Bring yourself, oh mortal, down
from strata high above,
perhaps we should remind you
that attention is not love;
It’s fine to think you’re welcome
here among us in our midst,
still, you might not care to hear
that you’re no better than the rest;
The boldness of your rally is
beyond what some can bear
while your brothers, sisters carry
all the stardust to your hair;
Let it twinkle deep inside you
so you know that you are blest,
while you eat and shit and suffer
in the galleys with the rest;
It gets lonely, I’d imagine,
you unable to decide
if those gathering around you
only jump on for the ride;
still, you yearn for fame and fortune
while the vacuum grows within
even thought at times you wonder
who’s the butterfly or pin;
On you ramble and you roll
exchanging favors for a smile,
and you know the jig gets hard
when you are dancing all the while;
never pausing, rarely stopping,
the insanity goes deep
and it fills you to the eyeballs
spreads like fungus on the creep;
Then the questions do provoke you
with self loathing and a jinx
when it strikes hard with a blight
you can’t endure like desert Sphinx;
that you’re drowning in delusion
feeling worthless to the core,
as your long-sought admiration
has reduced you to a whore;
Still, awash within the knowing
you’ll survive this, will endure
you await the dispensation
like some bounding, drooling cur;
let me say this with compassion
for your ignorance runs deep:
it’s time for pulling back the sword,
that journey is complete.
I worry in these times of tumultuous inequality,
masses awaiting what passes as wisdom,
poured liberally from the lips of the rich and famous
as if one’s financial status automatically confers erudition;
At the very least, living amidst the bizarre loosens folds
in grey matter focused on reaction over contemplation,
hypnotic numbness over long-term reflection, titillation
over absorption in the sweat-soaked trenches
of a technology-drenched deluge that,
like a flash-flood moving to channel the surge
before disappearing into a trickle, seeks
its inevitable end in the inane wasteland
of a desertified experiment in trial and terror.
It is the job of some to do the work for all.
This I understand.
Yet I am left wondering about too many,
eyes averted from the truth, blinking
like newborns at the brilliance of the sun,
backing away into the shadows, scheming.
How to take back our humanity, discovery
a personal thing, willingness being key;
participate in the collective, even
from the sidelines, but join in, rather
than turning away in futility;
Each arrives prepared to express uniqueness, yet
for whatever reason, a loss of heart ensues,
futility slips into cracks in well maintained veneer,
mistaken for what’s real; in the meantime, stuck
in the mire of illusion that it’s somebody else’s fault.
It’s easy to whine about annoyances – those circumstances or people that burden the mind with nagging urgency. Harder to cultivate reception when there’s so much confusion, coercion and outright deception filtering down from high places these days.
Politicians have always sugar-coated lies to help them slide down a bit better. But what is going on in this country just now is beyond my understanding. A Presidential election is two weeks away, and far too many are falling victim to hype instead of looking at the glaringly obvious facts: our fundamental rights as citizens and human beings are very much at stake. And we desperately need to shift to a new energy paradigm.
Maybe instead of becoming sidetracked by spin, we could be examining the issues and demanding the candidates address them. Yet the culpable are so worried about returning to the false comfort of a toxic status quo that they are ignoring the silver tongues jammed down their virtual throats.
What keeps us collectively plowing ahead as if greed were our birthright as American citizens? Have we forgotten the warning signs along the way; that actions are now reaping consequences; that democracy is, by its very definition, participatory; that our materialistic desires have infected an entire planet with our disease? Have too many of us lost our minds, if not our hearts?
Discovering joy in the midst of this kind of insanity can be challenging. But here’s the thing: I’ve got to settle inside my own skin. Only I know what is right for me at any given time, and sometimes, through no fault of my own, I am wrong, even when well intentioned.
Still, before November 6, I will be reviewing the candidates and the issues as best I am able (votesmart.org is one place I’ll explore). I will exercise my right to vote, because too many have suffered just to grant me that right. I can get as cynical as the next person about corporations running our government, but just in case it matters, I will go to the polls. And I will scream and I will shout and I will make a joyful noise without uttering a sound. I will do it with my left hand wrapped around a stub of pencil tied by string to a canvas booth just big enough for me. Me and that still-powerful instrument the ballot, that is.