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


Arborescence said...

Wow! This poem is quite amazing!!

I especially like "what to do with a conscience that knows / its own little accommodations" and the last line especially "where we must live with ourselves / inside"

just another duck on the pond said...

as it goes, i am always refining, but you have found the nut of it which cannot be 'refined' -- that we know the truth of things but have excused ourselves from acting on it, which whacks our spiritual integrity and creates a deep spiritual dissonance that, somehow, we live with... a little ''understanding'' we have with ourselves that we just won't deal with these disturbing truths because, because, because ...

and a thousand becauses later we are still sitting here not dealing with it. i don't know how to clean up the barrier islands, but it might be the thing to learn how to do and then take the rest of this lifetime doing it. at least it would be one tiny mending of the earth, which in itself is worthy of the undertaking.

thanks for your comment!

Feral Jesus said...

I think we start but acknowledging that the State is not the answer but the prime contributor to the problem of ecological destruction. Each of us being "one tiny mending of the earth" may involve actively ignoring the State, refusing to vote, participating in civil disobedience and creative ignoring. I am much happier writing a check to The Nature Conservancy than the Dept of the Interior...Enjoy your posts.