poem: liberation for the people

poem: liberation for the people

in a world too much with us
so rapidly changing and chaotic
filled with misinformation and lies
the people’s souls are troubled and restless

this world where
politics is so partisan
that lying tyrants
are supported over truth and justice

this world where
we are so deeply divided among ourselves
and as far from the divine as possible
leaves us adrift trying find a hold

this world where
the bodies of the dead float in the Ganges
lie in the hot streets
and burn on funeral pyres in parking lots

this world where
industries refuse to pay living wages
then label workers as lazy and malcontents
for refusing to accept deadend jobs

this world where
local news is a litany of gun violence and deaths
and the weather, even on pleasant days,
is always a threat thanks to reporting of ‘Storm Central’

this world where
consumer products are unaffordable
and /or in short supply
due to fragile infrastructure and personal hoarding

this world as we know it on the ground
with affliction and dis-ease
a pox upon our body, mind, and spirit
beloveds, wherein does our hope lie

a wise sage once said
“we cannot become gods though we may become divine”
through healing our afflictions and suffering
with discriminating intelligence and unity consciousness

liberation for the people
both worldly and divine
immanent and transcendent
True Selves belonging in authentic communities

bipartisan governance for the people
dignified, quality healthcare for the people
living wage work for the people
ethical journalism for the people
sustainable economies for the people
authentic communities for the people
visible hope for the people
wholistic healing from within for the people
liberation from oppression for the people

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
May 14, 2021

quote by BKS Iyengar, father of modern yoga, author, teacher

image ‘We the People’ poster art from Amplifier

quote: the epigram from my new book of poetry, The Poetry of Resistance and Transformative Healing

Announcement: My new book of poetry is available on Amazon

Sooner than expected, my new book is ready to view and order on Amazon.

I hope you will view the book at http://www.amazon.com by searching on the book’s title, and if it’s poetry and theme resonates with you, you will consider purchasing it.

One more request is that after reading, if you would please leave a review of the book on Amazon, it would be a great help to me. More reviews help increase sales on Amazon.

Thank you friends for all your support, and I hope you will enjoy the book written from my heart as an offering of radical grace and love for the healing of the world and all beings as True selves belonging together in authentic community💓🙏🏽

poem: limping to the narrow gate of Eternal Life

poem: limping to the narrow gate
of Eternal Life

this morning, awakening
under a blanket of ice,
more sub-freezing and ice
coming, and then the big snow

covid continues nipping our heels
in a world of political turmoil
and nations divided with
endemic injustice holding steady

in this deep freeze season,
society fragile under cultural dominance
in an era far from the divine consciousness
besieged from all sides

limping into forty days of Lent,
smack in the face of our hubris, conceit,
and sentimentality, reflecting and praying
the plank be removed from our eyes

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
February 15, 2021

photos by Herb Stone
‘Pure Ice with Snow to Come’

 

 

 

poem: one can not serve two masters

poem: one can not serve two masters

to what dominant influence
are you captive
to what master has your life
become like chattel

is your master
fear, greed, envy,
pride, desire, wrath,
power, control, domination

or is your master
grace, love, Self truth,
wholeness, mutuality, healing,
belonging, Cosmic consciousness

who are we,
what is our purpose,
what is our life’s meaning,
what is it we intend to create here

mind your surroundings,
what are you receiving
with open hands and
on what do you stand

truth, beauty, and goodness
or falsity, repulsiveness, and depravity,
what is it you intend to create
on this Earth with this one, wild life

that which is not transformative
for the personal and collective good
is transmitted as suffering from
person to person and generation to generation

choose to be the change
the world needs and
apply yourself through
disciplined practice benefiting all beings

dedicate yourself to
creative expression which
sets all free, liberates, and
connects all in kinship and belonging

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
February 4, 2021

Art images:

1) Harry Sternberg, ‘Fascism’

2) Kate Deciccio, ‘Amanda Gorman, American Poet’

(reader’s note: gratitude to those who have
influenced me and whose influence is
flowing through this poem: Jesus, the Christ,
from his sermon on the mound found in the Gospel
of Mark, Gary Zukav, Mary Oliver, Richard Rohr,
Maya Angelo, and Mark Nepo)

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.

poem: writing it down for healing

poem: writing it down for healing

trying to figure things out
finding my psyche and soul
greatly wearied and in mourning
in the postmortem of the culture wars
and efforts to destroy our nation’s democracy

and so I write it down, it is what I do,
until I grow in understanding and feel
I can authentically express myself
as to my witness and truth,
then searching for the right words and
moving them around on the page in composition

while some may be ready to move
beyond these atrocities in triumphalism, I sit here,
on a foggy mid-winter morn during the pandemic,
observing the suffering and waste and contemplating
the challenges, preparing for the work ahead
in the slow recovery from our collective trauma

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
January 25, 2021

photo by Herb Stone
“On a foggy mid-winter morn during the pandemic”

(reader’s note: Richard Rohr teaches: “If we do not
transform our pain, we will transmit it.” )

poem: ex-president X sounds pleasant in our mouth and in our ear

poem: ex-president X sounds
pleasant in our mouth and in

our ear

the new moniker for the man
whose name is never said
referring not just to one
small man’s official title but also
to their enormous responsibilities

ex-president X was thrust shocked
into our brain resulting
in trauma and toxic shock syndrome
sickening the minds of millions
and radicalizing millions more

like the X factor
ex-president X was
inexplicable and unknowable
bombastic evil personified
and a shadow upon the land

there must never be
another such assault
in our system politic
posing such a threat to
our sanity and way of life

less stalwart souls
and discerning minds
are lost and flummoxed
and the most fragile perish
from the incompetence

now ex-president X is removed
from the world stage
a bad actor and two bit con
flubbing his lines
bombing another gig

may he live out his life
in ignominy and loneliness
far from the world stage
a history lesson learned
never to be repeated

ex-president X rolls
off the tongue, is pleasant
in our ears, and timely
so that the grieving, lamenting,
accountability, and healing begin

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
January 22, 2021

photo by The Columbia Dispatch
‘The Maddened Crowd’

poem: ode to our nation on inauguration day 2021

 

poem: ode to our nation on inauguration day 2021

today our nation
inaugurates our 46th.
president and vice president
Joe and Kamala
who feel like family
Papa and Auntie

after the past four years
of a president and his administration
bullying its’ citizens
undermining our rights
eroding our democracy
empowering domestic terrorist
cutting off world allies
causing death and confusion in a pandemic
and leading an insurrection
we citizens of good conscience
find some relief and optimism again

fellow Americans
let us come together
in confession, repentance, and reconciliation
healing one another and our nation
that we will finally do the hard work
of forming a more perfect union together

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
January 20, 2021
Inauguration Day

Photo credits: Vox, AP, AFP

Reflection: Our nation is setting a dangerous precedent with untenable consequences for all its’ citizens

Reflection: Our nation is setting a dangerous precedent with untenable consequences for all its’ citizens

As citizens, we need more protections against Presidents, and other elected officials, who prove to be mentally unstable, including sociopathic narcissist with fascist tendencies, who brainwash and radicalize others through constant hateful lies and disinformation, and who incite others to violence against our government through seditious speech and acts of insurrection.

While the outgoing president may eventually face legal culpability for his crimes while in office, we have had to endure four years of his undermining and attacking our democratic principles as a nation resulting in serious damage to our psyches, our souls, and our social order, and the loss of life through incompetence, neglect, and violence.

One problem we have seen is that the majority of politicians can not be depended upon to police and adjudicate other politicians because they are chiefly guided by their own political self interest, including electability, over the principles of ethics and laws. These politicians are true Machiavellians in their ideology which is called ‘godless. scheming, and self -interested’ in Machiavelli’s book, “The Prince,” which is one of the first works concerning politics and ethics ever written. Apparently things have not changed much as to the behavior of politicians since that book was written in 1513.

Our Constitutional and democratic processes have been put to a severe test which has revealed untenable outcomes in the four year term of a person elected, with outside, foreign influence, to the office of president and who was never fit, and is incompetent, to fulfill that high office with all the powers and influence it commands.

This whole debacle in its’ smoldering aftermath must be reviewed with the objective of not repeating the errors and oversights that led to the election of the outgoing unfit president, and other elected officials, and of identifying triggers and safeguards, and consequences against sitting presidents, and other elected officials, that call for more ready accountability for those who are unfit and who incite anti-democracy radicalization, sedition, and violence.

We are witnessing a trainwreck in the history of our democracy which threatens its survival, and those of us who believe in the non-violent transforming of our democracy to include all persons in a more perfect union, must resist and turn back these dangerous precedents and untenable consequences before it is too late.

Let the hard work begin!