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Showing posts from August, 2018

The Religion of Fear

Beware of those
who make their living selling fear
as doctrine,
an unholy dogma
turning houses of prayer
into dens of thieves.
This fear they sell
takes many forms -
fear of decline;
fear of the other;
fear of the unknown;
fear of their manufactured enemy
     who seeks to
        ruin our lives,
        take our things,
        eliminate our advantage,
        end our dreams,
        transform us into them;
Fear lies!
Fear turns us against one another.
Fear destroys us all from within.
Fear runs counter to the ways of love.
Fear is the enemy.
Let this be clear
in the words we speak
and the lives we live,
fear has no place
in the call of Love.
- bshivers

Don’t let them . . .

Don’t let them steal your tears;
     the transcendent is traced in their tracks. Don’t let them silence your laughter;      the sacred is heard in its sound. Don’t let them discount your pain;      the divine is found in its depths. Don’t let them douse your joy;      the holy is discovered in its heights. - bshivers

Children of the World

O children of the world,
we have failed you.  The streets       on which you walk are dangerous. The water       you are forced to drink is poison.  The schools       you attend are a threat to your existence.  The adults       on whom you rely prey          upon your innocence and vulnerability. The planet       you call home is dying          through our neglect and exploitation. We act as if       we are purposely trying          to eliminate your youth             before it begins. We seek       to secure our today          without a thought             for your tomorrow.  You don’t need       another hollow apology. You need       our active repentance -          a turning from our ways;          a turning back to you. O children of the world, we have failed you. - bshivers

What Is It?

what is it about their stories that frightens you most?
   is it the sound of the voices of those usually silenced;    is it the inconvenience of their truth;    is it the loss of assumptions that once were  believed;    is it the fact that pretending it isn’t so is no longer an option;    is it the shattered idols once held so dear;    is it the temptation to continue to ignore what has been heard;    is it the weight of responsibility that now comes with knowing? what is it about their stories that frightens you most? — bshivers

Metamorphosis

(a poem)

Salvation
converts our eyes,
     the way in which we see;
transforms our feet,
     the way in which we walk;
changes our hands,
     the way in which we work;
awakens our minds,
     the way in which we think.

May we
keep our eyes open;
walk with purpose;
work for justice;
stay woke.
- bshivers

Of Anthropomorphism and Zoomorphism

(in light of current events)
Latte is a chocolate lab.
She has lived with us for over 3 years. She’s an amazing dog. She is hysterical in her antics.  She makes us laugh out loud at least once a day.  She has so much energy and personality that it is hard not to anthropomorphize her; to assign to her human emotions, motivations, wants, and desires. But doing so actually is a disservice to Latte. Latte is not human. She is a dog; canine through and through. She always has been. She always will be. As a family, it is important that we never forget that. If we do forget it, we run the risk of missing what she really needs as a dog.  I say all of this because we as humans often do the same thing to our fellow human beings, only in reverse. And we have seen it all too often recently in our political and civic life. In order to excuse our horrible behavior toward our fellow human beings, we often claim they were behaving like beasts and somehow deserved it;  in order to instill the fear of …
There is a lie that tears us apart from the inside out.
It goes like this, “You have to give  more of you than you have and then give even more still in order to be of value, in order to be important, in order to make a difference, in order to make it.”
If you can’t, if you won’t give more it is often taken by force at the expense of your very self.
We need to stand together and say, “No.”
We need to stand together for one another against this distortion.
For truly, we can only  ever give out of that which we have.
And that is enough.
For you are enough.
And so am I. - bshivers

Ordinary Time

There is nothing
     ordinary
          about this time;
          about this precise moment.
Now
     a couple
          welcomes their first child
          into the world;
     a man
          lays his parter to rest
          while holding the hands
               of their two small children
               whose lives will never
                    be the same;
     a student
          arrives home
          after their first day
               of school
                    with a few tears;
                    with old friends and new;
                    with challenges to face
                         and overcome;
     a bed
          unmade
               as evidence
               of another
                    restless night;
     the laundry
          done
               at least for now;
     the assignment
          waits
               for another day;
     the homework
          undone;
     this sandwich;
     this glass of water;
     this chair;
     this house;
  …

Unfolding

Unfolding this mystery that is me carefully peeling back each layer to reveal a little more that has been hidden piece by piece from the universe from myself there is pain there is discomfort but within it all there is beauty in the discovering there is the beauty in the discovery of me - bshivers

Forgive Yourself

It is time
to forgive yourself. The divine has already done so. Now live as if it is true. Forgive others; Seek reconciliation; Pursue justice; Love. - bshivers

I Cannot Stay Silent

This is my second post about the horrible act of violence and terror against Congregation Shaarey Tefilla that took place in the early morning of Saturday, July 28, 2018.

Some have asked why I decided to draw attention to this act committed against this congregation located in Carmel, Indiana through Facebook, Twitter, and blog posts. 

They have asked things like, 
“Aren’t you giving the perpetrators what they want?" 
"Aren’t you giving them power?" 
"Why not just ignore it?”

Here is why I cannot stay silent. 

I firmly believe that a decision on my part to remain silent in the face of marginalization, oppression, and violence is an act of complicity and can lead to the normalization of such attitudes and acts. This silence is a luxury of privilege and power. Those who have historically been the targets of such attacks have often suffered twice because of the silence and apathetic response of people like me for far too long. I have been silent and inactive in the past and …