Nightmare Ends in New Day Dawning

We have cried now for those who’ve died, but then we saw dreams walking

And then we heard hope talking, and watched new-found peace dawning

On the day of restoration after insurrection and so many years of frustration

Now we choose to make this home our home again as an invaluable treasure

To measure with vigilant care never sleeping, always keeping watch

Yes, the dark night has ended, by the light and grace of God, a new day dawning

With daunting challenges, yet with no more savage malic in high places

This is our day and time of hopeful anticipation, courageous dedication

Of holy purgation, and glorious acclamation with no condemnation

Yes, we’ve cried, but the nightmare is over, our dreams have been awakened

That Day Comes

That day comes when love wins over hate, light begins to shine in darkness,

When goodness triumphs ore the bad, and gloom and sadness disappear

From the heart of humanity, and reason drives out all wrecking insanity,

And this day we work toward that so that day will, indeed, come to succeed,

And we cannot grow weary, frightened, or dismayed but advance with cheer

And determination in reclamation of our collective salvation . . . this day,

Then that day will surely come when love wins over hate, light ore darkness,

When the final fight is won, and faith, peace and goodness reign supreme

Insurrection in America

Cancerous attempts to rid disease by infection with contempt and disconnection,

Trying to drive out light by the darkest of means, frightening with the obscene,

Overturning stability, peace and tranquility all for the fragility of one man’s ego,

Tearing down, destroying, decimating rather than capitulating to what is right,

And driven by so much fear … Can you hear their cries?

Their world is evaporating, self-annihilating, so they’re aggravating and agitating,

Led by an irrational, soulless man in want of national idolization and acclamation,

And, oh say, can you see that star spangled banner flying so free? How long will it be?

On Trying to ‘Trump’ Reality

It was an undeniably bitter defeat for someone who has said so many times that he does not like “losers” and, accordingly, has disparaged his opponents by calling them “losers,” along with many other pejorative names and remarks, but . . . he lost. Period. Donald Trump truthfully and legally lost his bid for reelection. He has yet to accept this fact, which is beyond realistic dispute.

When at the height of the Vietnam War the Republican candidate, Barry Goldwater, lost his bid for the White House to Lyndon Johnson, who scored a landslide victory, he accepted the outcome, congratulated his opponent, and promised his continued prayers for and service to this country. Goldwater truly understood constitutional, representative democracy and he respected it.

The same can be said for the Democrat candidates, Hubert Humphry and George McGovern, who both lost to Nixon. And mentioning Richard Nixon, he voluntarily resigned from office for the good and, specifically, the unity of the country. Humphry, McGovern, and even Nixon truly understood constitutional, representative democracy and they respected it.

The Ex-Presidents Club

And, yes, the same can be said for Republican Gerald Ford and Democrat James E. Carter, who lost the presidential race to Ronald Reagan. Even in the controversial 2000 election, Vice-President and Democrat nominee, Al Gore, eventually conceded the race to George W. Bush, assuring him of his prayers and support, and wishing him well. He understood constitutional, representative democracy and he respected it.

So, too, the American people, or at least most, but not Donald Trump, and so now he constitutes the one greatest threat to our system of governance. Trump currently poses the greatest threat to democracy, yet in this his true colors are showing. There is no evidence of voter fraud or, more generally speaking, a corrupted election, and this is something even conservative, Republican-appointed judges have said from the bench.

The U. S. Supreme Court is currently comprised of six conservative justices, three of whom were appointed by Trump himself, and three liberal justices, yet even these justices have unanimously knocked down two attempts at overturning the legal results of Election 2020. Yes, even Trump’s own appointees have ruled against allegations of voter fraud and election corruption!

The fact of the matter is, the 2020 election was free, fair, legal and level. Period. It is far past time for Donald Trump to accept this, but he will not, and he will not back down. After four years of witnessing just how he operates — what makes him tick, how he acts and reacts, his motivations and (seeming) fears — no one should expect him to act reasonably and out of any genuine concern for the country.

This being the case, it’s up to the rest of us to put the election behind us, at least as much as possible, and congratulate Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris, promising them our prayers and support, while also (hopefully!) putting these last horrific four years behind us. This is imperative, because quite honestly, our country is undergoing an extreme (but ultimately good?) transformation.

It is this current, ongoing, sociopolitical-cultural transformation that has birthed nearly tangible fear in the hearts and minds of so many millions of Americans . . . mostly conservative, traditionalist, Caucasians, who pine for the “good ole days” when the United States was unquestionably ruled by white males (with, perhaps, a few women, too.) They long for bygone days of white, “Christian,” supremacy, to tell the truth.

The country is going through transformation anyway, despite their wicked longings and unreasonable fears, so that America is changing right before our very eyes. We are really and truly growing and maturing into a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, socio-politically and religiously varied society. We will no longer be the America of “I Like Ike,” and “I Love Lucy,” mostly white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPs).

The dawning of an altogether new era actually began in earnest in 2008, with the election of Barak Obama. In 2016, after eight years, came the militant reaction to this transformation. It was almost instinctive, certainly expected, and quite visceral. It was, along with the tens of millions who voted for Trump this year, the gasping breath of a dying corpse of white, Protestant “Christian” (and white, conservative Catholic) privilege.

So, yes, congratulations to Biden and Harris. May as many of us, who are ready and willing to be reasonable, respectful and peaceful, commit ourselves to prayer for and support of our country, government at every level, and above all our fellow citizens. We cannot wait for those who simply refuse to even acknowledge reality as reality. We must lock arm, join hands, and simply march forward together . . . as one.

America, Land of Confusion

Meant to create, we dismember to satiate our insatiable appetites,

And the time we have been given is enlivened by the death we bring,

And we sing songs for flags wrapped round men of boundless egos,

Thinking we’re vigilant without blinking in the night of our own horror,

Looking for the restorer in the very one who has torn down all walls

Of decency, character and integrity with an unmitigated insincerity,

And so what should we expect now but confusion, exclusion, illusion

In profusion of ideas of revolution justified only by blatant falsification?

Is this what we have become now in the homeland of the free and brave?

President, Politics & Principled Religion

On Christianity, Other Religions, Excusing Trump, and Basic Goodness

The Lord Jesus Christ was very clear that personal character and integrity are vitally important, and that one’s character, for good or bad, will plainly show in how they live out their lives on a daily basis and especially in what “grows” out from their lives:

The good person brings good things out of a good treasure, and the evil person brings evil things out of an evil treasure… for the tree is known by its fruit. I tell you, on the day of judgement you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.’ (Matthew 12. 33, 35 – 37)

So there is simply no justification for any Christian to excuse evil and wickedness, even if the perpetrator of such wickedness is somehow, to some extent benefiting them. Sin is sin, and evil is evil, and Christians are responsible before God to recognize such, and to “call a spade a spade.” Period. To do otherwise is in itself an abomination to the Lord.

ProphetIsaiahThe holy Scriptures of Judeo-Christianity are abundantly clear in God’s indictment of those who call good evil and evil good, of those who wink at sin and try to justify wickedness. Consider just one of the many proverbs of wise Solomon: “One who justifies the wicked and one who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord.” (Proverbs 17.15) However, it is, perhaps, the warning of the Prophet Isaiah that strikes the deepest and most poignantly:

Ah, you who drag iniquity along with cords of falsehood, who drag sin along as with cart-ropes… Ah, you who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Ah, you who are wise in your own eyes, and shrewd in your own sight! Ah, you who are heroes in drinking wine and valiant at mixing drink, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of their rights! Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble, and as dry grass sinks down in the flame, so their root will become rotten, and their blossom go up like dust; for they have rejected the instruction of the Lord of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 5.18, 20 – 24)

Of course, the Prophet Malachi was equally clear, if not quite as provocative, yet his particular warning is quite appropriate for professing Christians who continue to blindly support Donald Trump and defend his ongoing, multifarious acts of vile wickedness:

You have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet you say, ‘How have we wearied him?’ By saying, ‘All who do evil are good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.’ (Malachi 2. 17)

And this is precisely where so many white, evangelical Protestants, as well as white, conservative Catholics, find themselves today. Not only do they continue to unabashedly support Trump and defend him, they actually go the extra mile in claiming Trump and his words and actions are “good in the sight of the Lord.” And there simply is no question regarding the eventual fate of such pretended-believers, pseudo-Christians: “Their root will become rotten, and their blossom go up like dust.”

Of course, Trump claims to be Christian, yet he seems not to be familiar with the several re warning in God’s holy Word about lying, deceit, treachery, self-aggrandizement and so much more. Such as the sharp warning given by David in the 52nd Psalm:

You are plotting destruction. Your tongue is like a sharp razor, you worker of treachery. You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking the truth. You love all words that devour, O deceiver. But God will break you down for ever; he will snatch and tear you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living. (Psalm 52. 2 – 5)

Perhaps, though, he is still to “young” a Christian, as some evangelical leaders have claimed in excusing all of his glaring faults and failings and shortcomings and misdeeds, but then … they bear the brunt of guilt for not having held Trump accountable, for not having provided guidance and direction for his growth and maturation in the Christian faith, for not having opposed clearly vile, nefarious words and actions of this President. And they have no excuse.

HinduPrayer

Furthermore, and along the same lines where Trump is concerned, “better is a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king, who will no longer take advice, (Ecclesiastes 4. 13) and if anyone loves righteousness, her labors are virtues; for she teaches self-control and prudence, justice and courage; nothing in life is more profitable for mortals than these.” (Book of Wisdom 8. 7) And, no, Trump does not fit this bill, so that even if he is – somehow, beyond all reasonable comprehension, in some vague sense, Christian – he most certainly is not an effective leader, and can never be expected to be an effective and beneficial leader in his current state, his very nature being what it is in its quite deplorable, destructive condition.

And the major religions of the world recognize the same basic life principles requisite not only to being a good leader, but just to live a truly wholesome, healthy, happy life, to wit:

Under the sway of strong impulse, the man who is devoid of self-control willfully commits deeds that he knows to be fraught with future misery. But the man of discrimination, even though moved by desires, at once becomes conscious of the evil that is in them, and does not yield to their influence… (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.7 from Hinduism)

And from Buddhism:

It is little harm if one loses money in gambling with dice, even losing everything, including oneself; but if one bears ill-will towards well-conducted ones it is greater harm indeed. Insulting men of real worth, bearing ill-will in thought and speech, leads to eons upon eons in the states of misery. (Sutta Nipata 658-60)

All of these basic life principles are really self-apparent … except to the one who is foolish or wicked or both, which is often the case. But let’s hear one more teaching that so perfectly applies to Donald Trump, this time from the sacred Scriptures of Islam:

There are three characteristics of a hypocrite: when he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he acts treacherously; and when he is trusted, he betrays. (Hadith of Muslim)

CelticSymbolForPurity

And with this much said, we will be content, especially since the point is well-made: There is no excusing the overt sin and wickedness of Donald Trump, no defending him with any sense of real moral integrity, no continual supporting of him by professed Christians apart from abject hypocrisy. And this last sin is especially egregious for those self-same “Christians,” who not only failed to extend “the grace card” even once to our previous President, Barack Obama, but actually attacked and vilified him more than any other President in the history of our country … even though he consistently proved himself to be of upstanding character and integrity, and not one scandal was attached to him during his entire eight years as President.

One final note: The result of ¾ of conservative, white, evangelical Protestants (and their white, conservative counterparts in the American Catholic Church) will sooner than later be the speedy decline and near-death of evangelical Christianity in the United States, and very possibly everywhere else in the world. And tragically, they will only realize this when it is far, far too late to do anything about it … except to lie down in their own self-dug graves.

Another Shooting, Another Tragedy, Same Questions

‘Our right! Our right! Out right to shoot and kill if we will, day or night!’
But what about the right to live without fear, without gunshots to hear
In classrooms and halls, to play on grounds without the sound of terror?
And when we look at the bodies of innocence, which the gunman took,
Can we turn away yet again to begin again another political argument,
Chalking up slain youth as no more than more statistic to be counted?
Or is it not time to confront the crime of senseless violence in reliance
Upon unnecessary, deadly weapons that really no one needs to be free,
If only we could see and apprehend the liberty that comes with peace,
And now cease our insane proclivity toward death and destruction
In protection of the weak and the vulnerable and innocent among us,
Rather than preserving outdated rights to self-armament and murder

Blood of Innocence: We Weep

Tanaga Tuesday

Streets flow with rivers of blood
And tears for lost innocence,
But do we make some pretense
Of concern for victimhood?

How now, then, will we respond
To such senseless violence
And screams from an ambulance
Answering hatred hell-spawned?

Can we not look for the day
When peace reigns in every heart
And all choose the better part
In pure love without dismay?

For now, though, we weep in pain,
Seeing again victims dead,
And feeling such awful dread,
Knowing this is all insane


Note: The Tanaga is a Filipino stanzaic form that was originally written in Tagolog. The form dates back to the 16th century and has an oral tradition. Syllabic with 7 syllables per line in any number of quatrains. Originally rhymed aaaa bbbb cccc etc., modern Tanagas also use aabb ccdd etc or abba cddc etc or any combination rhyme can be used.


For the Victims of El Paso and Dayton

Monday Muses

Muse of Peace: Pen some song of serenity to sing over the world, and let the banner of love be unfurled in the hearts of people everywhere

Muse of Love: Yes, and let peace reign without shame everywhere sun and moon shine to pierce the darkness of bitterness, blessing earth like fine old wine

Muse of Wisdom: Open up the Book of Divinely Human knowledge to look once again to lessons learned, to begin again to live without sin against neighbor and friend

Muse of Beauty: Open up eyes of the soul to behold what is noble, lovely and true in this world ever-renewed, and bathe in simplicity without duplicity

Muse of Creativity: Mimic the Creator in creation of what is good and right and delicately appealing, what is understood and bright and genuinely healing

Muse of Labor: Yes, and labor to bring everlasting love down from heaven above in the spirit of reconciliation, cooperation and concord among humanity

Muse of Truth: And never forget or compromise what is truly true even when too few stand with you against the wave of anger, animosity and dangerous ferocity

Thus have these Muses spoken this day, especially in sadness and sympathy with prayers for the victims of two monstrous mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. And may the Spirit of Light and Life and Love comfort their grieving friends and family.

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After the End: A Katuata w/Ragonelle Poem

With all of our highest dreams doused by flames of fire
We hide in our manmade caves
Where we live apocalyptic lives of satire
Into radiation graves

And God is weeping
In heaven’s vigil keeping…
Is Satan never sleeping?

Too long we looked away, blinded by arrogance
And destroyed Gaia, our home
To secure such a poisonous inheritance
Written in our wicked tome

And God is weeping
In heaven’s vigil keeping…
Is Satan never sleeping?

We refused to heed the warnings of wiser minds
Feeding desires instead
Bringing this destruction upon all humankind
Turning earth into deathbeds

And God is weeping
In heaven’s vigil keeping…
Is Satan never sleeping?


Note: Here I have combined the katuata with the ragonelle form of poetry instead of the renga.

The Katuata, (片歌, or “side poem” or “half poem”) dates back to 8th century Japan where it is found in the Manyõshú (the oldest collection of Japanese poetry.) It is an emotive verse, is intuitive rather than logical, and at some point asks a sudden question or makes an emotional statement, then responds to it. This can be a stand alone, 3 line poem; however, it is often written as a side poem to the renga. Finally, the katuata usually has a 5/7/7 syllable count. This can also be reduced to a 5-7-5 syllable count if desired.

The ragonelle was invented by Adaline Reilly, and has a rhyming scheme of a b a b with a syllable count of 12/7/12/7. There are no requirements for specific meter.