Robin Amy Bass
It’s a different world today
Than the one that spun
But perhaps it’s just my view
Now I have begun
To back up and think a bit
To sort out the facts
Maybe I just listen more
Before I wield the axe
I did many foolish things
When I was a girl
Just a youthful know-it-all
Once I chose to hurl
Insults at a friend of mine
She seemed weak to me
Said her parents had divorced
I just couldn’t see
Why she took it to her heart
She would not let go
What a Baby – I would sneer
Only time would show
What her tears were all about
Only time would tell
When my parents parted ways
Then I knew her hell
That was when I understood
All the tears she cried
‘Till this day I think of her
Wonder if they’ve dried
Or join the tears that are my own
Some of them from shame
Compassion and forgiveness too
I fight the urge to blame
Sometimes we do foolish things
We lose sight of heart
Should I blame it on my youth?
Hurl another dart
Or attempt to change my ways
From mistakes I learn
I forgive but don’t forget
Some actions will burn
Likened to a cattle prod
When it leaves its brand
Learn to keep an open mind
Let my soul expand
Judgment will not come from me
Or another stone
Though I have my point of view
I hope I have grown
As for negativity
It will find its course
Long ago when I was young
I learned about divorce
©Copyright June 28, 2005 by Robin Amy Bass
Author’s Note: I wanted to say a word or two about what prompted this poem. It’s not just about “Divorce”
I was reading the debate about Jane Fonda… I thought about what I was like at her age, when she made that choice – the one for which she is hated.
I was a little younger but clearly, Vietnam was “tearing a country apart”. I cannot tell you (without doing the proper research), but I remember Kent State; I remember moratoriums; I remember the media spin (I didn’t even know what SPIN was).
I remember Tom Hayden (The Chicago Seven); I remember Sonny Bono; I remember The Green Beret Song; I remember John and Yoko and Give Peace A Chance. I remember Lt. Calley. I also am well aware that there are many Viet Vets whom different memories. Although I do not have PTSD, I have seen its effects up close and personal. My heart goes out to all of you. All of you have special place in it.
I was taught to honor our soldiers and country. I also was taught to honor The Macabes (see e Chanukah – Judah Macabe).
Tom Hayden, an Anti War activist became a politician – married Jane Fonda; Sonny Bono became a politician – divorced Cher. His widow Yoko survives John Lennon – now when she screams on records, we understand her pain. Now everyone sings “Imagine” and “Give Peace a Chance”.
I am not saying that what Jane Fonda did was correct or right. It never dawned on me, until Ben pointed out to me the consequences of her actions, what actually occurred.
Perhaps she knew exactly what she was doing… perhaps she was a pawn. I don’t think the author of the poem is demeaned. As writers, we can focus our attention and opinions in any directions we choose. I am in no mood to forgive Hitler this morning or write a poem about him… I would rather write a poem about a Holocaust Survivor… on the other hand Mel Brooks wrote a whole show about Hitler, made people laugh, made a fortune… and I believe demeaned nobody except Hitler.
Jane Fonda – to me – in hindsight, was misguided – a pawn – self-serving. She married Tom Hayden before she married Ted Turner. She remained politically active… you may not agree with what she did but at least she took a side. Just like the writer of that poem about her took a side.
As writers, we need to add different perspectives to all subjects. That’s how we grow! (Up?). To say that Jane and Tom “mellowed as they aged” sounds a bit insipid and insensitive. Did they sell out and join the establishment. Did they keep speaking out; did they just grow up?
Again, what do I think about Jane Fonda? Right place wrong time; Traitor; Vixen; Activist; Actress; Exercise junkie with Father issues? All of the above?
I use Jane Fonda to remind me, we are all responsible for our actions. And then I think about my role models… John Lennon, and yes… Yoko, Oprah, Hillary… Condoleezza Rice.
And my true Hero…… …… … Elie Wiesel… a holocaust survivor who did more than just survive. Get ready to blush, Tony! I would put you in his league.
I urge everyone to check him out. More than a few quotes http://www.eliewieselfoundation.org/
I decided to devote my life to telling the story because I felt that having survived I owe something to the dead and anyone who does not remember betrays them again. Elie Wiesel
The act of writing is for me often nothing more than the secret or conscious desire to carve words on a tombstone: to the memory of a town forever vanished, to the memory of a childhood in exile, to the memory of all those I loved and who, before I could tell them I loved them, went away. Elie Wiesel
The opposite of love is not hate, its indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, its indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, its indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference. Elie Wiesel
There are victories of the soul and spirit. Sometimes, even if you lose, you win. Elie Wiesel
There is a difference between a book of two hundred pages from the very beginning, and a book of two hundred pages, which is the result of an original eight hundred pages. The six hundred are there. Only you don’t see them. Elie Wiesel
There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. Elie Wiesel
Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself. Elie Wiesel
We have to go into the despair and go beyond it, by working and doing for somebody else, by using it for something else. Elie Wiesel
OK… I’m overdoing it but it’s hard to cut a Nobel Prize winner off… he’s just so smart.
Anyway… that’s my long story, about one of my shorter poems.