Compassionate responsibility is what morality means to me.
Those who seek to scare us are not what I believe Christians to be.
And those who refuse to admit that we are all equally vulnerable
Continue hurting others with their contrived “pull”.
Here I sit in “Santa’s Sleigh” waiting out Hurricane Isaac.
The van has the most important thing, to me, that we lack.
Electricity’s gone out; there’s no hot water for dishes or showers.
I’m reading an Indian sacred scripture, but can stand it only a few hours.
I’ve watched seagulls sail over the storm-tossed harbor,
And brave (or stupid) sparrows actually flying backwards
I’ve watched lots of people dressed for Nor’easters,
Though we’re actually tropical storm and hurricane receivers.
Some have left the property, probably in search of power;
I don’t know where they think they’ll find it at this late hour.
The worst will be the humid heat in the calm after the storm,
But I know in our vehicles, we can always be cool or warm.
Our niece having trouble facing adult responsibility,
Seems ready to begin thinking about what her life should be.
The storm slowed down her release into her new world;
It remains to be seen if she’s ready to bring woman forth from girl.
A beloved nephew, that we hear from too little, texted me;
How sweet for him to be concerned, though he has a wife and baby.
A very dear friend, who’s relationship shy, has now reported
That she has actually, to a neighbor’s company, resorted.
Yesterday morning, upon awaking, I walked across our bedroom,
Thanked engineers and architects that there was no spot of gloom.
There are windows on both sides to let in light and fresh air
Allowing us to read and write from our bed and favorite chairs.
The building seems quite sound, though walls creak occasionally.
Though the van shakes from side to side, sometimes rather violently,
There are no great trees to fall on us, in the condo’s landscape.
All of this seems to be planned simply for our safety’s sake.
I am so grateful for those who use their skills and talents
To organize all the blessings that we Americans are sent.
We would not be able to trust even the roofs above our heads
If not for the oversight of “the government” that we dread.
Our taxes are a way to make sure that we are all safe
From the half-baked schemes and plans that our neighbors make.
I do not want to depend on corporate honesty during a crisis;
I prefer an informed, involved citizenry to, on justice, insist.
I felt that everyone should have national disaster insurance
When, with Hurricane Katrina, all of our belongings went.
So many chose not to share the burden of the unknown;
From this selfish culture, so much irresponsibility has grown.
None of us know who is next in receipt of natural disaster;
There are to those who think they will continue in their laughter.
No person or population will ever be truly immune
From fires, floods, tornadoes, mudslides and typhoons.
Our taxpayer dollars provide shelter and meals to eat
When the hurricanes flood our low-lying streets.
Our community system is based on Judeo-Christian justice;
All Abrahamic religions, on helping our neighbors insist.
The old notion is that rulers and clergy were next to God,
And deserved special favors, while on the vulnerable they trod.
In a democracy we understand that what I do affects you;
During crises we see who, to these values, holds true.
Sharing burdens with “the government” acting as arbiter
Is what, I believe, our rules of citizenship are for.
We must start holding responsible our friends and neighbors,
Rather than allowing the “connected” and “pitiful” special favors.