Posts Tagged ‘The Token Rose’

“The Token Rose”, a plea for tolerance.

March 6, 2018

backyard 6

The Token Rose

Outside it is cold,
No leaves flutter
In bitter winds,
No birdsong to
Sweeten the air,
Just the Token rose
Trembling in fierce gusts
Howling round the eaves.

Too early this spring,
This rose started to bloom,
A miracle of season,
A miracle of mercy.

Named for a woman
Who died by her own hand,
A hand forced by ignorance
Intolerance
Isolation, and
No Mercy.

Ah, we are so hard on those
We say we love,
We are lacking in compassion
To those who march out of step,
Those who don’t believe as we do,
And then we hide from
What we have wrought,
Uneasy but still righteous.

If there is any hint of shame
We bury it deep as deep as the grave
She now lies in.

The Token Rose flutters in the cold.
Pearly white tinged with pink
Catches the feeble sunlight
And waves a forgiveness
That we, hardened of heart,
Do not deserve.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2014-2018, because intolerance and hatred doesn’t have a specific date.

Token was a woman in an in law’s family who turned lesbian to the shock and dismay of her family, etc.  She blew her brains out while talking to these folk on the phone.  This was decades ago, but the horror of ‘Christian’ intolerance still shocks.  Fundamentalism leads to death  within any religion.  These people want to be called ‘early Christian’ but to me and many others, they are shock troops of Evil.

Regardless Token’s sexuality, she deserved better. When will our intolerance and ignorance abate?  Apparently never.

And….I transplanted this 20 year old rose bush to the new rose garden in the back last fall, as it was ailing.  Today I saw huge rose buds and such wonderful, green foliage.  Token lives on and I am grateful.  She will always live for me in this rose bush.

“The Token Rose”, a plea for love and tolerance.

February 1, 2017

 

The Token Rose

 

Outside it is cold.

No leaves flutter

In bitter winds,

No birdsong to

Sweeten the air,

Just the Token rose

Trembling in fierce gusts

Howling round eaves.

 

This rose started to bloom

Too early this spring,

A miracle of season,

A miracle of mercy.

 

Named for a woman

Who died by her  hand,

A hand forced by ignorance

Intolerance

Isolation–

No Mercy.

 

We are so hard on those

We say we love,

We lack  compassion

To those who march

out… of… step.

Those who don’t believe

as we do,

Then we hide from

What we have wrought,

Uneasy but still righteous.

 

If there is a hint of shame

We bury it deep as the grave

She now lies.

 

The Token Rose flutters in the cold.

A pearly white

Catches the feeble sunlight

And waves a forgiveness

That we, hardened of heart,

Do not deserve.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014-2017

At the beginning of the year, I post this poem in tribute to Token, a woman I knew a long time ago. She, a minister’s wife, with two small daughters, believed she was a lesbian and left her family.  She suffered harassment and intolerance, little compassion from those around her.   She came to the end of her rope after about a year, and while talking on the phone to relatives, shot herself in the head and died.

I don’t know what those involved felt. Was there any guilt or remorse? These people considered themselves “Christian”.   They still do.

Faced with the issue of unconditional love, this isn’t of Christ. I struggle with this issue of unconditional love myself.  I don’t know if I can ‘love’ those who take such judgement into their own hands and a woman dies.  How do you love such people? How do you love anyone who threatens your life?  Token  was a woman who went against something  she could not bear.  Right or wrong, she deserves our love and compassion.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Token Rose”, a plea for compassion and tolerance.

January 23, 2014

The Token Rose

Outside it is cold,

No leaves flutter

In bitter winds,

No birdsong to

Sweeten the air,

Just the Token rose

Trembling in fierce gusts

Howling round the eaves.

Right before Xmas,

This rose started to bloom,

A miracle of Winter,

A miracle of mercy.

Named for a woman

Who died by her own hand,

A hand forced by ignorance

Intolerance

Isolation, and

No Mercy.

Ah, we are so hard on those

We say we love,

We are lacking in compassion

To those who march out of step,

Those who don’t believe as we do,

And then we hide from

What we have wrought,

Uneasy but still righteous.

If there is any hint of shame

We bury it deep as deep as the grave

She now lies in.

The Token Rose flutters in the cold.

Pearly white tinged with pink

Catches the feeble sunlight

And waves a forgiveness

That we, hardened of heart,

Do not deserve.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014

– Many years ago, Token killed herself, a victim of religious intolerance.  I have planted a rose, called The Token Rose, to remind me of her and her spirit.  Most of all to call me to kindness and compassion.


%d bloggers like this: