Divine Inclusivity, A Sonnet

Thank you, Jesus, for your brown skin;
you take in and reflect out everything —
the whitest of white, the blackest of black
and everything in between.

Thank you for your brown eyes;
you take in and reflect out everything —
the bluest of blue, the blackest of black
and the lovely, hazel green.

Thank you for the now healed wounds;
you take in and reflect out everything —
the freshest flesh, the deepest red
all the colors our wounds have been.

Thank you for helping me see
in you everyone who has been and will be.

The Guy Is Dismissed

The guy is dismissed as too harsh,
too strident, too “in your face,” —
not sensitive, not feeling, not car-
ing, not empathic but it is just the
opposite. He feels so deeply that
at the end of every Nicole Wallace
show when she recounts the lives
and tragic deaths of those men
and women who have died of COVID,
he just sits and blubbers.

I Thought I Had Been Through It All

I thought I had been through it all —
sudden, violent death of a father
when I was seventeen and the
sudden, shocking death of my
wife at forty-nine — until now.
I see the suffering, the grief,
the pain of the families of those
Blacks cutdown violently, merci-
lessly, unjustly and those who
have been burned out of their
houses and lives lost in the
fires, and all their belongings
and the almost 200,000 lives
lost unnecessarily because of the
unbridled ego of the person who
couldn’t care less and the eight
thousand children who were just
let go at the border and abandon-
ed and then I hear of the steril-
ization of immigrant women at the
hands of an ICE fiend physician
nicknamed The Uterus Collector
and I drop to my knees and cry
and I hear the wales of the
children along the banks in
Babylon, “How long, O, Lord,
how long?”

You Don’t Even Want to Imagine

You don’t even want to imagine
that some ICE gynecologist is
sterilizing immigrant women
under the guise that the women
have uterine cancer. This sounds
just like Nazi Germany right here
in the good old US of A. How far
will this depravity go? How is
this happening? Oh, I know. It’s
Trump world. And we have de-
scended to the lowest place
humans could ever go, in the
most demented psyche ever
imagined. Did you say this is
Trump world? What would his
clinical psychologist niece have
to say while we all scream?

He Would Never

He would never tell his congregation
for whom to vote, but, from the pulpit,
he told them to vote and he did it, not

just on constitutional grounds but for
biblical reasons citing justice, mercy
and compassion in a flawed demo-

cratic republic. He said that we don’t
live out our faith in a vacuum but in
the political and economic systems

in which we live. Firebrand, young,
evangelical professors at the local
university vehemently opposed the

preacher saying it is their privilege
as Christians not to vote, not to
participate in the secular city. That

was fifty years ago. What would
they say today?

Obscenity on TV

He’s watching on TV a commercial of the
corporation Volvo using the Peter Seeger
protest song Hard Times in the Mill.

An’ every night when I go home
A piece o’ cornbread an’ an ol’ jawbone
It’s hard times in the mill my love
Hard times in the mill

You, too, can drive off in style away
from that gosh darn mill and all the hard
times there, just don’t spill the cornbread
on the leather seats and don’t drop the
jawbone because it will stain the leather.
Yes, for just the right price you can leave
that gosh darn mill and all the hard times
there for the safety of all-wheel drive.

Ain’t it enough to break your heart
Have to work all day, an’ at night it’s dark
It’s hard times in the mill my love
Hard times in the mill.

Remember, you, too, can drive away
from that Hard Times Mill
in a vehicle with the best safety
rating of any car on the market.
Think about the safety of your
children as you all drive away from
that gosh-darn, hard-times mill.

Seriously? Really?

Okay, the false scandal of the cross
is the misguided (really obscene)
notion that God made Jesus suffer
humiliation, torture and an agonizing

death as a God-head substitute for
us in our depravity so that we can
just accept and go to heaven when
we die. Okay, that makes God a sadist/

masochist hurting self and a separate
Trinitarian self/person simultaneously
and it makes us more than happy to
accept divine intervention for what it is —

cheap grace. On the other hand, the
scandal of the cross is that God cared
so much for the creation that God emp-
tied self in a sacrificial act of suffering

humiliation, torture and an agonizing
death to identify with the creation’s
suffering and to call a grateful humanity
to do the same for all suffering humanity

with the truly scandalous notion that
such sacrificial suffering unto death
for the sake of the creation is the way
to life. Seriously? You want to take a

chance on that, make a bet on that?
Really? Is it any wonder that we keep
choosing cheap for a heaven that looks
a hell of a lot more like hell?

He Spends Time

He spends time getting in the meditative
mood, reading meditations by renowned
writers, reading poetry and he’s almost
ready to do his thirty minutes of deep
breathing and he’s pretty sure this time
it’s going to result in a zen-like experience
when he looks up from the computer and
sees the neighbor walk by, the one who
caused so much trouble in the association
because he wanted everything for himself
and his super Christian, evangelical, right-
eous, rightwing family in a way that would
be “just so,” and the worst might be that
he and they are all graduates of the same
college so then he asks himself, Where
did my meditative posture of peace just go —

One Percent of One Percent One Way or the Other

The one percent of one percent
are making money hand over fist.

A different one percent of one per-
cent are those fortunate enough to

hear how much their lives matter
to the lives of others. It’s just a

guess but the point is that we are
not very good at telling others

things that we really love about
them. Which one percent of one

percent would you choose? Your
choice. Oh, but then there are all

of us in-between who, on a spec-
trum from one one percent of one

percent to the other one percent
of one percent, go from really

greedy to unbelievably affirming
and in which direction are we

moving? There isn’t a tsunami
or tidal wave of love heading

in the way of that one percent
of one percent. And then, of

course, there are all the wild-
fires and the constant corona

virus and race relations and…
no wonder the affirming persons

comprise only one percent of one
percent even if that’s just a guess.