5,000

 

During World War II, starting in the winter of 1940-41, in and around the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in Nazi-occupied France, 5,000 Jews were sheltered…by 5,000 Christians.

The Protestant Huguenot villagers, mostly poverty-stricken themselves, protected the Jews at the risk of their own lives. Every home took in Jews, fed and protected them, right under the noses of the Gestapo. They were often hidden in the countryside when the authorities came to investigate. For four years they defied the Nazi régime and a French government that was collaborating with the Nazis. The citizens of Le Chambon sheltered these strangers, educated their children, and arranged for hundreds to flee to Switzerland or Spain via an intricate, wooded, underground escape route.

True to their beliefs, some citizens of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon penned a letter to the Nazi-influenced Vichy government, feeling spiritually obligated to admit that they were indeed sheltering Jewish refugees. They were clearly defiant in their determination to protect them – “We feel obliged to tell you that there are among us a certain number of Jews…whose only fault is to be born in another religion…We have Jews. You’re not getting them.”

No resident of Le Chambon, it is believed, ever turned away or betrayed a single Jewish refugee.

            “I do not know what a Jew is.  I know only human beings.”
André Trocmé, the Huguenot pastor of Le Chambon


5,000
They were welcomed.

Given shelter and refuge,
without hesitation,
on the edge of violence.
Protected, without question.
Given food and a future,
at the risk of everything,
in open defiance.

One life saved
For every hero
From a man
From a horrific plan
From a power
Aiming for zero

Five thousand.
Spared a hateful demise
Five thousand.
Strong and assured
Five thousand.
Sharing one single purpose
Five thousand…
And no one said a word


Hiding strangers.
Sharing what little they had,
without hesitation,
for a number of years.
A beacon of hope.
Sharing an indomitable spirit,
without reservation,
and despite their fears.

Committed, as one
For simple humanity
To do what’s right
To the preservation of life 
To an immaculate deception
In the face of the enemy

Five thousand.
Hidden amongst them
Five thousand.
Conviction, silently heard
Five thousand.
Sharing one selfless will
Five thousand…
And no one said a word

                                               Gary Greentree


Happy are those hungry and thirsty of justice…for they will be satisfied.”
-André Trocmé

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Guns

          GUNS 

Justify them however you like,
  guns are made to kill.
 
   Made even more deadly
     in the hands of the vengeful,
       of the criminal, of the mentally ill.
         Guns will always find their way 
            into the hands of those who will.
              Inevitably, into the wrong hands, 
                  despite the latest greatest bill.
                     And always at the wrong time…
                        because guns are made to kill.

                           Those stubbornly blind say,
                             “Guns don’t kill. People do.”
  
                                 This weapon finds death.
                                    In the sights of the spiteful,
                                      of the careless, of the self-chosen few.
                                         It doesn’t matter what you say.
                                           It is mainly a matter of who.
                                             So open up your obstinate eyes.
                                               It could happen to yours, or you.
                                                  Guns alone may not shoot people…
                                                     but only people with guns do.

                                                         Defensive or offensive,
                                                            it is a scary slippery slope.

                                                              Guns are firmly entrenched
                                                                 in the arms of your nation,
                                                                   of law enforcement, of those who guard hope.
                                                                      Yet, for every group with the best intentions, 
                                                                         there is one more who can’t cope.
                                                                            Manufactured for a single purpose.
                                                                               Short-sighted, in every scope.
                                                                                  The hunter, or the hunted…
                                                                                     it’s a scary, slippery slope.

                                                                                         Guns are made to kill.
                                                                                            They will always find a way.
                                                                                              No matter what we do.
                                                                                                 No matter what you say.

A scary, slippery slope.

Confined

“People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it.”
– Jim Morrison20150930_213223[1]

 Confined

He goes to bed each night
alone with the ache
 His internal conflict
keeping them both awake
Wakes up weary every morning
lying beside his vanity
With a smile for his children
and a check mark for his sanity

Physical versus mental
in a battle of his pain
Sensory and substantial
is the signal from his brain
From necessity and habit
you conceal what you feel
It’s mind against matter
with wounds that won’t heal

Scar tissue and time
The confines of the mind
Self-motivation
Self-preservation
Selfishly suppressing the pain
Scar tissue and time
A safe place to hide
He
fights the pain

His wounds remain
Sustaining himself from inside

An actor playing himself
in the true story of he
Absorbed in the role of everyman
and that’s who he has to be

Scripted by circumstance
he has lines on every page
Penned for his own purposes
he is resplendent on his stage

 
A song written in his head
but needed by his heart

Lyrics intended for healing
they’re upbeat from the start
Motivation for mind and body
 Affected, but indeed sincere
He gives a selfless performance
for everyone to hear

Scar tissue and time
The complexities of the mind
Self-medication
Self-preservation
Selfishly deflecting the pain
Scar tissue and time
Enduring another day
Different roots of pain

No Ledger or Cobain
Determined to go another way

Scar tissue and time
You conceal what you feel
It’s mind against matter
When wounds never heal

Scar tissue and time
In the confines of your mind
You ascend another day
Starting from behind

 

Guns

                     GUNS

Justify them however you like,
guns are made to kill.

Made even more deadly
in the hands of the vengeful,
of the criminal, of the mentally ill.
Guns will always find their way
into the hands of those who will.
Inevitably into the wrong hands
despite the latest, greatest bill.
And always at the wrong time
because guns are made to kill.


Those stubbornly blind say,
“Guns don’t kill. People do.”

This weapon finds death
in the sights of the spiteful,
of the careless, of the self-chosen few.
It doesn’t matter what you say,
it is mostly a matter of who.
So open up your obstinate eyes,
it could happen to yours, or you.
Guns alone may not shoot people,
but only people with guns do.


Defensive or offensive,

it is a scary slippery slope.

Guns are firmly entrenched
i
n the arms of your nation,
of law enforcement, of those who guard hope.
Yet for every one with the best intentions
there are three more who can’t cope.
Manufactured for a single purpose,
short-sighted, in every scope.
The hunter or the hunted,
It’s a scary slippery slope.


Guns are made to kill,
they will always find a way.
No matter what we do
no matter what you say.

It’s a
scary
slippery
slope.

                                                                                                            

Matters

Restless pursuit this need to run
down streets of fire and rain
back alleys of joy and pain
away from the eyes of yesterday
to where it’s only this day that
matters


Happy and safe and satisfied          Tells me exactly why she feels

  Rests her head above my heart       Grips my arm to keep me near
    Pretty and kind and genuine             Simple sense should be enough
      Pure measure to her responses        Obviously sure in her sensuality

To nurture is my nature                 Have settled into this calm before
  Same quiet comfort condition       An air of duality peaceful and familiar
    How to detach is my dilemma       Never wishing to affect or afflict
      Needing to leave circumstance at full speed and join the chase to where I belong


No right escape from this situation
spiral stairway to solid ground
twisting path from lost to found
away from the arms of yesterday
to where it’s only this way that
matters


Time and space and in between         Barely standing on shaky legs
  Misunderstood meandering man       Looking for the straight answer
   Accepting and expecting and free      Open to possibilities and change
     Uncertain of which way to turn            Divided with my head in the clouds

To settle has been my pattern           An ego fed love I can never return
  Boundless bravado housed inside    A shadow beside my former self
   To pursue is what I’ve got to do          Releasing the will to grasp at chance
     Needing to motivate my willing legs and take purposeful strides toward fulfillment


I want to take her hand and run
down streets of fire and rain
back alleys of joy and pain
away from the eyes of yesterday
to where I can have my say in what
matters


Exciting and vital and full of life            Challenging my every need to know

  Chasing her essence lost in a trance     I see so much living behind her eyes
    Radiant and bright and so aware           Yet suspended in a well of reserve
     She shines a light in my search               Love lost places that I hope to find

To burst out through an open door          Releasing the passion that controls me
  Carrying all the devotion I have to give    Leaving behind this tormented soul
   To swiftly scoop her up on my way            Imagining a path to where we belong
     Confident in knowing this is right and completely prepared to sprint into the sun


I have to take her hand and run

down streets of fire and rain
back alleys of joy and pain
away from the eyes of yesterday
to where it’s only today that
matters

Comfort

She has this certain calm.
A gentle way of turning phrase
A quiet comfort attitude
An ease to her ways.

Life’s rule is seldom fair
At times downright cruel
And painful necessary choices
Bring fire from this fuel

Battered and forever bruised
Survival has made her strong
She’s fought true demons
So much right, so much wrong

 

Yet, she has this certain calm.
A pleasant view of her storm
A quiet comfort magnitude
A serenity of safe and warm.
 

Nurturing through years of turmoil
Is hard enough alone
Raising a child in her world
Grinds patience to the bone
 
She has to portray positivity
From a negative point of view
Has to shoulder all of the weight
And carry enough for two
 

Still, she has this certain calm.
A peaceful, subtle grace
A quiet comfort solitude
A gentle smile, a pretty face.
 

There is just something about her
An aura of ‘welcome here’
Her hazy eyes are happy
Her heart is crystal clear
 
 Every day is still a struggle
New challenges, same fears
You just know she’ll make it
She’s earned some happy years

 

Because she has this certain calm.
A sure sense of what is real
A quiet comfort attitude
A spiritual, contagious even keel…

 
A comfortable way to feel.
 

Steady

Clear ahead with the awakening dawn
One last kiss leaves me with you
Freshly made coffee warms my way
Freshly made memory in my rear view

An internal calm so long in coming
A tranquility inside with room to grow
Beams of light are in lucid sight
Waves of wonders I want to know

The snow dances in my headlights
My destination beyond the misty haze
More accustomed with every turn
More familiar with both our ways


Heading home on this winding road
The same path that led me to you
Content in knowing I will be back soon
Holding steady, at ten and two.


Even more vivid on this perfect morning
The sunrise illuminates nature’s ease
Every nuance greets my welcome eyes
I feel the silence and embrace my peace

Another beautiful day lies straight ahead
Trees sway as a gentle breeze drifts by
I can see patches of blue in the distance
As the horizon rises to meet the sky

Something is certain in either direction
This unclouded vision whether from or to
A picture framed in my front windshield
An increasingly clear vista of me with you


Finding  perspective on this winding road
Following the path that led me to you
Secure with my solid grip on today
Holding steady, at ten and two.

 

Certain of this route I have chosen again
And with the love for you I always bring
Knowing anticipation hastens my return
Though I am in no hurry to miss a thing

Sparse towns have become rich in meaning
They seem so different since that day we met
Houses and stores and hillside fences
Each one more significant the nearer I get

Music accompanies me as I make my way
Energizing and inspiring as it fills my car
I find you in the words that accompany me
Heartfelt reminders that we are never too far

 

Finding harmony on this winding road
Confident path leading back to you
Feeling safe with a firm grasp on today
Holding steady, at ten and two.

%d bloggers like this: