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Green Sanctuary Propositions

Who are you most longing to become?

How we answer this is different for an ancient rooted tree
than for a recent immigrant
searching for a niche of stable self-sufficiency.

Who we already have become together
feels more important to thriving groves of WiseElders
than to adolescent immigrants
actively learning creolizing bilingual skills
still coming together for survival.

So too, offering Sanctuary,
becoming Sanctuary,
inviting Sanctuary,
is rooted in Green complex nutrients
for feeding
and warm wet watering
whispering easier
cozier
more accessible nutrients
for everyone–
but especially appreciated
by more recent emigrants
to a new garden of hospitality,
of multicultural cooperation,
of shared cooperative residence
and patterns of safe,
sometimes exciting, new transport
toward healthiest wealth.

A gardener’s intent
to both offer and share sanctuary
may provoke well-nurtured gratitude
in a recent annual immigrant,
but a more sleepy and self-satisfied entitlement
in mature seniority of perennials,

Yet, primordially feeling and speaking,
we are all immigrants newly becoming together
with each new dawn,
and determined to cooperatively rest
in grateful dreams
with each renewing dusk.

Who are we most belonging
by becoming Green Sanctuary
together?

Some guilds of mutual interest
and investment
invite growing a cooperative sanctuary for food,

Other teams choose cooperatively owned and managed shelter,
gardens,
farms,
transporting cars and trucks
and bikes and horses,

Others focus on cooperatively owned and managed soil,
observing that democratically co-invested compost,
like capital,
recalls healthy savings in a nutritional bank
for cooperative food constituents.

And so it went,
whether Republican or Democrat,
Libertarian or Green,
Who we want to become together
is more cooperatively resilient,
more robustly compassionate
and co-empowering,
so less aloof
alone
smug and self-satisfied
about our competitive win/lose economic
and partisan histories of colonization;

When, truth become remembered,
we are all reborn naked
and needy
immigrants.

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Mother’s Mother

My mother’s mother and I were very close.
We needed each other
in diversely validating ways.

She needed to know
experience
hear and see and feel and touch
a healthier love of mutual regard
than she felt she achieved
with any of her three daughters.

I needed to feel
I was some loved adult’s most significant event,
most vulnerable and transparent grace
for who I felt and knew I was
yet to gay become
without any need to change
what I could not internally rearrange.

When I was a senior in high school
this grandmother became sick with cancer
and depression,
mortal doubts and fear.

I knew this
not because I had visited her
but because my parents
and aunts
whispered their hopelessness
before repeatedly reminding me,
There is nothing I can do
to help her
or prepare myself
for such great loss,
perhaps less great,
more relief,
for them.

But they were wrong.
Wrong about my grandmother.
Wrong about me.
Wrong about us, together.

I knew her favorite hymns.
I was her favorite voice.
We needed no other instruments,
percussive or lyrical.
We had enough time
to revisit our music lessons,
Lyrics are tools for young friendship
Not weapons against old enemies.

Precious Lord
take my hand,
Lead me on
when I can’t stand.
I am tired,
I am weak,
I am worn.
Through these trials,
Through this storm,
Lead me on
Precious Lord.

And so we sang
and so I danced
and told her favorite story
of beds too hard,
of friends too soft,
and a child who sings just might

Of Earth too hot
and river beds too soft
and motherlands too cold
and us, now growing distant,
yet singing this last time
just right.

 

 

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Nursing Home Rapper

In the multi-racial nursing home
to bent and broken bodies
in broken bent back wheelchairs
longing to free roam,
said the black lives matter rapper:

When your woman leaves you,
and your man is gone
without a reason
or a fare thee swell season,
Getting mad at life
ain’t so deadly wrong

You go ahead!
Let’s get angry.
That’s your right.
Let’s swing this fight!

Take your meds,
the ones prescribed
And not those others
Steal your might.

Eat something right
and drink your water,
Go on outside
and play spin the bottle
and see some sight
that helps you maybe feel more right.

Find your music.
Tunes long tried
You’ve memorized
Until they had to die inside.

And when you’re tired
you sleep,
Take a nap
Join those voices
heard long gone before,
Who never knew
you lost most choices

To want to wait,
to stay awake.
Don’t want to miss
what might not happen
without your last blessed kiss.

But don’t worry
We got this,
what you’ve not yet used up

It’s not a lot
but I promise you
Although we’re young
and only think we’re smart,
We’ll do our best,
We’ll take our part

To forward march
to your grandkids
at least as much
as you’ve left us,
a little parched.

That ain’t much
but it’s my promise
To share your music,
To take our rest
when it’s our time
to worry less
about who sleep takes
than who’s just pretending
to stay wide awake
for further mending.

You go ahead!
Let’s not get hungry
We’re inside right,
so let’s end this trite
and tired unsightly
RightWing fight!

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Senior Luncheon Interview

YouthGroup interviews WiseElder lunch crowd

Notes:

(1) What do you recommend for improving our long-term health prospects?

Question met with quiet amusement.
“Honey,
I’m eighty years old.
My goal is to continue gracefully accepting my future losses.
I’m not sure that helps you.”

(2) Why have you done so well so far?

This is your idea of success?

When I was younger
I thought about healthy vocational goals,
like dancing and singing–

Ways to cooperate BothFun-AndWork solutions
stretching my more typical
EitherWealth-OrTired non-thinking.

It sounds like you found a long-term approach
for growing cooperatively healthy.

More of a daily philosophy
to not kill myself just yet,
than a long-term strategy.

(3) Looking back,
What healthcare choices would you approach differently?

Maybe I would look more toward future goals
to cooperatively thrive
To grow less frightened by past unfortunate competitions
to survive indignities of old age
in these paternalistic States.

(4) Looking forward,
Why might you choose
and not choose
to plan for long-term health for yourself,
for your extended family,
and for Earth?

I would include most plants as part of my extended family.
Although there are some aggressive weeds
to which I prefer to claim no kinship,
Republican or otherwise.

(5) When should we begin such long-term health planning
and development?

I’ve been waiting for eight decades.
Now, or even yesterday,
might already be too late,
even for my adult children.

(6) In what ways,
if any,
have you begun bringing your own adult childhood toward this great transition time?

Are you asking because you are young enough
to think you know the right answer?
Or because you’re old enough
to be curious about depths
and resilience
of early through late health development
for organic persons,
green plants,
and wealthy planet?

I am, I hope, just young and old enough
to be curious about why
those who plan for long-term planet therapies
also seem most likely conscious
of past health goals
competitively missed,
And others cooperatively still attainable.

Competitively missed goals…
Is that like old people without a shared nap-time map
of where we have been?
So feeling lost about tomorrow’s adventurous possibilities
for continuing long-term healthy sanctuary choices…

For me, long-term health planning is mostly about getting through today
and staying awake with you and your YouthGroup cohorts
on this journey toward WiseElder retirement.

I might recommend more healthy cooperation
toward achieving interdependent community wealth
more than RightWing toxic
competitive monoculturing aspirations.

For me,
and for us, I hope,
long-term climate goals
remain mostly about our extending family
on pilgrimate toward WiseElder Earth
as sacred Sanctuary
And secular communities
of cooperative
curiously continuing
health care futures,
More than competitively courageous and loyal Win or Lose
wealth hoarding
against my, and our, inevitable degenerating future.

(6) What happened to,
I’m eighty
with one foot in the grave already?

I reserve the right
to also focus on the other,
more curiously cooperative, foot.

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Tree Walk

I asked my beloved oak tree
if such a very WiseElder tree
could
and would
and should be mine
Unless, in the senses
I stand,
to smell
and hear
and feel
and taste and see,
in rooted solidarity
learned from AncientFamily oak trees
long before we met,
Here with Then and Now.

I asked my lovely oak
to invite me in to her forest
rooted matriarchal arms,
to let me swing on his strong-branched armaments,
to gently touch her organic latticed leaves.

But She,
of well past two hundred holonic rings,
said I was too old
to make love again with Her.
She worried I might hurt myself.

Yet, what a way to go!
I reply therapeutically
back through reweaving TreeTime’s
nutritional ecology.

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Succeeding Days

How old was I
when each succeeding year
each successive year
became each falling year,
each failing year?

How old was I
when each year fell away
as did each month and week and day,
both succeeding less
and failing more
resigned to fade out play?

How old is just right maturity
of days falling off
away?

My calendar begins with clearly given rebirth dates,
succeeds toward organic dusk conclusions
on a day and week and month
within a year not yet quite fully numbered
and yet already fading toward some numeric memory
for those who remain succeeding
more than failing
through days and nights of fears
and faith
our wins outweigh these latticed losses.

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Good Journeys

I have heard many moms repeat
“You never stop being a parent.”

Sadly, I don’t see or hear that quite so much from the dads,
although I know of remarkably nurturing exceptions.

I thought of this as my impossibly young,
yet oldest son,
nearly twenty-two,
stopped by for an early birthday present, cash,
before heading out in his car
with a fellow rap artist friend
on their way from this Atlantic coast
to that San Francisco Bay.

D.B. never drove away to college,
or flew off on a great summer excursion,
or even went off to a technical school,
nor the military.

He did try to make Job Corp fit.
But, two suicides
and one stabbing on his dorm floor
and he decided not to return
after Holiday vacation that year.

He has been the last driver of not just one,
but two, of my totaled cars.
The second crash he walked away from
was when a drunk young white male
hit him head on
in the middle of a gorgeous New England sun-bright June
afternoon
as he was coming home from his first,
and last,
out of home employment
busing tables in a casino diner.

D.B. was approaching the end of his three month probation period
when they let him go,
primarily for his ADHD challenges
with getting to work on time
with all the pieces of his uniform
clean and intact.
But, he also had trouble showing up
ready to set aside the dramas of his personal-political life,
which often feels like a race
and age
and gender profiled
and marginal
and commodified life.
It was hard to stay focused;
to be there when he was there.

Tomorrow D.B. and his friend since high school days
will see a slice of these continental States
from coast to coast and back again
for the first time.

I am ravenously happy for him.
I wish I could have given him wings,
some outrageous pile of cash.
My heart stops
when I notice how he is so vulnerable
exposed
raw
too often despairing and perhaps even terrified
more about himself
than intimidated by a hostile world closing him out.

Closing ranks
on all the ways his particular black life will not matter
in Earth’s vast history.
Not significant enough to be sure if it could become possible,
or even safe,
to love himself,
to allow himself a long and warm regard,
as I embrace him.

I don’t know if I could finish being a child
without becoming an everyday
relentlessly caring and nurturing parent.
I can think of nothing so binding both feet to Earth
yet so free flying impossible to control.

For many reasons,
whether despite or because of my single gay male identity,
I chose the second class Mommy Track
instead of going for the Ph.D.
And not just the Mommy Track;
I adopted only the older broken kids
who would never safely drive or hold a job,
or would never talk or walk,
or would never thoroughly clean off her own poop,
or sleep through the nightmare night,
or would not feel safe outside our home,
stalking the boundaries of life while high school friends head on and out
to colleges and new friends
while he struggles to tolerate two classes each semester
at a nearby community college.

It feels good to know I am needed
but frightening to realize I cannot retire from this parenting profession
except through my own growing incapacity.

These four charges of mine
remind me we are each such a precious gift
for each other.
I have never regretted my more generous choices
rather than less magnanimous.
Not necessarily because the return on investment has always been better for my kids,
but because those were the moments standing out most clearly
in my column for Fully Living,
rather than continuing to draw out a stingy half-life,
under invested in our shared future regenerators.

I hope D.B. and friend have the time of their young lives
as I have had mine,
and even better,
even better.

It is so much easier,
and comforting,
to have old and happy memories
when we have had both young and generously happy times,
seasons,
reasons to smile
and greet each fleeting dawn.

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