poem: the poet in times of war’s calamitous uncertainty

poem: the poet in times of

war’s calamitous uncertainty

witnessing, entering the chaotic fray
with nothing but words of reality on the
ground and perennial truth of the ages

resisting the post-truth totalizing
systems of fascist lies and violence
of the powerful and controlling

oh, Liberty, perennially calling all
to live free of oppressive
tyrannical authoritarianism

bodily, directly, non-violently,
affronting the oppressor’s
indignities and injustices

with no assurance of personal safety,
soul bared, wounded healer,
lamenting, revisioning, transforming

more imaginative, true, authentic, holistic, just,
life-giving alternative counter dominant
cultural ways of being together in diversity

veritas vos liberabit

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
March 24, 2022

Images: 1) ‘Ukrainian teacher bombed out of her apartment by Russians’ by Justin Yau/Sipa
USA, 2) ‘Maternity ward patient
and her unborn baby killed by Russian attack on the hospital’ by Evgeniy Maloletke/ AP

Author’s note: ‘Veritas vos liberabit’ is latin for ‘the truth shall make you free.’

My poem is written a month after Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine and the continuing war resulting in approximately 5,000 Ukrainian civilian deaths, millions of refuges leaving their country, cities bombed to the ground, Russia commiting war crimes, and a very uncertain future for all. I wrote the poem remembering that poets through the ages have always been the bane of authoritarian tyrants, as poets, within the poetic tradition and the expressiveness of the poem, are prepared to reveal the darkness of war and tyrants, in ways that perhaps preachers, journalist, diplomats, heads of state, and others (except the survivors) are not able to do. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, poets are the only ones capable of articulating the transcendent nature of things by identifying ‘symbols’ and ‘emblems’ of the world. Thus we see a role of the poet as truth-bearer of the prophetic tradition.

Advent Reflections

Advent reflections: When Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, meet during their pregnancies, they rejoice in the ending of Empire and its oppression of the lowly under which they live at that time with the Roman occupation of Judea

Mary sings a revolutionary song to Elizabeth, known as the Magnificat:

The Magnificat: Luke 1:46-55 NRSV lyrics:

“My soul magnifies the Lord,

and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

German Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer called Mary’s song “the most passionate, the wildest, one might say the most revolutionary Advent hymn ever sung.” Bonhoeffer, who would be hung 12 years later for resisting Nazism, added: “This is not the gentle, tender, dreamy Mary … This song has none of the sweet, nostalgic, or even playful tones of … Christmas carols. It is instead a hard, strong, inexorable song about collapsing thrones and humbled lords of this world … ”

Sister Elizabeth Johnson says “The Magnificat is a revolutionary song of salvation whose political, economic, and social dimensions cannot be blunted. People in need in every society hear a blessing in this canticle. The battered woman, the single parent without resources, those without food on the table or without even a table, the homeless family, the young abandoned to their own devices, the old who are discarded: all are encompassed in the hope Mary proclaims.”

image by Ben Wildflower
click on image for better view

quote: “True patriots resist injustice and hate wherever it is found amongst us.”

A FEW THOUGHTS ABOUT LIBERTY AND FREEDOM ON THE FOURTH JULY
2021

Note: I have been posting this reminder on the fourth of July for several years now. This year I have tweaked it a bit, however, it remains relatively unchanged as have the threats to our liberty and freedom. This is no time to let our guard down against tyranny or to take our eye off the Beloved Authentic Community of All for the Greater Good! There is much work to still be done!

1) None of us are free until all are free. Don’t mistake your personal privilege for the freedom of all.

2) Freedom is not tolerance for one group to be prejudiced towards and discriminate against another group. That is oppression. Silence in the face of oppression is a victory for the oppressor. Speak truth to power.

3) We continue to live in very volatile times and are in grave danger of losing our democratic republic to a plutocracy of oligarchs and to those with fascist leanings. Do not be silent. Do not be complacent. Do not be complicit. They will eventually come for you too. Resist as if your life and those of your loved ones depends on it! Because it does!!

4) Do the hard work of personal and collective transformation which the world as it is so needs. Be willing to prepare, practice , and participate in being the change we need. Put in some sweat equity and some skin in the game. In relation to the dominant systems of power, control, and violence, one must be transformed, resist, and be an activist for authentic and true change. Only those with eyes to see and ears to hear this call will assure its achievement for the common good of all.

Have a safe, authentic, and happy Fourth of July 💓🙏✊

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💓🙏🏽

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!

Reflections: Recuperating and Redeeming the Soul of Our Nation

Reflections: Recuperating and Redeeming the Soul of Our Nation

Sitting here this morning reading the latest news updates and reflecting on yesterday’s attack on our U.S. Capital and our democracy, I feel bereft and forlorn. God knows it has been a very hard year, and more, for all of us and much more for so many others.

Here in my community over the past year we have faced a deadly, destructive tornado to start 2020, the ever worsening pandemic, social injustice and civil unrest, the recent anarchist bombing of our city, and yesterday this attack on our U.S. Capital and our democracy.

And yes, I, like many of you, feel I have left some skin in the fray. Resisting from the very beginning the outgoing presidential administration and its sycophants and the nationalism, fascist, racist, and social injustice it has spawned in our nation at every turn. Those responsible must be held accountable.

Certainly we face more challenges ahead as we work to heal our nation’s wounds and divisions from the flame thrower, hateful, narcissistic fascist bully some would call ‘president.’

With the incoming Democratic presidential administration and its’ control of the U.S. Congress, we long for calmer heads, steadier hands, justice, healing, and reconciliation where deserved. Certainly, those responsible for these crimes and attacks against our nation must be held accountable and face the consequences of their actions. But let us now return to the hard work of becoming a more perfect union for all our citizens with liberty and justice for all. The challenges are many which face us.

Just now, I feel like I need to remove these bloody, shredded clothes hanging from my wounded body, take a deep cleansing soak, get some rest, and recuperate, so I along with you, may return in our efforts together to save the soul of ourselves and our nation.

Beloveds, I always feel better having written it down. And now let us walk each other Home again as True Selves in Authentic Community of Belonging. Thank each of you for being there!

photo ‘A New Morning Dawns Outside My Door’