Just Another Spade to Play?

Seduce4So, is unexpected beauty making me the fool again?
Is this the gouging tool; just another spade to play?
Am I falling again, crawling toward another mirage?
Is this another barrage of dreams that’ll fade away?

Model image of beauty;
Coddle my lonely heart;
No audile sensations;
No twaddle in revelation,
Throwing myself open without hesitation.

So, I willingly wade into the swamp of lies again,
And begin to hope this is not a trope to rope me in,
And I know better, but I show myself like a babe
Under cascade of weighed hopes and all I’ve prayed
When it’s no more than just another spade to play.

Friendly friend request;
Show of amorous nest;
Answer my soul’s behest;
Longing to be blessed,
Knowing I’ll end up again the jester dressed.

There’s no expense for her to make such a pretense,
With sharp blade in hand; another spade to be played,
And I lower all defense, throw away my commonsense,
Entering dense fog of intense emotions for a shade;
There’s nothing more than another spade to be played.

So have I strayed before with heavy price to be paid
… when that spade is played.

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Sélená and Secrets of Life: Astonishing Revelation

Bright light of full moon soon took shape before my eyes,
And then did I spy Sélená in all her grand glory standing
With a mild smile, as if for a child, and she reached out
And said, “Come;” with some dread I obeyed, and she led
Over starlit beams, thru heavenly dreams, what seemed
So real that I could feel every vibration of the exhilaration
Of cosmic life, pulsing and pounding, dashing and flashing.

“Here’s a treat, for you to meet fair Fáelána and Suíbhnæ;
Ah! Is it not man’s law to behold sublime beauty in awe?”
And, indeed, were they beautiful enough to feed my soul;
Quivering inside as they stood by placid pond, not flaccid
In strength, either one, but tall and well-toned and honed;
“For years they’ve been friends; now will their love ascend,
As they strip to dip, they will learn and in passion burn.”

moonorewater

Suíbhnæ cried, “You have what God has given me, I see,
But more!” to which Fáelána begged, “Yes, but I implore
Do not for this the bliss of our friendship now deplore!”
Suíbhnæ laughed, “My dearest sister, how can I ignore
Such visible miracle? But wait! I do not hate nor deplore;
Seeing all of you now as really you are, I truly adore!”
Fáelána questioned, “Can you abide what I have to hide?”

“Their story? Very young they were sent among the Druids,
But the fluid in their veins could not let them long remain
In the ways of such religious haze and mad spiritual maze,
So as one they fled and bled in frightful flight to freedom.
Along the way they grew in strength and skill and cunning,
Learned to kill … for meals but, too, for cheated deals.
And so have they been for years but never so near as now.”

warrior_wallpaper_c7b35

Fáelána embraced Suíbhnæ, and caressed her back with no lack
Of tender touch, with such soothing sigh from Suíbhnæ, eyes
To eyes, lips to lips for each to sip from love’s sweet drip;
“Truly I have loved you from the moment we met in wet street
In front of the Druid prison-mont,” Fáelána whisper-breathed;
“And I you, too, but never to know you could make me whole.”
Sélená smiled, “Here is where they dare sanctify deepest care
And love from above.”

One question arose for me to pose: “Why do you show me this?
Am I amiss in wondering for what greater purpose than what
Is seen on the surface?” Sélená gently pulled me to her side
And did not chide, but led me in stride to the water’s edge;
“Love does not hedge, my dear; love is not leery nor does it
Grow weary, even though those who love so often do, tis true.
Love is being, seeing, and freeing; giving and forgiving.”

mystical20fairy[1]

Still I did not understand, but there came no divine reprimand;
“You see, Fáelána and Suíbhnæ have become one in a way that
Will stay them sure for all days to come, and this will bless
So many, not just some; for here from their own pain and love
Will be lain the foundation of an orphanage for the unfortunate
And destitute children, and this will constitute the first here
In this desolate region, filled with legion of human demons.”

Amazed. Awestruck. “You see, even now they are coming to know
What it is to show unconditional love and to embrace the least,
Who’ve been treated like beasts; to show passion of compassion
Without stingy ration of water and food imbued with ashen hate.
Come and come again will the little ones to this place of grace,
Never again to be disgraced or defaced; they’ll be all embraced.
And it shall be known as the Cove of the Mistress of Christus.”

book-of-kells-interlacing-lions-and-vines

“Really?” Sélená pulled me chest to her breast, “Yes and more
In store!” Her radiant eyes danced in the moonlight so brightly;
“Suibhne will give birth to Caillína, anointed saint-shepherdess
Of all of her people who will raise the first steeple of eternal love.”
Astonishment! Sélená only laughed, “Scientists are not so smart;
They only know in part and they’re persona is really quite tart,
Don’t you agree, my pet? They don’t believe what they cannot see;
Why, if you raised them in the desert they’d deny there’s a tree!”

Sélená turned and I blushed in the thrill of her still holding me;
She smiled, “Let us go so I can show you more glory of this story.”
My face to the place of Fáelána and Suíbhnæ, I saw there they lay
In edge-water shallow embraced, coupled in fine supple movements,
Giving and receiving, living love in thanksgiving for one another.
Sélená gently tugged, “There is more to see from me, my honeybee;”
And quietly she added, “And more satisfaction in my transaction.”

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Suibhne means “well-going;” Fáelán means “little wolf.” Obviously, the spellings have been slightly altered.

Annette and Julietta: A Love Story

teen-girls-hugging-outsideFields of flowers, yields of apples, dancing and prancing:
Pretty girls, brown-eyed Julietta, and Annette was brunette;
One was rosette for the other, who for her played clarinet;
Like one, the two played and prayed, and together stayed,
Never strayed in love, like turtle doves, in beauty arrayed.

Annette and Julietta, two blossoms of near-flawless promise,
Budding in form and warm affection; rouge lips for lips
And sips of sweet nectar from growing gardens free flowing;
Arm in arm walks, heart to heart talks, sharing one soul clock;
Miles of smiles, skipping and prancing, stripping and swimming.

Annette and Julietta, one silhouette of finest courtly minuet,
Vignette of an angelic song sung by the stars far flung in sky
Of cloudless night, darkly bright; they lay in softly breeze,
Roll and teasingly squeeze to please, immune to the disease
Of the unkind of stony hearts, closed minds, and spirits blind.

Annette and Julietta, grown and storm-blown but sewn together,
Not to be torn; they were sworn in ever-union so soon as born;
Dancing still across the hills, laughter filled the air so fair;
No snare nor care could quench hot flare of their love affair;
And the maze of their days were unpretentiously venturesome.

HandnHandMany cried, “scandalous,” while others were simply jealous;
Pharisees were zealous; only few thought it something to relish,
And hellish hours flowed like scours for Annette and Julietta,
And though they moved deep into forest keep, and did not weep,
Still they could not leap for joy nor sleep in heavenly peace.

Yet remains flower fields, apple yields, dancing and prancing,
And eternal joy, where bright stars ring and their voices sing,
And left here now only intertwined bones on cold hard stones.

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God, Preachers, and Healing

“You don’t need medication for depression,” the minister taught
As he brought out his chart. “Studies show what you should know;
Nobody gets better with pills for meals, trust the Lord to heal!”
Several mouths in the congregation gave their “amen” approbation.
But the man of cloth saw a sloth in a pew that gave him his cue.

“You there! You look skeptical, not a receptacle of God’s glory!
You’ve never believed, have you? Never received the holy Spirit?”
I shifted on the seat, sifted through my thoughts, and drifted
Back to times gone by for lack of anything to say with no dismay.
“Listen to me, the Lord can heal everything with which you deal.”

elmer-gantry

Smiling, I looked at him sweating and lying; would I start crying?
As he was flying into an holy frenzy, I was trying to keep my cool,
But my face must have given a trace that I thought him a disgrace;
“You don’t trust the Lord, but even dogs eat crust from his table!
Go ahead and tell me, if you die are you going to heaven or hell?”

With that question posed, I rose up tall and straight, without hate;
Looking into his eyes, I could see the lies, and the roil of turmoil;
Slowly I spoke, not to provoke, but suddenly something in me awoke.
“Sir, God has been good; she has never turned her back nor do I lack;
And for so long now the Spirit has been mine and treats me just fine.”

Burning-bible

Already stunned by reference to “she,” the minister could hardly see.
“But you, sir, seem to me like a man who struggles with the repression
Of very deep depression, saying and braying what he wants to believe
Rather than what he needs to receive; a man telling his congregation
What they want to hear, selling them lies while hearts cry with pain.”

Shocked silence hung thickly in the air, blocked any word to be heard
Except mine, so I continued to opine, “You are one sinister minister
And only half-believe and then deceive from your own torn-apart heart,
Instead of talking like a real human instead of balking at the truth;
Instead of being brutally honest, you snootily look down with a frown.”

Truth

Mouth open, spirit broken, he looked now like only a token of ministry;
Among the congregation there were a few cheers, yet some were in tears;
“Now all of you listen to me, see, and be enlightened, not frightened,
And I will tell you, it’s true, God loves you and gives you life anew;
Our mothering God her Spirit freely gives that you and I might live.”

All eyes were fixed on me with mixed emotions, but no bit of commotion;
“Jesú came offering light, life and love from above, but what is unseen
Is far more than what is seen, and no one is keen enough to understand
To steal from heaven, nor leaven the truth with acquired fire of desire;
You ask, but do not bask in glory; your task is in your unfolding story.”

tumblr_lzrm3oqtcT1r1akzco1_500

Still finely suited, the now-broken minister wept, no more pretense kept;
Among the people, some cried, some smiled, some tried to keep their calm,
Applying balm of prayer lifted high into the air, but some would not spare
Freeing themselves in agreeing with what was spoken as some angelic token
Gifted for them to be lifted out of cruel endless course of insane remorse.

Asked what next, I answered, “Go to cross and steeple, but also to people
Who will help bear your burden, and know that medication is not dedication,
But physiological remediation; fly to the good Shepherd, hold him and cry,
But try to remember Jesú called physicians in admission among his apostles;
And our Mother God has been revealing healing medicines since time began.”

ChurchillQuote

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Homo Naledi and the Excitement of New Discovery

The recent discovery of Homo Naledi by the Rising Star Expedition in South Africa[1] seems to have elicited quite some controversy — at least on social networks, like Facebook — between hardcore, atheistic evolutionists and “scientific creationists,” with agnostics and theistic evolutionists (religious or not) sanely caught somewhere in the middle, but practically muted by the cacophony of bitter accusations, speculations, name-calling, insults, and what-have-you. The discovery is fascinating, and it does not really change the theory of evolution, nor does it directly involve religious faith. This is a story of monumental, exciting discovery by scientists doing what they do: Researching, exploring, discovering and sharing with the rest of the world.

Of course, this has not stopped people from making asinine comments, such as: “They found old bones of a monkey, or disfigured man and call it a new human. This is nothing to get excited about. Thousands of years from now when they dig up Patrick Ewing, they will claim they found another species of human, too.” And, “Of course you’ll stick to your contemporary mythology Tom N. It’s too hard for some to overcome the fear of a vengeful, psychopathic deity.”[2] And one of my favorites: “You bible thumpers do realize god doesn’t exist, right?” To which I could not resist answering:

Umm … no. And “bible-thumpers” are by far not the only ones who believe in the existence of God (or the divine, supernatural, etc.) Besides this obvious fact, your question itself is quite bizarre: Why would “bible-thumpers,” as you refer to some, “realize god doesn’t exist?” If they realized this ~ which certainly is not the case ~ then, of course, they would not be “bible thumpers.” Very ill-thought and pedantic of you, Scott. Think before you write, please.

All of this is completely unnecessary, of course. As I tried to point out amid the raging controversy, there are plenty of scientists, who are women and men of faith. More than this, however, science is not about attempting to disprove the existence of God, divinity, the supernatural or numinous – yes, despite Dawkins and company – and religious faith is not, or need not be, about disproving science.

Yes, of course, there are naturalistic materialist who claim that all causation is completely naturalistic and materialistic, only an “interaction between material entities.” As philosopher Jennifer Trusted points out, for the materialist “consciousness has to be admitted but as a mere epiphenomenon … matter is the sole ultimate reality.”[3] One does not have to adhere to some sort of fideism to reasonably conclude that naturalistic materialism is ultimately untenable. But perhaps here we need to make one very important and sharp distinction: There is science (properly speaking) and then there is philosophy. Oftentimes in rancorous discussions, such as the one I’m here addressing, the two are terribly confused … or, really, not thought about at all! Thankfully, the former, very renowned atheistic philosopher-turned-theist, Anthony Flew, makes the distinction quite well:

You might ask how I, a philosopher, could speak to issues treated by scientists. The best way to answer this is with another question. Are we engaging in science or philosophy here? When you study the interaction of two physical bodies, for instance, two subatomic particles, you are engaged in science. When you ask how it is that those subatomic particles – or anything physical – could exist and why, you are engaged in philosophy. When you draw philosophical conclusions from scientific data, then you are thinking as a philosopher.[4]

As stated above, scientists properly do what they do when they research, explore, discover and share with the rest of the world what they have learned. They do not ask questions, as professional scientists, about the purpose and meaning of life; about the intrinsic value of the homo sapien or other creatures; about the existence of an unseen numinous sphere, etc. What am I saying? There are philosophers, ethicists, theologians and other professionals for a reason; science is not kingpin. By the way, one needs to know and understand the difference between “science” and “scientism.” Scientism is “an exaggerated trust in the efficacy of the methods of natural science applied to all areas of investigation, as in philosophy, the social sciences, and the humanities.” Just as “materialism” is “the theory that physical matter is the only or fundamental reality and that all being and processes and phenomena can be explained as manifestations or results of matter.” [5]

In contradistinction to this is the metaphysical, that is, “that which relates to the transcendent or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses,” and this falls outside the purview of science, strictly speaking. Besides, what was actually discovered in South Africa by the Rising Star Expedition is astonishing beyond what can be precisely termed “science.” Researchers have concluded:

[B]esides shedding light on the origins and diversity of our genus, H. naledi also appears to have intentionally deposited bodies of its dead in a remote cave chamber, a behaviour previously thought limited to humans… the context of the find has led the researchers to conclude that this primitive-looking hominin may have practiced a form of behaviour previously thought to be unique to humans. The fossils — which consist of infants, children, adults and elderly individuals — were found in a room deep underground that the team named the Dinaledi Chamber, or “Chamber of Stars”.[6]

In other words, they intentionally practiced “sacramental” burial. Science cannot answer the question, “Why? This was evidently important, and an exact, consistent practice, but why?” This question, and the answer, simply lie outside the limits of science. I believe the late Oxford scientist, William H. Thorpe, “hit the nail on the head” when he wrote:

The materialist scientist of the last century (19th), looking downward into the basis of material things, thought that he had found material entities behaving according to mechanistic determinism in a lawful and invariable manner to constitute the material world. At the other end he had the curious illusion that his mentality was also determined by mechanistic-materialist laws. Now, as we have seen, materialism at the basic physical levels has been transformed into events involving entities which are certainly not ‘physical’ in any original sense but as ‘vectors’ to be described only in non-physical terms – as ‘mental,’ as ‘purposive,’ or as ‘spiritual.’[7]

Touché! And so, again, we have philosophers, anthropologists, historians, ethicists, theologians, etc., all working properly in their respective fields (ideally, at least.) It is only when some, like Richard Dawkins, attempt to cross over into another field in which he has no real expertise that we have problems – completely unnecessary problems! And, too, when avid atheists and fundamentalist, “scientific creationists” jump in the ring where neither belong – this causes unnecessary complications, too, and all so unnecessary, really. In the final analysis, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn offers, perhaps, the best advice where living out our collective lives in this stunningly beautiful and still very mysterious world is concerned:

One thing should be said at the start: the answer to (the fundamentally important questions) cannot be found by opposing faith and knowledge, religion and science, but only in a shared effort of thought, research, and also belief.[8]

And to this, may I say, “Amen and amen!”

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[1]Rising Star Expedition Reveals New Species: Homo Naledi as posted by the University of Witwatersrand, accessed on September 14, 2015

[2] Note: Grammatical and spelling errors corrected and names abbreviated by author of this article

[3] Jennifer Trusted, Inquiry and Understanding: An Introduction to Explanation in the Physical and Human Sciences, 88

[4] Antony Flew, “A Pilgrimage of Reason,” Francis S. Collins, ed., Belief: Readings on the Reason for Faith, 309-310

[5] Sources lost and forgotten, or (perhaps) written out from various sources by author; however, these definitions may certainly, easily be checked for accuracy

[6] Ibid

[7] William H. Thorpe, Purpose in a World of Chance: A Biologist’s View, 114-115

[8] Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, Chance or Purpose? Creation, Evolution, and a Rational Faith, 112-113; Note: parenthetical mine

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Dream, Rest … Please Sleep

Travelling round the six-lane circle, horns blaring, people glaring;
Where are they all going? Too quickly; slow down.
Your town is going nowhere; smile like a clown.

Stream water gently flows over time-worn stones, like bones of history;
Dream.

People rushing in and out of corporation buildings with faux gildings;
Why are they in a hurry? Everything’s blurry.
Stop the scurry and endless fury and worry.

Blest rain serenely falls, bringing sky and earth so nigh one another;
Rest.

Prophets preaching, teaching, and selling books with worried looks;
Why such gloom and doom? They only assume.
Make room for plume of happy laughter.

Trees bend and sway melodically, hypnotically in tune with sacred wind;
Please.

Yells and shouts and bouts over the television-idol’s remote control;
Why more news that skews the whole world?
Turn off the boob; be a family in amity.

Peep and bark, bray and bay, and songs sung by all the birds and herds;
Sleep.

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Breaking Down the Walls, Part II

You. Who are you? And when they say ‘you,’
Is it You they’re really speaking to?
Or the silly, vacant ‘you’ that’s not true
To You as the ‘I’ you are, so far removed
From the vacuous him or her leaking words
In empty speaking, so impersonal, because
You are different, aberrant, indurate …
But ‘they’ made the ‘I’ you are the scar
That scares them into distant uncaring,
Wearing fake smile while malice bearing,
Tearing you asunder, while they blunder
Through theology, etiology, skewed biology
In endless tautology of doctrinal calumny
From their twisted psychology, and so they
Never really know you as the genuine ‘You’
True to who God made from sod and Spirit,
Not flawed, but an art that awed all angels,
While creation sang and heavenly music rang
At you, the new ‘I’ that Eye saw and smiled,
New child, unique and sweet and mild; but
Who beguiled you into hiding the ‘I’ you
You are ~ bright star, radiating so far ~
When you live in charity, pine for clarity
And truth, spirit youth; in loving dedication
In union and communion with Lord and companion;
To spread your board with feast for the least
Of sisters and brothers, fathers and mothers?
More walls to tear down, or drown under frown
Of condemnation, though you live like Jesus
Who frees us; no more stalling at the walling!
Time for the ‘I’ you are to be You ever true
For them to clear-see and know, but ne’er again
To be just another sick brick separating you
From the world around, bounded in sheer fear;
Time for liberty from captivity; for every ‘I’
To be a ‘you’ to you, for you to be You, too!

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Breaking Down the Walls

piecebypiece2Angry screams and loud shouts, terrible dreams and painful bouts;
Killing looks thru piercing eyes, filling lives like hatred hives;
Hungry hearts tear apart, push the cart of division in derision
Of all charity from lack of clarity because of fear so near soul,
And we do not hear our own doom that looms on ever-close horizon;
And we dizen our skin and bones, wizened by page of age, not sage
Of wisdom of kingdom coming…
Time to break down the walls! And walk the halls of peace and love
From above! Break down the tall walls of suspicion, contrition,
Competition, admonition, inquisition along pulse-wicked partition
Of false accusation to damnation of all creation; down the wall
Before we fall…

I spy
Butterfly cry
High in blue sky

Makeshift
All too swift
Reject angel gift

Break down the walls that stall, bring us to crawl and heavy-bawl
For broken hearts and shattered lives,
Better parts sliced by steel-sharp knives;
Arise! Reach across the span and grab the hand; join earthen band
Of dust and sand; arm in arm, dispel all harm with heavenly charm,
Break down the walls of division, soul collision, and deprivation;
We are one under the sun, having begun common life without strife,
And we can return from the burn of hell with holy wedding bells
Of renewed unity of sacred community, an opportunity with impunity!
In the recesses of our collective memory, before excesses of pride,
We remember more placid stride, without oppression, suppression,
Repression, no need for confession; in recollection, no possession…

I cry
To high fly
In brighter sky

Wall
Cracking tall
Much ready to fall

We’re breaking down the walls, breaking down the walls, breaking down the walls…

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Sweet, Sick Home Alabama

Alabama[1]Alabama, Alabama! How beautiful and baneful; how promising and poor; how stout and strong, yet sick and wrong!

Thirty-ninth in education? Yes, tragically so … and I weep. Or, perhaps, the seventh least educated state in our country.

Forty-third in health and medical care? Yes, tragically so … and I weep.

Forty-seventh in poverty? Yes, tragically so … and I weep. Sweet home Alabama ranks only 42nd in per capita income… Is this, too, the case? Yes.

Is it any wonder?

Rounding out the best states for the wealthy is Alabama, one of several Southern states that are overwhelmingly friendly to high earners. The wealthiest 1 percent pay just 3.8 percent of their income in taxes, while the poorest taxpayers shell out 10.2 percent. The middle class isn’t far behind, with 9.4 percent paid in taxes on average.

Third in divorce rates? Yes, tragically so … and I weep. Ah! But the second most religious state in the nation, as well! And this … this nauseates me!

Forty-sixth in eco-friendliness? Yes, tragically so … I weep.

And to make up for its budget shortfall? Alabama legislators have decided to slash $156 million from Medicaid, (which does not include federal matching funds.)

Both legislators and officials say the cut could mean the end of the Medicaid program in Alabama. It would not only hurt some 1 million Alabamians who qualify for the program, but force the closings of rural hospitals and devastate nursing homes and pediatric practices.

Yes, tragically so … I weep.

When, oh when will we learn? There are other states faring well enough — much healthier, vibrant, stronger, more robust — why does the grand maiden of the South continue to close her eyes and ears … to shut off all sense and sensibility to what is good, progressive, workable, beneficial in the long-run? Why do so many have to hurt, have to endure pain and suffering throughout this state, when solutions have been on the table for years upon years? Ah, but there are those with fat wallets not especially keen on financial diets!

So short-sighted, so tragically short-sighted … and stubborn and arrogant, too. Other states might do well to learn an invaluable lesson from what will surely, finally be the “Decline and Fall of Alabama.”

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The Empty Many

business man very stressed

Hand-full of pills and cup of coffee fills
On the same new day, to begin the same way;
Eyes shot, tired, weary, falling and bleary;
Here he sits again with computer chip bits,
Luminous screen with financial scene too lean,
Bottom line skinny, not even a shining penny;
He turns and churns, absently stares in agony,
This man so odd, leaning left, palate cleft;
No chest, no need with not a heart to plead
From seed of love, nor deeper creed to lead
To higher heights of meaning; he’s careening
Always back to his own demeaning employment
With no enjoyment as he lives through hours
With shattered soul bowers in business towers.
But is this man now living or merely existing?
Or is there more? Some door to rustic floor
Of better days, raw, pure, awesome and secure?
Ah, now no more pills and cup of coffee fills
On the same new day, to begin the same way…

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