If I Could Teach the World to Sing…

Wow! Sometimes I love the internet and sharing things with people around the world. I shared some of my Ireland pictures on my jigsaw puzzle app and got best picture 2 weeks in a row. I didn’t even realize it until later. Then today I suddenly realized I had 247 comments on the same puzzle in at least a dozen different languages!! I’m just blown away by that! I knew I loved the picture, but that so many others liked it too is really cool. (I’m so easily impressed, aren’t I?) This is the photo that has garnered so much interest.

  
In other news, I found out yesterday that I’m in the top 15% of read reviewers (8992 people) on Trip Advisor because of the places I reviewed while on our Ireland/Spain/England/France trip two years ago.   

My point is, sometimes we get frustrated by how burdensome the internet can be and by how we seem, in some ways, to be more disconnected from people. For the first 30+ years of my life, though, I would only have connected with people I met personally or maybe a pen pal in another country through school or something. Now, we live in truly a more connected world. More people are traveling abroad. There are international online communities for nearly every subject or interest known to humankind, news is known almost instantly, and we make friends with people we’ve never met in person. Lastly, through something as trivial as a photo for a jigsaw puzzle, we can bring enjoyment to people we’ve never met and who don’t even share a common language with us. 

I’m feeling more connected to the world at large in a positive way tonight than I ever have before.  When I was a little girl, I think in the late 1960’s or 1970’s, there was a Coca-Cola commercial that came out on television where people from all over the world were holding hands and singing, 

“I’d like to build the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow white turtle doves

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company
I’d like to see the world for once
All standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills

For peace through out the land
(That’s the song I hear)

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony…”

That’s the way I feel tonight.  Yes, I’m a peace, hope, and love gal all the way to the bone. I feel closer to that ideal than I have in a long, long time. 

D. Elaine Wood-Lane

5/24/17

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Quadrille #15 for dVerse Poets – A Son Leaves

We are laughing,
in the last moments
together before
you begin your new life,
in a new city.

You are taking
part of me with you.

At the door, you grab me
into a fierce hug,
then you say goodbye,
and leave.

I cry.

© D. Elaine Wood-Lane

8/30/16


Here’s how to Q44 with us at https://dversepoets.com/2016/08/29/quadrille-15/

Write a poem on your blog in exactly 44 words (excluding title) where at least one of the words is leaves, and link your poem back to dVerse. Visit and get inspired by the other poets. Have fun and remember to come back throughout the week to check out if there are any new entries. We will select one of the poems to be included in our upcoming anthology, and if you are selected we will contact you to get your acceptance.

Haibun Monday: A Little Romance

I missed one day of work due to my little sons catching a bug at school and when I came back to work, I felt like I had mistakenly walked onto the set of the old Dating Game show. Just one day! I learned that three graduate students had been sent over to our clinic (the day I was out) to be interviewed for a semester long internship and I would be supervising the intern. I was given three resumes and application letters to review quickly. Every nurse, doctor and staff member mentioned the three intern candidates and which one they thought I should pick as I walked through the Dermatology Clinic where I worked as a Clinic Coordinator. I took the three applications back to my boss, Carol, and asked who she thought was the best. That’s when I learned she had already chosen an intern and he would be starting later the same morning! “Oh, and, umm, Elaine, he’s very handsome. I think you’ll really like him! Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. You should start dating!” I shook my head in frustration. “Carol! This guy is supposed to be here to learn and to help us! He’s not coming here to be set up with an over the hill divorcee with two little boys!” She just laughed and left.

Later that morning a tall, dark and handsome man walked up to my desk and introduced himself as my new intern. Dammit, he even smelled handsome! Carol just laughed at my mumbling, turned beet red after I glared at her and left us to it. I was pretty icy with him for the first couple of months. Then I thawed out to merely tepidly friendly. I didn’t want him to get any wild ideas while I was overseeing his masters project and thesis. At the end of the semester I proofread his paper and retyped it for him. Then he started asking me out to dinner to repay me for helping him so much. I kept saying no. Finally, one day he caught me overwhelmed with patients and I said yes without meaning to do so. I was sunk and he knew it. He laughed heartily and left before I could change my answer. We dated for 14 months and then I regained my sanity and broke up with him. He was too young, crazy and different for our romance to last, but our summer-spring romance ended pleasantly.

Spring and summer meet.
Flowers bloom, birds sing sweetly.
Chilly fall kills blooms.

D. Elaine Wood-Lane
8/8/16

Today at dVerse, the challenge was to write a brief, true romance story in one or two paragraphs followed by a concise haiku to describe the same story. This is my attempt. Yes, it is true. No, it is not the story of my romance with my husband. He’s a very private guy!  Go to: https://dversepoets.com/2016/08/08/haibun-monday-a-little-romance/ to read more haibuns or to leave your own!  

Walking Through Life

I walk through life,
wandering, wondering,
what really matters,
what makes life sacred
and why are so many people
angry and alone?

We all want and need
to be understood,
to be seen,
to be accepted.

What if…
instead of seeking
to be understood,
seen,
and accepted,

We instead choose…
to understand,
see,
and accept others?

What if…
instead of thinking,
me versus them,
or we versus them,
we realize we are
all them?

None of us are so
very different from
one another.

We are all on
a path to learn,
grow, share,
love.

Sometimes on our path,
we find another soul,
at the same place,
at the same time, and…
our soul smiles and…
breathes.

We learn from these souls,
we connect, learn,
grow, share, love.

Then we continue on
our paths, seeking
continually to see more,
learn more, love more.

If we never seek
to understand others,
to see them as we
want to be seen,
and never accept
others,

We will only grow
angry, embittered,
isolated.

What if…
instead we open up,
dare to love one another,
see each other,
and stop the madness?

Let us love one another,
seeking peace instead of
 seeking being
right.

For in the end,
“The love you take, is the love you make.”

© D. Elaine Wood-Lane

7/9/16

If you’re like me, you’re so tired of hearing of the hatred and violence on the news all the time. It’s heartbreaking. This poem arose out of that heartbreak. What if we tried something different? Quote at the end is taken from The Beatles’ song, “The End.” I’ve always loved that line in the song. It really resonates with me.

Uptight, skinny white girl,
just 23 years old,
I thought I had it all figured out,
and told my co-worker so.

“I’d never do that, or that,
and heaven knows, never that!”
I said, with a self-righteous look,
and right then, I think,
my path was set to run,
not straight, but with
many bends and crooks.

Sure enough, a few years later,
my marriage ended,
my heart was broken,
and that was just the beginning,
of the furies I’d awoken.

Love affairs, I had a few,
some were simply convenient,
but one I thought was really true.
However, he was young,
and wild and free.
I was a single mom,
so he wasn’t right for me.
Again, my heart was broken,
I gave up and said,
“No more men,
I’m through!”

Then came the biggest challenges,
I fell in love again,
and Lord have mercy,
then the trials began!
This man had some problems,
my kids were in their teens,
my mother was dying slowly,
and then my father did the same.
I helped to care for them,
all while working in between.

With God’s help and steady hand,
He lead me safely through,
and as I made it to the other side,
I learned a thing or three or two.

I wondered where and why I erred,
and called myself the very worst of fools,
but then my dad he told me,
a few days before he died,
“I always thought you crazy,
you let your heart lead all the way,
but now I’m really grateful,
because you cared for your Mother
and me, every single day.
If you had lead your life with your head,
as I always wanted you to do,
where would I be now,
without your heart leading you?”

So, yes, I’ve made mistakes,
had my heart ache many times,
I’m not rich or famous,
but what I have is mine.
I have a loving, healthy family now,
and sweet memories to hold near,
I wouldn’t change a thing,
for the lessons I hold dear.

© D. Elaine Wood-Lane
6/3/16


This poem came about from a prompt made by Grace at the dVerse blog:

For this prompt, think of a mistake you’ve made. Think of what you learned from it or maybe how you thought it was the end of the world and it surprised you by turning out okay or bringing something exquisite into existence. Or, think of how it stretched you beyond your wildest imagination or how you would now say, with the benefit of hindsight, you’d actually regret not having made that ‘mistake’ in your life. Share something serious or funny….make us cry or laugh or teach us something from your own experience of mistake-making.

Go here to read more from dVerse! They’re awesome!

https://dversepoets.com

This is Buddy Lane. He’s nearly 11 years old, weighs 12 pounds, and is a Chihuahua mix mutt who adopted me at a truck stop in Texline, Texas when I stopped there to buy gas and get something to eat. He rescued me on a cold, wintry day for purposes of stress management and love. Today, however, he was a hero to our cat, Missy.

I was sitting in my chair after a shift of caregiving this morning. I was catching up on news, both personal and otherwise and getting very sleepy. From the backyard I suddenly heard the howls and growls of at least two cats starting a fight. I could tell immediately that one of the cats was our Missy, who is at least 10 years old herself. (Isn’t it funny how we can always identify the cries and sounds of our babies and pets, even when there are others crying or howling too?) Buddy went berserk! He ran to the back door and started barking. He ran so fast he ran into the glass of the back door, which is a French patio door. I went to let him out, thinking, erroneously, that the cat fight was over because I couldn’t hear the cats any longer. Buddy shot across the yard to a lilac bush in the southeast corner of our yard and jumped right into the middle of it. He was like the Tasmanian Devil in high gear! He’s growling, barking and chasing another creature, but I wasn’t sure whether it was a cat or a mountain lion. It was that impressive of a fight! Suddenly one of the next door neighbor’s bully cats springs out of the bush with Buddy right behind her, barking all the way. He chased her over the fence and then patrolled the fence for an additional 10 minutes to ensure she wasn’t returning. He then went back to the lilac bush at that point and out comes Missy. She looked embarrassed and shaken up. Buddy immediately goes over to make sure she’s ok, sniffing her all over (his favorite thing!) and then comes towards me with his little chest puffed out and a smile on his face. Yes, dogs smile!  He was swaggering like a teenage boy who just got a date to the prom. I was so proud of him!

If a 12 pound, 11 year old little dog can be a hero to others, guess what? You can be too! Don’t just watch others be bullied, cowed, and abused, whether they are next door, two counties over, or even out of the country. Do something! Jump into the middle of that lilac bush and get involved defending and protecting those you love, those you like and even those you don’t know yet! You don’t have to physically fight, but don’t be afraid to jump into the fray and help others. Loving others and being loved back is what being human is all about. Well, that and having babies so the human race can continue, but that’s another issue for another day.

Be a hero to someone today and tomorrow and every day for the rest of your life! Wear a cape and keep it a secret if it makes you feel more empowered, but just don’t stand on the sidelines because you’re afraid to get involved. Pray for others. Encourage them. Find a need and fill it. I promise you there are more than enough needs in this world for everyone to have something to do!

Love to all,

Elaine

P.S. Missy is fine! She’s currently taking a nap under her favorite lilac bush.  😉

Matthew 22:36-40 (NLT)

36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

 

Days and Stitches

Stitch by stitch,
colors coming together
in a mosaic of beautiful tints,
a new row for each day.

This time the days
are tinted as temperatures
and skies.

One year,
each day would
have been all hot
yellows, oranges and reds.

Even the cool days
that year were filled
with the heat and longing
of new infatuation and
the promise of more.

Now the days have turned
to steadiness and true blue love,
with a mixture of heat waves
moving through.

This year’s mosaic
of tints is perfect.

© D. Elaine Wood-Lane
5/17/16