Posts

Showing posts from May, 2017

faith is calling

if faith calls for movement away from others      in fear or disgust if faith  asks for an evaluation       of who is out and who is in if faith  encourages seeing people       of different creeds as a threat if faith  demands suspension of mind       to make room for belief
look deeper faith is calling      deeper look beyond faith is calling       beyond look further faith is calling      further look within faith is calling      within
faith is calling
--bss2017

Memorial Day Memories

Image
Every Sunday in Marion, Indiana, my family attended a small Assembly of God church directly across East 29th Street from my maternal grandparents' home. Following church, we would walk across the street to join my grandparents for lunch in their quaint two bedroom home my grandfather built with his own hands when my mother was five years old. This house was a second home of sorts not only for me and my immediate family but also for all of my great aunts, great uncles, their children, and their children's children. There was always great home cooked meal to eat, room to sit on the davenport (couch to those of you who don't know), tea and lemonade, and plenty of love and acceptance to go around. This was a home that reminded you that you were deeply connected to something much bigger than yourself and that you mattered. The richly paneled walls spoke the beautiful and sometimes painful stories of family. The rooms sang the songs of love and devotion. The faces in the family …

Our Greatest Sin

(a poem) Perhaps 
our greatest sin is passing on to our children our age old biases and prejudices.  Or perhaps  it is the work we put into making sure their beautifully open minds slowly close to more closely resemble our own closed minds.  Or perhaps  it is pointing out the people and places they should hate and demonize in order to ensure the perpetuation of decades old animosity.  Or perhaps  it is convincing them that they deserve the material goods that someone else has, and that the outsiders are the reason they cannot have what they want.  Or perhaps  it is the way we indoctrinate them to believe what we believe about those who believe differently than we believe.  Or perhaps  it is in the manner in which we give our fears and insecurities to them ensuring that they will never see the world or others any differently than we do.  Or perhaps  it is our understanding that we are the ones who must shape them while being blind to the ways in which they might shape us.  Perhaps  tha…

The Children

Image
(a poem)

The children of Manchester
whose voices sang familiar songs
whose voices screamed with the throngs
whose voices were silenced

The children of Syria
whose names we don't know
whose names their friends shouted with glee
whose names their parents grieve

The children of Nigeria
whose lives were a promise
whose lives were full of opportunity
whose lives were interrupted

The children of our cities
whose dreams were imaginative
whose dreams were deep and wide
whose dreams were ended too early

These are all our children
who deserve a better tomorrow
who deserve a better today
who deserve a better now


Hate

(a poem)

Hate . . . 
     has no color
Hate . . . 
     has no homeland
Hate . . .
     has no creed
Hate . . .
     is vengeance
Hate . . .
     is retribution
Hate . . .
     is fear
Hate . . .
     has no vision
Hate . . .
     has no dream
Hate . . .
     has no future
Hate . . .
     is faithless
Hate . . .
     is hopeless
Hate . . .
     is godless
          --bss2017

Air We Breathe

(a poem)

You exhale.  I inhale.  I breathe out.  You breathe in.  The air we breathe is all the same. That which  fills our lungs, feeds our blood, gives us life is the essence  we share.  With each breath  we breathe  we take in the air  of the ancients.  The particulates it contains  hold the core  of all that has ever lived, of all that has ever been.  We are a part of their story;   they are a part of ours. You are a part of my story; I am a part of yours.   That which we believe separates us; that which we say differentiates me from you; that which we claim is vital to our being pale in comparison  to that which we share.  This air we breathe.  You  and  me and this air  we breathe. 

Unnamed

(a poem)
The unnamed women have names       their mothers called them; have names       their children know;  have names       that children from other mothers       cherish in their hearts Names       which are spoken       in languages most will never learn.  The unnamed women  have names  They shape people.  They birth nations.  They are architects of history.  They are the first educators       of the geniuses among us.  They are       priestess,      prophetess,      minister,      shaman,      holy women.  The unnamed women have names.  When we speak of history; when we think of the brilliant minds       in our midst; when we explore new worlds let us  gently  reverently  remember  celebrate  the names  of the unnamed women who have nursed  and nurtured it all; who have held  all mystery  and discovery  against their breasts.  The unnamed women have names. 
-- bss2017

It's Who We Are

(a poem) You know what we do...
We make sure
no one is left behind.
It's who we are.
We are family. You know what we do...
We make sure
no one gets left out.
It's who we are.
We are family. You know what we do...
We make sure
everyone's needs are met.
It's who we are.
We are family. You know what we do...
We make sure
no one goes thirsty.
It's who we are.
We are family. You know what we do...
We make sure
no one goes hungry.
It's who we are.
We are family. You know what we do....
We make sure
everyone is heard.
It's who we are.
We are family. You know what we do...
We make sure
to protect one another.
It's who we are.
We are family. You know what we do...
We make sure
to keep each other warm.
It's who we are.
We are family. You know what we do...
We make sure
everyone is accepted.
It's who we are.
We are family. You know what we do...
We make sure
everyone knows they are loved.
It's who we are.
We are family. You know what we do...
-- bss2017

Worthy

(a poem) It is dangerous
for us to think
that we get to decide
who is worthy of acceptance
and who is not . . . It is damaging
for us to think
that we get to decide
who is worthy of mercy
and who is not . . . It is destructive
for us to think
that we get to decide
who is worthy of justice
and who it not . . . It is disastrous
for us to think
that we get to decide
who is worthy of love
and who is not . . . It is diabolical
for us to think
that we get to decide
who is worthy of grace
and who is not . . . It is damning
for us to think
that we get to decide
who is worthy
and who is not . . . --bss2017

Story

(a poem)

Being courageous
with your
story
means
     you sometimes sit with it in silence;
     you sometimes grieve over the pain;
     you sometimes secretly hold it deep within;
     you sometimes speak it quietly into the wind;
     you sometimes share it in hushed tones with a friend;
     you sometimes offer it to a sworn enemy;
     you sometimes shout it for all to hear;
     you sometimes simply hold space listening to another's story.
Be courageous
with your
story.
Stories
have the capacity
to transform.
-- bss 2017

Prayer on Receiving the Day

Here I am.
Yes,
Here
I
am.
May
I find
the courage
to be
right here,
right now,
and may
I feel
Presence
in my being
while
I am
being
here
now.
Here I am.
-- bss2017

Power of Words

Words
have power
     to injure,
to heal,
to offend,
to engage,
to insult,
to praise,
to belittle,
to encourage. 
Words
have power. 
Be careful
how we use
our
words.

Fierce Women - Mother's Day 2017

All day today,
I have been thinking
about all of the
fierce
amazing
women
who have lost a child
as well as the
unfathomably
strong
women
who saw their dreams
of one day giving birth
unravel before their eyes.
I am in awe of
your courage,
your heart,
and your beauty.
You are incredible.
Thank you for being you
this day
and everyday.

Yes, You Are

No one
gets to tell you
that you are less than anyone else.
No one
gets to measure
your worth against anyone else.
No one
gets to decide
you are somehow less human.
No one
gets to diminish
your personhood.
No one
for any reason
ever.
You are fabulous.
You are accepted.
You are enough.
You are loved.
You are.
Yes,
you are.

Interactions

(a poem inspired by Carlo Rovelli)
We breathe  the same air.  We occupy  the same space.  Yet our  place, our time;  our  here,  our  now are relative  are experienced differently to the eyes  through which  we see and the bodies through which  we experience.  Creating  our own existence  our own reality because of our perspective.  We are  these moments, an endless series of  interactions within without.  When our moments  collide   we can become  collaborators  or perhaps mortal enemies? And if we split  these atoms these collections of particles these interactions there is potential for immense power and tremendous  destruction.  And so is the dance; as these  human happenings strive to become human beings together. 
                                  -- bss 2017

Patience

(a poem)

"Be patient.
Change will come,"
says the one whose
privilege affords them
the luxury
of never having to wait
for anything.

If patience
means waiting
idly
while others
do the work
or
don't do the work
on their own schedule
when time
and convenience
allow,
then
no thanks.

There is
no time
for that.

If patience
means wishful
thinking
of how things
could be
in the perfect world
of someone else's
imagination
filled with
"if only's"
and
"maybe someday's",
then
no thanks.

There is
no time
for that.

If patience
means the knowledge
that change,
real change,
lasting change
comes through
difficult
demanding
work
right now
and again
tomorrow
and again
the next day
persistently
demanding
justice,
mercy,
healing,
equality,
opportunity,
access,
through
knocking on doors,
standing up,
sitting in,
signing up,
protesting,
preaching,
singing,
shouting,
walking hand in hand,

then
yes . . .

let's
join our voices
our lives
with the ones
who began t…

A Ride to School

Today,
I drove my 18 year old daughter to school. I get to do that every day. It is one of the biggest joys of my life. She is the most courageous human I know. She has been through more than most adults who are three times her age. I am thankful for the team of medical professionals, educators, mentors, and family members who have helped mold her into the woman she is today as well as the one she is becoming. She is fierce, full of faith, and one of the kindest people you will ever meet. I am honored and humbled to be called her dad.

Today,
In Texas, there is another mom and another dad who are the parents of a teen. However, they will never again drive him to school or pick up from practice. Testimonies have been shared that this young man was kind, smart, and had a smile that could light up a room. He, too, had mentors, teachers, coaches, and family members who molded him into the young man he was and the one he was becoming. His life ended violently, tragically, unnecessarily. I a…

Confession

It's time to 
Confess The sin of the empire That cannot understand  It's own proclivity to Oppress others  in the name of National security
It's time to Confess The sin of the institution That cannot recognize  It's own tendency to Keep people in their place  In the name of Its vitality
It's time to Confess  The sin of the group That cannot stop It's own penchant to Ostracize others  In the name of  Tribal purity
It's time to Confess  The sin of the individual  Who cannot avoid Their own impulse to  Deny the rights of others In the name of Self righteousness

Haiku 10 - beauty - spring 2017

You are beautiful. 
Even your broken pieces 
Reveal your beauty.