Hearth of Empty Ashes | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This is the first poem after…not after the FIRST cut…but after the last.  Autumn 2014…The Great Reduction began…resulting in the Phoenix Fires.

“our cottage is still,
today…empty.

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
and broken.

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.”

Source: Hearth of Empty Ashes | Charissa’s Grace Notes

My Only Way Out Today: an Anti-Poem | Charissa’s Grace Notes

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.

**********

“Pray that I hit the hole
when I am hurled violently,

that I roll like cats
and land soft on paddy feet,
that I swim like otters free
and surf like Icarus of the sea
and waterproof

i dangle now
stuck in and out
and bleeding
upside down
and reeling
eyes throbbing red
red red red darktoday will be a birth
or an abortion
a hand or
a sharp knife
and liberty
or lambasting
and sentenced
to Kafka penitentiary”

Source: My Only Way Out Today: an Anti-Poem | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Things Trump-Supporting Christians Can Pray About In Church This Sunday

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.”

Source: Things Trump-Supporting Christians Can Pray About In Church This Sunday

If LGBTQ People Were Handguns

Supporter of ttaf:  I tried to warn you that ttaf and his evil minions wanted to harm me.

You denied that, and told me that you would never support anyone who wants to harm me.

The decisions made by his administration prove this beyond a shadow of doubt.

I’ll expect your apology and your declaration of opposing ttaf due to his hate of your loved one…waiting…waiting…

Hmmm…gotta wait until Fux News tells you so?  I see.  Well, while you wait, chew on this notion the author puts forth and it may well give a differing perspective to you than the one you so blindly cling to.

Btw…it is simply a fact that yesterday Jeff Sessions argued that transpeople have no protection from discrimination in their job.  See, he thinks the right to not be discriminated against is something that doesn’t apply to transpeople.  He thinks being free from discrimination is for some people…but not for all people.

It’s a matter of time before you find yourself in danger as a consumer of resources and no longer a producer…or whatever other reason hate finds to exercise itself.

So ya got that going for ya…

It’s a real shame LGBTQ people aren’t handguns.
If LGBTQ people were handguns, this President would treat them with kid gloves. He’d be ever so careful with his words so as not to offend them.
He’d exercise the rarest of restraint, to avoid angering those who love them; couching his words in every moment, being…

Continue Reading If LGBTQ People Were Handguns

Source: If LGBTQ People Were Handguns

This Place Bleeding | Charissa’s Grace Notes


really…REALLY?

we are here, this place bleeding out arterially
black blood cells fused from antique plants
and dainty dinosaurs and precious people
deemed damned

and all we care about is our artesan chocolates
and our tan designer bedrooms that match
our pocketbooks in fashion and depth
damned dumb…

Source: This Place Bleeding | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Beneath Blood And Skin | Charissa’s Grace Notes


we simply must face it,
we are on the brink
of loss blind as wind
and empty as death.

but loss is a gift
when you think about it
it gives us some space
and cleansing tears too

it gives sacred questions
pathways to the center
and old maps long lost
to ancient deep wells…

Source: Beneath Blood And Skin | Charissa’s Grace Notes

When The Whole World Howls

what did you see there,
on that road when setting sun
began to blink again, again
and turned into a threatening heart
beating so slow and pumping out
the blood of stars and planet-scars?

How did it feel when phantom friends
just went on walking, on and on
oblivious to open wounds
in skies above, your breast below
and the railing reached and grabbed your hand
and tired death grinned madly dull?

You heard a noise, a scream of sun?
A scream of clouds, of blood or heart?
A scream that slashed thru everything
so real, so loud, so everlasting
What to make of that?  That sound
When the whole world howls and howls

and howls?

“I was walking along the road with two of my friends. Then the sun set. The sky suddenly turned into blood, and I felt something akin to a touch of melancholy…My friends went on and again I stood, frightened with an open wound in my breast I stood still, leaned against the railing, dead tired. Above the blue black fjord and city hung clouds of dripping, rippling blood. My friends went on and again I stood, frightened with an open wound in my breast. A great scream pierced through nature.”
Edvard Munch

Across the Aching Blue Sky | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Three years ago…
Are ashes ever really dead?
Or just a different form of life?

When you see that I have died,
when you look into that place
where my odd, quirky connections
once melded resonant
and found resonant splendour
in heart…and in hearts too

and you see the ashes, chilled,
overlaying stone cold coals,
become grey overcoats
covering what I finally learned
to be so ashamed of?

Scrape those cinders up
shovel and shoe them,
trowel and trough the grits,
find a yearn to place them in,
decorative and strange,
intricate and engraved
and singing,
like me back then…

and carry that vase back
across the silent square,
and toss my ashes high,
yes toss them in the air

Let them fly across the sky
in one last kiss, then wave goodbye,
and falling, floating, snowing what made
me special and vibey…

I will let go gently…and slip away,
away…

Source: Across the Aching Blue Sky | Charissa’s Grace Notes

That Awkward Moment… | Charissa’s Grace Notes

We have all experienced this, haven’t we?  Everyone?
That moment when our head goes from Bugs Bunny’s smug smile
to a jack-ass head because we feel so foolish and dumb?
Or is it just me who feels this…

it lays there, bloated
in between when you
and the other person
connected and laughed
(or that’s what you thought)

and when you speak
and your heart falls
out and open
on the floor
with the inscription

would you like
to come over
for dinner and wine?

eyes narrow,
furrowing brows
and glance off
to the side
and it shifts

and it’s game over
flowers fade
the smell of smoke
and burnt cookies
lingering

Source: That Awkward Moment… | Charissa’s Grace Notes

On This Shore I Break,We Break | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I wrote this for the first human other than my dearest darling to really see me, Charissa…she has never not seen me.  She has never seen him, even though she knows all about him, and I have told her everything about him that matters and also that she has asked…

I would tell her everything without reservation…but sometimes, she simply is bored by him, because he is an absent caterpillar and she loves the butterfly.

By the way…where do caterpillars go when the enter the chrysalis?

I love you Dani…you are my first friend and my dearest heart of friendship…special and distinct from the many friends and sisters I now have.  ❤

PS:  Pay attention to the line length…just a hint

Listen…
you can hear
my words in waves
breaking on your beach
and celebrating…

lament at long last left limp
in clammy depths
‘neath the surface of seas
of blessed forgetfulness
and chuckling…

midst the shells and sand swirling,
rejoicing surf returning resurrected,
remembered, sanctified by sorrows
faced and sorted…yielding
wholeness certain, sure…

on this shore I break,
we break,
on this shore gently
and joyfully too
we break…

on that shore
that someday shore
we will unbroken break
on that shore and in that circle
by and by…in that circle

by and by…

Source: On This Shore I Break,We Break | Charissa’s Grace Notes

White House photos show Trump sitting alone at Camp David while Pence runs hurricane Situation Room

you did this, ttaf supporter…this is on you.  You put this inept clueless criminal in power…and all his corruption is pouring out like the golden showers poured down on his head…this is on you.

Shame on you…shame.

White House photos released over the weekend show President Donald Trump sitting quietly alone at Camp David as Vice President Mike Pence and other cabinet members gathered in the Situation Room to deal with the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. Investigative reporter Christina Wilkie‏ pointed out the photos in a Twitter post on Sunday. New: WH releases pics of Trump’s #HurricaneHarvery briefing today. Trump alone at Camp David. Everyone else w @VP Pence in WH Situation…

Source: White House photos show Trump sitting alone at Camp David while Pence runs hurricane Situation Room

no melody down here in sight | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I wrote this a couple of years ago…about being othered by dull insensate humans…or did I write it about supporters of ttaf…or likely I wrote it about evangelical so-called christians whose blood sport is the judgement and death of anything that sings, that moves in beauty…

or did I write it about you?

There is still time to influence who it is about, with your true song and love.


it was eyes,
everywhere each one
attached to a beak, each beak
trilling so shrilly, chattering
in clakkety chirp-chirruping
in brackish raucous screams

loserloserloserloserloser

this forest was once a place
of wonder and the night
so full of promise but now,
it’s like the stars have fallen
from the sky and become
these birds, these birds with eyes
and beaks and nothing to sing,

just screams in a trackless forest
with a past turned out to be a dream
and a future that’s just a strip mine
yet unzipped, yet undug yet torn open
and a present consisting of merely
the sound of these eyes so sharp
and beaks blunt just like red clubs

and no melody down here in sight

Source: no melody down here in sight | Charissa’s Grace Notes

The Privilege of Neutrality

My friend John Pavlovitz hits another home run.
If you are white, and think you can just withdraw from the mess, this is for YOU.


“I know many people like my friend. They’re otherwise decent, responsible, good-hearted men and women, who don’t realize how insulated they are from the kind of fear and threat that people of color, the LGBTQ community, Latinos, or Muslims experience as a working reality—and this insulation gives makes inaction tempting, especially when moving into the fray invites such conflict.

“That we feel a choice in these moments is even possible, shows the subtle and insidious ways privilege works. It allows us to have urgency as an option—where for others it is a necessity. Some people are fighting for their very lives, and the idea that they could or would opt-out isn’t a consideration. It shouldn’t be an option for any of us if we claim humanity as precious…”

Source: The Privilege of Neutrality

An Eclipse Of Grace

we are down to it now
here in the land where dragons
have forgotten their names
and deny their children
who loved them

Puff and Jackie are no more
it is now all sturm und drang.

A monster has arisen
and graves quiver and tremble
as fingers long thought dead
scritch scritch scritch
on those coffins so
recently buried

and show that they live
and gibber in glee
with prospects of release

scritch scritch scritch

but the moon has not forgotten
does not forget her beloved
now hot and baking in the
disjointed unhitched sunlight
called not-Puff (Sturm) not-Jackie (Drang)

called alt-
and hate
and patriotism

the moon has made her move
and soon will shed her grace
a respite from unrelenting baking light

An eclipse of Grace is coming
to save from the eclipse of Grace
found in this screaming perpetual
day without softness
without tender coolness
and velvet still…

I hear the moon move
in the dry drumbeat of bramble
as I pass by, smelling their
desperate intense perfume

the canes of thistles move
in the wind like bones
and sing to me

sooon  soooon…
beneath the croon
of probing beams
that are definitely
way more than they seem

the sky will bend and yield
as moon she rides in day
and comes to eat, to take within
her belly all the taint
of poison so-called light

our moment of escape will then present!
a moment, chains can break and curses rent!
in dark while others fall upon their face
we who watch well an eclipse of Grace…

can learn there at her knee, her royal knee
and small eclipses everywhere we’ll be
from our burnt courage burnished bronze in heat
as we the moon and grace together greet
and mercy kisses truth…at last they meet

may things be healed by our eclipsing feet.

The Twenty-Five Hour Yesterday | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I wrote this poem in 2015…taking on the topic of privilege, and how it devalues everything it touches…like entropy works…especially erasing the humanity of those who serve privilege to the same degree that they exercise it over their fellow human beings.

Supporters of trump the absolute fucker, I am taking DEAD AIM at YOU.

Some of you ttaf supporters think I am mean…but you are wrong.  If you were to wake up, there will come a day that you will thank me for keeping you from a fate FAR worse than death.

In the poem, there are italicized lines.  They signify to the reader that the reader is to “sing them in their mind” with the tune that corresponds…

“…We stand before God today
even though entropy
deferred yesterday
we stand before God
as Their Potter’s clay

the urgency
of the present moment,
shaped not by nostalgia
for what once was,
but remembrance
for who God was,
and is,
and ever will be.

that fierce urgency of the now
within a world in need
not of more pointing fingers
and dividing speeches, but of
people willing to rise up
and work as if we now already
are God’s people willing
and surrendered.

I deferred entropy yesterday
It was the least I could do.”

Source: The Twenty-Five Hour Yesterday | Charissa’s Grace Notes

13 past 13 | Charissa’s Grace Notes

One of the most important and least favorite things from last year was being faithful and diligent to listen to my muse as She SCREAMED in warning and horror regarding the monster who was approaching power.

I mean, c’mon…I don’t know what is greater:  his sociopathic narcissism, his intention to do harm to less powerful people, or his literal willful stupidity!

ttaf actually said in an interview that Jeff Sessions should NOT have accepted the nomination to the Attorney Generalship of the United States “if he knew he would recuse himself over Russia…”

Constance:  let that sink in.

If you were picking someone for something, and you ended up getting investigated for something…how would the person who you picked have any way to know you would be investigated, especially if you were innocent of all wrong doing?  So why would there even be a need for recusal?

If you were the person picked…would you fill out the papers completely?  If so, there would be full disclosure and thus the person picking could assess ahead of time whether there would be a conflict of interest…but only if they knew ahead of time there was a possibility they WOULD be investigated!!

Except that ttaf insists that this whole thing is made up!  That it is ginned up and is fake…he claims there is no there there…so why would it matter if Sessions felt the need for recusal?  (Which, by the way, is so patently firm and completely established, he likely would have gone to jail if he did not recuse himself).

ttaf insists this is all out of nowhere…and yet he says in the interview with the NYT that Sessions should have told him ahead of time about his need to recuse…which clearly gives away his lie.

ttaf does this kind of shit continuously and consistently…it is the only thing consistent about him:  his utter ruthless commitment to his own survival.

He knows that he is guilty and in deep shit.  HE KNOWS.

And he also knows that you, supporter of ttaf, do not give a shit about any of the crimes, the ways that he has sold YOU out, for his own profit.

You used to be intelligent and thoughtful, parsing lies easily.  But now in your greed, your need to preserve your privilege, you will lay down for him like one of his underage models and beg to be raped by him.

I literally despise him…and I despise and pity anyone who refuses to see that he is the biggest political disaster to hit the USA in history.

He is a mirror to you, ttaf supporter.  Look at him…that is who you are.

the cuckoo clock so pasty white,  so dull
ticktocks its hands to point at the orange cull
and jumps out crazy, chiming, shrieking shrill
the wall is trembling in its echoes still
CUCKOO CUCKOO CUCKOO CUCKOO

Source: 13 past 13 | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This World Too Much

It was somehow so moving, so compelling
up from the shaggy earth, looming and shorn
so sleek with steel and concrete ribbons running.

It wrapped around the way
the way entwined with it
and it was wet and smelled of wind forever.

I stood, soaked to bone and fully brindled
against that wind that prodded at the dangle
of knots, of cracks, of edges all atangle.

And yet, somehow it still all glowed in glory
and still my eyes thrilled at the vital touch
of movement, place and people in the crush

perhaps I love this place, this world too much.

The Outer Rim Of Ruin

I walk around the outer rim of ruin
and ruin walks the inner rim of me
and ivy climbs, caresses every beam
as I surround and caress every bone.

The ravens, hated birds of spite just sit there
and croak in harsh and squawking dark duet
their song of ruin running on the old walls
and dripping down in tears inside of me.

The empty windows stare on desolation
the broken columns gnash the air in sorrow
the floors are jumbled messes of despair lost
lost trying to just get from here to there

But still I walk around the outer rim
and still it walks the inner rim of me
I wait for that return, that restoration
When love comes home, comes true, and I’m set free

A Spoonful Of Sugar | Charissa’s Grace Notes

The bitter lil pill…narcissism…this from 2016

ttaf mainlines it

Can
you swallow
the bitter pill?
The pill that’s come
to dull our conscience,
cushion comfort, corners
nipped just so, sides longer
than tops and bottoms,
that exquisite little
emerald coffin-
shaped bitter
little
pill?

Life’s
fragility, life’s
impermanence…

Source: A Spoonful Of Sugar | Charissa’s Grace Notes

It’s The Blood Of Stars | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This poem hearkens back to the poetry I wrote directly after the Pulse massacre occurred in Florida last year.  I was interested as it emerged…connecting different threads from those immediate poems (you can find those right around the dates in mid-June 2016…use the calendar at the bottom of the page)…up thru the poems of around July 4th…and on to this one (and “Hidden From Your Eyes“)…

It breaks my heart that the foreboding of these poems came true with ttaf…

…but it breaks my heart even further that so few were even aware.
and now it all melts
under falling skies
skies weeping
bleeding

it’s the shining blood of stars
dropping and everything
spinning and melting
down under just
one touch

one

touch of that stricken star’s
living draining dying
diamond
blood

Source: It’s The Blood Of Stars | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Hidden From Our Eyes | Charissa’s Grace Notes

From last year…a tragically prophetic poem about life in the time of ttaf…


Can you feel it
bouncing off steel beams
ricocheting off raw stone,

the sound of gunfire
off in the distance
grim and getting closer
in cold grey shuffling
grave-steps clotted
and rotted
and ruined…

Source: Hidden From Our Eyes | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Reaping Waves | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This was a couple years ago…”viking” is metaphor for “patriarchy”…and the rest should follow naturally…


I’m no Viking, not me!
Charissa Grace?
Pshaw…I do not sail
on waves like crops,
oars for ploughs
and battle lust for seed.
I shudder at the thought!
Of harvest moments
in peaceful lands
and no limits but my lusts
and the certainty of loss
at the end of Ragnarok…

Source: Reaping Waves | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Poems About Gender Dysphoria From 2014

Here are a couple of poetic attempts to describe the special hell of Gender Dysphoria.

In the first, I talk about the feelings of guilt and self-loathing…what it is like when they are tyrants inescapable.

In the second poem, pay close attention to homophones…words that sound the same and sometimes are even spelled the same and yet depending on context they have different meanings.  This is extremely important to understand if you wish to get inside this poem to the place where it will give up its honey to you.

I hope you enjoy them…3 year old poems that stand up pretty well.

That Numb Relief

Born On The Edge
tumblr_mr7ao1YaDq1sw327to1_500

Microphone cut after Mormon girl reveals she’s gay at church

Hey…this heinous and evil action is not unique to this one church, alas.  It is standard operating procedure in evangelical cultures.

But notice something particular…read the article and notice:  she was not doing any sin.  She was not sexually sinning, she was not defaming anyone else…she was simply being authentic and vulnerable.

That list in 1 Corinthians 6 which is used to rape, pillory, and execute LGTBQIA humans “In the Name of Jesus” is a list that refers to actions taken which flow from an unredeemed heart…here they all are:

sexually immoral
idolaters
adulterers
thieves
greedy
drunkards
slanderers
swindlers

…and of course the infamous supposed ban on same sex relationships which was actually speaking to the unequal and evil power dynamic practiced in those days by men of power over young and exploitable boys…very similar to how today’s Rape Culture looks.

Sexual immorality is a perversion of sex
Idolatry is a perversion of worship
Adultery is a perversion of relationship
Theft is a perversion of property rights
Greed is a perversion of desire
Drunkenness is a perversion of pleasure
Slander is a perversion of truth telling
Swindling is a perversion of relationship

…and the practice that was mistranslated by the KVJ translators is simply a perversion of sex no different than sexual immorality…

Not one of the root things is in itself an evil!!
This list is by no means exhaustive…but what is exhausting is the evil idolatrous, slanderous, swindling undertaken by millions of so-called Christians EVERY SINGLE DAY who carry it out in Jesus Name…and ignore all the other things in the list.

You’re merely a sinner in need of God…unless you are a homasexshul.

Truthfully?  It is your own guilt and shame which you scapegoat onto LGTBQIA people as a sop to your own guilty conscience.

This girl is far closer to the kingdom of God than the rest of them put together…because she is authentic!!

I suggest you try some…you may end up having a few less “Lord Lord when did we see You’s” to answer for…
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A video of a young Mormon girl revealing to her congregation that she is lesbian and still loved by God — before her microphone is turned off by local…

Source: Microphone cut after Mormon girl reveals she’s gay at church

Deaf Earth’s Denial | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This is my favorite poem of mine…it is old, actually, comparatively speaking, having mewled and clawed its way thru my inelastic soul still soaking in oil to be made pliable and flexy…

This poem is explicitly about gender dysphoria, and specifically my own experience of that as a child…a child newly divorced from herself and dedicated to performance to be sure I remained loved and accepted…after all, I was the girl who wandered woefully, tearfully with no words to describe the pain and horror within and so my litany was “it’s the end of the world…to which the response from adults around me was to mock me with sarcasm telling me that “nobody loves you”…

…which most certainly was not intended to destroy me but which poison was no less destructive given the intent.  It was into that pool I dove headlong and knowing that performance had to be utterly perfect to avoid harm from shark and wave.

This poem is historically accurate, and related poetically.

When you read this, do try reading it aloud, as the rhythm and meter are very intentional and seek perfect repetition one with the other from stanza to stanza, so as to mimic the flow of the clouds overhead in the wind.

…I remember, sweet fields of red clover,
green stalks soft and new, tops dipped in crimson,
just before being baked by the shimmery sun
but after they’d stripped off their equinox frocks
to lay naked and sunbathe and snooze…

Source: Deaf Earth’s Denial | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Has Evangelical Christianity Become Sociopathic? | HuffPost

I just have to share this article here…I hope you reach into your suitcase of courage to read this look in the mirror.  If you consider yourself a christian, I challenge you to repudiate these tendencies in your own heart…and if you do not consider yourself a christian, I wish to apologize deeply for the horror show that has been inflicted on you by those who claim the Blessed Name…and do so in utter vanity.

“The 2016 election demonstrated an especially high level of insincerity, shamelessness, poor judgment and pathological egocentricity among Christian evangelicals. James Dobson, who once said of Bill Clinton, “Character does matter. You can’t run a family, let alone a country without it. How foolish to believe that a person who lacks honesty and moral integrity is qualified to lead a nation and the world,” and then said of Donald Trump, “I’m not under any illusions that he is an outstanding moral example. “It’s a cliché but true: We are electing a commander-in-chief, not a theologian-in-chief.”

“The evangelical Christian message is loud and clear. They care for no one but themselves. Their devotion is to the version of Christianity they have created, which calls for ruthless abandonment of immigrants, women, children – even their own – and anyone else who doesn’t fall inline with their message. Social justice, which is mentioned in Bible verses over two thousand times, has been replaced with hardline political ideology. Principle over people. Indifference over involvement. Judgment over generosity.

“Every generation redefines what it means to be, or belong to a religious group. Religious ideologies, interpretations, and doctrines are fluid. But whatever it is, or whatever it becomes, is made by the people who belong to the religion and what they collectively decide to make it.”

Source: Has Evangelical Christianity Become Sociopathic? | HuffPost

Father’s Day: An Illusory Mourning

If you read here regularly, you know enough about me to know why “Father’s Day” is a very problematic day to me…for I was in the situation that a woman gets thrust into when she for whatever reason is required to be “father” to her children, whether it is due to death or divorce, or the joining of two women, and each of them trade off time in that role.

As I was not out to anyone, least of all myself, there was the expectation by everyone that I would simply “know” what being a father meant…but really the best I could do was follow the example of my own father, watch what other males did, and try as hard as I could to be present in the lives of our children.

Alas, there was the unfortunate cultural baggage to deal with as well…something each generation discovers when their children grow up and become all-knowing teenagers and rip you to shreds with their withering rejection and depths of knowledge that “obviously” exceed your own!!

I have watched, read…and mourned as my life and history has disappeared before my eyes as it is recounted for others thru the pen of writers who leave me agog in the distance between their claims and what I have lived.  I hold in my hands letters, cards, and other mementos that say one thing and links that cross the transom leading to “myth-making” and demythologizing that seem to suit the maker’s whim and need while utterly ignoring whoever might have been present, however unaccounted for…

…and certainly there is great territory that I now see which I could not see then…mourning and grieving is hard work, but real transformation/metamorphosis is even harder because it demands first and foremost accountability to some truth outside one’s self…and it is slow…3 steps forward and 2 back so often…

…believe me, you have not known horror until you devote yourself in the midst of deep pain and sorrow over the course of years to this transformation only to find it entirely dismissed because of the presence of a two step back moment!!

But this is the lot of a transperson…dissociated in childhood, high functioning and intelligent enough to hide it from everyone including herself, only to find everything shifts dizzyingly in middle age and a brand new person who was always there emerges to the surface offering life to everyone but bringing so much death in the process.

One is forced to know one’s self…or die.
One is forced to live one’s life…whether accompanied or abandoned.
And one is at last glad to find moments of authenticity stretching into entire days, becoming weeks and promising a solidness that may last for the few years left on this stage called life before my candle is blown out.

And that brings me full circle to “Father’s Day”…and an interesting unfolding of meaning and history and experience as writ in the poems from that day in 2014 and 2015…

…I will never write another one.

Never.

Any further writing on that subject is more than adequately covered by the ones whose memoirs cover the gamut from memory to gaslighting, to myth making and destruction…and telling the stories that make sense to them not only their past but their present…for what a joyous role it is to be present scapegoat for those unhappy and not realizing that many independent choices have led them to the place they are in and that of their own volition and doing…as long as I am there, that result can be shunted off onto me…and thus provide some measure of relief and comfort, and maybe even some space to grow and grow up…

for certainly this is the role of a parent if not a father…

I love no less than ever I loved…perhaps even more now than then…but I am far less invested in measuring my own self based on the things that are said to others about me…because I know myself now, better than I have ever known, and I accept the successes, the failures, all rolled into one and called “a life lived”.

I think that I get to some of these feelings, emotions, conclusions in the poems on this subject.

At any rate, it is clear to me that there are new puppies who eagerly drink, and a multitude of souls who have begun to call me mother, or spiritual parent…and my job is to be who I am, in joy and full participation…if those from the highways and byways come willingly to the table, I shall serve them what goods I have, and continue in my quest to be utterly emptied of anything left to give on my final breath’s exhalation.

I suspect there is much to be gleaned in these poems for any parent of adult children…but I cannot be the judge of that…only embrace the process of being a parent to those given to me…and rejoice as I see the tools I diligently sought to impart put to use…even if it is for my flaying, dissection, and repudiation.

God knows I love them…miss them…and wish that I could know and be known by them.  But that option is not mine to know or even demand, for it is wrapped and concealed in the illusions and fogs of times future…

but maybe Christmas principles, lessons…perhaps Christmas visitations will give all Mr. Scrooges that reprieve we all wish for, but so few will embrace due to the fires of taking responsibly for being a chooser of free will in a determinative world…

And so to the poems…oh, I’ve many poems written to my children individually and collectively…but these three specifically concern the horrid day known as “Father’s Day”, and they are my only answer I shall ever make to the long horror show letter received on this day, or the articles about me that so deeply and mortally wounded my heart…I await with longing the day of resurrection that shall come.

Here are the links…if you are still here to click:

The Footprints Of Ghosts

Beside This Ring Of Ashes One Year Later

The Blossom of Memories of You (Father’s Day 2015)

I Am A broken girl And I Am | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I am a broken girl and I am

not so easy to love like
carefree normal confident girls
next door in cotton and flannel and lace.

I live inside a fortress and I hide

inside shields and my soul
lives centuries in seconds
I am a survivor of wars
that break the strongest
men so flimsy.

Source: I Am A broken girl And I Am | Charissa’s Grace Notes

So Trump Supporter, What Do You Love Most About Him?

“…Now, I know you’re not supporting him simply because you voted for him and you have to save face now—even while seeing how inept, unqualified, unhinged, and terrible he is.

“I know you’re not doing it just because that’s what FoxNews tells you to do—and you always do what FoxNews tells you to do.

“I know you’re not just sticking with him because you hated President Obama and Hillary Clinton so much that you voted simply out of spite and are now digging your heels in out of spite.

“I know that you can’t share his contempt for Muslims and women and the LGBTQ community and the poor.

“And I know you aren’t doubling down in support because you approve of the misogyny, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and racism associated with him and his Cabinet.

“It surely can’t be any of those things.

“Obviously the list of reasons to love Donald Trump is nearly endless, but if you’d tell me what you love most about him and why you’re still supporting him, I’d love to hear it…”

Source: So Trump Supporter, What Do You Love Most About Him?

The Footprints of Ghosts (commemorating my first Father’s Day as myself) | Charissa’s Grace Notes

From the first “Father’s Day” passing since I entered transition…wow was I naive then.  Since then, the hell-words and deeper hell-silences have scarred deeply.

I will never ever celebrate or participate in this day again.

But this poem…ahhh, I was ringing the bell on this day.


The fire crackles and pops
its diphthongs and phonemes
in that hot and feisty
rapid-snap delivery.

“Dad!  Dad!  Daddy!  Father!”
It says this in living
letters of merry blazing
iterations of what …

Source: The Footprints of Ghosts (commemorating my first Father’s Day as myself) | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Suffragette of Sight | Charissa’s Grace Notes

From 2014…trying to tell people how we hide…


They leave marks, tears.  Look.
You can see them if you stand
eyes akimbo and uncrossed from normal.
They don’t show if you look usual-like.

But they shimmer
like living starry
liquid songs of sorrow…

Source: Suffragette of Sight | Charissa’s Grace Notes

From Provence To Salamanca | Charissa’s Grace Notes

From last year, a poem describing leaving a place of fruitful becoming and ending up in a place of religious bondage…it wormed its way out of me freely and insisted on the geographical terms, which now in the age of ttaf make far more sense to me.

we had wine
rose wine, pink
blushing with laughing
joy in the midst of
a light crushing

we were in Provence,
and it was warm and sultry
but not thick or sweaty
in that yellow light seeping out of
the ruddy dirt…

Source: From Provence To Salamanca | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Rebecca Solnit: The Loneliness of Donald Trump | Literary Hub

This article is a powerful examination of how privilege works…and shows that trump the absolute fucker is the collective mirror image of privileged people in the USA, even those who do not have copious wealth and yet still retain utter privilege as elites in our country.

I am trying to imagine a whole four years of this corrosive soul…and I cannot.  I imagine that those who place their trust in trump the absolute fucker will find themselves with no soul, having sold it in exchange for the delusions and empty nothing that trump the absolute fucker and his minions will visit upon us.

Empty, washed out and vacant souls, gaping like some bank had foreclosed on them, and stained forever with the blood of millions.

“He is, as of this writing, the most mocked man in the world. After the women’s march on January 21st, people joked that he had been rejected by more women in one day than any man in history; he was mocked in newspapers, on television, in cartoons, was the butt of a million jokes, and his every tweet was instantly met with an onslaught of attacks and insults by ordinary citizens gleeful to be able to speak sharp truth to bloated power.

“He is the old fisherman’s wife who wished for everything and sooner or later he will end up with nothing. The wife sitting in front of her hovel was poorer after her series of wishes, because she now owned not only her poverty but her mistakes and her destructive pride, because she might have been otherwise, but brought power and glory crashing down upon her, because she had made her bed badly and was lying in it.

“The man in the white house sits, naked and obscene, a pustule of ego, in the harsh light, a man whose grasp exceeded his understanding, because his understanding was dulled by indulgence. He must know somewhere below the surface he skates on that he has destroyed his image, and like Dorian Gray before him, will be devoured by his own corrosion in due time too.

“One way or another this will kill him, though he may drag down millions with him. One way or another, he knows he has stepped off a cliff, pronounced himself king of the air, and is in freefall. Another dungheap awaits his landing; the dung is all his; when he plunges into it he will be, at last, a self-made man.”

Source: Rebecca Solnit: The Loneliness of Donald Trump | Literary Hub

Holding It Tight

you’re there
I see you in the
glow, the fierce proud
glow that melts snow and
vaporizes anything in the know

you hold
your bouquet
of blooming hatred
tight, vise-like, clutched
and gathered to your chest

where it
burns everything
it melts anything that
even thinks about getting
close-like, including your fingers

clutched
gripping

so tight
that you cannot
shake it off of them
your fingers and your face
so that your heat could even

get shared.

Pauper-Heart And Paper Mind

And though Your feet find every path
how is it I can see no sign
that You have ever cared to pass
along this trail, travail of mine?

I, pauper-heart and paper mind
bequeathed with Heaven’s own dear Breath
look at this empty road to find
it circles, curls unto my death.

That I stand asking is itself
a rich and bottomless grand gift
and that I scrabble at Your Shelf
and fumble, clumsy drop and sift

Until there’s nothing left to see
while all around me diamonds gleam
Until I take my eyes off me
then shall dust to riches be

The gifts are not in garlands rare
Nor ease nor comfort fading fast
Thy gift is very Breath, it’s Air
With me til I breathe my last.

The Turmoil Of Spring


I am wearing the turmoil of Spring in my hair
I have worn it so young and so old
It’s for you that I wear Spring so zestfully there
For your heart, I am wearing Spring without a care
For your soul, well I wear Spring so bold.

But you rush thru the seasons so fast and so blind
Looking into the future so blurred
It’s for me that you strain your eyes, trying to find
Something different, a lodestone to anchor your mind
Alas, you miss the damage incurred.

I guess pacing is part of the problem, my dear
You pull hard, while I toddle along
For whatever our eyes rest on, touch on, hold near
those things take flesh and blood then they stoke up your fear
And they co-opt your voice and your song.

Can we walk thru the seasons together, our hands
Clasped gently yet joined as we wait?
You can see far, rejoice in the coming of that
I can see up close, making the moments grow fat
While the seasons just slip out the gate.

Shaking And Trembling And Speechless

It is
a strange spiraling
of meaning…
draining out
of works that
felt pregnant
with them…meanings…
Meaning.

Now?
prowled and picked over
by hurried lazy eyes
losing meaning, my poems,
like a bike tire
like a sleek balloon
gone sad and pudgy
from too many bon-bons.

See, I write them
in such a way that
it is the reader plugging
into them

that births that meaning
each one is pregnant with…
and the reader midwifes their
own “poem” in the interaction.

but I look at poems now…
living creatures that slid
into this world and onto the page
in my tears of all stripes and moods…
born of water and Spirit…

and they just seem silly, like debris
in maelstrom currents mixing with cast off Micky D wrappers
and the latest pop culture Rapper
hanging in the wastelands with the other vultures.

it is stunning, really…that they really
do not matter to anyone like they do to me…
these lil “Tardises” of words…they are just…

forlorn, they are petals after they have been
trod on by the wedding party and the departing guests
and now are at best mere curiosities better suited
for Ripley’s Believe It Or Not
instead of Lord I believe help me in my unbelief.

I think I wept
for two days
after this…
it was
so
beautiful
as it shouldered
its way in and it left me
shaking and trembling and speechless.

I think I literally babbled as I wrote.
(Sometimes I do that when I get hit
with Creative Fire…I just babble
without words because the

UUUNNNGGGHHH of creating is too
AAAUUUGGGHHHH!!!!)

And then I see the latest
hater-aide clever meme
get hit millions of times
as everyone goes

“O00000h!!! BUUURRRNNN”

and pours another cup of coffee
(one more cup of coffee before I go)
and snaps their fingers where
the newspaper used to live and
pulls up their light-stained cheeks
to the latest send up to entertainment.

And this compulsion to share…
this fucking HOPE that someday
someone would read them

from the inside out

and have their OWN babbling

UUUUNNNNGGGHHH and
AAAUUUGGGGHHH

and the words would snap to,
alive and burning and twine
into the human being’s
very own unique living poetry

just for them
and them alone.

The Sound Of Weepy Rocks

the rocks are weepy tonight
in the mist they hide,
like a sorrowful bride
beneath her veil so misty-thin,
so impenetrable.

the trees lean grey and low
in acts of love and sacrifice
and yet their branches can’t suffice
the blow, the brunt the rocks endure
in the endless name of Time.

and out upon the roiling sea
I dance the waves and they dance me
and we keep time to metronomes
so deep and quiet that their song
may simply be the sound, the weep…

the tears of the weepy rocks 

 

Never Ending Irish Rain

Written for My Father…

“…and then you turn your head
your beautiful estrangéd face
to the other side of midnight
and behold that silky rain
(as if for the first time)

that Never Ending Irish Rain
fell green across the golden waters
and washing down those greying sands,
quiet, themselves ablaze, a-falling
like stars straight thru the night…”

tumblr_nmnxhtV2Lj1thfeewo1_540
Source: Never Ending Irish Rain

CHECK THE SCIENCE: BEING TRANS IS NOT A ‘CHOICE’

I am posting this for those readers who still may not understand the complex physiological and psychological factors that work together to form our gender orientations.

In light of the fact that the Bible is utterly silent regarding the so-called “morality” of gender, this article could be especially helpful for those of you who claim you love Jesus and yet treat transgender humans like Hell.

May God spare you the kind of treatment that you have handed out to others in the name of Jesus…but that is not how it works, is it?  The fact of the matter is that the exact standard that you employ to show your rejection and hate of transgender humans is the one that Jesus will hold up for you on your day of dawning…

http://www.ozy.com/pov/check-the-science-being-trans-is-not-a-choice/69726?utm_source=aah1&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=pp&utm_content=inf_17_92_2&tse_id=INF_0b1151f026b511e7ab1b4bd69f1788b7

The Hounds Of Torquemada

sometimes scared I hear
the stink and the hot blood
rushing thru the crowds
like demons on the loose
the hounds of Torquemada

sometimes I see them
all the people in the streets
lost and in a mumble
of pain and crazy jumble
and death in every tumble

and I just wanna lay there
in the streets so dirty
teeming with the garbage
of privileged excrement
and tear my chest wide open

and with my desperate fingers
claw my hurt ribs agape
and reach in for my heart
and rip it from my soul
and hold it over head

and let my blood gush forth
in step with all my tears
and wash it all away
why can’t it wash away
oh Jesus wash, oh Jesus

why is it them not me
i think I’m gunna cry
and cry and cry and cry
while my heart bleeds and bleeds
until it’s bled all dry

Hell is for Homophobes | john pavlovitz

What is so heartbreaking to me is that I used to espouse the hateful rhetoric that my brother John is decrying…thinking that a list of actions that stem from heart attitudes was somehow a shopping list for any heathen on the way to hell…it isn’t, by the way…sexual actions of both hetero and homo orientations are decried in that list, and in all cases, the heart attitude of ABUSE is what is the seed for growing hell in your own soul…but the orientations themselves?  Irrelevant.

Same with the actions that involve speaking, having possessions, and all the other things there…they ALL are pointing out that it is an abusive engagement with those things that brings broken relationship with God.

But that is for another day and the concordance…why don’t you give this a read?  And stop being a hater in Jesus’ Name…oh yes, that is what you are…I know, because I once did that.  I am so sad that I ever was that blind.

In fact, many of you who read here have treated me with this hate…in your ancestral sin of shunning, in your evil heart reach to pronounce demon possessed, and your maniacal thought that never talking to me somehow makes you closer to God.

Few things are less Christlike than Christians when they’re attacking the LGBTQ community. There is a malice and sadism they’re capable of that simply defy explanation and fully deny th…

Source: Hell is for Homophobes | john pavlovitz

Nothing Rhymes Orange

“…and the nuance is gone,
disappeared in the mist
along with soft kisses,
it’s all been dismissed

by orange fading soft
into white then returning
to orange, and orange
and then just more orange

so i sit here, i wait,
i remember another time,
other days full of
sweet music and rhyme…”Related image

 

Source: Nothing Rhymes Orange

A Handful of Memory

And again…from Last Year:

it was a village
no longer existing
it was a laugh
that echoed that village
and hung in the air

like smoke from a fire
extinguished in nightfall
and drifting in winds
and lonely midst stars
while crickets and frogs

lament as it faded
and pebbles and diamonds
all heaped up at random
and sticks and steel swords
all jumbled together…

tumblr_o4t6qwtznS1qbo9p6o1_1280
Source: A Handful of Memory

Our Sacred Desert Story

We set out on tender feet
and tender hearts to match
and faces become flint as we
determined that we would not faint.

When our sojourn was hip deep in heat
and we were well and away, out to sea
she told me of the heartbreak and the horror
and there how we did rain our tears…

We took turns (while we wiled the desert paths away)
swimming away from the ship of us…naked, vulnerable
and healing in the slick water…further and further
and then return and up and back into our desert ship.

It was in the sunset wrought with haze from distant destinations
that make you think about fire, and about what might have been.
We, perched on that rock solid emanating heat and spitting healing
while the sky, bruised by our advances, turned purple in our song.

It was just Day Umpteen Kazillion in our great traverse of deserts,
we walking, swimming straight by myth and extraterrestrial,
feeding on lizards, trilobites, and our sacred Stories our Communion shared
and we, oh so close to our arriving, our becoming, our sacred Desert Story.

 

The unlikely Texans fighting anti-trans bill SB6 | Fusion

For all who want to:
A:  Understand transgender issues and origins
B:  Want to be allies in the granting of human rights
C:  Believe that being a christian precludes hateful condemnatory behavior
D:  Have a trans loved one(s) that you wish to support

This article is for you.

I personally have experienced every single thing mentioned in this article.  As a full grown middle aged human…the loss of family connection;  the loss of employment;  the loss of social standing, the hate-filled behavior towards me of literal total strangers; physical violence…

…not to mention the sort of thing that happened when I was little, and my choice of dissociation from myself.  Only God can ever really measure that damage done as a child…damage that was not “intentional” but was fully empowered by the cultural forces of the binary and thus did no less damage.

This mom literally tried all the things that transgender rights opponents espouse…read her story.  A conservative christian family with bona fides that may well make St Paul’s head spin!  The accusation that parents’ poor parenting is responsible for the “mental illness” of the child is revealed as the false belief that it is.

This child is amazingly strong and persistent.  I did not have that strength…I caved…and nearly died for the next 50 years.

All this damage, all this death…all because of clothing, genitalia, and bathrooms.

And trump supporter?  Please pay special attention to the reporting of the trump administration’s specific and deliberate plans to take away transhuman rights!  Just exactly as I told you.  Supporting this absolute fucker taking office is the deliberate empowering of someone who wants to hurt me…

as if you could what…beat the trans out of us?  Pray it off of us?  Be sure and notice in the pull quotes below the full grown relative who vows to send this little kindergarten kid to the hospital on a stretcher if that child was in a restroom that his 22 year old niece was in!!!

That is literally flabbergasting to me!  Really!!???  What is a 5 year old child gunna be able to do to a 22 year old woman??

No matter how many…no, even if you slaughtered every single transgender person?  We would be back in the next generation…because we are a function of human reproduction, and not a function of “social engineering”

Kai and Kimberly Shappley in the backyard of their house in Pearland, TX
Kai and Kimberly Shappley in the backyard of their house in Pearland, TX

“…No matter how much punishment this kid got, you couldn’t beat it out of her,” Kimberly said. “You couldn’t pray it out, I couldn’t cast it out.” Indeed, Kai was having none of it. Sometimes she would wait until Kimberly was on the toilet to taunt her from just out of striking range: “You know I’m a girl.” Other times, she began praying within her mother’s earshot that God would “let Joseph” (Kai’s former name) “go home and be with Jesus.”

Kai’s prayer was Kimberly’s breaking point. That, and learning about the sky-high suicide rate for trans kids; according to one study, 41% of trans youth had attempted suicide—a rate almost ten times higher than their cisgender counterparts.

“There are so many trans kids who don’t have her persevering, persistent spirit,” Kimberly said. “And if Kai didn’t have that spirit, I would have succeeded in breaking her, into conforming into what I was trying to make her be. And we would have all been ok with that until she killed herself, at 14, or 13, or 11, or 20, or 50….

“…Still, the social fallout for Kimberly was swift. Trans advocates often say “everyone loses someone” when they transition; Kimberly’s family lost almost everyone. While one of Kai’s uncles helped his niece pick out new outfits, most of her extended family distanced themselves. One aunt threatened to call CPS on Kimberly. Other relatives shared a Facebook post from a Houston-area preacher, proposing a training day where the church would teach children how to spot and report trans kids at their schools. A cousin sent Kimberly a Facebook message warning if he ever saw Kai in a bathroom with his 22-year-old daughter, Kai would “need a stretcher.”

“A best friend from the family’s church, where Kimberly served in ministry for years, stopped their years-long 5 AM prayer phone calls. When Kimberly attended a school board meeting last June to discuss the accommodation of trans students, she said one pastor from her church showed up to speak out against them…”

Source: The unlikely Texans fighting anti-trans bill SB6 | Fusion

I Loved My Grandmother. But She Was a Nazi. – The New York Times

trump supporter, pay attention.  Do yourself a HUGE favor and read this article…it will save you from grievous regret!!

A lifetime of living for truth is being flushed down the toilet.

Today, Outside the Church Building by John Pavlovitz

“You see friend, if what happens in that building doesn’t renovate what happens outside that building, you’ve failed. If your church were to close down today and the neighborhood around you wouldn’t profoundly feel the loss, you need to change how you do what you do in that building. If the only people who would grieve your absence are the people already in that building, you’re not doing what you’re called to do. You are hoarding blessings from people who need and deserve to be blessed.

“Worship is not really what happens in that building. That is just songs and words and stories and prayers. It is religious activity, well-meaning and helpful as it may be. Worship, is a life lived changed by faith in God and burdened to reflect the character of that God to others. If the songs and the words and the stories and the prayers today don’t move you out of the building and into the paths of hurting people in a way that alters those paths—it’s all been wasted time.”Source:  Today, Outside the Church Building MARCH 19, 2017 / JOHN PAVLOVITZ

The Church That Abandons Jesus

My friend John Palovitz says these things so very well!

“To be honest, I’m not convinced that many of these Republican Christians want their Government or the Church to lift people in need. I think they’d prefer to live with the fictional narrative that poor people are poor because they’re lazy, that those in need, are so because of some moral failing or bad decision. This story allows them to keep the stuff they have, to ignore the call to love their neighbor as themselves, and to feel morally superior in the process.

“Jesus says that whatever we do to the poor and the hurting and the hungry—we do to him. That should be a terrifying proposition to supporters of the President who claim the Christian faith or call the American Conservative Church home. This Administration and the many Christians who co-sign its actions toward those who are the most in need of compassion and mercy in these days, are saying with great clarity: “Move along Jesus, we don’t give a damn about you.”

“This is what happens when the least are treated as less-than. This is what it looks like when the Church abandons its namesake and tells him to fend for himself.

“Forgive them, they know not what they do.”

Source:  The Church That Abandons Jesus