poem: aging together here and now

poem: aging together here and now

here in the church
of God’s Creation worshipping
in the woods, dales, and lakes

doing the work of bringing light unto the self
practicing Self realization, resisting the Empire
and all that separates us from Creation

residing in authentic communities
of healing and belonging with others
who value sharing the work and doing the practice

walking in nature, creating,
writing down the bones
taking care of one another and those we may

here and now in our aging together
releasing worldly desires, falling upward,
in the cloud of unknowing

flowing with Cosmic energy
connecting root to crown
filling hearts with grace, love, hope, faith

beloveds, we are fine

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
June 16, 2021

photo: the author and his wife at Bird Heave
Hill in the Southern Hills of Nashville

Author’s note: Just a little love note from Cathey
and I to all our beloveds that we are fine here on
Bird Heaven Hill doing the quiet, slow practice and
work of Self, mutuality, belonging together, and oneing,
and we invite you all to join together in authentic
communities of intentionality, purpose, and meaning.

Let us love one another!

poem: giving way, letting go, surrender, redemption

poem: giving way, letting go,
surrender, redemption

have you surrendered
your success and privilege
of the ego’s personal greed
and swelling pride

and the imperialistic empire’s
power, control, and violence
for the life giving way
of empowerment, liberation, and peace

the noisy mind
in its cloying
sentiment and deceit
does not give way easily

all our self indulgence,
hubris, demanding,
pleading, and panic
finally must be relinquished

thus sitting silently
contemplating the void
of dependence arising
listening for the next right thing

the spirit seeks the balance
that the mind and body
cannot bear alone
in this world

now arising in our
organic, holistic, unified
heart of knowing
preparing us for right action

oh divine cosmic one
awaken in me
this practice that
ultimately redeems us

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
June 9, 2021

art by RSRLive Arts
‘Mind Body and Soul Kundalini’

haiku poem: warm dreams in late May’s golden light

haiku poem: warm dreams
in late May’s golden light

Stella D’Oro
golden nuggets of bright light
sun’s warmth opening

Love Pat Hosta blooms
in the flickering shadows
under the treescape

warmth of late May
the hermit of Bird Heaven’s
Summer Solstice dreams

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
May 31, 2021

images by Herb Stone

Author’s note: I arranged the structure
of this poem into three stanzas, each of
which is a haiku unto itself.

poem: a story of our saving grace

poem: a story of our saving grace

fleeing the city and civilization,
traumatized, seeking solace,
she who lost her husband and young son
in the gun violence of a mass shooting,
takes up residence in a remote wilderness cabin,
cut off from the world, off the beaten path,
depending solely upon her self-reliance

her first winter here, the nature of the wild slowly
wearing her down, she cries out in the dark void
“it’s not working,” weakened and dying, she lays,
until the stranger stumbles upon her helpless,
near death, nursing her back to health, standing by her,
no questions asked, accepting her self isolation,
teaching her how to live alone in the wild

after the stranger does not return for a long while,
she hikes into the small town nearby for the first time,
finding him dying of cancer at home on his death bed,
he confesses his own trauma of killing his wife and
young daughter while driving drunk many years ago,
she now understanding she is not alone in her grief,
that wounds and healing shared, grace upon grace we are saved

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
May 18, 2021

Author’s note: This poem is inspired by my seeing
the movie ‘Land,’ a film by Robin Wright about
severe trauma, survival, human kindness, grace,
and healing

image ‘Cabin in the Wilderness’ unattributed

poem: prepare to be interrupted by God today

poem: prepare to be interrupted
by God today

take a break
from the 10,000,000 things
that distract us

see the Universal Cosmic Christ
by whatever name
in the stranger, other, oppressed

especially those
making us the most uncomfortable
in our privilege

allow the truth, beauty, and goodness
that surround us to act in
mercy, radical grace, and radical love

turn so that hearts are opened
minds transformed
and spirits lifted up

and so this shall be the new way
that God is always with us all
in the mutuality of giving and receiving

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
April 20, 2021

art image unattirbuted

haiku: sign of my birth

Being that today is my 73rd birthday, I wrote this haiku in an effort to find some thread through all the years and answer the question of what has brought me here and now.

haiku: sign of my birth

under Pisces born
at the end of long winter
Earth child, Mystic heart

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
February 21, 2021

photo by Herb Stone
‘The Warm Heart of Winter Buddha’

(reader’s note: Born a Pisces
in the age of Pisces, February
is a raw, bitter cold, icy snow,
muddy month when our minds
long for Spring. I am aware of
the signs influences on me,
Earth lover, Cosmic being,
Creative soul longing for the
Divine that unites it all in
a story I am always trying to
tell.)

Reflection: The role of the contemporary white institutional church in the rise of alt-right politics in our nation

Reflection: The role of the contemporary white institutional church in the rise of alt-right politics in our nation

The alt-right political movement, emboldened by ex-president X over the past six years, found a safe haven, and in many cases support, in the contemporary white churches of the U.S. With their cheap grace, free of repentance and confession, and their ‘country club’ mentality of catering to members for a membership fee, .i.e, tithing, these churches and their members invoke the name of Jesus in heretical blasphemy.

It is, of course, ironic that the contemporary church offers sanctuary and support to the modern empire and its oppressive regimes. As far back as the medieval church, the doors of churches were painted red to signify they were places of refuge and sanctuary for those needing to escape oppression, particularly the oppression of the Empires, who were all powerful and whose citizens had no rights. And today, it is just the opposite, with the church providing sanctuary to the oppressor Empire.

And so, tragically, we find the contemporary white institutional church simply to compromised and complicit with the dominant culture of power, control, and violence to do anything about this subversion of its’ true mission which is to act according to the Gospels and its’ kerygmatic vision of God’s kingdom, i.e., the alternative community of true belonging of all through radical grace and radical love as proclaimed by Jesus, the Christ.

This interjection of the dominant culture into the churches true mission is called ‘Christendom,’ and more contemporarily ‘Christofascism,’ and has been around in the history of the church since the Edict of Milan signed with Emperor Constantine of the Roman Empire in 313 which established the Emperor’s protection for the then persecuted Christians. ‘Christofascism’ is reflected in the Nazi’s political efforts to subvert and control the Christian church in Germany in its’ efforts of ethnic cleansing, mass genocide, and world domination.

And so what does the future hold for these failing churches? The theologian and author, John Douglas Hall, asks in his 2010 article in The Christian Century, ‘ “What then is the mission of a church that can no longer count on its favored status in Western civilization to ensure its meaning and its continued existence?” Hall’s answer is that the church must recognize its failure to act according to the Gospel and begin to witness and serve outside or on the edge of the dominant culture. For the church to survive and be faithful to its message, it must change, or ultimately die, according to Hall.’ (note: the Hall quote is from an article in ‘Sightings’ by Charles Maynard, a professor at the University of Washington).

The role of the white Christian church in the rise of the alt-right political movement can not be over-emphasized, and its’ untenable consequences for our democratic nation and all its citizens must be recognized. Those white churches so complicit and supportive must be resisted at every turn by people of good conscience, and its influence eliminated by those of the true faith knowing truth will overcome the lies of the alt-right.

Book suggestions for further reading regarding Christianity’s complicity with the dominant culture and its’ failing churches: 1) ‘The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance’ by Dorothee Soelle, and 2) “What Christianity is Not” by John Douglas Hall.