Thursday, September 16, 2010

the understanding

taking care of what's Good,
shoved as it is up against Will and Greed,
does not have to be a matter of eeking out a life
in a tiny crack of light.
but there is that.
and one grows slitty-eyed at wondering
what to do with a conscience that knows
its own little accommodations.

as in, how can we let people live on the streets
covered up with cardboard
and drive on by
without smelling the reek of our own shame?
without feeling the pearls choking our neck?
 'they're underprivileged anyway, so this works well for them'...?

how can we not put the heads of british petroleum in public stockades 
for an ongoing kill in the open seas,
the appalling ten-mile death plumes still soundlessly suffocating the deep?
the barrier islands abandoned to their stained and putrid deaths,
the people of an entire way of life sacrificed,
and we do not hear the screams of these ghastly silences?

how can a president of conscience so dishonor himself,
transfixed as he is between starving his people with corrupted hope
and hand-feeding the corporate maw at the altar of power?
where is our holy anger?

 what is all of this love left undone,
  that we too would exempt ourselves from the work?

  from somewhere within the Deep Nudge,
dwelling in salty pools of Light shining behind the eyes,
  Knowing leaks out, as now, and flows along the mind
and pours out on this kitchen counter,
where we sit in our communal quiet, 
you spooning your coffee,
listening to Keillor and Paynter,
i keeping by, tapping out lines,
examining the quality of my fury at joining the collective tacitness
 wherein we have excused ourselves from dealing with reality.

we know that who we are here on this earth, in this kitchen,
is sacred,
and we know that who we are
in the extended consciousness happening out there
is as sacred to our life as our own heartbeat.
so if we do not do That Thing That Changes Us...
the Thing We Were Given To Do...
we must live with ourselves

Friday, September 3, 2010

he looked out from old eyes and a knit cap
in 95 degree humidity, in downtown Austin
standing on the median with his cardboard sign
a simple message to cars passing by ...  "need help"
and i was on my way to the vet to pick up the family dog
found so many years ago,
in the middle of another road and another life...
and it was going to be a hefty bill this time.
$398 for an ear infection and overdue vaccination.
so, how much for the man?
all i had was a twenty and change.
it seemed unfair, but he wouldn't know
that i would be paying more for the dog,
and i handed it to him out the window.
it was easier than holding on to the anger at reagan
for all of those he turned out on the street
in the 80's... the ones who can't hold a job
and can't afford to be poor and bipolar
all at the same time.
out on the street
we are all just people.
and we have to take care of each other.
because what else is there?