Thoughts of Peace and Love on My 84th Birthday

by on April 18, 2022 · 9 comments

in From the Soul

by Ernie McCray

I appeared on the scene
on April 18
in 1938,
and when I reflect
on my 84 years
of aging
I can plainly see
a world today
that’s very much like yesterday.
Taking into account
that now we’re in a recession
rather than a depression.

Now it’s Covid-19
driving a debate
as to what to do
when back then it was how to act
during the Spanish Flu.

Now it’s Russia against the planet,
then it was World War II.

So much déjà vu
if I’m to tell the truth.

Leaves me with the feeling
that nothing much has changed,
but what I’ve seen over the years
tells me that nothing remains the same,
that much has changed,
but our minds are slow to change,
hesitant to assess what
we need for significant change
in how we think as a species,
not seeing our needs
at times like these
to honor the memories
of our great lovers
who taught us ways to relate to
each other:

MLK and his hope-inspiring-dream;
Gloria Steinem, introducing women in the scheme of things;
Harvey Milk rallying the aspirations
of gay men and women,
bigger-than-life icons
providing the spirit in which
we could come
to embrace principles
of peace and love,
a must for us today
if we’re to heal,
if we’re to overcome
a social media/fake news age
that highlights our shortcomings,
our hatreds and our rage,
allowing us to
belittle and label and
overly judge others by their past
and call each other “idiot”
just because our views happen to clash,
when we should be listening to each other more,
appreciating each other more,
understanding someone’s situation more
such as that underpaid woman
we yell at
at the retail store
who had nothing whatsoever to do
with the headache
caused by the bad purchase we made.

We need to cut her some slack
and wait patiently
to get our money back.

Well, such are the thoughts of
an 84-year-old
imagining a world he wants to see unfold,
a world that can’t be reached
without love and peace
at its core.

I sometimes wonder

what we’re waiting for.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie April 18, 2022 at 11:38 am

Happy birthday, mi amigo! I just scrolled through our archives and it appears you began writing regularly for the Rag in 2010 – wow! You can see more now than most people do who are much younger. Thank you for all your years of insightful perspectives and wonderful poetry.


Ernie McCray McCray April 18, 2022 at 4:19 pm

Thanks, Frank, for giving me a place to share the thoughts behind my face. You kept me alive with something to do when Nancy’s death had taken me to depths I didn’t know could reach so low.


Thomas Gayton April 18, 2022 at 6:18 pm

Muchisimas gracias for sharing your ageless wisdom with us.
My birthday was on April 11 when i turned 77. i hope and pray PEACE & LOVE prevails over fear & hate.


Ernie McCray McCray April 18, 2022 at 10:20 pm

Happy birthday, Tomas. One week exactly before mine.


THS David April 18, 2022 at 6:19 pm

Way to go Ernie… Born on Tax Day….. Ha Ha
Dave B


Glen Barfield April 18, 2022 at 7:30 pm

Aloha and Happy Birthday, Ernie. As usual you are right on. Keep saying like it is and your voice is truth in the universe. Aloha, Glen


Ernie McCray McCray April 18, 2022 at 10:21 pm

Thank you, amigo. Hope you’re doing well.


Gravitas April 19, 2022 at 9:44 am

Ernie: So much wisdom, kindness and history in a man so young! Thank you for just being you and sharing some light in these dark days.

May you have many more Happy Birthdays coming up!


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