The Hungry

For Jade’s prompt on dVerse Poets Pub – sustenance. also for Poets United Midweek Motif – Truth.

The Hungry
“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

The truth of the matter is: People are hungry. The people start lining up at 9:00 a.m. for the noon time meal. During the summer, children and babies are in the line with their adults. All ethnicities, male and female, young and old. They have one thing in common – they are hungry. We start cooking at 9:00 a.m. We have a menu based on what is available. Some days the food is plentiful, others it is pieced out in soups with starches. In a world of poverty, none of them can afford to be a on a special diet. You will find few vegetarians, few who don’t eat carbs, few who don’t not eat anything that is put in front of them. They don’t count calories or cholesterol, sugar content, grams of fat. They are hungry and eat what they are given with gratitude. Hunger is a real problem in this wealthy country of ours. Children go to bed hungry, probably within a mile of your home. Adults get a meal and divide it among several children. The elderly slowly starve. Special diets are for those who can afford them.

I work several days a week volunteering at a soup kitchen in my area. We beg donations from restaurants and stores – usually food that you would throw out. We recycle food from restaurants and the food given from stores – usually almost turned meat, vegetables on the verge of going bad, stale baked goods. We save the donated canned food to put up into bags and send home with families. I hear of people eating special diets either for vanity or health and I must admit, I get angry. Must be nice to be able to keep yourself healthy so you can get good reports from the doctor. Try going on meal a day or every other day. Intermittent fasting? Why not daily fasting because you haven’t any food? After we serve the people their meal, we usually walk out and talk to them, get to know them, know that they are out of work or that their meagre social security barely pays the bills with very little left over to buy food. Their plate of food or bowl of soup looks like heaven to them.
hunger in this country
is real – people die of hunger –
some of us try to help

Ashes of Love – 愛の灰 Ai no hai

When last I saw you
you had tears on your cheeks
and a boarding pass in your hand.
I let you go knowing if I tried
to stop you
eventually, you would still leave.
What was our love against
a dream, ambition, the culture
that made you unique and was
part of the reason I loved you?
Part of the reason I love you still?
An envelope of photographs,
letters with words of love,
dried cherry blossoms,
a lock of hair…
cold ashes now.
I burned the envelope
in a consuming fire
of flames, grief, anger.
One day, I will toss the ashes
into the wind.
One day…
but not today.

My BIG decision…

It was from hell week at work- again….my boss who is almost (not quite. I’m older and have clocked in my time with this) as arrogant as I, pushed every button in my psyche he could put his hands on.  I’ve been battling with my depression over the past few weeks and my resistance was low.  I didn’t blow but I really wanted to.

After going to church today and hearing a toe (mine) stomping sermon about anger and hearing Beni do his magic with a song, I made a big decision.  Afterwards at the church dinner, I hung out with the teens and introduced the girls to sugar and butter delicious Takeshi Kaneshiro and having lunch with them, I left church and went to the Japanese Garden to visit the nishikigoi.  I’ll clarify something……The gorgeous actor was not with me.  I just happened to mention, while they were talking about hot guys, this wonderful actor and reeled off a half dozen of his movies for them.

Anyway, while teasing the nishikigoi with a few chopped grapes, I went all quiet inside myself.  I just raised a white flag and surrendered my anger at my boss and my situation.  I took the target off my back and the “Easy Button” off my soul.  I had a talk with Jesus, told him all my troubles, took them out of my IN basket and put them in His.  I’m a control freak.  It was hard and I imagine I’ll need a reminder.

But today, I decided I am back in control of my life – not the government, not my boss, not my gossipy co-workers, not my passive husband, not my mother, not my cat (we all know though there is no snooze alarm on a cat who wants his breakfast).

I am going to start flexing my faith muscle again – it’s gotten flabby over the past couple of weeks.  I’ve been listening to some old 8 track tapes that say over and over again – you’re a failure.  You aren’t pretty.  You aren’t smart enough.  You never became what my father and I wanted you to be.  You aren’t a typical woman – you aren’t the wife I thought I could make you become.  You are old and useless.  You have accomplished nothing.  Your father would be ashamed……I’m sorry. I’ve installed a new soundsystem and these tapes don’t work in the new one.

I understand particle physics.  I know about string theory.  I’m a mean Kendo partner.  I spar full tilt.  I am kind to animals.  Even herons will eat from my hand.  I am a supportive and loyal friend.  I have become a woman who can ballroom dance (I am an excellent tango-er) and I have three – yes three different Star Trek uniforms in my closet.  I have attained commander status.  I know more about cooking and cooking history and cooking chemistry than any one human should know.  I had an amazing and incredible love in my life.  I can smell snow when it is coming.  I am going to teach the teens how to make various types of sushi.

And to top off all of these amazing things, I have as my friend, the Lord Jesus Christ.  He loves me and all He wants me to do is sit at His feet and learn from Him and be loved by Him.  He doesn’t give pop quizzes or call me out in front of the class.  I am precious in His sight.

His will has become my will.  He doesn’t call me to anything great or noble or amazing…..He doesn’t say I have to be a doctor, or lawyer, or engineer, or pretty, or a stay at home mom, or a preacher….He just calls me to love others as He loves me.  It’s a hard job and it is one that can’t be done while harboring anger and carrying toxic baggage.

So that is my decision for today – God bless you all on your journies as you find what it is you need.  I know a great nishikigoi pond to hang out by.  It is open 24/7/365…

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