Feeds:
Posts
Comments

About a Friend


From the archives:
This is the most popular of all my poems for the past year so here once again About a Friend.

Yes this is personal and yes it is true.
It is my experience that I am sharing with you.

We were so close like sisters people said.
Closer than that we were, it was over your head.

A bond that sparked instantaneously much like new romance.
Of course those that insinuated such did not follow the dance.

Give give, take take, it all seemed so equal at first.
No shadow of doubt, we would never be cursed.

Hours and days were spent sharing the past.
The laughter and tears were flowing and vast.

Each told of old sorrows and pain we had endured.
Consoling each other, we were each others cure.

We had found one another, knew it was different this time.
The ying to her yang, the partner to our crime.

We turned heads and made people wonder.
Quite a few tried to quiet the thunder.

This gave us our strength, like forces of nature together.
She and I against the world, no storm we couldn’t weather.

Life would charge in and test our power.
Tempted and taunted to see who would cower.

We prevailed time after time, year after year.
We drew lines for others that were perfectly clear.

Then one day it happened, the first of the clues.
A weakness exposed and a hint of a ruse.

“Not us I thought, this was not our path.”
Rips in the fabric, hidden agendas, you do the math.

And with just as much power as we united.
Truth had snuck in though reluctant and uninvited.

The face I began to recognize was that of a stranger.
I saw it clearly and knew of the danger.

I had heard the voice before and I remember I had shuddered.
Those combative words thrust at me she had finally uttered.

The loss was tremendous the grief devastating.
I now understood the line between loving and hating.

I missed her so, wishing for a branch or simply a leaf.
Yet not until I let her go was their any relief.

Why today of all days to write this for all to see?
Perhaps, maybe it means I can at last be free.

Copyright ©2007 Veronica Romm

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

On MLK’s Birthday


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I Have a Dream Speech

Happy Birthday! Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his life to a cause he felt was worth fighting, yet he never believed in violence. He was one of the greatest orators, but he was reluctant and could be shy. People oppressed saw in him the possibility. He gave them hope, for he was brave and determined. He led a march on Washington that changed the world, although he may not have seen it that way at the time. He is the voice of many today as he was the day he uttered the words “I have a dream.” And did he ever? This year in one day the first Black President awaits his inauguration and I think that MLK would be so proud as his dream seems now not so far fetched.

His words are inspiring, poetic and proud. These passages are my personal favorite. What are yours?

  • I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
  • I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
  • I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
  • This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”
  • And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
  • And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

REPOST: I ask you to share your favorite passages from this speech or any of Martin Luther King Jr. extensive statements, thoughts or photos. Today we remember a man who was brave enough to give his life to a cause he knew he would never see resolved. He was undeterred, focused and therefore a target and threat for those who could not see his vision and did not share his enlightenment. So today, those of us who believe in this man, husband, father, preacher, brilliant leader and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, celebrate his life and tireless work he did for us all. May he rest in peace.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


She blew him a kiss
It was shaped like her lips
He caught it with pride
For it had made quite a trip.
Over the cities
And the great sea.
A wondrous voyage
It had turned out to be.
So once it arrived
It was placed with great care
On the forehead belonging
To a most royal heir.
He smiled as he felt it
Rush through his veins.
This kiss that brought with it
The cure for his pains.

Copyright ©2007 Veronica Romm

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


The fresh green of the grass.

Your touch on my skin.

Our limbs entwined on the park lawn

as the breeze blows around us.

Hearts are dancing again.


The crisp blue of the water.

Your touch on my skin.

Waves crashing around us.

It is love we’ve been granted and

We have both given in.


The leaves falling yellow, orange, and red.

Wanting your touch on my skin.

I am chilled, dry to the bone,

Where have you been?


The red roaring fire.

Feeling your touch on my skin.

Snow falling outside the window

while you’re keeping me warm,

Yet now only in this dream.


Copyright ©2008 Veronica Romm

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

History lesson



History serves to inform and prepare. In order to learn we must be acutely aware.

 

When all has been tried, nothing being a mystery,

How are we expected to appreciate history?

The most brilliant minds that came before us.

The teachers, our heroes, and always the infamous.

Einstein, Tesla and Salvador Dali,

Allowing every sense to make a decision

Never lose sight of your personal vision.

Will it ever be equal?

We don’t need anymore sequels.

Why so politically correct?

Say what you mean you’ll earn more respect.

The police shoot first, with little concern.

When will these bullies actually learn?

What are the new taboos?

Doesn’t anyone have a thing to lose?

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


This guide is for everyone, whether in a new relationship or an established one.

1.  Just met, you like her but it’s very new.

The gift:

Get something you know she likes from a shop you know she goes to.  You are not expected at this phase to buy “the perfect” gift, just one that shows you have at least been paying a little attention.   Also if you get it wrong she can return it and get something she likes better at her favorite shop.  You must get a card, something cute and funny will do.

The message:

A simple “Wishing you a happy fill in the holiday.

Signing the card:

I am (so) _______ (glad) we met, Bob

Looking forward to getting to know you better, Bob

Hugs and kisses, Bob

2.  New relationship 3-6 months, you are exclusive (you really like her)

The gift:

This gift should show some thought, because it is probably the first fill in the holiday you are spending together.  Again, pay attention to things she sees or mentions while you are shopping or ask one of her friends if you have access to them.  It may be an accessory item, a handbag, scarf or silver jewelry with a stone or charm she likes or has special meaning to her. She will really think it sweet if you remember something she mentioned or saw while you were together. If all else fails these are the gifts that most women would like this season:

Princess perfume by Vera Wang, classy and you will like it too. – Pretty necklaces and bracelets  with semi-precious stones are totally in style and ones with a message that is personal to you/her is thoughtful. Sold in many mall shops.

- A spa/massage treatment is always a great gift, thoughtful and shows you care how hard she works. Popular spa’s are Bliss Spa, Sephora, Ulta offer spa treatments.    Look up local spa’s they usually run specials for Valentine’s Day.

- Victoria’s Secret is a favorite but you can get more creative than that, right guys?

The message:
– Write at least a paragraph about how you feel about her, how she makes you feel or whatever you are feeling at the time.
– This is the time to be vulnerable but if you are not ready to say “Love” you don’t have to.

Signing the card:

You mean so much to me, Bob

So glad to be spending this fill in the holiday with you, Bob

Looking forward to more happy times with you, Bob

You are in my heart today and everyday, Bob

3.  6-12 months, you are either in love, falling in love or already declared your love.

The gift:
– A weekend getaway is ideal. Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels and Ski Resorts have last-minute deals, but there is nothing like pre-planning.
– Pamper her with a romantic dinner and run a tub or hot tub if you can arrange it. Bring flowers and candy too, it decorates the room and makes it special.
– Maybe a CD of music for a romantic evening. This is the perfect time to seal the deal guys; it’s fill in the holiday and BECAUSE it is corny and cheesy tell her you love her. Secretly we love cheesy and sappy during the holidays if we are in love.

- Jewelry is a safe bet here.

- Also you can bridge the “I am falling in love with you,” if you have not reached it just yet, (or if you are a wimp because nobody “thinks” they feel love for someone, this is one you KNOW.) but whatever, go at your own pace.

The message:
Spill it. You love this woman and you want to keep her indefinitely. A full paragraph with your heart racing with nervousness is what I am talking about. Trust me, the pay off will be worth it. If this is where you are with a woman showing it during the holidays is the only way to go. Even if she says she doesn’t care, DO NOT LISTEN. Just say it, most of us are not Shakespeare, women know, they don’t care how you say it, just that you do, and in this case write it too.

Signing the card:

All my love, Bob

Love you, Bob (playful)

I love you with all my heart, Bob (serious)

Oh I forgot, I wanted to tell you that I love you, Bob

I love you and want you to be my wife, Bob (Just in case)

Whatever you do this fill in the holiday with your new babe or your fiancé, have fun, laugh as much as you can, and let love in.  Try not to let the stress that always seems to accompany the big days get in the way of your enjoyment.  Remember, many fights around this time are due to circumstances beyond your control: i.e. planning, travelling, and just the anticipation that the holidays will work out perfect.  This is not the case and is quite rare, so be prepared for some hairy moments and always try to keep a sense of humor.

Please feel free to ask questions if there is something I missed and/or you have a unique situation that does not fit into these three headings.  I will be glad to help you get this fill in the holiday right.

Check out another take on  gift giving during our troubled economic times here.  A lot of great info to be found there.

Copyright ©2008 Veronica Romm

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


The problem is not new, nor should it be fodder for gossip. Today’s teens are simply running wild.  They are greater risk takers, more sexually active and overly informed than any teenage population that came before.  From MTV pimping over the top Sweet Sixteen celebrations, as voyeuristic glances into the tiny percentage of the population that can afford to have Usher at their parties. To “reality dating” shows modeling behaviors that are breeding  at risk teens and young adults, by promoting excessive drinking and providing hot tubs as an option for each date.  The media and the freely accessibile internet access colludes with the corruption of our teenage children.  Yet, it is as if we forget that the main responisibility for what our teens do falls squarely on parents for no other influence is as great and as influential as that of family.Web 2.0 and “social networking” are a  much more effective means of communication utilized feverishly by adolescents.  Advancements such as video chats, give adolescent the more private forum to “explore” with various behaviors and cultures, alternate lifestyles and some really out there “freakish” things we as adults can’t even grasp.  There are now translators for the slang used by kids to “text message” one another.  Yes the illiterate language devised to further stunt any thinking that might be needed to right in full sentences. Do we want our kids paralyzed by gadgets?  Do we want our kids informed by those that have the freedom to express absolutely any view they wish and with pictures and video to make it more entertaining, such as the site The Church of Euthanasia. As a teacher and writer I use the internet to a almost embarassing degree for both information gathering and inspiration for my writing efforts.  I Googled euthanasia for a student who was assigned the topic as a final paper in her English class.  This essay was to be a persuasive argument for or against the controversial practice.  About five to seven links down the results of the search was the link to the church that I mentioned.  Clicking on the site I gasped and shook with anxiety as I finally understood what we (parents, teachers, kids) were up against. The site promotes among other things, death in all forms, sodomy an suicide.  So there I was doing what my students were by researching the topic, and there it was, like any other site.  Organized (not well) just enough to have their information viewed and their “Four Pillars” defined.  I will not share the ideas espoused by this website, but you should take a look sometime and see what your kids read for their school projects. 

Then there is the inevitable Hollywood influence.  Our kids love music and movies just like we did.  Yet they are getting to hear about and watch the pop idols they worship live the most reckless and dangerous of lives.  Pregnant Disney TV show stars, the network is probably scrambling to find a way to separate themselves from the shamed star of their show “Zoey 101″ as we learn that young Jamie Lynn Spears may have been having an “affair” with an older executive.  Wholesome teenage fun for the whole family, right?   The media is stoning Lynne Spears, and yes her daughters are particularly frightening, but is she to blame?   
 
 

 

The Megan Meier’s story is particularly disturbing and has all the elements that are facilitating an adolescent epidemic of risk taking and poor judgment.  To quickly sum up the Megan Meier’s story is difficult for there are many layers.  It involves female friendships, parenting skills, MySpace, boys and very irresponsible adults.  Megan apparently had a falling out with her close friend and neighbor and this neighbors Mom Lori Drew was concerned that Megan was going to say indecent things about her daughter.  She quickly created a MySpace profile of a young handsome boy she named Josh Evans from a neighboring town, and started communicating with Megan in a flirtatious way.  Megan had been dealing with self esteem issues along with every other adolescent, and found the attention of the young man exciting.  He was cute and sweet and could really understand her.  He told her she was pretty and wanted to be her boyfriend.  She had no reason to think anything else was happening. Three weeks into the internet relationship, he turned on Megan and said she was not the kind of person he wanted to associate with due to things he heard from kids at her school.  She responded with shock, tears and hanging herself with a belt as her parents got ready for dinner downstairs.  It was quickly disclosed that the boy with whom Megan had bonded was really a collaborative effort of a family, initiated by the matriarch Mrs. Drew, and maintained by all.  They explained that they started the profile on MySpace to protect their daughter from slanderous talk (never did Megan say a bad thing about her neighbor or anyone else).  Since the rest of the neighborhood found out about the families twisted game, the Drews has complained of harassment on several occasions.  To date there will be no charges found against the MySpace family hoax or any of the participants. A tragedy like this is unthinkable yet it is subtle, societal and scary. 

If the teenagers seem frightening as they shoot up shopping malls during the holidays, is it possible to assume that the parents must have something to do with it?  As the story of Megan illustrates the power of the internet on our young ones, it also shows parents as they set the example for their children.  Taunting a young person for fun, causing pain and perpetuating deceit are lessons these parents clearly imparted to their own children.  What do we do as members of society to protect our kids from such insidiousness? 

There are several basic parenting principles that can have a positive impact on children.  Use them, and perhaps we can gain back control just enough to produce citizens who we could be proud of.  These basics are not “new age” and they are certainly not difficult to grasp, but do we care to save our kids?  Perhaps we should try. 

Boundaries are a necessity for kids.  They want and need them and parents have to provide them.  Without understanding their own boundaries and those of others, kids have no way to gauge their attitudes and behaviors.  It is not as simple as saying something is good or bad, right or wrong, but why and in what scenario?  Guiding adolescents by defining boundaries allows them to process social behavior and respond to it.  Lynne Spears allowed her young daughter, underage and naïve to not only have an older boyfriend but to basically co-habitate with him.  Some may say, “at least I know they are safe, they are home after all.”  Yet the child was fourteen if the story is at all accurate, when she began dating this young man.  If at fourteen this type of behavior is accepted then it stands to reason that two years into a relationship a pregancy wouldn’t be such a shock after all.  There also appears no discussion about whether these young people had protection or used it, or what type and who provided it?  Why is that not an important enough facet of the story to focus on?  It could only help send the message that there are no guarantees and always that chance that even with protection, there are risks.  Boundaries again play a part in this particular case because not only did Lynne not provide any, but there was also an older sister, incredibly troubled and ridiculously famous,  shirking all decency in front of the entire world.  Losing her children, behaving in a way that could only be seen as psychologically volatile, and big sister Britney Spears never knew a boundary she didn’t obscenely cross.   

Teenagers need to learn through actions about consequences. They must know that an action may have a positive or negative reaction and this fact should come as no surprise by the time a kid is in their teens.  There is plenty of argument about punishment, and I am not sure where I stand on this globally.  Yet parents must define consequences for their children with consistency. 

This brings me to the adolescent’s desperate need for consistency from their parents.  They need to understand clearly what their actions will lead to every time.  It seems as though parents are afraid to provide consistent consequences because they “feel bad” or it seems they fear their kid’s reactions.  If parents allow kids to turn the tables and assume the position of authority, how can they be blamed for their inevitable transgressions?  There are parents and there are children. Parents can not be mistaken for “friends”; they must never stop parenting in a consistent and committed fashion.

This brings us to commitment to our children and to parenting.  This commitment I describe is a life long, full time job parent’s take on when they bring a child into this world.  They must commit to setting boundaries, parenting with consistency and establishing consequences.  They must enforce this on a daily basis without fail.  Does this sound like a Herculean task?  Perhaps it is at times and I by no means wish to imply that parenting in this era is easy or terrain that is well traveled.  Yet the alternative, as we have so clearly been shown again and again in the tabloids, and stories of tragic lost kids doing unthinkable things almost daily by the media, can’t possibly be ignored.  There has to be a better way to guide our youth, than by the examples I have shared.  Without a doubt the answer is parents, parenting, and society’s willingness to see some changes in the way adolescents are perceived and accept them so as to help them. 

There is hope for both the parents and our youth.  I ask you then; will you make the commitment before that hope is extinguished?  I think our kids are worth it. It is up to all of us to convince them of their worth, through guidance, patience and setting a reasonable example. 

Sources sited:

  1. www.ok-magazine.com  Jamie Lynn Spears Says She’s Pregnant

Dec 18, 2007

  1. www.nytimes.com/2007/12/16/fashion/16meangirls.html When the Bullies Turned Faceless by Christopher Maag.  December 16, 2007
  2. www.churchofeuthanasia.org

  Copyright ©2007 Veronica Romm

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,260 other followers