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

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 mig

The Children

(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


(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. 


(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


(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


(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.


(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


(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,

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.


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.