Sunday, July 12, 2009

Under Attack by Suzanne B. Leitner

Under Attack, 2001
- by Suzanne Baldwin Leitner

When I hear the paws of doubt
come around
claws ragged, pads worn
from scratching at my door
I know hunger drives
this wild dog to my
house. And sorrow. Hunger
and the smell of burning.
Rain blinds it, makes it stop
and sniff at every bush and stump
for a rabbit or scrap
or scent. Its coat is matted
with blood of things it has battled
and dirt from wallowing in holes.
I have to let it in, this wolf
with the high belly, tense haunches
to show it I am not afraid. I know
if I feed it, soothe it
whisper to it
in low tones of the opposites
that lie with, in each other, it
will tame itself back
into the spirit of faith
it used to be.
Then, I might again be me.

In the final analysis, your attitude determines your effectiveness in everything, every time! LGL

Friday, July 03, 2009

My America

The United States of America is the greatest nation conceived by the mind of Man. Our founders brought forth from the Enlightenment the unalienable rights of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Freedom. The Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the American Constitution are amongst the most significant documents crafted in the history of mankind. This novel "concept" has withstood anarchy, sedition, invasion, economic devastation, and treason, internal and external strife. The entire world, whether they wish us good or ill can not evade the fact that a more perfect union has ever existed. This nation, because of freedom, has not been or is not without it's contradictions, yet it continues to be driven, by the aforementioned values, towards equality before the law. Being "american" is often ridiculed as arrogant, ignorant, and oppressive; most often without merit and some well deserved. Yet, being "American" is desired the world over, that is why so many want to be here. It is the contribution of its early settlers from the British Isles, the Dutch, Africans and Spaniards; then enhanced by Germans, Irish, Italians, Greeks, and Chinese in the 19th century and augmented in the 20th century by Russian Jews, Poles, Filipinos, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Koreans, Vietnamese and most recently Mexicans and Central Americans that has created a rich, if often controversial, texture unknown since the days of the Pax Romana.

Today the United States of America is the undisputed economic, military and cultural leader without peers. We can attribute this to our system of government, as maligned as it may often appear to be; to the ingenuity of its people; and finally to the fact that only free men and women can use reason and independent thinking towards their own progress. We enjoy prosperous communities, but not because of some level of mandated sustainment, but because of the economic freedom of our innovators and entrepreneurs, and the fact that pride and self-worth are mostly derived by one's own effort and toil, not from handouts, yet many times sparked by hand-ups.

So, tomorrow we celebrate not only our independence, but the critical ingredients that have shaped and sustained it. And we must never forget that we have pledged our lives and fortunes, over and over again, to defend this precious notion of freedom. We will never be completely secure, we will never be without conflict and we will never be without hardships. In My America I will gladly give up my security than to give up my rights, and for these I am willing to die. Congratulations on being able to enjoy all the benefits of freedom. This new world order is indeed the Pax Americana!

Luis G. Lobo, Frederick, MD

In the final analysis, your attitude determines your effectiveness in everything, every time! LGL