…and in the cool
of the quiet evening
it was women walking
silky, as yet unseen
in the garden.
Silver shears caught
slivers of sunlight,
captured them gently
like butterflies netted
with meshed moonlight
and given to a special
catch and release program
to each bush they bowed
in authority and grace
from verdant relieved stems
smiling and murmuring
in the gloam
and moving on
by with eyes
so full of mirrors
they saw nothing
else and everything else
as reflections of reflections,
having used their silver
30 times in their
She will always have this in her life stream.
Right now? Oh Supporter of ttaf, you will always have in your life stream the fact that you voted for a monster and empowered the suffering and destruction of your fellow human beings strictly on the basis of their skin color, or their religious orientation, or their sexual orientation, or their gender identification…
…or to feed the mouths of the war monsters who are making money off the prisons that these sufferers are being interned in.
And you imagine Judgement Day. You imagine yourself hearing “Well DONE good and faithful servant” and you remind yourself of the times you prophesied in Their Name and cast out demons in Their Name and done many wonders in Their Name…
and yet you overlook that you have partaken in and identified with lawlessness and the workers of such horror!!
You sigh, and feel grief when you read this because you think I am deceived and demonically oppressed…but I tell you that you are the deceived one, oh elect of God who think yourself unassailable…you cannot even see it.
Let me ask you this: do you agree that Jesus said that if you have given a cup of cold water or a shirt or a crust of bread to the very least of the human family that you have given it to Him? I am not asking you to interpret it right now…just answer the Q: do you agree that He said it? (Hint: check Matthew 25 first).
And that brings us down to it…where is the least…who is the least…what is it to give them a cup of cold water…
What is going to remain in your life stream? An act of courage in the face of Empire?
Or a pathetic vote in the name of an idol called ttaf?
Elin Ersson refused to take her seat on flight at Gothenburg airport until man being sent to Afghanistan was removed
It’s on this painful threshold here
we suck the bitter sop of grief
and cling to dust, cry for relief,
we seeds that die so You come near.
Our teardrops carve so deep and mark
with crystal joy and sacred sigh
our burnished face, our emerald eye
our hull that breaks…in rain, in spark
and make us, each one so unique,
each one our own and also owned
by every hurting heart of stone,
by breaking soul and grieving cheek
an offering of healing strong
a unguent for this wounded earth
restoring life and giving birth
again to Your Unending Song
Oh Mama come and make of me
a heart cut red, a spirit shorn
and bleeding Grace for all who mourn
along this path back to The Sea
(This is not my original writing…it is from FB and it says very well what I feel, and why I grieve over the vast gulf that is between me and people I used to respect and now am absolutely befuddled and heartbroken by. Watching the lives of the least of these being sacrificed on the altars of orthodoxy and comfort is tragic).
Note to ttaf supporter:
“I am unconcerned that we have different politics. I do not think less of you because you voted one way and I voted another.
We need people to vote and the candidate we select is not always going to win. It is hoped that we will have someone who is competent enough to run our country.
That didn’t happen in the last election. We got a thin-skinned egomaniac who has never been held accountable for any atrocities he has committed.
Let me be clear.
I think less of you because you watched an adult mock a disabled man in front of a crowd and you still supported him.
I think less of you because you saw a man spouting clear racism and you cheered for him.
I think less of you because of your willingness to support someone who openly admires dictators and demonizes the press and anyone who criticizes him.
I think less of you because you heard him advocate for war crimes and you still thought he should run this country.
I think less of you because you watched him equate a woman’s worth to her appearance and you thought that was okay.
I think less of you because you’ve seen his appointees systematically destroy legal protections and loot the tax payers money and you are ok with that.
I think less of you because
You watched, along with the rest of the nation, as he separated families and locked innocent children in dog cages and you were not horrified as the rest of us were.
(actual billboard inside the internment camps)
I think less of you because
You refuse to accept the fact that this man wants to work with dictators but has alienated our long standing allies.
I think less of you because you refuse to review the facts and accept that this man is lying to you on a daily basis.
It isn’t your politics I find repulsive. It is your willingness to support racism, sexism, misogyny, and cruelty that I find repulsive.
I think less of you because you supported a tyrant and bully when it mattered and that is something I will never forgive or forget. Your lack of morals and basic humanity are devastating to me.
There are some things I can never be civil about: concentration camps, genocide, white supremacy, misogyny, harm to children, mass trauma, state violence, rising fascism, to name a few.
There is NO civil discussion with someone who agrees with putting children in dog cages.
So, no…you and I will never be “coming together” to move forward or whatever.
Trump literally disgusts me and I hate the sound of his voice spewing hate and dividing the country but, the fact that he doesn’t disgust you is something that is going to stick with me long after this presidency.
You have shown me who you really are and the fact that you still support this monster and rush to justify everything he does makes me feel that we have nothing to discuss.”
This is the darkest period in my memory, of this country, where the culpable inaction of a few, is impacting many, for generations to come…
It was decades in the making, and the coup de grâce was the Russian rise in Worldwide Criminal Organized Crime interaction, the United States’s lazy selfish complacency and greed, and a narcissist ready to be the figurehead of it all.
Couple that with an American Church that would rather masturbate and call it worshipful union and you have a desperate and horrific crucible for the slaughter of humans.
Something that Republicans and evangelical christians must own, is the fact that they alone are responsible for alienating/sewing fear, distrust and potential hatred of the US in each and every child locked up and put in a camp — and who could blame them…
even the sweetest, most vulnerable children will become hardened, angry and damaged by this.
They will carry the scars for the rest of this lifetime.
They will not forget that this country failed them.
Oh, say! See that skull spangled banner, waving sinister o’er this land of the fat and lazy and the home of the privileged drinkers of innocent blood.
Please go to the link to read this whole thing if you fancy yourself a Christian and yet think that the absolute fucker is God’s Anointed.
He isn’t…and you’re worshipping a false god if you think he is.
Yes. I am Charissa Grace White, and I approve this Message.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk Humbly.
We are living through perilous and polarizing times as a nation, with a dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership at the highest levels of our government and in our churches. We believe the soul of the nation and the integrity of faith are now at stake.
It is time to be followers of Jesus before anything else—nationality, political party, race, ethnicity, gender, geography—our identity in Christ precedes every other identity. We pray that our nation will see Jesus’ words in us. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
When politics undermines our theology, we must examine that politics. The church’s role is to change the world through the life and love of Jesus Christ. The government’s role is to serve the common good by protecting justice and peace, rewarding good behavior while restraining bad behavior (Romans 13). When that role is undermined by political leadership, faith leaders must stand up and speak out. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.”
It is often the duty of Christian leaders, especially elders, to speak the truth in love to our churches and to name and warn against temptations, racial and cultural captivities, false doctrines, and political idolatries—and even our complicity in them. We do so here with humility, prayer, and a deep dependency on the grace and Holy Spirit of God.
This letter comes from a retreat on Ash Wednesday, 2018. In this season of Lent, we feel deep lamentations for the state of our nation, and our own hearts are filled with confession for the sins we feel called to address. The true meaning of the word repentance is to turn around. It is time to lament, confess, repent, and turn. In times of crisis, the church has historically learned to return to Jesus Christ.
Jesus is Lord. That is our foundational confession. It was central for the early church and needs to again become central to us. If Jesus is Lord, then Caesar was not—nor any other political ruler since. If Jesus is Lord, no other authority is absolute. Jesus Christ, and the kingdom of God he announced, is the Christian’s first loyalty, above all others. We pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Our faith is personal but never private, meant not only for heaven but for this earth.
The question we face is this: Who is Jesus Christ for us today? What does our loyalty to Christ, as disciples, require at this moment in our history? We believe it is time to renew our theology of public discipleship and witness. Applying what “Jesus is Lord” means today is the message we commend as elders to our churches.
What we believe leads us to what we must reject. Our “Yes” is the foundation for our “No.” What we confess as our faith leads to what we confront. Therefore, we offer the following six affirmations of what we believe, and the resulting rejections of practices and policies by political leaders which dangerously corrode the soul of the nation and deeply threaten the public integrity of our faith. We pray that we, as followers of Jesus, will find the depth of faith to match the danger of our political crisis.
I. WE BELIEVE each human being is made in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). That image and likeness confers a divinely decreed dignity, worth, and God-given equality to all of us as children of the one God who is the Creator of all things. Racial bigotry is a brutal denial of the image of God (the imago dei) in some of the children of God. Our participation in the global community of Christ absolutely prevents any toleration of racial bigotry. Racial justice and healing are biblical and theological issues for us, and are central to the mission of the body of Christ in the world. We give thanks for the prophetic role of the historic black churches in America when they have called for a more faithful gospel.
THEREFORE, WE REJECT the resurgence of white nationalism and racism in our nation on many fronts, including the highest levels of political leadership. We, as followers of Jesus, must clearly reject the use of racial bigotry for political gain that we have seen. In the face of such bigotry, silence is complicity. In particular, we reject white supremacy and commit ourselves to help dismantle the systems and structures that perpetuate white preference and advantage. Further, any doctrines or political strategies that use racist resentments, fears, or language must be named as public sin—one that goes back to the foundation of our nation and lingers on. Racial bigotry must be antithetical for those belonging to the body of Christ, because it denies the truth of the gospel we profess.
II. WE BELIEVE we are one body. In Christ, there is to be no oppression based on race, gender, identity, or class (Galatians 3:28). The body of Christ, where those great human divisions are to be overcome, is meant to be an example for the rest of society. When we fail to overcome these oppressive obstacles, and even perpetuate them, we have failed in our vocation to the world—to proclaim and live the reconciling gospel of Christ.
THEREFORE, WE REJECT misogyny, the mistreatment, violent abuse, sexual harassment, and assault of women that has been further revealed in our culture and politics, including our churches, and the oppression of any other child of God. We lament when such practices seem publicly ignored, and thus privately condoned, by those in high positions of leadership. We stand for the respect, protection, and affirmation of women in our families, communities, workplaces, politics, and churches. We support the courageous truth-telling voices of women, who have helped the nation recognize these abuses. We confess sexism as a sin, requiring our repentance and resistance.
III. WE BELIEVE how we treat the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger, the sick, and the prisoner is how we treat Christ himself. (Matthew 25: 31-46) “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” God calls us to protect and seek justice for those who are poor and vulnerable, and our treatment of people who are “oppressed,” “strangers,” “outsiders,” or otherwise considered “marginal” is a test of our relationship to God, who made us all equal in divine dignity and love. Our proclamation of the lordship of Jesus Christ is at stake in our solidarity with the most vulnerable. If our gospel is not “good news to the poor,” it is not the gospel of Jesus Christ (Luke 4:18).
THEREFORE, WE REJECT the language and policies of political leaders who would debase and abandon the most vulnerable children of God. We strongly deplore the growing attacks on immigrants and refugees, who are being made into cultural and political targets, and we need to remind our churches that God makes the treatment of the “strangers” among us a test of faith (Leviticus 19:33-34). We won’t accept the neglect of the well-being of low-income families and children, and we will resist repeated attempts to deny health care to those who most need it. We confess our growing national sin of putting the rich over the poor. We reject the immoral logic of cutting services and programs for the poor while cutting taxes for the rich. Budgets are moral documents. We commit ourselves to opposing and reversing those policies and finding solutions that reflect the wisdom of people from different political parties and philosophies to seek the common good. Protecting the poor is a central commitment of Christian discipleship, to which 2,000 verses in the Bible attest.
IV. WE BELIEVE that truth is morally central to our personal and public lives. Truth-telling is central to the prophetic biblical tradition, whose vocation includes speaking the Word of God into their societies and speaking the truth to power. A commitment to speaking truth, the ninth commandment of the Decalogue, “You shall not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16), is foundational to shared trust in society. Falsehood can enslave us, but Jesus promises, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32). The search and respect for truth is crucial to anyone who follows Christ.
THEREFORE, WE REJECT the practice and pattern of lying that is invading our political and civil life. Politicians, like the rest of us, are human, fallible, sinful, and mortal. But when public lying becomes so persistent that it deliberately tries to change facts for ideological, political, or personal gain, the public accountability to truth is undermined. The regular purveying of falsehoods and consistent lying by the nation’s highest leaders can change the moral expectations within a culture, the accountability for a civil society, and even the behavior of families and children. The normalization of lying presents a profound moral danger to the fabric of society. In the face of lies that bring darkness, Jesus is our truth and our light.
V. WE BELIEVE that Christ’s way of leadership is servanthood, not domination. Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles (the world) lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant” (Matthew 20:25-26). We believe our elected officials are called to public service, not public tyranny, so we must protect the limits, checks, and balances of democracy and encourage humility and civility on the part of elected officials. We support democracy, not because we believe in human perfection, but because we do not. The authority of government is instituted by God to order an unredeemed society for the sake of justice and peace, but ultimate authority belongs only to God.
THEREFORE, WE REJECT any moves toward autocratic political leadership and authoritarian rule. We believe authoritarian political leadership is a theological danger that threatens democracy and the common good—and we will resist it. Disrespect for the rule of law, not recognizing the equal importance of our three branches of government, and replacing civility with dehumanizing hostility toward opponents are of great concern to us. Neglecting the ethic of public service and accountability, in favor of personal recognition and gain often characterized by offensive arrogance, are not just political issues for us. They raise deeper concerns about political idolatry, accompanied by false and unconstitutional notions of authority.
VI. WE BELIEVE Jesus when he tells us to go into all nations making disciples (Matthew 28:18). Our churches and our nations are part of an international community whose interests always surpass national boundaries. The most well-known verse in the New Testament starts with “For God so loved the world” (John 3:16). We, in turn, should love and serve the world and all its inhabitants, rather than seek first narrow, nationalistic prerogatives.
THEREFORE, WE REJECT “America first” as a theological heresy for followers of Christ. While we share a patriotic love for our country, we reject xenophobic or ethnic nationalism that places one nation over others as a political goal. We reject domination rather than stewardship of the earth’s resources, toward genuine global development that brings human flourishing for all of God’s children. Serving our own communities is essential, but the global connections between us are undeniable. Global poverty, environmental damage, violent conflict, weapons of mass destruction, and deadly diseases in some places ultimately affect all places, and we need wise political leadership to deal with each of these.
WE ARE DEEPLY CONCERNED for the soul of our nation, but also for our churches and the integrity of our faith. The present crisis calls us to go deeper—deeper into our relationship to God; deeper into our relationships with each other, especially across racial, ethnic, and national lines; deeper into our relationships with the most vulnerable, who are at greatest risk.
The church is always subject to temptations to power, to cultural conformity, and to racial, class, and gender divides, as Galatians 3:28 teaches us. But our answer is to be “in Christ,” and to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable, and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)
The best response to our political, material, cultural, racial, or national idolatries is the First Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Jesus summarizes the Greatest Commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, and your mind. This is the first commandment. And the second is like unto it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:38). As to loving our neighbors, we would add “no exceptions.”
We commend this letter to pastors, local churches, and young people who are watching and waiting to see what the churches will say and do at such a time as this.
Our urgent need, in a time of moral and political crisis, is to recover the power of confessing our faith. Lament, repent, and then repair. If Jesus is Lord, there is always space for grace. We believe it is time to speak and to act in faith and conscience, not because of politics, but because we are disciples of Jesus Christ—to whom be all authority, honor, and glory. It is time for a fresh confession of faith. Jesus is Lord. He is the light in our darkness. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
Source: Reclaiming Jesus
From 2016…my thoughts on the popular evangelical christian “shotgun passages” they use to blanket condemn anyone who is not cisgender and heterosexual. I am reposting this because I sense that there are many readers from the past, several of whom have issued blanket condemnation of me and others like me…and who I have not seen or exchanged a single word with for many years…and yet they somehow know the state of my eternal destiny and current connection with God…
It makes me so sad…but not for me, actually! For THEM! So cocksure, so sage and sad, caressing their chins ever so mournfully and yet so piously, rubbing their beards…and wallowing in their own human pride and selfish piousness. People who claim titles like apostle and prophet, pastor and teacher…
people who Lord it over one another and practice a spirituality that is actually “homo-sect-uality”, and in fact the epitome of that abuse of power that Paul describes in the 1 Cor 6 passage, wherein an older powerful man exploits a younger and vulnerable boy…
I have seen (and experienced) that very exploitation myself.
It is my true hope that scales would fall off their eyes, as they did my own…where I discovered that the REAL transition of my life was transition from a self-righteous pit of death and striving towards a humble and broken compassionate vessel of the Love and Generosity of God.
There is also a link to a blog post by John Pavlovitz, and his listening experience to true christians who have been condemned by others…
“…Now, let’s see: I spot behaviors in this passage, behaviors that all focus on choices of the will…choices to commit various sexual sins (still not talking about orientations), choices to break commitments made to God and to other human beings (adultery and idolatry, which is a VERY tricky and subtle fault), choices to be envious that result in theft and coveting other people’s possessions, choices to become drunk and pursue a lifestyle of choice to indulge escaping from mature and fruitful living, choices to speak with anger and intense hatred in bitter speech to other human beings (yunno, like the comment section of articles), choices to THREATEN PEOPLE INTO DOING WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO…like the shunning that YOU REGULARLY DO to those whose ORIENTATIONS are imagined by you to be behavioral choices…
and yet somehow, ALL of the above choices you extend Grace and Mercy to, and almost all of those choices you have almost certainly been blood-guilty of yourself!! But you sit cheek and jowl in the pew with your fellow “unrighteous” and allow for yourselves and your cohorts in unrighteousness to participate in the Righteousness of Jesus and thus not only be forgiven, but in your mind EXCUSED from scrutiny…and you are content with the understanding that each person must scrutinize themselves with God (oh wait: Paul said that he did not judge even himself, for God is Judge)…”
I am reposting this prose essay that I wrote in 2015. Based on current readership, I think it might hit some hearts that are perhaps now harrowed by grief and plowed by sorrow, and tender, softened by trial to receive seeds of humility that may grow and blossom into the fruits of compassion.
At least…I hope so.
It is clumsy and has arthritic hands when it speaks and cannot hold small fine brushes or move with nuance, and so it paints with a broad brush in generalizations and caricatures…it is cartoonish, buffoonish…it is guffawing and backslapping……and the absolute worst is that it advocates the very hatred and othering and policing against others that has wounded and killed so many in LGTBQ circles.
Somehow, hatred and othering is okay because “they have it coming”.
I would say that I am embarrassed for the individuals to whom I refer, except that I am so deeply dismayed embarrassment is too embarrassed to show her face. I think it is clear that hatred is a human heart problem…and will never ever be conquered by more hatred…ever. Hatred can only be driven out by love, and when love is met with more hatred, the only secret weapon it has in its employ is grace, as displayed by forgiveness and then more love.
Constance: if you fail to grasp this essential truth, then you will be doomed to circle the constellations in this galaxy of ideas and ideologies that provide us with cosmic meaning and orientation, and you will dwell in one thinking it is finally the one with no idiots or haters present inside it…until you hear the voice of hate and bigotry emanating from within the very halls you hallow and inhabit!
I think this article is must reading to understand the actions of a very important figure in our time.
It was a golden time,
a stretched out place back then,
twisting up and over there,
and underneath the sun and more…
a yawn opened in heaven’s floor
and down to earth came Joy and more…
he was and is our so much more…
When John had horrid accident
(Lafayette screamed outloud to Moraga)
and whistles blew so shrill, so quick,
while McElhenny dodged Nomellini oh so neatly
(but poor scared children could not know the drill)
and thus their roar for glory yet to come…yet to come
left them there bereft and frozen
while Joyful John slept, waiting…
and there in Heaven, bleachers full
gasped and held their breath…
one and then year two
until the smile that broke a thousand
cold cold hearts wide open once
again cracked the cold and silent night
and Heaven’s Bleachers roared in joy!
Quicksilver baton twirling,
sigil of the coming glory
and the battered Captain Tittle
smiling humble, signing Y.A.
and the whole beloved story
for a faithful fan of Joyful John
and his undying confidence
in Red and Gold forever held
in jubilance and wriggly ecstasy…
And as that silver wheel spun high
and slicing thru the pale blue sky
the years twirled out as quick as lightening
and slowly Heaven’s Bleachers swelled
with lookers on who cheered and held
the living in their love…
Until the Niners strong and true
(St Clair, RC Owens, Perry, all there)
emerged to follow greatness on
and on into forever…
and even Easter Bunnies stopped
with making eggs to cheer for Rice
and call out loud to old John Brodie…
These many years since then, it’s come
The Wicked Witch of Martinez, thrum
and screech and fear it brings to try
and make our Joyful brother cry
but we stand firm with him and sing
and Heaven’s Bleachers full do bring
their tidings here to us this day
that Joyful John is needed here…
For earthly throng still cheers our team
Beloved Niners, see it gleam, as glory gathers
there beneath the coming dawn so gold, so red
For the last month or so Facebook has been removing this image from posts that I have made there…apparently they think it is pornographic and we all know that we should not see pornography…
Yes…they are more offended by the sight of pubic hair than the actual historical acts being perpetrated then…and the deadly similarities certain things going on now have to what occurred then.
Wake up…truly. Wake up. Especially if you are a christian, and believe that part of the Gospel includes taking in the outcast, the alien and stranger, and extending God’s love and mercy to the Other.
These people were on their way to die…
Btw, certain readers: you will not find me on FB because I have blocked you…I just do not trust that you will not harass me and make life miserable for me. I have already gotten the message from the so-called network that I am now a hell-bound demon-oppressed deceived person who has mental illness…nothing could be FURTHER from the truth, but there is no speaking to a mind already made up by so many who have literally never known me or even met me.
Other readers, you should be able to see me, and if you can send me a Friend Request that includes some sort of reassurance that you are not a person who is seeking access in order to spy and harm, well, I will consider accepting that request.
I offer because I post a lot of things on that platform now days…it is a bit easier, and leaves Grace Notes to a more artistic place focused on Poetry and Spiritual Writings primarily…
…and here is the original text that went with this image, as I discovered it first on another Facebook post:
“Posted by: Liz Johnson August 13 at 8:01pm
“In light of recent events I would like to share with you one of the most haunting photographs I have ever seen. I first stumbled upon it in a library book as a child of about ten. Until now, I have not shared it with anyone because it seemed too gruesome. Today, I think we should all look at it.
“It is from the early 1940s in the early days of Hitler’s final solution. In those days the Nazis were still working out the most efficient way of exterminating an entire race. They hadn’t yet settled on Zyklon B so they sent squads of soldiers to round up Jewish people, shoot them, and then bury them in mass graves. Witnesses say that the dirt over the graves shifted for several days because one bullet was not always enough for a quick death.
“As a child, I found myself wondering how horrible it would be to face death in that way. How much emotion and fear I might feel. But now, as an adult who works with children I can’t help but think “how awful it must have been for those mothers.” I can see them in my mind, naked, humiliated, and calmly waiting to be horrifically killed. Did they sing softly to their babies? Did they tell them it would be ok? I can barely stand the knowledge that it happened, but they endured it.
“Let us NEVER forget that these terrible things that happened.
“If you can look at that and take up a Nazi flag, then there are no “on all sides”. There is no “everybody did some bad things” you are holding up an ideology that caused those women to die naked with their babies and be buried still alive in a shallow mass grave.
“You cannot refuse to take sides here. There is no middle ground. When nine million people are murdered under an ideology its time to be done with that ideology.”
I laid down on a rock
to have myself a sleep
the lichen whispered in my ear
of mystery-wonder deep
and even though the clock
spun round, toward death did creep
the rock just waited, patient, near
for me to make the leap.
this is about
under the clouds.
by noises here
and there too
Come down to the old brown barn with me.
It waits under the milky moon dripping, travelling,
the pearly moon freshly dunked
in far and sighing opalescent seas
and then come flying, fat and flitting swallow here,
to these far mountains and awaiting our arrival,
peaceful you and shivering me.
Come dressed in silks and sighs
and nothing else remaining.
Come adorned with slings and arrows
to lay down long at last in love
unfeigning, unfainting here,
in the end of battle.
The barn sings low and swinging
all our wonder up and ever outward
while the silver moon is clinging
wringing high and deeply dipping down
into the gulf dividing us asunder
from the gods and from ourselves…
and the mountains…
ahh…the mountains there
so tall, so stark
and unrelenting in the dark
the mountains dare to root down and reach up
and hold everything together
as it twirls, spinning.
beneath the stars so bright
the mountains hold us tight
and all together in
I wrote this 4 years ago…a lifetime ago…when I first began to see I really really REALLY had a shell over me…and that it was possible to live free.
I want to challenge you today, especially if you are cis-gender and not transgender: what shell are you living in? What transition must you make as a soul, one that is not a transition of gender, but your own answer to the call to “cross-over”?
Are you called to cross over into creativity and leave behind the world of grubbing for money?
Are you called to cross over into true relationship with God, leaving behind the shell of conservative evangelicalism that is nothing more than a gateway to the gas chambers, with a sign over it saying “Welcome to Hell?”
We all are called to trans…from death to Life…from works to Grace…I pray you find your courage and begin!! Cus the water is fine.
“It caged me in its cold confining bars.
Long have I been its lost and longing thrall,
its tenant-serf of weary plodding on.
It’s clung, tentacled round my throat, my eyes,
and darkness was its cruel confederate
who caged my strong uprising Ne’er-Say-Die…”
Source: Wave | Charissa’s Grace Notes
This, another poem from last year, comments on life like a vapor, yet must be captured within you, there in your body…
the fog gathers, nesting
over the deep quiet glen
dialing down sunlight
damping every sound
in this gloam my supple soul
nestles in, gives up control
and ceases struggle to be good,
or important, or subtle…
From last year…I really love this lil beauty!
Do you know the place where the light passes in?
That’s where you’ll find me when darkness is seeping
from crevice and cranny while Spring trudges weeping
I sit in the place where the light passes in.
You’ll find me there singing of beautiful life
and of faith like pure gold burnished shiny with hope
as my tears fall like diamonds so soft in the wind
In that place where the light, where the light passes in…
(continued at Source: Where The Light Passes In | Charissa’s Grace Notes )
look for the off kilter doorway
find where the street has no name
enter between the curb and the gutter
to stand in the light just the same
as the saints and the mystics before you
had to stoop and to crawl and to cry
for the straight way that looks oh so crooked
to the jaundiced and natural eye
On “Good Friday” of Election 2016 you chanted GIVE US BARABBAS!
You settled for ttaf…and here is the rule of your “king”‘s result:
“Here are some statistics:
“There have already been 17 school shootings in the United States in 2018, an average of 1.5 shootings per week. There has been an average of one school shooting every week since 2013.
“Police have killed almost 1,000 people in the United States in each of the past three years: 987 in 2017; 963 in 2016; and 995 in 2015. One in three people killed by a stranger in the United States is killed by a cop; black people are three times more likely than white people to be killed by a cop.
“Jihadists have killed 95 people in the United States since September 11, 2001.
“Cities that hosted Trump campaign rallies reportedly saw an average of 2.3 more assaults reported on the day of the event than usual.
“Right-wing extremists have killed at least 274 people since 2008, accounting for almost three-quarters of all murders committed by domestic extremists in that time.
In 2017, fascists and other white supremacists in the United States killed at least 22 people. Their names are Heather Heyer; Taliesin Namkai Meche and Ricky Best; Richard Collins III; Timothy Caughman; Srinivas Kuchibhotla; Buckley Kuhn-Fricker and Scott Fricker; Casey Marquez and Francisco Fernandez; Charles Davis; Martin Gonzales; John Byler; corrections officers Christopher Monica and Curtis Billue; Deputy Sheriff Mason Moore; Randy Gene Baker; Jorge Slaughter; Cord Colgrove; and Jeremy Himmelman and Andrew Oneschuk, themselves neo-Nazis, and Frank Ancona, a member of the Ku Klux Klan…”
I don’t think I can do this anymore.
I’m afraid we’re at an impasse.
I’m not sure it’s fixable.
Initially I held out hope that we could find some compromise here; that we could make an uneasy peace, that despite our differences of opinion we could forge some tenuous truce moving forward.
That was a long time ago.
Back then we didn’t know what we know about the person you voted for—and I didn’t know what I’ve learned about you as a result.
Back when you voted the way you voted, we didn’t know the extent of:
his sexual indiscretions,
his allegiance to the Russians,
his dangerous nepotism,
his revolving door Cabinet,
his contempt for the rule of law,
his disregard for the environment,
his oppression of refugees and dreamers,
his neglect of sick and disabled people,
his indebtedness to the NRA,
his defense of racists,
his attacks on journalists,
his reckless financial waste,
his golf excursions and Twitter rants,
his public war on the FBI,
his impulsive hirings and firings.
Before we knew all these things, I could give you the benefit of the doubt. I could imagine that you’d never have consented to such cruelty, such incompetence, such bigotry, such malevolence.
Before we knew these things, I could believe that you couldn’t possibly harbor such hatred in your heart for so many people sharing this country with you.
Before we knew these things I could have made every excuse that it wasn’t racism or misogyny or nationalism or supremacy or weaponized religion that motivated you to vote the way you voted.
But we do know these things now about this man, and yet your support hasn’t wavered in the slightest—and this has been heartbreaking to witness:
Listening to you regurgitate FoxNews talking points, seeing your timeline fill with fake news, sitting through bitter holiday meal diatribes, hearing offhand, off-color comments that sound just like the man you voted for—and through it all, wondering where the rational, compassionate, loving person I thought I knew has gone.
I don’t recognize you anymore.
I see you dig in your heels and double down and amen his toxic filth, and I feel myself grieving the loss of who I once believed you were.
I feel the gap between us widening.
I feel the fracture deepening.
At first I did my best not to ascribe motive to you.
I assumed that you came to your vote as carefully and rationally as I did mine.
I tried to show you the legislative damage he was doing in hopes that it would move you.
I reminded you that we are a nation of immigrants and outsiders and refugees.
I asked you to consider the duress people were under now as a result of your vote.
I appealed to your compassion for the marginalized, poor, and hurting people—left more vulnerable because of him.
I showed you the words of Jesus about loving your neighbor and caring for the least and welcoming the stranger.
I hoped that any one of these things might reach you and that you’d show me your humanity, and I’d again see the person I thought you were when we were close.
I realize now that none of these things are effective; that no amount of data, no evidence in his words or legislation, no firsthand stories of the people being destroyed right now are enough to move you.
I realize that you have no desire to entertain any reality that threatens the story you wish to be true—and in many ways this makes you unreachable right now. It makes you less and less someone I feel good about being around.
And the longer this goes on, the less and less possible reconciliation between us seems; not because I don’t wish for it, and not because I won’t grieve it—but because I can’t compromise the lives of millions of other people just to keep the peace between the two of us. That isn’t a fair exchange.
Equality and diversity and compassion are hills worth dying on for me, and if our relationship is the collateral damage of fully fighting for these things, I’m going to have to live with that.
I’m still hopeful one day things between us can be better, but I’m almost positive they’ll never be the same; because of what we know about him and what I’ve learned about you since this began.
And so this division, this impasse, this separation, as painful as it is—is far less painful than denying my deepest convictions or ignoring the suffering around me.
I need to be able to sleep at night and to look in the mirror.
Because of that, these differences we have may be irreconcilable.”
Two years in, it still applies.
This is talking about my own life, my own family…and yours, too…because all of us have this brokenness. The evidence is irrefutable.
This poem is all about forgiveness…trying to give it and trying to receive it…and the incredible revelation that it is impossible.
There is no trying…there is only becoming.
“…And so now we get down to it:
there is no exit,
no escape from agony,
pitstop from pain…
all we can do is
exchange suffering’s form
and it’s face, from our own
for the pain of another…”
I admit I am surprised that there has not been more interest in my recent poem “Situla“. Perhaps it was layout?
Situla means “a bucket for Holy Water” by the way…Here is the poem, laid out without any images…
Just after dawn…
but before sunrise
I hear the sound
of music stilled
and waters hushed
frost crystals clasping
I rise and
wait, hushed and
of sorrow and nard
of fragrance and tears
and deep joy too.
I guess the guests
are still around
the table, I think
the gusty crowd
is still sitting in
the dark and staring
at the inside
of the veil…
as I travail
as I writhe
to give way
and this coming
as light and heat
sing gently ’round
as the roses
the alabaster jar
Just after dawn…
but before sunrise
I hear the sound
of music stilled
and waters hushed
frost crystals clasping
I rise and wait,
hushed and clutching
of sorrow and nard
of fragrance and tears
and deep joy too.
I guess the guests
are still around
the table, I think
the gusty crowd
is still sitting in
the dark and staring
at the inside
of the veil…
as I travail
as I writhe
to give way
and this coming
as light and heat
sing gently ’round
as the roses
the alabaster jar
Jessica Chastain, Kate McKinnon, and the rest abandoned their characters.
“talking with you
sometimes is either
a slap in the face
or a slammed door,
and yet the Void…gaping gulf,
it is but exhalation
in the Light of your shadow!
into that seeming nothing,
yawning and gulping, well
it is but a dropped stitch
in the Banners over me
The Fall of Ancient Time (A contemporary Re-write of Psalm 5)
“…Barcelona, City of Bones
Baking before the gates of the Sun,
I sacrificed my purity for thee, such as it might be
(my purity, not my sacrifice)
of heart and soul,
song and deed
and strong intention.
Barcelona, my sacrifice
so droll, so dirty is actually
as purity and thus is merely
the absence of jazz,
the absence of spice,
the absence of that
jagged noise of exultation
and thus there is no
purity and nothing
City of Bones
“like the way
you touch my ankle
when we sit upon
the floor there,
by the fire
in the speckled-star-lit night
outside the house
just like a mama bird who nestles
down so gentle on Her chicks…”
I didn’t change. I just found myself…
Something happened today which prompted me to want to repost something that I wrote in January of 2014…so long ago, and yet only 4 years…
In order to understand where I am at emotionally and spiritually in light of the event which transpired today, you need a bit of a refresher…an understanding that the repost at the bottom of the page was written BEFORE so much took place:
I wrote the words I am reposting before I wrote about the beginning of the shunning from the spiritual culture as defined by the vast majority of Christian Evangelicalism…these words, which talk about the nearly total experience I have had with Christians from my past (there is one…ONE person who has verbally, physically, emotionally and spiritually received me who is from my past. She did so with tears of joy and literal kisses all over my cheeks and forehead, and was stricken as she thought back to the prison I was in and she was amazed that God had loosed this captive so wonderfully).
I wrote them before I wrote about a baby step of coming out that was looming…and ended up being a devastating attack and shunning by the time it played out.
I wrote them before I wrote about the shunning that happened on a monolithic totality in regards to every single friendship from the past which happened when I came out…I received a letter from a person that I had known for 30 years…a person that I had worshiped beside, shared many meals with…a person who had lived in our home…a person who I had walked alongside as they sojourned thru the valley of the shadow of an addiction which nearly destroyed family and self…a letter that shunned me in the Name of Jesus, The One Being who welcomes me constantly and says that His Blood is enough and more than enough for me…
I wrote them before I wrote of the public shunning that happened, when it was the searing abandonment in public circles.
I wrote it before the 21 Gun Salute took place, that professional execution I endured…that death, and the subsequent resurrection from those Phoenix Ashes…
I wrote about it before the horrid attacks coming from supposed Christians which were filled with literal perversions, profanities, and exhortations to kill myself…all given in the name of Jesus of course.
Yes. That literally happened.
So what happened today that precipitated this reminiscence?
This: there is a man from my past, a person that I met in the late 80s and who I was in close proximity with until the year 2005…this man operated (and perhaps still does? I really do not know. Lord knows that I have grown up, been pruned back, become more and become less, been adjusted, and healed of terrible blindnesses…so I do leave room for the possibility that this has happened with him as well. But I do not hold out a shred of hope, or a scintilla of expectation that this has happened, for the need of those who are deeply in thrall to a certain assumption and paradigm to punish me and punish me utterly is far greater than the ability to actually live out the sacrificial Love of Christ that went straight for every single person who was “yet dead in sin”…and not just to the so-called righteous)…
This man operated under a deep orientation that assumed all the doctrines related to “submission”, and truly felt it was the loving thing to enforce that notion…I have many many hurtful memories of those years, from the comments regarding my supposed “cheesy grin” that I supposedly wore (likely, it was whatever mask was on me during the deep dissociation of living trans in a male role and carrying the burden of remembering every detail so I could forget that I was a woman, and thus related to the fracturing events of early childhood) to the interactions which accused me of seeking to utilize my role as a worship leader on Sunday morning in service of self, to the utterly devastating final blow given in such “sad sorrowful tones” which said that my father was suffering and dying in the way he was because I was not properly submitted to “the leader” of this group…
There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that every single one of these actions was done from true conviction that it was the right and loving thing to do, based on the paradigm in which he (we) swam…indeed, I myself interacted with people who approached me for help and counsel as they struggled with their sexual orientations in light of the teaching assumptions we were under…and I gave the “answers” I had learned…and I grieve over that…so deeply…
I myself bought into attitudes and distortions of good teachings that I sincerely and 100% believed, and I thought those with other understandings to simply be sinners who were seeking to justify remaining in sin yet still retaining connection to God, and I simply…well, I simply did not have an ounce of compassion…
I shared the privileged view of the privileged…and had NO CONCEPT of the Other…
And it wasn’t until I was no longer “one of them”, not because I resigned membership in privilege, but because when I transitioned I was executed swiftly…
In the personal-relational realm
In the spiritual-religious realm
In the professional-economic realm…
So I know that the intention of those times was, within his own heart and self, “good”…
We also shared many other times too…good times where somehow who was submitted to who wasn’t that important and was never even thought of…such as working on each other’s houses…putting out a fire that started on a hill and nearly burned the entire area down…eating meals together…
Those years…I believe it was about 17 years…during those years I did a lot of dying, and had a lot to die to…and that place was the crucible of purification, in which I gained much wisdom thru death to self. I was so fractured…so young…and so deeply in the grip of dysphoria and dissociation which was the hidden reef under everything in my life.
He did not know anything about this…neither did I. And looking back, sooo many things just SHOUT it out so loudly, and while it is occasion of grief and mourning looking back, it also is comforting to know that at least there was a reason for it!
Well…Charissa’s Grace Notes is a public blog. And this man is a reader…regularly…how frequently, I really could not say, but based on my own internal tools I have as the creator, I suspect it is fairly regularly.
How did he even know I had a blog? I have not exchanged a word with this man for years…a good 7 years before I even transitioned, and certainly not a word since transition….God forbid! I am pretty sure he would not, and I KNOW I would not because I decided in 2014 that I would never again submit myself to spiritual abuse and attack from anyone to whom I was a priori a demon-possessed hell-bound apostate.
It is obvi that he found out about my blog via word of mouth…because it is funny: the biggest evils that scripture has volumes of teaching about (the tongue, the heart) are so easily ignored in Christendom in order to condemn the phantom evils which scripture never even speaks about (gender variance and orientation)…and wowsa did the word spread like fire!!
In fact, the person mentioned here even swore to me that he considered it his spiritual service and duty to God to out me to every single person he met, lest he be tainted by my “sin” of intentional self-deception and thus have my blood on his head. Yes…these sorts believe this: “If you see your brother approaching destruction and you do not restrain them, their blood is on your head”. They interpret this old Proverb as the license to attack anyone doing anything that is to them “a sin.” He told me that he needed to warn every single person he could that I was anathema and not to be received among “the brethren”…
try and imagine how this felt, and feels…
So anyway, I know that the man I am writing about this morning found my blog fairly easily, but after hearing the words of the tale-bearers, those morsels of gossip that go down so sweet and titillating…
But he has stuck around…and has been reading…for a long time, if I am guessing right…and because I am made who I am, and because of my heart towards God and understanding that I have been made thusly to break down walls and uproot lies and then to plant and build true kingdom attitudes, I have held out hope…a very very teeny tiny shred of hope…
…that maybe he has done the work, read the research…maybe he has examined the scriptures and his own assumptions…maybe he has the courage to know that in spite of anything he might believe about gender variance, the person he knew was truly a child of God and is still one now…that maybe he has met other transhumans…
I am not optimistic about this, or myopic…the odds are VERY slim.
But this man has done something, not once, but twice.
He has contributed money to my transition fund, each time choosing an amount which is significant to me as the number of my name.
But I am leery. It is not inconsistent with the old assumptions of that paradigm to do acts of charity or service for those considered lost and perishing. It is thought of as heaping coals of fire upon the head…it is thought of as setting an example…and sometimes it is flat out a genuine expression of God’s heart of love.
How do I know this? Because I have been there, done that…myself. Previously.
I am also skeptical and very wary because one of those donations referenced my children…and there is a huge assumption in play in those circles that a righteous relationship with God is able to be detected in the condition of relationship with one’s children and other family.
(Remember the remark about my dad suffering because I was “not submitted” and “rebellious”?)
It is not by any means whatsoever a stretch to see that particular donation coupled with that particular remark about my children as the “coin of unsanctified pity” and ultimately as a dig, a cut, an arrow shot in hopes of providing a wound that cleanses and restores…and if it was that, it was an arrow that shot and wounded and brought death because there literally is not a cleansing and restoring relatable to gender variance and orientation.
God knows there are plenty of areas in my heart that need adjusting and cleansing…it just so happens that being a woman who was assigned male at birth is not one of those areas, anymore than anyone need repent of their gender orientation, or their hair color, or leg length.
So I am very wary. (Oh yes: the donation this morning simply said “thinking of you”…and that was both a very simple comment and a very pregnant comment.)
The first time it happened, I accepted the donation, spent it on my legal costs in fact…yeah, dude…you helped me change my birth certificate, a great day in my life!! LOL!!!! But I did not reply or interact with the person, because I do not expect that interaction to be life giving and healing, but rather to be a battle and ordeal.
And then it happened again, this morning, and this one is significant to me…
…you see, just before the end of the year, on New Year’s Eve morning in the early morning, I dreamed about this person! In the dream, Jane and I had a place we were building up in the hills. We went up there one day to do some work in our structure, which was framed and roofed and wired and plumbed, but lacked sheetrock or siding and finish work trimming…and when we got there, we were shocked to discover that the entire area around us had been developed and had structures on it of various states of completion…all told, the area had around 30 houses, where there had just been ours and a lot of wild land.
We looked around a bit, confused and concerned, when who should approach us but this man who donated to me this morning! He walked up to us and called out to us…and looked me full in the eyes and greeted me with “Hello, Charissa, may I walk close to you?” I was very taken aback that he used my true name rather than my dead name and that he knew he needed to ask permission before moving close to me!!!
I said yes, and watched as he approached, and saw tears in his eyes. He extended his hand to shake hands, and I impulsively brushed his hand aside, greeted him by name, and gave him a hug. He did not shy away from the hug OR from the double reminders of who I truly am…and then he broke the embrace and held my by my shoulders at arms length and said that it was really good to seem me, Charissa…and his tears were streaming down his face.
I motioned around me and said “So what is happening here, and why are you up here?” Meaning the development and his presence where there had been nothing but our house and no one but us.
He looked down in what appeared to be sorrow or shame or conviction or regret, I really couldn’t get a good read on it…and then he looked up and said to us “I am so sorry, and I have been wrong. God has been working in my heart…in our hearts…and we wanted to learn.” I said “Who is the we you refer to and what are you sorry for?”
He said he was sorry for all the same things that I sorrowed over about what I used to think regarding LGTBQIA issues and Christian teaching, he was sorry about the same things I sorrowed about in terms of the expression of God’s heart in such a cancerous and poisonous way that evangelicalism has become…and that most of all he was sorry that he had automatically condemned transgender people to the label of (fill in your favorite slur, I am not using it today)…
and he said that the “we” he referred to were all people from this little group that grew up, insular and inbred, from a “school” that he helped to start and keep going…that around 30 people all had this deep repentance and wanted to walk away from that old set of beliefs, and that he had bought all the property around us, in order to live close to us and learn from us…
…and would we please teach him, teach them?
Well, Jane and I looked at each other, shocked, suspicious, wary, and on the verge of running.
But one this is so clear to me…more clear to me than nearly anything I have ever heard from God: It is completely and utterly inviolate to me that God Themself planned and intended to create me as I am from the start: A Transsexual Woman, who would grow up wounded and fractured and driven to God as my only hope of salvation from despair and ruination…and that it was a very sobering thing to Them to do this, for They knew full well the horror and pain this would be to me…and each of Them stepped forward and said “I am enough for her”…and the reason for this is that They had assigned my life destiny to be a prophetess to the people of God who forgot the Heart of God…to speak to them of God’s Heart for the ones who are slaughtered in every realm and sacrificed on the altar of gender…
and that it should be easy for those people to receive me and God’s message, for in those old days I doubt any of them would have thought I was hell-bound, and in those days virtually all of them thought that I heard from God regularly…even though “there is so much wrong” with me LOL!
And so because of that mission, that quest…and yes, the desire to set them free of their blindness and prejudice and hatred, we did not run…but stayed…and said that we would consider it, but had many things to be worked out, many boundaries to be defined…
The man was joyous in our response and agreed to this…
and then I woke up.
Of course, since this was a dream, I interpret the details and events symbolically. I got up from bed and sat and thought and prayed for awhile, wondering what in the world I was dreaming about that dude for!!!??? I had not even thought about him for a couple of years. Jane held similar puzzlement about it…and we both thought that it was talking about “a neighborhood of understanding/teaching/thinking/transformation” rather than an actual sub-division, and we saw both the man and the people he referenced as symbolic of that whole group of “white, cis-gendered, straight, evangelical Christian conservative” human beings who literally have NO IDEA how much they are bequeathed things on the basis of their race, their sexual orientation, their gender purity, and their religious understandings.
So we said a quick prayer…and I promptly forgot about it.
Until this morning.
Here is this comment “Thinking of you” and this monetary amount…and the dream rushed back…along with all the wariness, suspicion and other emotions which come from the experienced trauma and trial of those years.
The crucial thing to know is this: a bell, once rung, cannot be unrung. A woman who gives birth is always a mother, even if the child dies. There is no “going back” because there is no back to go to.
It is this way with me: I will never go back. He is dead, Caterpillar Dude…he is no more. He is the “back” and is gone. So there is no “going back”.
Any “kind indulgence” will not “induce to repentance” because there is nothing to be repented of in terms of my transition! As to repentance of any kind? Oh yes…the continual joy of beholding Jesus and being transformed by degrees from the glory of the letter which kills to the glory of the Spirit which is life…yunno…the same repentance we share in common.
I am not sure what I will spend this amount on…probably on my HRT, and this is a valued and well received gift.
I am always open to the generosity of heart and spirit that flows in God’s economy from they that have abundance to they that have need…and would always in that spirit welcome such donations/gifts…other gifts I have actually passed on to others in far greater need than I.
But if the spirit and intention of the gift is anything related to “getting me to go back”? To “repent” of “gender heresy” and “assume my old name and role?”
There is not a chance.
Those things are further from me than East is from West.
And if that spirit and intention is thus impure, then I consider the donation to be “the spoils of Egypt” and still put it to good use.
Wow…what a ramble, eh? If any are still with me, thanks for reading patiently.
Blessings to you today from our wonderful counselor and our comforter and the lover of our souls,
I noticed a thing that
two people kiss
move like the tide
could not tell
was coming in or
going out or
it’s been a year…
a year gone down whimpering,
a drowning swimmer foundering
who sought salvation by drinking
the river and instead sinking
beneath the waves of themself.
it’s been a year…
a year that is a dying finger
pointing at the trembly beginning
of a situation hardly noticed coming…
that few saw in its ever-morphing
bones exploding thru ancient dark depths.
it’s been a year…
of slaughtery reeking rank death
(deifying) defying reality
as we had known it
exposing all over again
the worst aspects of humanity
it’s been a year…
of intoxicating home-brewed hooch
swilled carelessly amidst mockery
merciless crushing of human decency
beneath the rotting soles of intolerance
and arrogant fear…
it’s been a year…
that cheated in plain sight and laughed
in our faces preening psychotically
in backwards congratulations and exposé
both of side-scuttling cowardice
and band-wagon jumping by far too many.
it’s been a year…
in position of power flimsy yet fancy,
a hulking brute that let us know
in no uncertain terms that evil is always
waiting round the corner, ready to sell us
poisoned swamp land and expired lottery tickets
it’s been a year…
burning bright with flames
of wild fires gone too far and seething
maniacally in immature hostility and failure
to curb the desire to lash out
at one another…
it’s been a year…
that frolicked, bathing in
the steady yellow shower
of the devil’s bloated trump card
who gloats and hulks and bloviates
and sings the song of wrong…
it’s been a year…
a year gone down
while death has come
This is from 1976…and how I never knew about it until today is beyond me. I have mocked and mugged over the song “Feelings” since it first hit the air waves…it is a piece of crap song.
But listen to what this incredible human does with it…what she says with it…what she doesn’t say…
Please…this is what I want to do with my Poetry
Happy Birthday, Dearest One…
…but i will never sorrow o’er that day, that moment
when Heaven spoke and told me of Their gift,
and my heart was blessed forever after.
i remembered, all day long…and sang.
If i ever forget, may my hand forget to live,
and may i forget to breathe again.”
“Yet as ugly as followers of Jesus creating distance from him is, it’s a far more vile act, when in depravity they claim proximity; when they stand proudly in the world and commit the greatest of atrocities upon humanity—and contend that Jesus consents to it all.
It’s hard to imagine a greater illustration of Christians losing the plot than when they defend predators. There are few bastardizations of the life and the message of Jesus, as complete and grievous as taking the side of rapists and pedophiles and genitalia grabbers—but this is where we are now.
“With the Evangelicals embracing Donald Trump and with those now rallying to the defense of Roy Moore, this is what we’re watching in America: the least of these being thrown to the wolves by the supposed shepherds…”
Spinning like leaves
loose falling and slow
and scurrying brownly
to nowhere…no when…
fast flakes flying, fleeing
the huffy long Storm
of The Great Tree of Life
for the dim tree of EGO
dried out, lacking relevance
and fading, and fading
disconnected and done
just a leaf…just a me
and lost in the pile
And the stormings of Autumn
turn cold here, outside,
clammy and indifferent
to everything else
but the deep dark long job
of laying down still
in the cold cooling earth
and The Long Sighing slower
I have lost my True North
and grown cold and weary
in my mission to Grace:
to be Grace remaining
in roots, to drink Grace
clean raining so free
to walk on Grace quick
in the wind, to swim deep
in Grace beneath the vision
to fall like Grace landing
like swans white and dolorous
to crash…to settle, to touch
The fallen brown flakes
they smolder and smoke
as skies above tense
and bunch and blow white
and acrid smells clench
all around me and promises
into ashes…and yet…
I can’t find a flame
and can’t feel the fire
on my skin, in my bones
and real tears on my cheeks
and I find
I have come
“The essence of a narcissist is a human who has developed extreme coping mechanisms to avoid and dismiss pain by being utterly dependent on deflecting and projecting all responsibility onto others.
“Know this. Identify those in your life as such and be empowered.
“In this respect relationally, you and I and all who are Mama’s are the antithesis of narcissism, which makes us perfect targets for seduction and abuse…until we see it.
“Then there is no unseeing or unknowing.
“That’s the narcissist’s wheelhouse, not ours.”
People…CONSTANCE!!! (“Constance” is a moniker for “Constant Reader”, btw…)
So what is UP?? Why is this gem getting so little attention? Is it because I use Pig as a metaphor for Someone? Is this a bridge too far?? HAHAHAHAHA!!! If that is true, it misses the heart of both the pig and the Someone.
Give it a go…I rather love this poem, with its little oinky rhythm and pace…
It is clouds…just clouds, hanging nowhere,
in nothing, like smoke curling quick
in Blue extending here and there
(and Here to There too…yeah)…
oh, I see the flotsam and jetsam
that jumped from the garage sales
on life’s oceans, my knick·knacks
strewn round about jousting
with your bibelots and baubles
our lace tablecloth
crawling in intricate pattern
on our lil table like a web
sprung from Oh Smart Charlotte
and laid down for our delight,
and our kettle like a bird
flown into its window-nemesis
our hearth lays there, still…silent
and sorry ash too listless to even
puff and rise for flights of fancy
with dust motes and sunbeams.
our mittens and scarves
lay over there, forlorn,
bereft of body and they listen
to the music of clothes
piled beside railways to hell.
they are thankful for tiny tragedy,
small in scope and easily buried.
but i am still in me,
like the ashes in the hearth,
and I know that tragedy is a hologram,
from the smallest piece to the greatest
and I miss your quick warm movements
that sing without saying a word.
cottages, tables and mittens…
all hearths of sorts,
and full of empty ashes.”
Shudder. SHUDDER. SHUDDER!!!!! This was written moments before that event, that seminal event that was the deepest violation, betrayal, and opportunity all rolled into one. I forgive the ones who did this seminal penetration…but I will never ever be around them, ever again.
i dangle now
stuck in and out
eyes throbbing red
red red red darktoday will be a birth
or an abortion
a hand or
a sharp knife
to Kafka penitentiary”
I think this is among the handful of poems that I really feel good about, from the point of view of technical craft…I think I really hit the sweet spot and was risen above a mere hack or journeyman kind of poetess…
I wrote this, pretty much the first true poem I wrote after a seminal crushing happened to me and I was worried that my creative fonts had been polluted forever…thank God this worry was unfounded, as this beautiful little creature shows.
“…You were a wordless humming song
and tidal in my veins you moved
in rhythm, rhyme, in time to that
strumming music tidal
joyous humming in the dancing of the waves
and sand and wind and sky.
We walked each day steady
across those shores ever reaching
to the sea and the sea ever running
back to sands and sunset ever blessing
everyday each moment with its many colored kiss
in hues of pinks and purples, oranges, yellows, hues of bliss
in reds and blues, and greys… you…
always grey lining blue of mine with you,
in silver shot straight thru
with grey shot thru my blue.
We knew each sunset,
whiled away another day
closer to that sunset last
and that final mystic gateway
at the end thru which we enter
Lone and sundered, hoping that we yet may
walk together on a new shore
where there are no sunsets because
there is only sunrise
and yet again…”
A couple of years ago…and utterly slipped from my mind, but oh how I remember it now…what a beautiful word, Re-member…
What’s it like, on the grey seas
in the silver wind, with sails
so green and full and billowing?
Skimming swift and dangerous, light
on the waters while the crew scrambles
‘neath that Captain loud and bellowing?
Stinging spray by facefuls founting
up from waves slosh-frothing, faithful
and fateful leading cross the edge
to horizons promising much more
of the same and something different,
something different, too.
Another great challenge to Christians who are still convinced that ttaf is a servant of God.
To argue that, you have to argue that whoever and whatever is a servant of God, because God uses all things…which is ridiculous.
ttaf is no more God’s servant than Hitler was…and yet we know that God will triumph, even over the deception that those who take Their Name in vain are currently mired.
“And yes, pray about this President.
“Ask God specifically how his life and body of work align with the Jesus you’ve known all your life; the one you find hope and joy in, the one you read about in the Gospels, the one whose voice you recognize as peacemaker, forgiver, lover, healer, helper.
“Ask God if his vile words about women, his cruelty toward those suffering, his vicious social media tirades, his neglect of hurricane victims, his siphoning of funding from public school students and healthcare from cancer patients—if any of it feels at all like the Jesus who talked of loving the least, of caring for the poor, of loving their neighbors as they love God, of the last being first, of the righteous turning their cheeks, of the meek inheriting the earth, of the good Samaritan showing mercy.
“Ask Jesus if this President is someone worth a follower of Christ emulating, celebrating, empowering, amen-ing—if he is someone living in that image.
“Ask Jesus about saying that the way we treat the lowest and the vulnerable is the way we treat him—and how this President is treating him.
“Ask Jesus what the world is learning about his heart for the world, his character, his compassion, his gentleness by the man you elevated to our highest human platform.
“Ask Jesus about the kind of world he was trying to usher in when his feet were on the planet—and how this President is doing anything to make it a reality in these days.
“And if you can walk out of that worship gathering into another Sunday afternoon, completely unchanged and without sensing the slightest conflict between Jesus Christ of Nazareth and Donald Trump of DC, and without a trace of discomfort at the disconnect between your inner convictions and his tangible actions—pray for yourself, because you have clearly lost the plot of the one who brought the world a Good News that is now completely inaudible in these days because of this man and because of a Church that refuses to stand against him.”
I am linking to this article because I think it is absolutely crucial for every person of faith to understand that they are right now in the Valley of Decision, and must choose between Empire or The Kingdom of God…and the two could not be more different.
“Patriotism”, “Respecting the flag”, “supporting the military”…all of these things are now become code for “Support Empire America” in every way without question…even if it is in direct contradiction to the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.
The famous verse to “Choose this day whom you will serve” is become a period of time, and how one chooses now will dictate whether or not one participates in Idolatry or True Religion (which is summarized nicely for us by the half-brother of Jesus in his epistle James).
Please consider the words and implications of this article very carefully.
Robert P. Jones, author of “The End of White Christian America,” observes, “One of the most astounding shifts in modern politics has been the utter transformation of white evangelical Protestants from being confident self-described ‘values voters,’ who measured candidates for office against a high bar of moral character, to anxious and unwavering Trump supporters who have largely dropped these standards for a candidate they believe will deliver policies that benefit them.”
He explains that “white evangelicals have exchanged an ethic of principle that might hold a political leader accountable to consistent standards for a consequentialist ends-justify-the-means posture that simply stops interrogating character, the quality of leadership, or the morality of actions when it’s beneficial.”
It is clouds…just clouds, hanging nowhere,
in nothing, like smoke curling quick
in Blue extending here and there
(and Here to There too…yeah)
and then pulling, parting, LO!
Beyond the blue It Comes, it comes,
The Pig steps forth majestic, shaggy,
Wild with Wonder, Pig of Power
Looming larger than the sky
from which it bursts in sounding sniffing
grunting thunder hooves a rumble
tumble tango striking sparks
in their first touch so terrible
and taut with cracking sound of sizzle
snap and clacking tap-dance Prince Pig
prances slapping touching earth,
made into holy place, and touching
down in France and also somehow,
every other place as well…
‘Tis red and ruddy, bristles stiff
like forests, thick like brambles tangled
heaving bunching with each lurching
hidden graceful step…
What is this Thing, this Scion stepped down
from Beyond and then stepped in,
this Archetype, this Power pulsing
reddish brown totemic wonder
of an Uncreated Creature
Come to sniffle, root the earth
and dig the children of the clay
out of their seedbeds into day
where they will grow in deep delight
of our Delight and Love and Grace…
deliberate it shrinks, so slow
and funny, so intentional,
soon become short, ordinary,
just a snuffle huffle snorting
porcine pot of piggy, trotting
almost dainty, dancing deep
connected to the wonder hidden
in this ancient dirt so new
and old and full of life just waiting
to be sniffed out, found, discovered
there deep in the wombs and be
drawn out from earthy tombs…
look quick and see it…hiding there…
beneath that “used pig” thin veneer
and human truffles laugh and jeer
yet if you listen you can hear
the Pig inside the pig just laughing
as it shuffles, snorts and sniffles
each and every human soul
(human truffles if you really wanna dig deep into Truth)
the Pig roots rough and ragged thru
the forest, sniffing, grunting, rooting
sloughing with its trowel snout
deep thru the red red red rich dirt
running deep down to the core
and in the middle of the deepest
scents of mother earth the scents
of birth, the scents of womb,
oh, NOT a trifle, scent of truffle waiting
to be sent from tomb and tussle…
the sheep are walking gracelessly,
unaware and grazing in
among the vines and looking down
their noses at the rumbly Pig
deep in the fields and forests pregnant…
sheep so sleepy, unaware
that buried there are toads both dead
and yet alive and full of death
and parasite that’s also camouflaged, disguised
to look like truffles…sheep cannot discern, distinguish
which is which and what is dead,
relationship of death and just a rancid bond…
and what is still just waiting, still,
to be uncovered in its shell
and be delivered here…no trifle!
But the Pig, it knows the secret of
what really happened in the forest…
that smells like roadkill lacking graces
to just let go and return, that tastes
like tin foil soaked in vinegar,
metal, and electric acid anti-truth
the Pig, it knows those puffy toads so poisonous…
but leaves them buried deep entombed
where they belong…to root out truth
found deep in dirt so red, so rich
and truffly and toothsome to the soul…
Toads or truffles, that is what
The Pig came down to give to us,
a choice…our choice…but we must
be rooted out and snuffled deep
and ripped into our very bones
and breathe so deep the earthy scents
of just becoming
as blood like liquid dirt that pulses,
courses thru our veins like rivers,
rivers in our noses
just like truffles…
by that disguised
and worn out
old Used Pig
Ohhhhh…I really really love this poem! It is quite similar to “In The Edges“, in that it contrasts the various realities swirling around me but not really mine…but that poem had a more insistent message to tell.
This one is painting a picture, using words on the canvas of your heart…
Clouds overhead, grey, full,
breaking, gathering can’t decide
which direction they are going,
whether they are hunkering down
thick and juicy or simply socializing
in a vaporous convocation that is all
twisty twaddle and no rushing rainfall.
It doesn’t matter, really. No, really.
It doesn’t matter, because in either case
the sky is constant behind them,
skimming the tops of mountains
and the troughs of wishy-waves
briny and stretching to the spines of stars,
The story of clouds is just pages turning
in The Big Blue-Black Book of Sky…