Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Discord at Death

I sit in a silent house as the family goes about their business,
Time to reflect on this family into which I have been reborn.
This is a family of righteousness, passed down for many generations,
Following the words and the actions of those who came before them.

Their lives have not been easy, as they all worked the family farm;
They were taught that their best was always expected of them.
But these were not merely words without stellar example
Self-discipline and discipleship was the way of family life.

I know that religion has been a point of many problems;
One daughter follows the parents and the other has her own path.
As I listened to the priest speak over the casket
I thought I heard the reason for this parting of the ways.

The priest said that we must all suffer on this earth
To make up for imperfections in our corporal lives.
How sad it is to me that so many still believe
That The Father demands retribution for failings of humanity.

Those who are born afflicted often feel as victims
Of sins which they will never even think to commit.
I wonder how parents can accept their church's teachings
That prophesy eternal separation from parts of their own souls.

Does my sister-in-law believe that her daughter is condemned
Because she follows none of her family's religious rituals?
If she doesn't believe this, how can she sit in silence
As her children and grandchildren are said to be unsaved?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Obligation to a Passing Generation

We're winding down on the visitors only as a pause;
Properly seeing the patriarch off is a family cause.
In the town where he lived his last, we had his visitation;
We will move him to his birthplace now, following his cremation.

There will be a Mass, and graveside service, and several meals
All "sitting shiva" for this man who was an international big wheel.
His kid brother has been requested to represent the men of that generation;
We were both happy to be asked to fulfill this family obligation.

There is beauty in taking time to fondly remember those
Who have entered the place and time of their final repose.
When we all work for a living we must do what we're paid to do;
 I have accumulated so much grief in years of rushing through.

We are all so fortunate that this man's time of death
Was a holiday week in which all could take a rest.
When they go back to work and school I hope they are at peace;
That their grief will be expended and their joyful memories increased.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sense of Serenity

A sense of serenity surrounds us as this family deals with death;
This is not to say that there's no strife, even as they do their best.
There are teenagers removed from their usual routines and home,
And there's not enough space for anyone to be alone.

There are husbands and wives who have been on high alert
For many months as they put the patriarch's needs first.
I wonder how some families can absorb so much pain
And still are able to, their cooperative composure, maintain.

Perhaps it is the laughter that they all seem to enjoy,
And the respect for each other they insist that all employ.
Perhaps it is the example exhibited by parents
Who step in immediately when hurt feelings are sensed.

Perhaps it is the respect for the family's matriarch
About whose feelings and wishes none seem to balk.
"What would mother want done?" they all seem to say,
"And what would make the patriarch proud if he were alive today?"

What they do when their individual families are alone,
I'm quite sure that we haven't been fully shown;
But it is a blessing when a family works so well to preserve
The peace that such a life-altering event deserves.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Ministry

I like to believe that during this phase in my life
My ministry is to comfort those suffering terrible strife,
Especially families that are feeling overwhelmed.
I minister to their bodies while they share their deeper selves.

Tonight is leftover night. What will I do with myself?
I brought along a book from a friend's bookshelf.
But I have never been good at sitting for very long,
And if I get to talking, I may say something wrong.

What if I know family things that aren't common knowledge?
The fear of revealing these things keeps me on edge.
Families all have secrets that they don't want revealed;
I must be careful not to open wounds that have healed.

I don't want the women to think that, on control, I'm bent.
So I, like the husbands, await a direct assignment.
The children have a family friend that has known them for long.
All the long-time family knows just where they belong.

I feel comfortable where I am on my spiritual journey,
And when facing death, my beliefs are a comfort to me.
Perhaps I can use this time to compile my spiritual beliefs;
There may come a time that this will comfort others in grief.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Heart of the Home

"Worry not what ye shall eat, what ye shall drink, or what ye shall put on."
But someone must do laundry, and shop, and cook the meals.
Every adult in this household is busy encouraging each other
By providing loving service to the grieving widow and her clan.

Laughter drifts from the kitchen table as card games are played;
From other tables come voices of scholars and mentors tutoring them.
Sports play in the background as husbands await assignments;
I imagine I'm queen of this kitchen, in which beats the heart of this home.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kitchen Communion

This is a family with French blood, so there's nothing quiet about them;
This only applies only to the women, not to our men.
The men observe us negotiating in passionate conversation;
They wait for our orders as they man their respective stations.

We also put great importance on what comes out of the kitchen;
The producing of comfort food is part of our mission.
 We serve as each others' family of faith community;
This is how I feel that all families should be.

Each person seems to honor the gifts of each other
As they share in the care of their widowed mother.
I am pleased that they trust me to assist in this communion
That helps draw the family members together as one.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Family of Faith

My husband's brother has breathed his last;
We now move on to celebrating his past.
He took over as head of the family clan
When he was still a  very young man.
He walked in the footsteps of their accomplished dad
Giving the family and their business all that he had.

Their daughters, both nurses, were there by his side,
As we all bid this wonderful man good-bye.
But so much of him lives on in the world,
Not only in family, from stories I'm told.
And not only stories are testament to they
Who do good for others along life's way.
His brother, my husband, was shepherded into manhood
When, at thirteen, they lost their father for good.
As the oldest son with a family of his own,
They always made space for one more in their home.
Values of giving and protecting the vulnerable
Are the values in which this family is full.

He and his wife had a combining of souls,
Based on the sharing of common goals.
Family and faith were their shared values;
Shouldn't this be the basis for who we all choose?
But so many seek earthly self-fulfillment
Without higher values for which humans are meant.

When I pray  for the kingdom of heaven on earth,
I pray for more people of moral worth,
Not by the birthing of more children of our loins,
But by the spreading of good through the groups we join.
To be a member of a family of such righteousness
Is something by which I feel eternally blessed.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Wisdom Without Wealth

Those who grew up believing that there were those
Who were born to do the chores to which they're not disposed,
Seem also to believe that the work of a mother.
Is strictly something with which they can't be bothered.

This is the message in the movie The Help;
Generational wisdom is something that's felt.
It should be valued more highly than gold
But these people often have nothing when they grow old.

Why aren't we sharing our pensions with them
Who loved our children from babies to men?
We shouldn't abide them living in fright
That they'll have no warm bed at night.

And what about those who cook our meals --
Do we give them truly fair deals?
We expect them to work for a small allowance,
Knowing their families have no chance.

Americans are supposed to have no castes,
But the untouchable mentality holds fast.
Those who do the most essential work
Are treated as if they are dirt.

The people who learn by years of doing
Have knowledge that is worth pursuing.
We should honor the wisdom they contribute;
Paying them well would be our tribute.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Cleaning, Cooking, and Creation

It is really dangerous when I begin to clean;
I almost always overdo almost everything.
My daughter's family's coming for a short while;
I usually try to create an ambiance to make them smile.

This time I really did it, and it's not so very good;
I maybe cleaned a bit more aggressively than I should.
I wanted to present a tidy and clean home,
But I seem to have cleaned away the bathroom chrome.

There is nothing I can do to reverse this effect;
Now the bathroom looks like its suffering from neglect.
Perhaps I should stick to cooking; I'm supposed to bake
Our twelve-year-old granddaughter's cookie birthday cake.

My favorite thing in life to see, the thing that most pleases me
Is seeing my grandchildren together, and happy to be.
I think The Almighty must feel the same way,
That heaven will be when we all are home to stay.

And I believe that heaven begins here on earth,
With every person who was ever given birth.
We must look for the light in each others eyes;
For each of us are parts of The Almighty in disguise.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cajun Cousins

We went "down the bayou," as we say;
We picked up my uncle's widow on the way.
I had convinced my bayou folks that I could
Be trusted to bring them some food.

My daddy's sister is quite the Cajun cook;
I've tried to get her to write a cookbook.
So it was a great honor to be
Entrusted with supper cooking duty.

Pot roast for plenty was what I made
We never know how many will be fed
Two cousins came over, a wife, and a son
We visited before the meal was begun.

We stood in a circle before we ate
A prayer was offered; food could wait.
We began the meal with my aunt's corn soup
She just couldn't, to being a beggar, stoop.

Conversation was lively; my cousin had killed a hog.
We spoke of everything from relatives to dogs.
King cakes, and cookies, and apple cake --
Everyone there seemed to have baked.

We rode home with stomachs and hearts that were full
The Cajun clan for me has a special pull
Everyone one who comes is treated like a dignitary,
And leaves with a feeling of being cherished.

As They Grow Old, Men Are Not so Bold

I watch these men as they grow old;
Their expectations don't now seem so bold.
They ask for things with a touch of gratitude;
This is an newly expressed attitude.

Traditional men have been beknighted,
And their women were to be slighted.
This seems the interpretation of many scriptures,
Which, on women's teaching, put strictures.

Women are deficient; men are the chosen ones;
This seems the message since western history was begun.
Why do some think it's better to limit eternity
To only those that look like you and me?

I love to see rainbows in the sky;
I love more to see them in others' eyes
It seems to me the acceptance of sacred in all life
Would lead to eternity with less earthly strife.

I wonder if these men have apologized
For all of their anger and all of their lies,
So that their children and wives can be at peace
When their earthly breath does cease.

Or will their families continue to pretend,
Once they die, that they never sinned?
And will the harm inflicted in this life,
To another generation, bring strife?

They have balanced the scales of life, I pray,
So whatever their sins, in their generation, stay.
And their families will spread the good,
As only a family built on honesty could.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

History and Holiness

We all face feeling like useless accessories;
Our culture has no use for their ancestories.
There is so much wisdom that is being buried
Because our children are so harried.

That was then and this is now;
They don't want to be shown how
To avoid the mistakes of our pasts,
But this is what makes the Bible last.

Stories of the path to Holiness and then
The next generation starts over again.
We should pay attention and decide
To honor the failures of what has been tried.

We should honor the successes too,
And from these lessons, choose what to do.
But where are the scribes writing this down
Are there no more sacred scriptures to be found?

One generation to another
Says that they don't want to bother
With the lessons learned by others
Especially their fathers and their mothers.

And so we continue to make the same mistakes
That each generation before us makes.
It's not a god thing, it's humanity
That wishes, from our history, to break free.

Until we are willing to slow down,
The Spirit of generations won't make a sound.
From the mistakes of our past, we can only break free
When we are willing to, The Spirit, hear and see.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Man Who Needs a Mom

I ran into our neighbor yesterday;
He's never before had much to say.
But this day, he wanted to talk
As he returned from his daily walk.

He lives alone with his dog;
I see them often as they jog.
I have wondered how he felt
I feared that asking, our boundaries would melt.

Today he told me he's moving away,
And that he's glad that he can't stay.
He says that he couldn't make friends;
He's leaving as his employment here ends.

The reasons he stated for being glad to go
Are things that I already came to know.
When you're an insider you have to agree
To reject everybody who isn't "we."

It can be very difficult for many of those
With open minds, who bigotry oppose.
People expect New Orleans to be
A much more cosmopolitan city.

I guess small towns are much the same;
It does matter what's your last name.
People divide themselves into clans
Based on beliefs on which everyone stands.

I am always glad to come home
Where we mostly spend time alone
But I don't know how he lives without
A soul mate that he doesn't doubt.

This is a man who could use a mother
A aunt, a sister, or a brother.
I left some cookies at his door,
Sorry that I couldn't do more.

I hope he finds someone to care,
Who may even want, his dog, to share
This is man who said to me
That he won't go to heaven, if it's dog-free.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Motherhood, Men, and Ministry

What of Jesus' mother allowing her beautiful baby boy to continue on his per-ordained path instead of his marrying and giving her grandchildren to ease her old-age? And what of the commitment of James, his brother, and Mary Magdalen , his sister/friend, who not only were with him in his walk through his joy and challenge-filled life, but also held his mother's hand in her suffering?

How heavy were their hearts and souls after Jesus' death? How grateful were they to have each other with whom to share The Holiness left behind? How awful is it that we have put a wedge between the males' and the females' ministries?

Priests may be the pastors,
But women are the ministry.
Women look into other's eyes
And into souls can see.

This is a gift of the sacred
When we reach womanhood,
That can be used for evil,
Or used for good.

This same gift may be given
To many of our men,
But they often aren't taught
How, their souls, to defend.

And because these men are
Programmed not to cry,
Their souls become overwhelmed
And they begin to die.

They reach out to innocence
To revive their dying souls;
At this time the giver and
The taker switch roles.

Because we want to believe
That leaders are more than mere men,
We deny that they have the need,
For their souls to be filled again.

Priests, Rabbis, Preachers
Are not prophets or gods
They minister with rituals
Of paths that have been trod.

Women have shown
The greatest bravery in life;
Standing strong with and for others
Through their strife.

It is long past time
That we stop the pretense
That men don't have feelings
And women don't have eloquence.

Let the keepers of ritual
Stop pretending to also be
The loving arms needed in
Soul-searching ministry.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Beautiful Bird

Your way of living is frightening to me
Because, as family, we share responsibility.
If you stumble and fall, who will pick you up;
When you are thirsty, who will fill your cup?

I have held you and stood between you and harm.
I have worked hard to keep you safe and warm.
Don't you see that when you have a need
That I can't help fill, my soul does bleed?

It's time, my child, for me to rest;
I know my teachings, you will test.
I pray that those that you call friends
Will be there to, your wounds, mend.

I must allow you to bend, and even break;
This is for both of our souls' sakes.
I guess it's good that I can't see;
All your fight was crushing me.

I know my feelings are hard on you,
In facing the things that you must do.
From my fears, you've turned away;
I hope this is not where we'll stay.

My Beautiful Bird, as you fly away,
I will often wonder as I pray,
Will you ever come back to me,
And share the person you've come to be?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Faith-Filled Moments with the Maintenance Man

The maintenance man came over to fix a few things;
His faith simply shines in every message he brings.
Here is a black man raised in New Orleans
Who is comfortable being of modest means.

He and I spoke of his four children
And his concerns about his young adult son.
He knows the fateful fatality statistics
But his mind is still, on optimism, fixed.

He and his wife married twenty years ago;
They were only themselves twenty, and so...
The odds were against them, but they persevere
He speaks to me of praying for what they hold dear.

I pray that, one day, the odds will be equal for his kids.
Will he continue to pay the price for what our ancestors did?
Someone sold his ancestors to slavery, and he has risen above;
Will those whose ancestors bought his, surround him with their love?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Menus, Marriage, and Meaning

Standing in the condo kitchen
That looks out over the sea,
We were cooking for friends,
As we used to, my man and me.
He prepared steak Diane;
I prepped devilish shrimp.
Then I moved on to salad
Until he needed ingredients.

As I was his sous chef,
Because this was his menu,
I waited until he gave me
Something I could do.
When I choose the menu,
He does the same for me.
This is my idea of marriage
In all it's shining glory.

We schlepped the food to town
Where the husband set a fine table.
He felt such a special meal
Deserved to seem regal.
There were tapered candles,
And the good china plates,
A blessing said in Hebrew,
As we bowed our heads and ate.

Is this less sacred than church?
I think it is surely not.
Each part of our eating together
Was with love begot.
My husband had earned the money
That bought our daily bread
And each participant served a role
To which we had felt led.

We broke bread with good friends,
And a struggling nursing student,
Sheltered by this father and mother.
Is this what, "Feed my sheep," meant?
There was a simple blessing and thanks
There were no fancy robes or rituals,
But when we departed their home,
My body, heart and soul all felt full.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Sacred and Seafood

Wherever two people share a positive perspective seems sacred to me. Even going to the grocery store is a celebration of the sacred in the New Orleans area. Who knew that seafood could be sacred?

Nowhere else have I ever been asked what I'm making out of the jumbo shrimp that I'm purchasing at the seafood counter. "Are you making barbeque shrimp with those?" the very old gentleman with the small Band-aid on his face asked. "No, I'm trying to duplicate a dish I had at a restaurant a week ago. It was delicious; a jumbo shrimp with a piece of jalapeno, wrapped in bacon," I said."

"Look at these other shrimp. That's a good price. I might have to get a pound. Farm raised, hmmm..." he replied. "Yeah, in the United States," I observed. "How you make that again? Do you take out the shrimp vein and put in the jalapeno?" he asked. "Well you can do it that way," I agreed.

 "How do you get the bacon to cook without overcooking the shrimp," he asked."I guess you do it by broiling the shrimp or cooking them in a very hot oven. I've never done it, but I'm gonna give it a try," I said. "What restaurant was that?"  "A Mexican restaurant in Long Beach Mississippi," I answered."That sounds good," he said. Then we parted ways.

Where else would you get such spirited conversation over a pound of shrimp?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Slowly, Silently Spreading Seeds

While I do believe that all the mistakes and good things of previous generations continue to affect the succeeding  "five generations" (and more), I believe that Jesus was sent to show The Way of following The Word to those who did not know. I do NOT believe that babies are conceived with original sin. They are conceived with pure souls that can be nurtured or destroyed by conditions surrounding them, even while in the womb.

I believe that parents cannot pass the salvation of creation on to their children; they can only pass on their beliefs about the path to salvation. I believe that baptism, like circumcision, was meant as an outward sign of a person's commitment to The Way of The Word. The dedication of the parents and their community to bring the child up in The Way of The Word is a different issue. I believe that parents cannot dedicate their children to being people of The Way; they can only dedicate themselves to setting the example, and enter community that they know to be true to following The Way.

I believe that many religions have co-opted the pagan belief that there are "shamans" or "priests" who have the power (that, according to these religious beliefs, we each lack) to intercede for us between ourselves and The Divine. Rituals performed by priests and other church leaders are not the same as religion, even though they are a bonding experience for the faithful. I believe that parents are the bridge to The Divine and have a Divine responsibility to bring children up in The Way they should go. The child, upon reaching the age of reason (which is different for each person), can decide whether he or she is willing to commit to following The Way.

I know that Peter was an apostle chosen by Jesus to be a leader in The Way of The Word, but we have only the word of Paul and the Roman Church that what Paul said was from God. I know that Peter was a bit of a verbal bumbler, and that Paul was an eloquent marketer for whatever he was promoting. I know that the leadership of Christianity was argued over by Paul and Peter. I know that Peter's way was the following of the core of Jewish law, as well as Jesus' example, and that Paul promoted a path without the Jewish laws governing peace with our neighbors. Peter was appointed by Jesus to head the Christian church, but Paul was a better politician and poet, whose way prevailed.

I know that the Christian Church was not only spread in Rome, but in many sees. I know that, in the fourth century,  the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church "sold" the soul of Christianity to Constantine by agreeing to let Constantine "convert" "pagans" by threatening them with death if they did not swear allegiance to the church. I know that most western "Christian" churches are based on these corruptions of the Roman Catholic (Christian) Church.I believe it is time to take the church back to its beginnings before Paul proclaimed himself an apostle.

I believe that Jesus, by his example, showed us The True Light in The Holy Spirit, and that this Light, while hidden for many years under the terrible weight of the political system that is Christendom, has been once more found by those who spread The Light through their examples of love and compassion, as well as obedience to the laws that have been handed down from generation to generation on how to love The Almighty BY loving others (even when that means sacrificing of oneself in life and, if necessary, in death).

I do NOT believe that there was a God-given demand that anyone die for our sins. I believe that we are all asked to die to sin and the we have a messiah to show us how to live The Word, even unto death. I know that often death is demanded in order to punctuate how much a messiah cares. I believe that the emphasis on the suffering of Jesus' last days on earth instead of what it must have been like to the very human (while he walked the earth) Jesus to live without sin, on this same earth that so tempts us, is a bow to the pagan portrayal of gods having sacrificial blood-lust.

Political systems promote their beliefs with rhetoric and sensationalism that woos the masses; true Judeo-Christianity spreads The Way through slowly, silently sprouting seeds, one soul to another.

This is my belief; I could be wrong.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Encountering the Almighty

This man of righteousness had so much to give;
Is there anything left to say about this life well-lived?
We will gather to pay homage  and comfort his wife
The mate of his soul, in which he took great delight.

His daughters, too, who carry him in their hearts;
May the pain of their loss not drive them apart.
The grandchildren live the values that he supported;
On their hearts and souls his way is recorded.

And all that he encountered, man, woman and child,
Is better for having known him for even a short while.
A man with such a steady, strong light
Surely has a place on The Almighty's right.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Looking for Light

I like to imagine that all of us are like the points of light
That we see in the sky in the dark of night.
And just like the stars when they seemingly go out,
Their light lasts a century, or there about.

Stars burn the brightest before they transform,
But living forever seems to be their norm.
Some become black holes of negative energy;
I hope that's not the fate waiting for me.

I believe that we can choose, and I hope it's true,
Which category of stars we will belong to.
If we keep looking to share Light wherever we're placed,
I think our negative energy will, at "death," be erased.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Wouldn't It Be Wonderful?

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we wrote our best friends' eulogies
While they could still hear "what you meant to me"?
I don't want to wait until my friends are in the ground,
And our love for each other will make no joyful sound.

I am quite sure that I will die with a less heavy heart
If my gratitude for my friends is, their souls, a part.
I will also die with sadness for the loves I had and lost;
My need to save my earthly heart exacted a terrible cost.

But I hope that in Eternity we will see each other and smile
Because our love was something good, if only for a while.
I long for the day that I will, once more, feel as one
With all of Creation's daughters and sons.

Friday, February 3, 2012

When Johnny Went Marching Home

How did our "Judeo-Christian" American society get to the place where the widow of a World War II veteran who spent her life teaching young people not only how to read and write, but how to behave in a civil manner, is threatened with losing her home of over fifty years because she doesn't have the money for a new roof?

Her husband not only served his country in the US Navy, and met his future bride at a USO dance, he and she served as officers of the VFW for several decades, traveling all over the country to make sure that we never forget the men and women who sacrificed everything for our freedoms. Their only son spent his life as a military nurse, saving countless lives to continue in the service of OUR country. He died of cancer several years before his father, leaving a sister who is also a nurse the full responsibility of her aged parents' care. She cannot leave her work to care for her mother, and her mother only has the memories that surround her in the home she and her Johnny shared, now that her Johnny has gone marching HOME.

She continues to serve in the VFW and loves the city of New Orleans and Louisiana so much that she continues to travel to the French Quarter to tell everyone who stops into the Tourist and Commission office on Jackson Square about the many blessings of being a native New Orleanian. We should be naming her the patron saint of Yats, but instead, she is worrying about how she's going to keep a roof over her head. Really?! Is this the best we can do?

When Will We Take Responsibility?

We are created in the image of The Eternal Light;
This earth can either destroy it or give it flight
It is the responsibility of the parents of each child
To protect and nurture this light for a very long while.

Why else are our little offspring, for so long, so weak
That they still from their parents, shelter seek?
There is so much to be learned about nursing this fire
And protecting it from others' selfish desires.

Where did it really come from, this idea of original sin
That any babies born of the desires of the flesh would not be, to heaven, let in?
While it is true that the urge to procreate is the strongest in all creation,
Our Highest Power included in the act,  brings it to a sacred station.

When we don't honor the Eternal Good that lives inside us, as a soul,
We eventually destroy the Sacred Light, and we cannot be whole.
Those who are born to souls that are dead have much trouble finding the light,
Even though being a child of The Light should be each child's birthright.

We attempt incantations and rituals to wash away our responsibility
To behave in a way that will nurture the child to be all that it can be.
We pretend that our priests have power to wash our sins from our souls;
I believe it is in the parents' shared light that the child will reach its Eternal goal.

The Christ doesn't mean "Jesus," though for many this is the case;
The Word refers to the Infinite Power welcoming back the human race.
Until we are willing to live by, and raise our children, in The Word
All the public proclamations of salvation will not, by their souls, be heard.

When will we stop looking outward for the answers that dwell
Inside our innocent newborn selves?
When will we believe the The Power is within each of u?
It's for each of us to claim our own soul's inclusion in The Just.

This road is not easy, but if we hold tightly to our beliefs,
Our light will find others and The Grace will increase.
There will come a time when the whole world will shine so bright
That there will be only Holy Days and Holy Nights.

How many more Messiahs will it take
Before we, our arrogance, are willing to forsake?
When will we take personal responsibility
For bringing this world back to Unity?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Rabbi?! Oh, Really?

I'm beginning to feel like an old rabbi, endlessly arguing fine points of sacred scriptures;
The internet and my rejection of patriarchy has freed me from many strictures.
It's like I have the ancient library of Alexandria in my restlessly seeking hands;
Is this (as many believe) the devil's work, or is my seeking part of God's plan?

I believe The Almighty Aum hasn't changed with the times or the seasons.
I also believe that The Manifestations change with our ability to reason.
There are still many who accuse me of arguing over mere picky semantics;
For these people, believing we understand the original scriptures does the trick.

I do believe that since the dawn of creation, humans are the only creatures who have known
That searching for how we're made in the image of The Almighty is how our souls are grown.
But we forget that some words and some precise meanings are lost when words are translated;
Until we can understand them exactly, they should be neither wholly accepted nor negated.

We seem to vacillate wildly between hiding from our missteps and taking all blame;
The need to feel like we control Creation leads to nothing, long-term, but shame.
Our shame then prompts us to clean up or hide our perceived messes
Before The Great One smites us for any of our fallible, naive guesses.

How much more peace-promoting would it be to believe that we are born good,
And that the Great Light shining in each of us is simply covered by a bodily hood?
We would look into each others eyes and we'd honestly touch their Immortal souls
Instead of turning from their pain in shame, our souls' bond would help to make them whole.

If we felt intrinsically cherished, we would learn to gently examine our mistakes,
And we would share the lessons that we've learned, for all of humankind's sakes.
We would truly be interested in camaraderie rather than in competition,
But we must stop believing that controlling Grace is a worthy life's mission.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Warrior Women

My mother died before I was born; she had human breath, but no Spirit.
I cried out for a mother’s comfort, but none of my mothers could hear it.
I have the soul of a warrior, taken from my father and his mothers,
And when my father beat me, I wasn’t protected by any others.

The women who loved him saw that my turning from him made him weak;
This was the sense of control for which they all pretended to seek.
 Because I so wanted a mother, I’ve taken the whole world under my wing;
Having no strength or skills I could offer, except for the songs I sing.

Oh My Sisters, how I've loved you as I lay with you on your pyre;
To shelter you from the destructive flame was my only heart's desire.
How did we come to this where you let me stand accused
Of perpetrating the crimes of those by whom you were abused?

Oh My Children, how is it that when you learned to walk on your own,
You have allowed me to be scorned in your families' homes?
How is it that I was fed to the lions when I finally felt my own pain,
Didn't I hold you after your bloody falls, again and again?

I have waited as you mothered your children and claimed your dignity
But to salve my warrior's wounds, who has responsibility?
Will there never be loving mothers' arms to encircle me?
Will you never look for a  way to have a heart that, for me, is free?

You seem to dance with angels and sit upon Your Father's lap
But your invitations to join you have always been a trap.
You seem to want to be His favorite, so you ask me to entertain;
Then you point out how foolish I am, and treat me with disdain.

I have tried to make you love me with becoming your handmaiden;
I didn't have the courage to believe that I could be your friend.
I have nursed your children and worked with you to appease your men
You have said you want us to enjoy time together; my question is, "When?"

I have retreated into myself, trying to preserve the little light
That is left inside my earth-bound soul, which used to burn so bright.
If it was possible to simply will ourselves to fade away,
Drifting away on the waves to the sun is that for which I'd pray.
What we are taught to call fear is the awe of complete unearthly peace;
We have even turned our personal faces of God into the faces of beasts
Love and fear are mutually exclusive, as are love and distrust.
Fear is what fuels greed and abuse; which are both born of lust.

Many women want the comfort of their own warrior’s sheltering arms,
Paying no attention to other mothers and children that are harmed.
 They all were taught that to survive meant they had to bend their knees,
And to sacrifice even their own babies to, their Jealous Lords, please.

These women feed their own young to these men to protect themselves,
And learn to harden their hearts to the carnage’s sounds and smells.
These women fail to understand that a beast who conquers, with fear, a child
Should not be allowed a place in community life, except perhaps, in the wild.

Men who rule with cruelty avoid me; those of kind strength are friends.
Not the men, but their women fear me, that I will harm their cowering men.
The cowards hide behind their women’s skirts when someone confronts them;
These women who will not stand with their sisters do not demand amends.

I cannot and will not befriend a person with a vengeful heart;
In my feelings for the abusers, trust and love cannot  be a part.
The quandary has become that women who see their men respect me
Don’t realize that conquered enemies are all their men may ever be.

You may rest easy, My Sisters, your man doesn’t interest me.
It is not me that is a threat to you; it’s your own insecurity.
Woman who bows before no man, a man finds hard to resist her.
If you stand up to this beast; you like me, may lose many sisters.

But what good is a sister if she has no warrior in her soul?
In order to protect our young, it is important that we be bold.
It was never my intent to bring the men you call your own, harm;
But I will attempt no relationship while he’s wrapped in your sheltering arms. 
I didn't know that you, my friend, were afraid to stand alone;
I've never really had a place that I could consider my safe home.
I would rather lose you with the hope that we will one day reunite
Than to risk harming you any further with my grief's might.

I pray that all the people I've loved and lost will remember me kindly,
When our peaceful souls identify each other in Eternity.
And my mother's sweet soul won't foresake me for someone else;
There will be no more need to fear me, for I'll be my baby self