More poems on personal experiences and reflections over situations in different countries
Nuclear Tests

Nuclear Testing

 

Nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands

Nuclear tests in the Soviet`s  Kazakhstan

A mushroom of clouds

From the ground and the ocean

Leaves a never ending  legacy

0f disfigured faces,

of mothers with jellyfish babies

of graves from cancerous tumors

in the human bodies,

and the continuing horror

of the rays of atomic tests.

Nuclear test in its horror

And legacy will forever dwell

In the memory of our fragile humanity.

 

23. august 2007

Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

 

Flood in Denmark and in Asia, summer 2007

Flood Flood in Denmark

         and on the Plains in the Himalayas

 

First time in the history in my years in Denmark

When waters overflow the gardens on knee depth.

First time in the tongues of the Danes that  speak

Of flood in their midst, waters that destroy

The valuable treasures of  their life  and story.

 

Rain rain rain, rain that visit during days and nights

Rains that fall from the dark heavens as torments

Of tears to those who are sweeped away from

Their own homes, waters that wash away the Himalayas

To pour down mercilessly among the poor in the plains.

 

Flood, flood, flood, the first time in my years in Denmark

The first time in the consciousness of the Danes

when their homes are invaded by great discomfort and destruction

but they can rise up again  in a matter of days or months

while those in the poor plains touched by the monsoon of the

Himalayas suffocate in the stink of death and hopelessness.

 

Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

August 1l, 2007

What can a beach evoke?

Brøndby Strand

From the haste of daily labour
the mundane of cyclic affairs
we come to this part of God`s creation
to celebrate the silence
in the pounding of the waves to the shore
the touch of the wind on sailboats and human breath
the wonder of the grains of sand
children play with their creative hands.

We come and seek freedom
on the white ground as we lie
naked before the searching eyes of the sun
a sea of people, feasting, resting
on the silent throb of memories
and hopes in mind and heart--
a recollection and introspection
as people in time and space.

The feast goes on
through summer, spring and autumn
only the cold spell
of winter brings a pause
to this active interaction.

This beach, like the other beaches,
gives a glimpse of our one earth
as it continues to stand
as God`s gift to feast on and celebrate.

Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
copyright 1996
(Brøndby Strand was my home during the past 8 years in Denmark)

Philippine Revolution from the Marcos dictatorial regime
A Tribute to the Filipino People
EDSA Revolution

Such a courage
you have displayed
in confronting forces of tyranny
You say no to corruption,
dishonesty and degradation
that have long plagued our nation.

You say no to arms,
no to the mighty weapons
of the dictator
and by human barricades
of your million presence
you give to our land
your bodies as the best sacrifice
that should die if needed
if only to restore
our freedom and dignity as a people.

With your simple spirit
of faith and prayer,
you have told the world
that not a revolution should
ever be successful
without God who is sought
for peace and direction.

How can I tell you
that I am proud of you.

Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
(Edsa Revolution  in 1986,a  peaceful revolution which brought  the downfall of the Marcos` 20 years of dictatorship
)
Drought and Absolute Dependence
Drought

These are indifferent times
indifferent season of the year
when heaven does not send rain
and the land looks up the sky.

The farmers look back the year
of green and harvest and see
the thirst of land and its dying life
Now they hope on the absolute grace
that should come from above.

Pray, pray for rain
Pray, pray for rain
Or else there`s no food for man.

"Pray, pray for rain", said the farmers
"Or else there`s no food for man.
Our food and life depend on
the showers of grace from above",
said the simple and poor farmers.
And the promise of rain
And the Rain Fell

Dispersed and candy like,
they moved and formed together
into black clouds in solid formation.
They covered the face of the sun
and assured the earth
protection from consuming heat.

And they fell like big balls
knocking down the lonely rooftops
entering into the farmers` lonely jugs,
clay jars, cans and plastic galloons
or into their cemented tanks.

And the children ran and danced
ran and danced under the rain
As if it was their first time to be cleansed
and the fathers looked at their fields,
their plough and their buffaloes
and the mothers like lotus flowers
folded their hands, looked at the sky
and offered their thanks.

EPO
More on Flood
Remembering Mozambique

Heavy rainfall
Gush of winds
and overflow of waters
over banks and rivers
phase out the green fields of life.

Water that gives life
and water that cleanses
is also water that
wipes out life and the human labour
built up for a long span of time.

And those in the midst
of this flood must climb up 
the topmost part of the rooftops,
must cling on them as helpless babes,
screaming for life, clinging on to life
while the less fortunates
are sweeped away
by the raging water currents
as mere debris and waste.

Why this flood?
Why this waste?
Why these cries and tears
which call for the watching eyes
to stand up and help.
Hunger and claim for development

Hunger in Ethiopia 2000

Have we eyes to behold?

Have we eyes to behold
emaciated bodies of children
where flies feast around
on the little linquid left in their eyes
and over the remaining flesh
clutching on to their bones?

Have we eyes to behold?

Have we eyes to behold
the desperate mothers
with their giving nature
engraved in their hearts and minds
and yet incapable to milk
these crying children
from their emptied breasts?

Have we eyes to behold?

Have we eyes to behold
this wide span of land
given to long years of drought and war
turning itself into an open graveyard
of human bodies, plants and animals?

Have we eyes to behold?

Have we eyes to behold
this part of land
this part of our world
in our claim for technology
for development and modernity
in our claim for innate
human rights for everybody?

Have we eyes to behold
this part of our own humanity
eaten up by hunger and war?

copyright, Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
April 2000

When Guns are played as toys
Woes in Algeria

One, two, three
then to hundreds and thousands
massacred in their homes
in their farms and on the roads.
Houses burned, the victims mourn
and the offenders giggle.

Houses are emptied
farms stand erect,
stores and airports, closed
while survivors run from fear
and pregnant with hate.

The offenders are young boys
trained to play the toys
to shoot and kill their enemies -
their own people.

There is no end of hate
when the offenders celebrate
over the dead, trample the ground
smashed with blood and raise
their fists with their high powered guns.

The rule of love and law
is trampled and smashed
when guns are played
as toys by young hands.
The Image of the Boxing Ring
The Boxing Match

Two contenders on the ring
jumping, hitting and smashing each other
with gloves on, they fight like
the modern jaguars with the target of money
and the grand title the ring can offer.

As they punch each other
with the sole goal of winning,
they cease to look at each other
in the eye as friends in the lonely jungle
but as enemies in the fight over
who is weaker and who has more the power.

Never mind the blood that spills over
Never mind the fall of the other contender.

The watching crowd shares
the nature of the tigers,
they, too, growl and cheer
when the other is knocked down.

Hurrah to the more powerful!

The boxing match becomes
the jungle of humans
caring only for the strong
and condemning  the weak.

(copyright, Elizabeth Padillo Olesen, upon seeing boxing on TV)
Development work
Development and local participation
Landslides in Nepal

How can the proud mountains
tear down at the visits of the heavy monsoon?
Their rocks are peebled to the ground
fallen from a proud height even burying
those who walk secure along the aged roads.

How can the proud mountains
tear down at the visits of the heavy monsoon?
Should the mighty ones as them be forlorn
at the sudden disfigures of their might and stature?

How can the proud mountains
tear down at the visits of the heavy monsoon?
They say trees have not rooted long
They say these mountains have not
really grown mature to stand the test of the seasons.

Aren`t there landslides, too,
in the mountainous ambitions
to develop the Nepali people?
They are schemes washed out like landslides
if they are conceived from a proud pedestal
like a monsoon fra afar that strikes off
the slopes without the due signal.

Aren't there landslides in Nepal
if development schemes are not rooted
in the flesh and blood of the Nepali people?
They are to be conceived in humility -
to start from the ground
where the mountains grow.

Elizabeth Padillo Olesen, copyright
(Development work, Kathmandu, Nepal, 1986-1991)
Beth worked with the United Mission to Nepal for 6 years together with her husband. Two of their children were born in Nepal).
Of saying goodbye
Islands North of Bohol (Philippines)

I`d like to paint you now at the break of day
when the sea is calm and the breeze sings a melody
You are islands in the Pacific, linked by the ocean blue
miles and miles of vastness bridged by man`s ingeunity.

On your waves you set the boats afloat
winged by paddles, sails or horse-powered engines
On your meager grounds, you set the coconut trees
to root, hallmark of ancestors who sew seeds to bear fruits.

On your seafloor you create the habitat
of seaweeds, corals, fishes and seashells,
rocks and pearls  - priceless worth of treasures
for your beloved to feast and live on.

How come you are not on the map?
How come you are simple nameless dots?
Remote from the industrial boom, your beauty stands
which I would not want the irresponsible tourism to pluck.

You are a remote popularity of abundance
remote from the dust and smoke as price
for what we call the great industrialization.

In the morning let me rise to behold you once again
feeling the humble hearts of the folks on your land
flashing the images of events in my mind.

You, the islands in the north, have much a story to tell
I am leaving now for another land
But I would like to come back to you
to behold you once again and to come again
with the written stories of your life in my hand.

(Departure from the Philippines to Denmark, 1995)
Tragedy on the Sea,sinking of passenger boat, 70 people died, 50 of whom came from my home island as relatives, colleagues and neighbours
A Song to the Sea

You have been a home
that nurtures the rocks, the shells,
 the seaweeds and the fishes.

You are the food for life
that fills the hunger
of both the rich and the poor.

You`re a refuge for those
who commune
with your silence and depth,
and those who despair learn
from your strong current and peace.

You are a friend indeed
within the whole created world
which in the land-locked country
like Nepal I always have missed.

But how soon can you be played
with storms and cyclones
that deny you from being
a home, a food for life,
a refuge and a friend?

For now and then by the games
you make with the storms and typhoons
you shake the people on their boats
and entomb them to their own graves.
Now they lie forlorn
dejected on your bosom.

But you continue to exist, dear sea,
unshakable wihout your games
But my loved ones are gone now,
gone and swallowed by your depths
and by the anger you have stirred
in playing with the storms and typhoons.

Can we plead with you?
Can a song be played for you to be
a constant home, a food for life,
a refuge and a friend?
Can a song appease your anger
as you play your own games?
Can a song heal our fears?

But my loved ones are gone now,
gone as the white bubbles of your waves
gone as the floating debris on your surface
And the song that I will sing in silence
is the song that I shall give
to the one that has created you
For I am sure, those you have entombed
must have raised their last song
to the only Creator they know.

Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
(
published in the "A Pulse for my Country People, Poems and Reflections on the Philippine Situation", the author`s first collection of poems )
(This piece was written in Nepal after I got the list of the victims who were just my relatives, colleagues, and neighbours.Nocnocan Princess was the name of the boat that capsized in the middle of the night)


Struggle for Freedom
Intifada

Stones, stones,
rain of stones
picked up and thrown
to pile up
the walls of freedom.

Stones, stones
rain of stones
hurled and thrown
the language of anger,
disgust and hate
in an occupied land of tears.

Stones, stones
rain of stones
hurled and thrown
to drive away
the close neighbours
the enemies against
the building up
of the walls of freedom.

As they are stones
spread all over the ground
without the chance of being piled
in rows, they are left scattered
on the ground
to which the close neighbours
of the land exchange these stones
with the bullets of retaliation.

Stones, stones
rain of stones
big and small
hurled and thrown

But I don`t really know
how the stones
hurled and thrown
at the close neighbours
can succeed to build up
the walls of freedom
on this occupied land of tears.

E.P. Olesen
Notes and sounds
Sound of Music

It is difficult sitting here alone
feeling the cold from the windows
the sound of the running cars
the confusion in my thoughts.

Music sings to my soul
soothes the pain in my heart,
lulls me to hope, to dream
and to walk again
on this pathway of confusion
in our own time.

EPO
Inhumanity against small children
To the Massacred Children
       from Oklahoma to Scotland


You are the salt in our sea of humanity
You bring delight to our eyes as you play
and giggle at the little wonders in life.

At the bottom of our lonely ocean
you spring forth as the seed of hope
for our future, the salt of innocense
from whom we all can learn from.

You are the salt in our sea of humanity
a priceless gift to life - growing, waiting
a taste of delight to our tongues and lonely
hearts, unfolding beauty at each sunny day.

You are salt in our sea of humanity, in our
cold, polluted ocean of disease, violence, grief
and madness. Removed from our ocean, you are sacrificed for cleansing our own filth.

Our sea of humanity, our sick mad ocean
shall always look back to you -- you the
massacred children 
from Oklahoma to Scotland
You, the salt in your innocense and beauty
shall ever dwell over the face of our cold humanity.

copyright Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
July 1996, after seeing the news about the bombing in Oklahoma which killed children and the massacre of the 16 kindergarten children in Scotland.
The poem was published by the National Library of Poetry in its book, Daybreak of the Land, and selected as  a poem for the Sound of Poetry (on tapes)
Love and Hope
Beloved

I sailed through CAT-link boat from Kalundborg to Århus
The wings of cold winter ride on the sea with the floating blocks of ice.

The boat has mastered the art of safety modules
like we have at air flights
Stewardess appears in video tubes
that demonstrates the use of safety life jackets.

I remember you, dearly beloved,
left to care our four dear kids.
I leave you as I do this trip to do other duties.
Sometimes I feel it is luxury when I need to be away
from the routinary noise and experience
the aloneness and privacy of my own thoughts.

I remember you, beloved,
in our latest harsh exchange of words
of both our anger and frustration, letting explode
as they are buried through the years and have been left
behind to grow like hidden mountains.

I remember you, dearly beloved,
from whom I bid goodbye this day
from whom I`ve asked to be free
I remember you in your determined word
that everything is over for you.

Deep deep inside me, I gave out defenses,
only to be able to withstand the wound of the moment,
when arrows pierced through the chambers of my heart.

And yes, beloved, I told you that I hated you,
I hated you, words uttered with fire in the eyes.

And yet this ride from Copenhagen to Kalundborg
and to Århus that allows me to embrace once again
the cold wings of winter brings me
to the warm understanding of my heart  that I love you.

Between hatred and love
lie the fragile strings,
only our hands of faith
can allow us to touch the right chord.

copyright Elizabeth Padillo Olesen, January 1997)
Discovering
A Walk on the Snow

It feels cold inside
when people cannot break the stillness
when human tongues revolve
around cars, TV and food,
when the painful silence is deep deep
in the human heart.

I walk out of this coldness inside
away from the heating installations in the house, away from the speed and heat of a car.

I simply walk on the field
looking at the vast space of emptiness
treading on the snow, the snow
that has covered the grasses.

It gives me a deep sense of joy
that a walk to turn away from coldness inside
becomes a walk with the Lord.
I walk with God on the snow.
Cars pass me by
Houses stand in the stillness of their comforts.

I continue walking
until my exposed ears, hands and feet ache
I walk with God on the snow
and I understand why people fear the cold.

The Lord himself walks with me
on the snow and on the cold inside me
on the snow that covers the ground
on the snow that hurts and frightens.

But such a time of journeying
with God on the snow
becomes a cleansing and a healing
just as from the ground
the green will be reborn in spring.

copyright Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
1996, first year in Denmark
Experience of winter in Denmark

First Winter in Denmark

There is freshness in the air
as the snow falls to the ground
The ground sparkles in white
like a sea of sand.

Like the seashore with
the ebbing of tide, yes, the ground
turns into a beach to the eye.

The snow gathers in pile
and melts away at the spread of salt
and the rays of the shining sun.

There is freshness in the air
as winter comes
Though cold to the bone,
it brings the message
of antiseptic beginnings.

Let us embrace winter as it comes.

copyright Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

Overskrift 1

In the Heart of Everyone

 

In the heart of everyone

lives there a dream,

a dream to be given life,

a dream of what one hopes to be

in one`s own time -

in one`s own culture and community.

 

In the heart of everyone

sings there a melody,

a melody of freedom,

a song of justice,

the melody of joy

against all forms of bondage.

 

In the heart of everyone

sprouts there a seed of faith,

a seed broken by troubled times,

nurtured  by rain and sunshine

and passed on to the next generations

as guiding light for the feet of those

who walk on the dreary days and nights.

 

 

Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

April 16, 2007

 

On Women and Patriarchy

 

If our Societies Were Patriarchal

 

If our societies were patriarchal

If these were communities

Rooted by male power and dominance:

    Of kings, horses, chariots and wine

    Of rules, laws, statutes and big decisions

    Of male priests, bishops and popes

    In the altars of our churches,

 

How could these societies stand

As communities without women?

      Women to obey and harvest the vineyards

      Women to feed the animals and the babies

      Women to say “AMEN”

      to all male exhibitions and exhortations

      Women to let the altars shine in utter cleanliness?

 

If our societies were patriarchal

If these  communities were

Rooted by male power and dominance:

       Of male leaders in government seats

       Of top posts secured by men with high salaries

        Of agreements of unions and alliances between and

       Among countries signed by men in their shining suits?

 

How could these societies stand

As communities without women?

     Women who clean the tables and seats 
      with perfume and antiseptics

     Women who allow to receive lesser pay
      of the labour of their hands

     Women who keep the important documents
       for safe keeping

     Women who sew and iron crumpled clothes
       of men for feasts and celebrations

      Women who bow their heads, 
       accepting the iron hand of men?

       

Who could  withstand a society without women?

 

For indeed if these societies should be made

Into real communities,

Then the role of women

Should be looked into

In the light of the patriarchal hand

Of male power and dominance.

 

Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

April 16, 2007

 

Nepali woman 40x50 cm/akryl på lærred
Overskrift 1

When Cancer Eats Up the Body

Here comes again this pain,
this pulsating pain in my chest bones,
my back and my tummy,
this pain in the localized zones
in this, my temporal body.

Here comes again this pain,
this pain that wakes me up
from sleep in the middle of the nights,
this pain that greets me
when the sun comes up
and when the sun goes down.

Here comes again this pain,
this pain that brings me
eternity in time, this pain
that makes me treasure
every second and smile
at the length of years
that has passed by.

Here comes again this pain,
this  pain that casts out
the shadow of death over
this temporal body of mine.

O Lord, I don`t fear death
because I know that you are
all around me, to bear me
through the very end of time.

I don`t fear pain because
it makes me taste the sweetness
of eternity over the fragility
of this, my temporal body.

I only fear, Lord,
to die without finishing
to write my stories
I only dread to walk out
of this life, Lord,
without seeing the full bloom
of these four small children
you have entrusted into my hands.

Shine your face upon me
Breathe more life into my temporal body.

(Elizabeth Olesen, 200l)

Landmines and Amputees
Landmines and Amputees

From Angola to Cambodia
from Mozambique to Bosnia
we are the amputees, the living witness
to the ghosts of war.

Why are landmines planted
in the soil of our existence?
in our farms, in our parks
in our forests and playgrounds
in all the sacred corners
of our lives?

Why are they planted to betray our freedom
to take away our trust
in the soil of our existence,
to steal away our innocense and laughters
and to transform our days and years
into screams of pain and horror?

How many Dianas will come and visit us?
How many Ottawa Conventions should be signed?
How many Nobel Prize winners
should be named before our soil
of existence can be declared safety zones?
How many more wars should men
in the world create
to agonize our spirits and bodies?
Tragedy in the European Tunnels

Burning tunnels

 

In Switzerland and France

there springs  up the great pride

in the construction of tunnels

for speedy travels.

 

The secrets of the mountains

are being screwed into

by valiant boring machines

and the art of technological hands

is engraved on the walls

of the tunnels.

 

But smoke covers the beauty

of the tunnels

The toxins in the air

fill the lungs of the passengers

The screams of fear

exhausts the oxygen of hope.

 

And the beautiful tunnels

turn to be the grave of those

who seek for speedy travels.

 

Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

July 2007

Acrostic on JONAS

( A word given to the installed pastor of the Free Church, Kova in Kolding
  September 9, 2007)

J:  Justice for all in Jesus` name
O: ocean of love for all mankind
N. needs and vision to be shared so others can participate in
A:  attention for the life and ministry of the church of Christ
S: salutation of dawn to God`s grace through a life of prayer

Obama, Obama
Obama, Obama, Barack Obama

Obama, Obama, a title of struggle and hope
you- an immigrant, you-  a father, you -  a husband
and a citizen of the country you have settled into.

Obama, Obama, a name that is a stranger
a name of nobody, and yet have managed to be...
You the common man from a common family
have emerged to be a  great somebody.

Obama, Obama, the children recíte your name
Obama, Obama, the youth adore your tongue
Obama, Obama, the forgotten lay their hope.
The powerful stretch and  extend their hands.

Obama, Obama, be the person that you are.

EPO after the US election (2008)
Catch a Dream

Catch a Dream

 

Catch a dream in your mind

Nurture the dream in your heart

Share the dream with your loved ones.

 

Let the dream grow as a voyage

On the high seas, toyed with high waves

And yet seeking to freely float

Along with the strong currents .

 

Let this dream drift to a number

of directions until it finds

a secure home, the shore.

And  let  this dream be planted in

the shoreline of joy and hope.

 

Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

(written April 6, 2009)

TO BE ALIVE

TO BE ALIVE

It is to hear rhythmic melodies
in the breathing of your own lungs.
It is to marvel at the vast space
between earth and sky
It is finding yourself as simple dot
in the vastness of space
and yet with great importance
as the fingers of stars and moon
wink at your sleepy eyes,
as the generous sun
bathes your whole body
with pleasure and warmth.
It is watching the flowers
opening their petals of smiles.
It is listening to the laughing trees
beside you, purifying the toxic air
which enters into your lungs.
______________________
written, November 4, 2010, a form of greetings to you after my hospitalization at Vejle Hospital.

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20.09 | 13:16

I think I should also spend time writing poems in Danish. For quite a period of time, I have only concentrated on writing poems in English.

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08.03 | 09:55

Kære Elizabeth - du rørte mig med din tekst om at overleve gennem kunsten. Jeg kender det selv som en delvis fremmed med udenlandsk opvækst. Vi ses i Simonpete

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07.01 | 14:51

Fantastisk smuk hjemmeside.

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14.02 | 23:41

Super flort hjemmeside
jeg er hel vil ned dine hjemmeside :)

jeg har også selv en men det kun med tegninger :)
kig forbi og huske og skriv i GB lige som jeg gør nu :)

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