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“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10a
I see a river, as it dives from the cliff,
feel its spray on my cheeks, my white, aging
chin. I taste the river’s sweetness.
I see a river whose shores hold the answer.
I see the sweat and the blood, as they river
on the back of a dark, black slave.
I hear the beat of a slave mother’s heart,
beneath the hot noonday sun. I hear the beat
of the feet of the Cherokee brave,
running through the dark green forest.
I smell the smoke from the great chieftain’s pipe,
offered in the forest stillness, in peace.
Jesus Is Persecuted
Jesus, the favorite Child of God, is persecuted. He who is poor, gentle, mourning; he who hungers and thirsts for uprightness; is merciful, pure of heart and a peacemaker is not welcome in this world. The Blessed One of God is a threat to the established order and a source of constant irritation to those who consider themselves the rulers of this world. Without his accusing anyone he is considered an accuser, without his condemning anyone he makes people feel guilty and ashamed, without his judging anyone those who see him feel judged. In their eyes, he cannot be tolerated and needs to be destroyed, because letting him be seems like a confession of guilt.
When we want to become like Jesus, we cannot expect always to be liked and admired. We have to be prepared to be rejected.
I sit in my chair—day after day—
and look out the window into the yard.
I imagine I belong here.
A house is visible behind the right of way,
flagpole installed. I hate that house,
and sometimes, when it disappears in the fog,
pretend it isn’t there.
But this morning the yard was white with snow.
And when the brown grass
emerged from its hiding like a flag newly un-furled,
the house snickered at me. “Over here,” it said,
hoping for eye-contact,
declaring out loud its un-patulous right to be.
Tell a wise person, or else keep silent,
because the mass man will mock it right away.
I praise what is truly alive,
what longs to be burned to death.
In the calm water of the love-nights,
where you were begotten, where you have begotten,
a strange feeling comes over you,
when you see the silent candle burning.
Now you are no longer caught in the obsession with darkness,
and a desire for higher love-making sweeps you upward.
Distance does not make you falter.
Now, arriving in magic, flying,
and finally, insane for the light,
you are the butterfly and you are gone.
And so long as you haven't experienced this: to die and so to grow,
you are only a troubled guest on the dark earth.
Translated from the German by Robert Bly
"Americans hold strong and conflicting views about immigration that underscore the difficulties Congress will face in reaching a final legislative deal on the issue, an analysis of USA TODAY polling data shows"
The hard-liners think removal would help the economy.
The unconcerned are not worried about the issue.
The ambivilent are unsure as to whether they should stay or go.
The welcoming are the most symathetic group.
The groups are NOt formed along party lines.
Too bad everyone's view seems to be based on economics, rather than concern for human life.
Jesus Is a Peacemaker
Jesus, the Blessed Child of the Father, is a peacemaker. His peace doesn't mean only absence of war. It is not simply harmony or equilibrium. His peace is the fullness of well-being, gratuitously given by God. Jesus says, "Peace I leave to you, my own peace I give you, a peace which the world cannot give, this is my gift to you" (John 14:27).
Peace is Shalom — well-being of mind, heart, and body, individually and communally. It can exist in the midst of a war-torn world, even in the midst of unresolved problems and increasing human conflicts. Jesus made that peace by giving his life for his brothers and sisters. This is no easy peace, but it is everlasting and it comes from God. Are we willing to give our lives in the service of peace?
Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.
—Martin Luther King Jr. February 4, 1968
With our eyes on humanity—not the prize—
we may say, the savior is not coming,
truth looks untrue.
And yet there is joy in the waiting
for the redemption that will come
to those who suffer in the service of the Lord.
Coretta Scott King died
on the day of the President’s speech,
and once again the sky looks gray—
like the day the bullet took her
famous husband down—
now with sibling fighting sibling.
When the bomb hit the porch in Montgomery,
Coretta cuddled an infant Yolanda.
And then Martin, whose cause was our own,
came home from the meeting
to calm the crowd with words of peace
that no movement had yet proven.
first published in TimBookTu
from the article "Liberals. Language, and Racism" by Tom Glennon
1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was
time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was ruled invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the two doors to close them.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) After a number of injections my jaw got number.
19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
I have two poems in Right Hand Pointing Issue 11, which is now online, ahead of schedule. Editor Dale Wisely says that "knowledge that something [i]s actually ahead of schedule alters [one's] aesthetic experience." Dale says things like that. And he publishes lots of my poems.
The poems pubished in this issue, "The Deceit of Darkness" and "Southern Window," are from a work-in-progress that blurs the distictions between prayer, dreams (daydreams and night dreams) and memories. More poems (and links to poems) from this project from which my blog takes its name will appear on this blog from time to time.
Jesus Hungers and Thirsts for Uprightness
Jesus, the Blessed Son of God, hungers and thirsts for uprightness. He abhors injustice. He resists those who try to gather wealth and influence by oppression and exploitation. His whole being yearns for people to treat one another as brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of the same God.
With fervor he proclaims that the way to the Kingdom is not saying many prayers or offering many sacrifices but in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting the sick and the prisoners (see Matthew 25:31-46). He longs for a just world. He wants us to live with the same hunger and thirst.