Poem No. 152: “The Journey” by Mary Oliver

Gedichte, poems

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice –
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do –
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Poem No. 17: “The Plum Tree” (Der Pflaumenbaum) by Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1957)

Gedichte, Insights, Kunst
Japanese Plum Tree

Der Pflaumenbaum

Im Hofe steht ein Pflaumenbaum, 
Der ist so klein, man glaubt es kaum. 
Er hat ein Gitter drum, 
So tritt ihn keiner um. 
Der Kleine kann nicht größer wer’n, 
Ja – größer wer’n, das möcht’ er gern! 
‘s ist keine Red davon: 
Er hat zu wenig Sonn’. 

Dem Pflaumenbaum, man glaubt ihm kaum, 
Weil er nie eine Pflaume hat. 
Doch er ist ein Pflaumenbaum: 
Man kennt es an dem Blatt.

———————————– ————————————–

The Plum Tree

In the courtyard stands a plum tree,
It’s so small, no one believes it.
It has a fence around it,
So no one can stomp on it.
The little tree can’t grow,
Yes – it wants to grow!
No one talks about it;
It gets too little sun.

No one believes it’s a plum tree
Because it doesn’t have a single plum.
But it is a plum tree;
You can tell by its leaf.

Ähnliches Foto
Afghanistan – Girl among boys.

Poem No. 193: “Poem For My Husband Liu Xiaobo” – by Liu Xia (2009 China, now Germany) in Deutsch & English

Gedichte, poems, Reisen, Travel, Uncategorized
Liu Xia, poet and wife of Nobel Laureate 2010 Liu Xiaobo who died in Chinese prison

You tell, and tell, and tell, tell
– the truth.
tell the truth day and night,
as long as you`re awake.

You are locked in a room,
your words
– spread there outside.

The shooting 20 years ago
put the final nail in the coffin (“set the seal on your fate”).
You will always live within death.

You love your companions
– but on the dark times,
She has experienced jointly with you,
you` re even prouder.

You admonish her
to hold on
and to still write you poems
after death.

The poems consists of silence
– so silent.

Du sagst, und sagst, und sagst, sagst
– die Wahrheit
sagst sie am Tag
und in der Nacht,
so lange du wach bist.

Du bist in einem Zimmer eingeschlossen,
deine Worte
– verbreiten sich draußen.
Die Schüsse vor 20 Jahren,
haben dein Schicksal

Du wirst immer im Tod
Du liebst deine Gefährten
– aber bist noch stolzer
auf die dunklen Zeiten,
die Sie mit dir erlebt hat.

Du ermahnst Sie,
und dir auch nach deinem Tod
Gedichte zu schreiben.

Die Gedichte bestehen aus Stille
– so still.

Insight No. 115: “Liu Xiaobo – for the love of wife and country” (China)

Insights, Reisen, Travel, Uncategorized
Liu Xiaobo – Nobel Prize Winner 2010 who died for his beliefs and opinion

At the occasion of the 30th remembrance the 1989 Tainanmen Square Massacre and anarte documentary about Liu Xiaobo, I had a look at his bio and the famous charter 08.

One of his quotes – when he was criticizing the Western societies still resonates in my head. After a stay in New York, Xiao came to the conclusion that China needs to develop a very own concept for China`s society because the Western societies have got their own weaknesses. Xiao noticed that Western people are suffering from a lack of freedoms as well. Instead of being restricted by an authoritarian one-party system, the Western people are not free due to their continued strive for prestige, consumption, income generation, self optimization and competition. Due to intense economic and social pressures, Xiao regarded the people in the West as unfree as well.

In my view, his critics is justified – in Western countries achievements like democracy, separation of powers, welfare, environmental protection, minimum living standards are at risk.

No reason to feel superior, I thought when I read the Charter 08 issued by Chinese intellectuals in 2010 that summarize 19 demands for change (see below). Sadly, I came to the conclusion that we could sign the Charter08 as well….and the number of claims, we share with Chinese dissidents is increasing year by year if we are honest to ourselves.

Looking at China again, I wonder if Chinese are clamped between their own desire for consumption & prestige and an authoritarian government same time…?

However, I do not expect any state reforms as long as the Chinese government is able to keep its promise of continued growth and wealth. Freedoms and political diversity and participation seems to be low priority in China.

Liu Xiaobo`s absent chair during the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony in 2010

LIU XIAOBO aka “The Chair”

Liu Xiaobo (Chinese: 刘晓波, 28 December 1955 – 13 July 2017) was a Chinese writer, literary critic, human rights activist, philosopher and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who called for political reforms and was involved in campaigns to end communist one-party rule in China. 
Some referred to him as “China’s Nelson Mandela.” 
He was incarcerated as a political prisonerin Jinzhou, Liaoning. 
On 26 June 2017, he was granted medical parole after being diagnosed with liver cancer and he died on 13 July 2017.

Liu Xiaobo`s name and nick name “The Chair” (with reference to his empty chair during his Nobel prize ceremony) are in China forbidden and all his writings including several boxes of documents, written during his 9 yrs in jail, disappeared.

Liu rose to fame in literary circles in 1980s with his literary critiques and he eventually became a visiting scholar at several overseas universities.
He returned to China to support the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and was imprisoned for the first time from 1989 to 1991, again from 1995 to 1996 and yet again from 1996 to 1999 for his involvement in the democracy and human rights movement.
He served as the President of the Independent Chinese PEN Center, from 2003 to 2007.
He was also the president of Minzhu Zhongguo (Democratic China) magazine since the mid-1990s.

On 8 December 2008, Liu was detained due to his participation with the Charter 08 manifesto.

He was formally arrested on 23 June 2009 on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power”
He was tried on the same charges on 23 December 2009, and sentenced to eleven years’ imprisonment and two years’ deprivation of political rights on 25 December 2009.

During his fourth prison term, Liu was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for “his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.”

Liu wrote a statement, entitled “I have no enemies”, intending for it to be read at his trial. He was never given the right to speak. The essay was later read in the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, which Liu was unable to attend due to his imprisonment.

In the verdict, Charter 08 (see below) was named as part of the evidence supporting his conviction. John Pomfret of The Washington Post said Christmas Day was chosen to dump the news because the Chinese government believed Westerners were less likely to take notice on a holiday.

China’s political reform … should be gradual, peaceful, orderly and controllable and should be interactive, from above to below and from below to above. This way causes the least cost and leads to the most effective result. I know the basic principles of political change, that orderly and controllable social change is better than one which is chaotic and out of control. The order of a bad government is better than the chaos of anarchy. So I oppose systems of government that are dictatorships or monopolies. This is not ‘inciting subversion of state power’. Opposition is not equivalent to subversion.

— Liu Xiaobo, 9 February 2010

Instead of demanding a Westernization Liu Xiaobo encouraged crticial thinking and creativity to develop an own concept of the future China society. He explained…

“I must:

  1. Use Western civilization as a tool to critique China.
  2. Use my own creativity to critique the West.”

Charter 08 is a manifesto initially signed by 303 Chinese dissidents interlectuals and human rights activists.

It contains the following demands for change…

1. Amending the Constitution.
2. Separation of powers.
3. Legislative democracy.
4. An independent judiciary.
5. Public control of public servants.
6. Guarantee of human rights.
7. Election of public officials.
8. Abolition of the hukou system.
9. Freedom of association.
10. Freedom of assembly.
11. Freedom of expression.
12. Freedom of religion.
13. Civic education.
14. Free markets and protection of private property, including privatizing state enterprises and land.
15. Financial and tax reform.
16. Social security.
17. Protection of the environment.
18. A federated republic.
19. Truth in reconciliation.

Liu Xiaobo

Poem No. 80: “Changing The Past” by Donna

Gedichte, poems, Psychologie, psychology
“Letting Go” – Lantern Festival / Thailand

The past is the past for a reason.
That is where it is supposed to stay,
But some cannot let it go.
In their heads it eats away

Until all their focus becomes
The person they used to be,
The mistakes they made in their life.
Oh, if only they could see

That you cannot change what happened, 
No matter how hard you try,
No matter how much you think about it,
No matter how much you cry.

What happens in your lifetime 
Happens for reasons unknown,
So you have to let the cards unfold. 
Let your story be shown.

Don’t get wrapped up in the negative.
Be happy with what you have been given.
Live for today not tomorrow.
Get up, get out, and start living,

Because the past is the past for a reason.
It’s been, and now it is gone,
So stop trying to think of ways to fix it.
It’s done, it’s unchangeable; move on.

Poem No.189: “To My Friend Who Is Getting Married Tomorrow” – by Joie Yin (Malaysia)

Gedichte, poems

To My Friend Who Is Getting Married Tomorrow

We met each other in college
It was in two thousand and seven
Along the years we have age
Friendship years have been eleven.

Being friends were never easy
But you were there for me
When I doubted my own reality
This friendship is meant to be.

Yesterday we were much younger
We laughed, fought and recovered
We’ve rebuilt this friendship stronger
To this stage of life we have reached.

Today I have captured moments
That will never repeat itself again
We shared a hug of happiness
I hope these blessings will maintain.

Tomorrow is your wedding day
Celebrating two lovebirds together
I’ll sing a little prayer for you to say
For a marriage of happily ever after.

Poem No.188: “Notes after Watching HBO in a Hotel Room” – by Debra Yatim (Indonesia)

Gedichte, poems, Uncategorized
JS Luwansa Hotel

Throw open that leaf of glass and let
            me slurp the weather’s teeth
so wild & dark, thunderous touching
triumphant & writhing
as I die.

Pray sit beside me
and grasp my heart
that can’t stop glancing at goodbye
for the relief it proffers.

I have stepped on the earth
dived into the horizon
melted in all the hatred of existing
while enclosed in dead materials
whilst all that is allowed to live
is the head

It turns out
bowing in cowardice is much
more charming.

No longer do I want to provide service
as self,
an existence where
what I see is no longer this self
of mine,
so here –
I hand over my stake
without the slightest pretence of toughness.

I want to sneak away
according to terms I determine

Hotel Luwansa, 17th December, 2017

Shared No. 127: “The anatomy of a bad decision – encouraging more bad decisions” — by James King (What you do next matters)

Psychologie, psychology, Tipps, Uncategorized

I`d like to share this interesting post about bad decisions, regret, doubt, impatience and other forms of self-sabotage with you.

For food4thoughts, please simply follow this link to James Kings blog “What you do matters”…. To ignore this link might be… a bad decision.

Poem No. 183: “Patience, Though I have not” – by Sir Thomas Wyatt

Gedichte, poems, Psychologie, psychology

Patience, though I have not 
   The thing that I require, 
I must of force, God wot, 
   Forbear my most desire; 
For no ways can I find   
To sail against the wind. 

Patience, do what they will 
   To work me woe or spite, 
I shall content me still 
   To think both day and night, 
To think and hold my peace, 
Since there is no redress. 

Patience, withouten blame, 
   For I offended nought; 
I know they know the same, 
   Though they have changed their thought. 
Was ever thought so moved 
To hate that it hath loved? 

Patience of all my harm, 
   For fortune is my foe; 
Patience must be the charm 
   To heal me of my woe: 
Patience without offence 
Is a painful patience.