Sunday, August 29, 2021

Crazy Apes - A Tribute to Albert Szent Gyorgyi

 Young fighters

erstwhile warriors

prepared to explode

their body parts into

organic confetti

taking hundreds with them

to death’s crematorium

for glory

for god

for fruitless revenge

for retribution

for nonsensical beliefs.


Colonialists

with daydreams of empire

and untold fortunes

dancing in their heads,

strap weapons of destruction

to their merciless portfolios

of greed,

politics like a game of marbles

played with abandon

upon our earthly globe,

ignoring the ultimate reality

of victorious death,

we depart with nothing

no matter how filled our coffers,

regardless of all the possible satisfactions of

physical delights,

we depart from the living

much like when first expelled from

mother’s luxuriant womb

with nothing except

what is required to fill our lungs

with the very first breath and

bodies to sustain us.

 

Crazy Apes

have filled their precious brains

with ideas of endless and relentless

prosperity,

that if fulfilled

with come to naught,

yet the dance continues

to the incessant beat

within the fantastic dream of

having it all,

yet the idea of cheating death

in some extraordinary journey that

will carry us beyond the finality of the grave

to an eternity where all the physical laws

fall away like some annoying and burdensome baggage,

our airy souls can then surpass the very

essence of time and space.

 

Crazy Apes

sustain themselves

upon a bedrock of  twisted concepts,

beliefs exquisitely drawn from

erroneous conclusions,

that lead to nowhere and

suggest a world that

can no longer contain them.

 

Crazy Apes

nearly eight billion strong,

sucking great gobs of matter

from the earth

without benevolence or

sensible feelings of dread,

expelling poisons carelssly into

precious air,

draining the oceans dry of

precious life,

sacrificing exquisite beauty of wild

transformative earth

with mountains of trash,

living on the home planet

as if it was not responsible for

our continued existence.

 

Crazy Apes

with a world deperately in need of mending

problems mounting,

disaster looming,

doom approaching,

more content to annhilate

each other

over trivial concerns

than join together to

choose harmony instead

when harmony is so critically needed.

 

Crazy Apes

Thursday, August 5, 2021

The Grand Illusion

There is no superhero

roaming the cosmos

balancing the cataclysmic forces

in limitless space for our

precise and mutual benefit .

 

There is no wondrous savior

ready to descend into the

human firmament

to rescue humanity from its own

reckless behavior.

 

There is no grand

all-encompassing master plan,

no magnificent paradise

engineered for the truly saved,

no other-worldly place

of eternal succor,

no fiendish caldron of

suffering and damnation,

no transcendent peace or place of

infinite interminable suffering.

 

There is an insatiable quiet

within the molecular void of

empty space,

there is an inspired chorus of

galaxies in riotous collision,

black holes that bend light into

utter darkness.

  

We are transient time travelers

marooned on spaceship earth,

moving through the generations

hapless and alone,

magnificent yet fragile,

blessed yet beseiged by

aching and profound consciousness.

 

Life is ours to fathom

within all its

fabulous and alluring

manifestations.

 

Life is ours to experience

own up to and

embrace.

 

No heavenly guidance,

no celestial validation,

no prophets that will descend

from lofty perches,

there is no rapture,

there is no escape.

 

Life is ours to comprehend

or neglect,

life is ours to appreciate

or discard,

life is ours to enhance

or abuse,

choice lies within

not held hostage in

some remote and distant

otherness.

 

Whether we persist

or descend into our own

particular and disastrous conclusion,

time unfolds,

the universe endures,

existence prevails within the

scope of the ever-present moment.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Four Hundred Years

 

400 Years

Four Hundred Years

ago

human beings,

stolen from their home,

from their kinships,

from the beauty of their world,

from their families,

their lovers,

their children.

 

Four Hundred Years

ago

human beings

piled into the holds of ships,

shackled  and abused,

barely able to move

stripped of their humanity,

denied their freedom,

humiliated,

often drowned.

 

Four Hundred Years

ago

humans beings

treated somehow

less than human,

like expendable chattel,

like mere property,

disposable, exploited, murdered

with impunity, with indifference,

with carefree and deadly violence.

 


 

Four Hundred years

from then until now

intervening decades

this insidious poison

spread through the generations

periodic massacres of innocents,

near genocide of

native americans

treated as nameless obstacles

to colonization and conquest,

bloodbath that was the civil war

hundreds of thousands of bodies

left dead on forsaken battlegrounds

twisted and mutilated wreckage

forged from an erroneous notion

of supremacy based

not on merit

not on reason or logic

nor justice

but on accidental whiteness

now faithfully eulogized and

solemnly remembered,

blight and contagion spread to other

hapless victims

Chinese

Japanese,

Hispanics,

Muslims,

Human beings mostly of color,

of difference

in outlook

in custom

in dress

in persuasion,

their collective sin

their unforgiveable inequity

the nature of their threat

to be born with

non-whiteness,

with gradations of darkness

no matter how slight

no matter how innocuous,

this overweening falsity that

forged so much carnage

that ushered in Jim Crow,

that gave birth to the

Ku Klux Klan and the

NRA and

Tea Party politicians

inevitably spread to other lands

under the guise of foreign policy

national defense

beneath the umbrella of justifiable wars

leaving millions upon millions dead

immense carnage

and grief

Korean and Vietnamese and Iraqi

and Afghani and Mexican and Filipino

mothers to grieve for their children

their elders

their families.

 

Four Hundred Years

and yet

this unspeakable terror,

this fearsome and unimagined horror

still persists,

some human beings using

power and wealth

to dehumanize others

based upon the color of their skin

and yet

mindless bigotry, hatred and

violence still

plague this nation

even in the twenty-first century

with all that science teaches,

with all that we know,

yet senseless prejudice is

sustained and nurtured

in spite of all that logic and reason dictate,

in spite of all that we understand as truth.

 

For Four Hundred Years

In spite of all that we know,

the killing goes on,

mothers continue to grieve,

justice is denied

unnecessary suffering roars through the land

in a hurricane of grief,

those who live on stolen lands

arm themselves

preparing for a conflagration

that they cannot possibly control,

those who possess inordinate wealth

callous to the suffering

indifferent to the injustice

refuse to relent in their insatiable greed,

this poison passed around in giant goblets

that touch the lips and infest

hearts and minds

with pure nonsense.

 

It has been Four Hundred Years,

It needs to stop,

this moribund and

dangerous idea of superiority

based upon  the fallacy called race,

needs to be extinguished once and for all

not by the power of intimidation,

not by violence,

not by fiat

but simply and resolutely

through a transformation of ideas,

it is up to the people of this wondrous land

to teach the children and ourselves

what is fundamentally the truth

that we are all members of the same species

Homo sapiens

we share the same architecture

of body and mind,

the same panoply of

emotions and desires

the same capacity for love,

for reason and harmony

for logic and intellect,

for imagination and

creativity, inventiveness and

for art,

each and everyone of this

family of human beings

deserving of  equal measures of

social and economic justice,

equal access to health care

to shelter

to nutrition

opportunity to thrive and to prosper,

to learn and to grow

without any fear of reprisal or

bigotry or baseless retribution,

all worthy of the love that mothers

naturally give,

of being embraced and included

without hesitation or reluctance

or trepidation

within the all encompassing arms of the

human family.

 

After Four Hundred Years

is this

really too much to ask for?

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Lightness of Being

 


Dance of the mayfly,

storm of fire ants

beneath the jungle canopy,

thundering herds of wildebeests

across the serengeti,

bones of a stegosaurus

millions of years deceased

in some faraway world

on earth’s perpetual sojourn

around its parent star,

human journey through time

illustrious home of earth

generation upon generation

stretching from tortuous past

into an uncertain future,

star going nova within the

expansive cosmos

engulfing its planets in a

momentous release of enormous energy,

owl beckoning for the

fall of night

to awaken its predatory spirit,

mothers in labor all over the

this wondrous world

on the same day,

destined to perpetuate the species.

 

Life transient

Impermanent

like the passing breath,

like a singular beat of the heart,

gift of existence

exquisitely present,

surprisingly brilliant,

intensely felt,

momentary,

often blinding,

unsettling,

full of sadness

and poignancy

and joy.

 

Life bonded

to emotions,

forged by love,

grounded in consciousness,

imbedded in now,

shaped by myriad experiences,

haunted by shades of past and

shadows of future.

 

Yet, there is an

Intrinsic lightness to being,

that embraces the present,

created and extinguished

moment to moment

within the indefatigable

arc of time.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Holiday Message for the Coming Year - 2021

 The year 2020 has been in many ways disturbing and unsettling.  What, of course, comes to mind almost immediately is the COVID 19 pandemic that has claimed so many lives and has been so economically devastating to many facets of the national economy, and especially for those who have lost their livelihoods and businesses.  Added to this national burden are the deep fractures that have been exposed in regard to a national sense of unity, shared-mission and purpose.

Along with this overwhelming sense of loss, however, is the untold bravery, courage and unwavering energy displayed by so many who have risked their own lives and safety to come to the aid of all of us for the unselfish commitment to the greater good.  These individuals have come from many diverse positions - as doctors, nurses, emergency response teams, members of the police and fire departments and first responders of all kinds.  To this list, we should include all those responsible for providing food; for delivering the mail; for the taxi and bus drivers, train operators and pilots; for the teachers; for all those who care for the elderly and for all those who provide the essential services that we all too often take for granted.

My wish for the New Year (2021) is that we grow wiser from the events that have befallen us and see the future as a time for healing and learning from our collective missteps.  My hope is that the new year will be a time of new beginnings.  My dream is that we will finally come to recognize that regardless of our national origin, religious affiliation, skin color or sexual orientation we are all members of the same species with the same physical bodies, the same architecture of the brain, the same genetic makeup, the same constellation of feelings, of hopes and of dreams.  Each of us is worthy of the same opportunities to grow and develop as sentient beings on this most remarkable planet that also needs our kindness, care, and attention.  Earth is, after all, our only home.

Best Wishes to All

Thursday, August 27, 2020

America 2020

 

America 2020

The national leader

towering epitome of

crazed ambition,

pitiful ignorance

remarkable stupidity,

a hollowed-out spirit

directing a vast army of

the walking dead

with a cacophony of lies and

intentioned misdirections.

 

America 2020

vast homeland

marooned on a ruderless ship

bound for perdition,

blind to the truths

that lie about like

deserted corpses,

blind to its own endemic racism,

its xenophobia,

its homeless and dispossessed,

blind to its blood-soaked history

leaving the insidious remanants of holocausts

around the globe,

blind to its hatreds

its relentless and perpetual violence,

blind to the tattered fabric of its

own brutish past,

blind to the scorched and beleagured planet,

blind to the magnificent beauty of

its very homeland

filled with such wondrous diversity.

 

America 2020

land of the walking dead

fluent in endless praise

of their great country

that they proclaim with

supposed love and reverence,

yet perversity reigns

as poisons are injected with

haphazard indifference into

the sky and water and soil,

as the automobile is held sacred,

oil valued more that the future,

science held suspect

and the health and safety

of the next generations

discarded like an old and battered

pair of jeans.

 

America 2020

citizenry armed and dangerous

the gun  a tool of vigilanty justice

beneath the shadow of the noose

where the spirits of all of those

black souls hung and mutilated

scream out at us as a reminder

of our collective decadence,

law and order the mantra

spoken with eloquence

on the trash heap of battered justice,

prisons filled with the poor and

people of color,

prison cheap labor abudant,

lives emptied of meaning

among the denizens of captivity.

 

America 2020

homeless everywhere,

children with hungry demeanor

plague the streets,

poor and the destitute

queueing up at foodbanks,

bivouaced on parkbenches,

convening makeshift alliances at

bus stations and subway platforms,

crumbs dispensed with fanfare

from lavish banquets where

deals are made

and wealth assured for those

with profit running through their bloodstream.

 

America 2020

nation of sleepwalkers

oblivious to the reality all around them

to the incessant beauty of the

human world,

to the cosmos,

to the striking wonders of the

natural world,

to all the needless suffering,

oblivious to the inherent precious and

transient nature of passing time.

 

America 2020

standing at the abyss

ready to make the plunge

into the swirling vortex of

its own cumulative past,

ready to consign reason

to the graveyard,

ready to dissolve into the chaos

of violence and needless destruction,

ready to surrender freedom to the

vagaries and madness of senseless authority,

ready to consign an extraordinary experiment

that was America into

the unforgiving graveyard and

the future to desolation and regret.