Brain Storm

A sound cloud erupts,
A rumbling nimbus
Raining syllables

Crashing symbols
Sound, with lightning striking,
Revealing sleight of hand
By a sly and tricky Sky King

Silvery trails
Of mercurial meaning
Coalescing,
Collecting,
In muddy puddles,
Dimly reflecting
Only what was expected.

Vision

QowAO4.jpg

I saw the sky on fire,
Orange flames glowing
Just behind the ash colored clouds.

Ancient portents ignited
By fiery wings of angels
Exploded soundlessly into the atmosphere,
Silencing the messengers.

Burned bodies of birds
Fell to earth,
Charred feathers adrift,
Wordless warnings lost.

And the great burning sphere,
Wheeling out into space,
Describes arcs of beginnings
And endings
And beginnings.
Each cycle in its turn
Appears, new to the eyes,
But known forever in the bones
Of the soul.

via Simplenote

Actions, Not Words

Last night one of the CNN anchors stated that with his speech last night, Trump became president, period. I respectfully disagree. A campaign speech does not a president make. A President is defined by actions, not words, and these two metrics remain far apart. For Trump to suddenly step over the very much lowered bar of expectations that he himself set is hardly cause for celebration.
Unity? Great. Unity, however, is not achieved by the daily propagation of blatant lies, nor is it served by rallying your supporters against your perceived enemies and critics.
Health care? Yes, changes are desperately needed. Tax credits and HSA accounts, while helpful for those with pretty good incomes and pretty good insurance, will do nothing for those who make difficult choices every month concerning which medications can be afforded and which ones can be neglected, and how severely this will impact the budget for other necessities. This is not a mythical scenario. And provisions in the ACA for expanded coverage–for pre-existing conditions and adult children–were NOT Republican ideas, contrary to statements made by some  members of Congress now wishing to take credit for them.
Education? Increased opportunities for better education for all children should be a standard goal. But when you put someone in charge of that goal who is completely unqualified and lacks even a basic command of the issues–even touting this week segregated schools as a shining example of choice–it’s not hard to see how the disconnect between words and actions will play out.
Nowhere is the glaring discrepancy between words and actions more pronounced than in the campaign math being bandied about. $20 billion walls? “Very special” healthcare for everyone? Sweeping infrastructure spending? AND tax cuts? Come on.
I hope that whoever crafted this speech for Trump will have the strength to hold him to the best of what was stated. Should that happen, should the lofty words translate into reality, I will gladly shut up. We’ll see.

She Persisted

via Lady Helena on Twitter: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, She Persisted. #letlizspeak https://t.co/Wo4L85WwiHI

I sent Sen. Mitch McConnell an email congratulating him on coming up with the single most effective meme–“She Persisted”–I can think of to galvanize American women to work to alter the regressive course Mitch and his buddies have plotted for our country. In using this dismissive phrase to justify telling his colleague, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, to essentially shut up and sit down, he immediately evokes the memory of generations of women (and thank God for them) who refused to be silenced, who persisted, who insisted on the rights of all women to be heard and to fully participate in society.  She Persisted?  Damn right she persisted.  We all need to persist, insist, resist.

The Peace of Wild Things

 

“THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS”
by Wendell Berry

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Why I Will March in Protest of the Inauguration of Donald Trump

Why I Will March In Protest of the Inauguration of Donald Trump

The majority of Americans (52%) did not vote for the man who will be inaugurated on January 20 and who will assume power not only in our nation but in the global arena as well. These Americans do not embrace Trump’s policies (or lack thereof), his crude, simplistic utterances that pass for ideas, or his appeals to the basest human instincts of hostility, vengeance and hatred. The foundation of his limited vision for America is the antithesis of the ideals our country was founded on–justice, equality, and individual freedom. These are the values that make America great–values that the majority of Americans, including many of those who voted for Trump, believe in.

America does not need to become great again. There is no lost golden age residing in our distant history, waiting to be resurrected. The ideals of our country, though not always perfectly implemented, are among the highest aims humanity can aspire to. The ongoing progress in more closely aligning our national policies with those ideals is where our country’s strength and greatness arise. It takes courage and honesty to be able to acknowledge the failures in our history in achieving the goals of that idealism, but that is what is required “in order to make a more perfect union”. This kind of national introspection is not evidence of weakness or capitulation to political correctness, but rather, it is what is essential to fuel necessary changes. The call for a return to a sentimental past that never existed, to an era where basic rights were denied to too many of our citizens, does not provide a path to greatness.

I’ve been told that protest marches are futile and meaningless. Maybe. I know that it will have no impact on the man who would be President. He is, after all, a busy man. There are upcoming episodes of SNL to deal with, out of control Broadway actors to reprimand, thank you cards to Putin to get out, powerful government positions to fill with incompetent and corrupt “deplorables” and innumerable hateful and delusional tweets to compose. And of course, that hair to arrange. I’ve been told that is unfair to judge him before he has had the opportunity to drive the country full speed into the abyss of his ego. But I plan to join my fellow citizens in a public effort to draw attention to the dangerous and destructive direction we are heading. Only a resolute resistance to the deliberate corrosion of what is best in this country will mitigate the damage that is surely coming if it is not opposed.

via Simplenote

Prisoner of My Own Device

Prisoner of My Own Device

Fugitive thoughts captured
In black and white
–The colors of a convict’s stripes–
Words imprisoned in the lines of a page,
Blackbirds in a mirrored cage,
I exchange their freedom for mine.

Words, sentenced to life,
Serve out their terms while
The illusion of liberation fades.
A victim of biology,
I peer endlessly
Through the bars of my skeletal frame.