On my daily walks I am beyond
The inexorable reach of headlines
Months ago I left Facebook and
Made a cheap vow to ignore the gridlock
In our sorrowful culture
But the screams and charges sneak through
Like the guilt of a favorite character
Who comes face to face with her own complicity;
When grief came – seeping in
Around the edges of her being –
The openings she is unable to conceal
Today, in my rented depression,
Grief dressed for battle and screaming
Hatred and death in the streets
Overworked and overlooked
Emotion — love.
Loving one another should be so easy, right?
Our hearts remain an
Barren, drought-stricken stretches
Of leather bent on
Destroying that which we
We all are simply the people we’d like to think we are –
We measure our goodness by what we
Where we don’t
Who we don’t
And we fight inscrutable, defensive battles
All in service to the ego
Unable to acknowledge
The alchemy of delusion
Eleven score and nine years ago this country’s fathers, brought forth on this land a new nation. A nation that aspired to the grandness of liberty, and claimed dedication to the dignity that resides in the phrase; all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation can endure the strength in that phrase. Our cities are met on the great battlefield of this uncivil war and have become the final resting place for those lives that have been lost, stolen, or strayed. Today, Thanksgiving 2014, makes it fitting and proper that we should acknowledge this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate – we cannot consecrate – we cannot hallow – the grounds of these cities. This ground has already been hallowed by the deferred dreams, dust, and blood of immigrants, slaves, and the offspring of both. They have been hallowed by the hue of want and cries from the soul that reaches blindly for the tattered documents that tell them they are equal even as they fight the forces that tell them they are not.
The world will little note what is said here but it can never forget the root of what has taken place here. It is not just that we label one force good and one force evil. The great task remaining before us is not to honor the burnt-out shells of greed and evil. Rather we should honor burnt-out, naked shells of women, men, and their children who simply long to wear the warm cloak of respect.
No fairness resides in a soul that worships a system that creates the condition for evil to exist. Equality cannot remain some distant Latin obscured in various versions of personal Gods. Today, of all days, and of the days going forward, we are highly resolved that those dead, lost, and stolen, have not died or suffered in vain – that this nation under the flag of humanity acknowledges that we cannot ignore in others the behavior we will not tolerate in ourselves. We must commit to a rebirth of the old struggle for Love, Peace and Happiness – in doing so humanity will not perish from the earth.
Peace today and always,