful words Laurie. It saddens me of what is happening to our world today and specially our children.

I like the contrast of the first and second stanza, ending it with Let's Love. Very relevant and heartfelt ~

A wonderful challenge Ruth ~

Janet Martin said...

Laurie, I am moved to the uttermost and speechless! Well done.
Thank-you Ruth, for giving our dear Laurie this chance to shine the Light!

Andrea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peggy said...

I have to join the crowd here in saying I really like both of these poems--or are they parts I and II of the same poem? Doesn't really matter as they speak well together. That was truly a horrible instance with the woman and baby. One does have to wonder if the world is really changing or if we just see more of it with the media these days. The world has never been free of horror--but now we can hide from it less. Good writing.

Margaret said...

Powerful start! warily we go about our day, ready to draw a gun from a purse... so much worry, and yet we can't live our life like that... Yes, our world is falling apart, but not from global warming, etc...

This was so passionate and even a better read the second time through! So glad it ended with "Let's love". But that is in itself a challenge that I certainly hope we are capable of.

Laurie Kolp said...

Thank you for commenting... and thank you, Ruth, for the challenge. I love you all.