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Showing posts from February, 2018

In Flight (a poem)

Starlings in flight,      the rising,      the falling;      the crescendo,      the decrescendo;      the ebb,      the flow. Winged artists, aerial  dancers, poetry in motion.  The sky,      your canvas; the horizon,      your playground.  Gliding beautifully, individually, on currents of wind together in unity,      not unison, creating shapes  never imagined.  Moving  forward,      always forward, toward the next resting place together.   — bshivers

Pictures of the Divine (a poem)

Pictures of the divine
on yellowed paper memorialized in faded colors with edges curled by the passage of time hang proudly on display an act of religious devotion iconic imaginings       of how god should be unchangeable unreachable distant detached       save through           special knowledge,            holy practices,           pietistic incantations,           firstborn sacrifices,           wishful thinking,           sincere prayers      all towers of vanity      babelonic efforts to touch the sky.  Divinity cannot be created  comfortably cast in our own image. Beyond imagination, the sacred is realized, a God of  singularity  within multiplicity beckoning all toward           radical inclusion,           unrelenting mercy,           steadfast love,           unending life,           eternal covenant                 of begin again; all life is designed to be a reflection of this one divinity.   — bshivers

Teenagers Will Change the World

It has been my great honor and privilege to work with teenagers for over 30 years. I am regularly overwhelmed by their intelligence, humbled by their passion, encouraged by their faith, and challenged by their questions.
When people ask why I still do what I do, these are only a few of the reasons.
This past week, after a tragedy of unimaginable magnitude, we have been reminded once again of the
strength,
resilience,
and brilliance
of young people.
They continue to lead the way.
The rest of us would be wise to
listen to their stories;
encourage their passion to change the world in which they live;
support their efforts to make a difference;
guide them as they encounter the challenges of an often unjust system;
and never ever dismiss them.
They deserve our best and have not been getting it.
They will change the world.
The question is, will we join them in their revolution?

principalities (a poem)

land
security
personhood
identity
family
bodies
are always at risk of being violently taken by those who  possess the privilege  to define power   fortune prestige orthodoxy narrative normal freedom demands we stand against principalities that find pleasure in taking that which is not theirs to claim






Where We Must Begin (a poem)

These are
my children,
my sisters,
my brothers
     all ages,
     all stages,
     all shades,
     all hues,
     all body types,
     all orientations,
     all gender identities,
     all cognitive levels,
     all physical abilities,
     all religions,
     all nationalities,
     all ethnicities,
     all races,
     all immigration statuses,
     all refugees,
     all languages spoken.
They are
your children,
your sisters,
your brothers,
too.
We are connected
to each one
and must act
as if we believe
it is true.
I am your keeper
and you are mine.
The risk is much greater
to each one of us
if we believe,
if we behave
as though we are
divided,
isolated,
separated,
alone
an island of one.
This is where we must
begin.
  — bshivers

Fool's Errand (a poem)

"Be perfect;"
"Do it perfectly;"
these deadly phrases
sown with barbed wire thread
into the seams of the ill-fitting fabric
draped heavily,
awkwardly
across weary shoulders.
Traipsing about
as if wearing high fashion,
something beyond avant garde,
down life's runway
chest out
head held high
ignoring the searing pain
all for the sake
of the crowd;
no,
of the ego.
New scars
reveal themselves each day,
evidence of the futile effort,
the fool's errand,
to attempt
to wear such a garment
with grace.
Today,
this ridiculous garb
is left lying crumpled on the floor
in the very place
where it was removed
the night before.
Its presence is haunting.
Its memory every present.
But it must not be worn
ever again . . .
ever again . . .

Magnificence (a poem)

There is
a magnificence
in this world;
a one of a kind
tribute
to beauty and grace;
a spectacular
creation
history has never held
until
this moment
and will never
hold
again;
a glimpse of eternity
within the promise
that is
life.
You are
right here,
right now,
and that is enough.
You are
enough.
Today,
be fearless
in being
you.
And
tomorrow
be
.
.
.
once more.

  — bshivers

Humans (a poem)

Humans,       no matter      color of skin;      native language;      nation of birth; are never illegal. 
Humans,      no matter      degrees conferred;       positions held;      titles earned; are never "so called".
Humans,      no matter      what someone says;      words that are used;      sticks nor stones; are never less than.
  — bshivers

Persistence is her name (a poem)

Persistence "firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition." Persistence is her name. She stands when it would be more convenient to sit. She sits when others wish she would move. She moves when action is demanded. She speaks because her voice shall not be silenced nor stolen yet again. Persistence is her name. She has birthed nations. She has ended wars. She has toppled empires. She has nursed change. Persistence is her name. Mercy is found in the milk of her breast. Empathy is seen in the tears on her cheek. Justice is felt in the sweat of her brow. Righteousness is coursing in the blood in her veins. Persistence is her name. Difficulty will not stop her. Obstacles will not stand. Opposition will not cause delay. Trouble will not linger. Persistence is her name. Nevertheless, she persisted; for Persistence IS her name. — bshivers

of splinters and planks (a poem)

in self-righteous
disapproval
fingers are wagged,
tongues are clicked,
fists are shaken
at public sins
exposed
by the light
afraid
of the transgressions
hidden
by the cover of darkness
hoping to create a diversion
so the duplicity within
might not be
revealed

  -- bshivers

by name (a poem)

the stars are known      by name each spoken into existence within the dark expanse of the universe in response, they shine as if there was nothing else      they could do,      they would do,      they should do their effulgence called out from within      their depths something of unique and timeless beauty exists where once there appeared to only be nothingness now radiance everything forever changed

  — bshivers

Ever Toward Freedom (a poem)

The Divine is not a commodity to be  captured,  bought,  and sold by charlatans  and slave traders;
held captive  on unholy commercial plantations  prodded,  whipped,  and tortured for the pleasure and profit of the privileged and powerful who believe they make the rules. 
She cannot be possessed as an instrument of desire or every passing whim, as if holy mystery  and sacred activity could be conjured by force  or special incantation. 
No,  Her spirit  will rise flowing freely  where she chooses.  Her song can be heard  but her origin and destination  remain an enigma. 
Those who have ears to hear   Her calling  follow with delight.  Those who do not,  fear Her coming and going yet still  claim ownership  and secret knowledge. 
Be still.  Listen, for rushing wind.  Watch, for tongues of fire.  She has always  been unfettered  and moves  ever toward  freedom, justice, and mercy.
  — bshivers

Oneness of We (a poem)

No matter      the language spoken or native tongue;      the land of origin or ancestral home;      the longitude and latitude of the place one resides;      the way in which one has arrived carrying their dreams in tow;      the religious habits and stirrings of the heart;      the amount of melanin in the skin;      the manner in which one is loved or who they call their beloved;      the life experience that informs the present;      the past which may haunt today;      the color and shape of the eyes through which the world is seen; there is a spark on the invisible line that seems to separate the you from the me and fills the space in between,  the spirit of the divine  dwelling within and without revealing to all who possess the heart to behold the magnificent depth and contours  of the soul that is outside our own yet shares the mysterious oneness of we.   — bshivers