The Wall Street Hillbillies

Hangin’ out in D.C
as the new plutocracy,
Wall Street Hillbillies
are sayin’ things downright silly.
Through their teeth they lie
and promise pie-in-the-sky,
but a whopping sixty-six percent
hope the hillbillies just go bye-bye.
The other thirty-seven
still think they are on the way to heaven,
but the day of reckoning is comin’
when they lose healthcare, electricity and plumbin’.
They’ll say, “Now, we can’t flush
and who turned out the lights?”
Well, Wall Street walked off with
all the money and everybody’s human rights.
Better luck next time.
Stay away from Wall Street Hillbillies
and you should be just fine.

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The Courage of a Waif*

A waif of a child
stood in line
and was asked,
“Who is the weakest one?”
“Not I.”
“Run, boy, run.”
He ran but was caught
and was the beaten one.
His friend just watched.
Bruised but unbowed,
not dehumanized nor
brutalized in spirit,
he spoke gently of
forests, woods, waters,
flora and fauna.
“Who is the weakest one?”
“Not I.”
“Run, boy, run.”
Beaten but not bowed,
he spoke of nature.
His friend just watched.
“Strike the thief. He
stole from the Fatherland.”
The boys did.
“I will not.”
He did not.
That waif of a child
stood in line.
“Who is the weakest?”
“Not I.”
“Run, boy, run.”
“I will not.”
His friend just watched.
The waif whispered softly
of flora and fauna
and looked up at a blue, blue sky
before he closed his eyes.
His friend sat by his side
and cried.

*inspiration from All The Light You Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The Flight of Madame Lefarge

The late, great Madame Lefarge
was as big as a barge
and fit snugly in a huge coffin —
one not seen very often.
As the pallbearers
descended the stairs,
the coffin broke away
becoming a descending sleigh
sliding down flight after flight
causing great fright.
The coffin split in two
And through the air Madame Lefarge flew.
Many screamed
but Madame Lefarge remained serene.
In death Madame Lefarge
became a celebrity quite large.
While some thought it all terrible,
Madame Lefarge became France’s first dirigible.
Unlike the Hindenburg burning in the sky,
Madame Lefarge was last seen waving goodbye.

He Reads Poetry of Immigration

He reads poetry of immigration,
Deportation and desolation
Instead of celebration.
What has happened?
He is a first generation
Child of Immigration,
And as hard as life was for
The Swedes, Hollanders, Italians and
Poles of his neighborhood and
As suspicious as those groups
Were of each other, their journeys
Were a celebration
And eventually those groups found
Love in combination.
He is a product of that combination
And daily looks upon life in appreciation
For the difficult journeys and the
Love that overcame suspicion and
Separation.
His grandson is a rainbow coalition.
The boy can’t be prejudiced against anyone
Because he is everyone
And in that sense, he is
The revelation and incarnation
Of the Sacred Son, the Divine Daughter,
The Holy Child — Everyone.

We Spend Our Lives

We spend our lives searching for
wholeness for the fragments –
putting the pieces together once

we’ve identified the pieces which
takes so much of our time – am
I this, that or the other? And then

there are those who stop search-
ing for whatever reason and those
who never started and the whole

enterprise is aborted. Then there
are those who are told that a frag-
ment is the whole and live in that

little, truncated world believing
but not feeling. All those along
the path need prayer, especially

those who just settled and stopped
searching believing the journey
was too arduous or there was no

need to search on. As you pass
them, wave, smile and say a prayer
that you keep going, growing,

searching, finding, realizing that
our whole is only in connection
and communion with others, with

nature, with the creation, with
the origin and the destination of
it all who joins us on the journey

of eternity, sometimes glimpsed
in a fragment of a moment here,
there, anywhere — perhaps in

a single, deep inhale and a
single, deep exhale and the
mindfulness to know both as one.

My DNA Over Ten Generations or a Thousand Years

Here’s two percent of me –
Asian Indian. Seriously? Really?
Take me for free.
Here’s thirty-two percent of me –
British. That’s why there’s Indian in me.
Take me for free.
Here’s eighteen percent of me –
Western European — so much for fifty-percent Dutch in me.
Take me for free.
Here’s forty-two percent of me –
Scandinavian – The Vikings put out to sea.
Take me for free.
Here’s four percent of me –
Fin. The Vikings traveled to Finland, I see.
Take me for free.
Here’s two percent of me –
Northwest Russian. The Vikings traveled to Russia, too, I see,
or did the Russians invade via the Baltic Sea?
Putin says, “Only two percent!
You can have him for a small fee.”
All in all, I’m just happy to be me —
originally out of Africa, part of
the human family.

Finally Done

This morning I went to the worship service
Hoping the guest preacher’s sermon would move me like a Whirling Dervish.
It was supposed to be about opening blind eyes,
But I dozed often, my gaping mouth catching flies.
I swallowed a fly, coughed and turned around to see,
If anyone in the congregation had heard me;
But with open eyes, all I would behold
Were sleeping parishioners, the sermon having put them out cold.
When the preacher finally said amen,
The sanctuary looked like an opium den.
The organist let out all the stops
And to our feet we all did hop
Cheering and clapping and having such fun
Because we all realized the preacher was finally done.

The Desert Glowed

The desert glowed with flowers galore;
the winter rains came in a downpour
of more and more than any time before
they could remember in their winters west.
They were sure this winter was the best
for canals and as much as aquifers could ingest,
but as with every up-side there is a down-side, too.
As the summer days came and flew
right by,
the foliage in the desert began to dry.
The fires came and the mountains began to cry
for help from the ever blue but cloudless sky,
and so with life itself,
we all need a little help
to appreciate the beauty
and endure when that life lands a kick and kelp
that leave a vicissitude’s
welt
as it surely will
till spring flowers bloom again galore
and you find hope once more
and sing praises still to fill
your heart with gratitude.

He’s Been Reading

He’s been reading about
trinitarian things, ternary

vs. binary things and the
“third way,” kind of like

thesis, antithesis and
synthesis from Hegel

only in religious term-
inology to work things

out without a lot of
either/or conflict and

he understands that
synthesis is good and

that there is far too
little of it around

America these days, but
at some point in time

someone has to rise to
the occasion, massage

his kahunas or massage
her huevos and say, “No,”

and let the chips fall
where they may and they

may fall all over his
or her head, but to

take a stand simply
has to be taken when

it seems everyone else
is saying no for all

the wrong, horrible,
insensitive, unethical,

selfish reasons. Then
among friends be sure

to practice the “third
way,” the synthesis, the

“compassionately ob-
jective way” as one

religious person put it
in a meditation he re-

ceived over the internet
and yes, it should be

tried with the opposition
but, to be quite frank

about it, didn’t President
Obama bend over backwards

and try that over and
over and over and over

and over ad nauseam?
Okay, he gets the point

not to be so argument-
ative but he wonders

if you get the other
point, right or do

you really want to
argue about this

bloody thing?