Poems of Love, Hope and Peace

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Show of A Lifetime (nature)

In spring, rhododendrons

offer us alluring red and cream buds,

display their splendor.

Buds open, petals slowly blossom

to greet the world and

put on the show of their lifetime.

Then we watch them prepare to depart.

They tease and slowly strip

under the sun shriveling gaze

as they steal away,

drop shrinking petal upon petal

onto stems, branches,

and a cushioned bed of leaves.

I relive their grandeur again and again

on my memory’s wall,

and in countless photos taken.

I relive this show of a lifetime,

season after season.

© Althea Romeo-Mark. 2021

The Selflessness That is Peace

Peace is a coveted prize

that test our will.

It is a challenge to which

all humans should rise.

Peace is not an abstract notion.

We cross mountains, traverse deserts,

sail treacherous oceans, climb walls,

break norms and barriers

in search of its universal call.

There is no peace

in the absence of freedom.

Without it, there is turmoil,

a selfish existence

from which all should recoil.

Peace demands sacrifice.

It asks that we be selfless in its seeking.

© Althea Romeo Mark 2021

Pillar of Salt

(On loving, losing and moving on)

I have taught myself

not to look back at lost loves,

not to dwell on pain,

not to cling to the past.

not to succumb to

dark clouds crossing my moon.

I have learned that lesson

from Sarah, the wife of Lot,

who dwelled on

what she thought she’d lost.

Do not become a pillar of salt.*

Note:The Bible mentions that Sodom and Gomorrah were purified with salt. Sinners were changed into pillars of salt and we can send off evil and deter unwanted strangers by spreading salt. 2. Salt was used as medium of punishment. One of the people who was turned to a pillar of salt was Lot’s wife.

© Althea Romeo Mark 2021

Born in Antigua, West Indies, Althea Romeo-Mark is an educator and internationally published writer who grew up in the US Virgin Islands and lived and taught in the USA, UK, and Liberia (West Africa). She now lives in Switzerland. Her last poetry collection, The Nakedness of New, was published in 2018. She has participated in Literary conferences in the Caribbean and in International Poetry Festivals in Romania, Kenya and in Colombia. Some recently published works include Personal Essay, “Sunrise in the Afternoon”; Second Impression of Grandfather,” published in Fragua de preces, published by Abra Cultural, Spain, 2020 and Poems, “The Returned,” “Photoshoot,” “Guayaberra,” “Pockets Empty, Head full of Stories,” and the short story, “The Remnant,” published in The Caribbean Writer, vol. 34, 2020.

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