Wedding Day Poem

For Two Cherished Grandchildren

It is an adventure

You are embarking on

Known and unknown routes

Of the Voyage Marriage

The seas will be calm

The roads smooth

The hills     the rivers

Easily passable

The skies clear     the sun

Bright

The moon a lantern

To light your night

The stars an invitation

To always gaze upwards

 

But if the skies

Should sometimes darken

Clouds obscure the sun

And you hear the rumble of

Thunder

Feel lightening flash

Put your arms around

Each other

For if in truth

You caused the lightening

The thunder

Even rain     even wind

In their aftermath

Remember love     remember love

That lives     forever in your

Hearts

And let the storms fade from

Your memory

They have no power

Over Love

For

Nothing in the Universe

Nothing in life

Has power

Over Love

 

*July 30, 2021

#Abiy Ahmed is a War Criminal

To the Honorable Ministers of the Hague,

I write this letter to you with deep feelings of distress and anguish over the tragic situation in Tigray, the northern part of Ethiopia. The Prime Minster, Abiy Ahmed, is solely responsible for causing this. Tigray opted to remain independent, which led the Prime Minster to send in troops from Ethiopia and Eritrea. Many people, including children, were killed. Women were raped. There have been mutilations and assassinations. The capital city of Tigray, Mekele, was bombed. Banks have no funds. To be blunt, Ministers, it is as if Tigray itself was raped. Her people are suffering. They are starving. I feel heartsick.

Thirteen years ago, our daughter and son-in-law adopted a one year old baby girl from Ethiopia. She came from Tigray. A number of circumstances led to the discovery of our granddaughter’s birth mother. We have kept in close touch with her. As a result, we receive  first-hand knowledge of the horrific crimes perpetrated by the policies of Abiy Ahmed. It is because of this tragic situation heaped upon a peaceful Tigray that I am asking you to bring Abiy Ahmed before the tribunal of the Hague. He must be charged with war crimes for the utter brutality and misery the innocent people of Tigray are being subjected to. As I write this letter, children of Tigray are dying of starvation.

Thank you for “hearing” me.

Wendy Blumberg

Carlsbad, CA

 

#TigrayGenocide

September 21, 2021

Honorable Linda Thomas-Greenfield,

This letter is written with great admiration for your many years of outstanding service to our country. Your years of service in our country’s Foreign Service, and many other posts, important and vital ones, make President Biden’s choice of you as our Ambassador to the United States Mission to the United Nations, a brilliant choice. Your experience with so many countries of the world, especially now, with so much unrest, and with the added threat to our global environment from climate change, President Biden’s appointment of you, is especially important in these turbulent times, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield.

But this letter also has another purpose. It is being written with a heavy heart, a heart filled with sadness, sadness for the people, the children of Tigray, the north of Ethiopia. Last November 4, 2020, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, started the war that enveloped Tigray. Tigray only wanted to remain independent. Because of this, Tigray’s people were surrounded by Ethiopian and Eritrean troops. Women were raped, people killed. Mekele was bombed. Access for aid—humanitarian help by aid organizations—was blocked. This is genocide, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield. The people, the children of Tigray are starving. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019. Just two years ago. Tragic.

Thirteen years ago, our daughter and son-in-law adopted a year old baby girl. She was born in the village of Wukro, Tigray. When our beloved granddaughter was six, our daughter started the search for our granddaughter’s birth mother. With the help of several connections across the globe, a young man was found who agreed to help in the search. He was successful. He found our granddaughter’s birth mother and half-sister, seven years older than our granddaughter. Through this happening, our daughter and the young man became close friends. He calls her Mom, she calls him Son. My husband and I are Nana and Papa. My husband and I help our daughter send funds to the young man, his wife, and two adorable young children, a little boy and a little girl. Also, the birth mother and sister. They all have become our African family. There is love and friendship between us.

And so, we are heartsick, worried. Terrified for their safety. And we are turning to you, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield, and the United Nations to help the people of Tigray—bring a cease to the genocide. Allow the agencies of Humanitarian Aid to enter the country. Save Tigray.

Thank you, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield.

Wendy Blumberg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gabrielle Tesfaye

Why

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is tragedy

In this world

Devastation upon devastation

I cannot begin to describe it

I will not try

Enough to tell

My heart’s sadness

My mind’s despair

My feelings of being

On obsolete sidelines

Watching in the modern age

Of television

Exhausting struggles

Of those in its midst

The ravages of this

Pandemic

Its havoc     destruction

The heartbreak

 

A question     this question

Sticks like glue

To every part of my being

There are far far too

Many

I would ask of it

Why     Why     no vaccine

Why

It is like a serving

Of a specially loved

Food

Any kind

They partake of

But they turn away

Tho their stomach growls

From hunger pangs

 

In the year

1351

Half the population

In the known world

Died from Bubonic Plague

Called the Black Death

No vaccine     no vaccine

To save them

Some who could

Escaped to the

Countryside

In cities     small towns

Carts were pulled

Up and down

The crowded filth laden

Cobblestone streets     lanes

Alleyways

The call     Bring out your dead

Bring out your dead

Echoes into this modern

Time

There is a difference

A huge difference

It does not have to be

This way

It doesn’t have to

Be

 

There is a gift     a blessed

Solution

In this     the twenty-first

Century

I am grateful for it

This miracle     this one word

Vaccine

photo credit

In Memory of Love on the Road * Stephen’s 86th Birthday

August 6, 2021

Stephen’s 86th Birthday Donut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For me

Our drive from home

In California

To our home in

Santa Fe New Mexico

Was magical

I had you     my beloved

All to myself

No telephone ringing

With calls for you

From anyone

No TV voices

To turn off

Only us     just us

In the quiet of our

Car

Driving at times

Many miles

In intimate silence

 

Do you remember

My very dear

The Italian restaurant

In Holbrook Arizona

Where for years

We spent the night

This restaurant

On the outskirts of town

Served astonishingly delicious

Food

 

Motels crowded the area

A gas station

Close to the entrance

Of the Interstate

Where you would

Fill our tank

Before dinner

So we could leave

Again

While still dark

To drive east

Toward Albuquerque

The sky growing lighter

Lighter

Eating peanut butter

Sandwiches

As the sun rose

Over the Interstate

Day had begun

 

Of course

Fall always arrived

Aspen leaves

Turned the mountains

To gold

Time for us

To drive home again

To California

 

My favorite place

To stop

As we drove west

Into the setting sun

Was Casa Grande

Arizona again

A friendly man

How we met     a mystery

I do not remember

 

He told us

He and his family

Owned a restaurant

We should come for

Dinner

And we did

It had a cozy

Atmosphere

And delicious food

A huge old tree

That has stood

For at least a

Hundred years

Was the guardian

Of the front yard

And the family’s

Pride

We went back and

Back

At least four years

On the way home

And then

The tree fell down

The restaurant lost its

Spirit

Closed

And us

We grieved the loss

Knew it wouldn’t be

Replaced

Drove up and down

The road that led into

Casa Grande

Among the motels

Gas stations

McDonald’s and other

Fast food places

Until we found “Millie’s”

It didn’t have a

Huge old tree

It wasn’t very cozy

The food was OK

But as the saying goes

We made do

 

My dear Love

For twenty-five years

You drove 900 miles

Each way

From California

To New Mexico

From New Mexico

Back

To California

It was a magical time

For me

Being together with

You

I thank you     thank you

For the ride

 

I love you forever and ever

Happy Birthday

Santa Fe, 1986

 

Poem for our 65th Wedding Anniversary

For my husband, my hero ... 

Who would think

A man could be

So utterly kind

So loving is

He

And wonder of wonders

He married

Me

 

Sixty-five years

Ago

On a very hot

Day

My tearful father

Gave me away

Why the tears

Daddy

You had to have

Known

As soon as I’d seen

Him

I knew I’d come home

And then they arrived

One  two  three  four

Three little boys

One little girl

Oh how we loved

Them

Did our best

To guide them

Watched them become

Grown

Then tried not to

Cry

In front of them

When away they had

Flown

So

It’s you and me

Kid

And ain’t it been

Fun

We love remembering

All we have done

And you

You have made me

The most fortunate of

Wives

With all the Loving

Moments

Creating our

Life

That began

Sixty-seven years

Ago

When we walked into

Each other’s

Lives

A day camp for children

Guided there by Spirit

I am certain

 

Then two years hence

We married

On that very hot day

An afternoon wedding

We soon drove away

Ate hamburgers and

French fries

Our very first meal

As husband and wife

Loud thunderstorms

Kept us company

All through the

Night     remember

Other storms blew in

Blew out

And never was there

A doubt

God’s gift to us

Beloved

When we were

Young

In summer’s sway

Was this

We saw our life

Together

Down the years

And so

We did not look

Away

 

 —June 17, 20201

To Alice (Mother’s Day, 1991)

 

 

 

 

 

 

My mother’s years

Fall around her like a velvet cloak

Cover her with folds of silken thread

Of gold, deep blue, of burgundy

Like the colors of cloth in a painting

By Rubens or Rembrandt

But it has a lining of woven straw

This cloak of velvet

That can scratch and tear the skin

Straw on one side, velvet on the other

The fabric of a life

The way it is, my mother says

 

And she gave me straight hair

And thin ankles

And she gave me love

She gave me the markets of Guadalajara

And Oaxaca

And she gave me the truth

Of her own self

 

One July we are very young

We eat lobster bisque together

And watch the seagulls live their lives

On the pier in Monterey

As the sun is going down

Back at the restaurant in the Monterey Hotel

The waiters are on strike

All the others from the tour bus

Cross the picket line

But, my mother says, not us

 

Now the hawks glide in the wind

Over the roof of my house

This is where my mother has never been

And I tell her how they rise up

And soar

How they dip with their wings outstretched

And sway into the currents of air

And I tell her that her years

Fall around her like a velvet cloak

And she is beautiful

Reconciliation (1975)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother

When he went away and left you

He left me too

And we lived together

You and I

One woman     one child

And I wanted to grow up

To love you both

But you’d come home

From a job that drained you

That made you curl up tight

Inside yourself

I knocked and I know

You tried to let me in

While he went away

And sent letters of love to me

And I cried to live with him

I didn’t understand

 

My best friend told me this

People say your mother

Has a chip on her shoulder

I didn’t understand

 

Believe me Mother

When I tell you

I don’t remember

That time in your life

When you were ill

When your legs were weak

And you used a cane

When your eyes saw double

And the threat of disease

That would waste you

Hung over us

A girl of fourteen

Awake     awake     whose eyes

Could see     whose brain

Could think

But Mother I don’t remember

I just don’t remember

 

Mother

We are healed now

And the years between

Have made us friends

I need you Mother

When you die

No one else can care as much

My Untethered Horse

Beloveds

I want to tell you

A dream I had

In the darkest part

Of night

A dream so vivid

I have to believe

It was no dream

But real

 

I am riding on the back

Of an untethered horse

I too     untethered

No saddle     no stirrups

No reins

Come between us

As my hands hold to her mane

My knees pressed against

The shine of the hair

On her sides

 

Oh     I would ride free

Forever

I call to the wind

On the back of this

Untethered horse

My soul     my spirit

As free as she

Galloping on the sunlit shore

With an endless sea

Behind her

 

Then Beloveds

I wake filled with joy

Feel my spirit speak

Hear words

From my soul

Telling me

 

The untethered horse

Is my horse

She is God’s love

For me

My freedom

I can ride untethered

Free forever

 

All I must do

Is let go

Drain pools of negativity

Collected through years

Of judgmental thoughts

Judgmental words spoken aloud

Deep pain from shame

From guilt

For things that were done

Not done

Neglected     forgotten

By me

Let them pass

Through my consciousness

Like water through a sieve

 

Let go     let them go

Unto God

—September 2014

Only Love

Only Love

Enfolds this memory

Nothing else needed

Just the fields

With the rows of ripened

Wheat

Fields of gold

 

It is early afternoon

We are on a drive

Into what we call

The county

My little boy

Sits next to me

In his car seat

Looking out the

Window

I see fields

With rows of ripened

Wheat

Fields of gold

I look at my little boy’s

Head

His hair

The same color gold

As the gold of ripened

Wheat

I take the sight

Into my heart

To keep

As the years will

Surely pass

 

Yes

Only Love     only Love

Enfolds this memory

Nothing else

Nothing