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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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Too Long Winter

In long winters
when curious bears hibernate,

When even those few songbirds left behind
are stoically silent
at their least amorous time,

When uneven bare trees and bushes
retire into aptic
dormant
deep naked entropy,

It is sadly seasonally appropriate
to barely live outside robotic,
lethargic,
frozenly mechanistic
and yet deeply empathic,
simultaneously.

Then springs Spring!
Let synaptic mania
swell up again,

Open the windows
and darkening doors
to set this home and love
in fresh-incoming order

Resiliently resonant enough
to last through sweltering dog days
of co-empathic musky slumbering
buzzing
drowsy summer,
fat with greens
united,
and not uncuriously uniform.

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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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Give Me Music

“An’, as [music] blowed an’ blowed,
I often looked up at the sky
an’ assed meself the question–
what is the stars,
what is the stars?”
Juno and the Paycock
Sean O’Casey

Our sacred choir
prepares a new anthem
which, in summary, goes:

I have the deep soul blues today,
so Give Me Music.

This troubles me
because Music erupts from within,
more primal than a commodity to be delivered
upon command.

What is wrapped and presented from outside
we may hear only as voices with rhythm
and harmony
and unresolved dissonance–
but all these together
are not yet our enchanting music muse
fully investing
infesting
musing through us.

Choral inside voiced music,
resonate through all four voices,
sharing our deep-rooted muse,
blues soul longing to speak and dance
music of the stars,

To come home again
where we have always shared soul belonged
inducing peace.

Sacred choirs
do not usually demand of matriarchal Earth,
Give Me Music!

More likely we invite experience
of more resilient inside dancing muses
healing like anciently redundant starlight.

I feel angst in soulful mourning
that cannot be healed through commanding
Give Me Music
or anything else, for that matter.

But, loss does invite deeper experience of resonance
and small bits of creatively digestible resolving dissonance
to feel better
about absence of remembering

What is our starlight soul
but well-sung dance
enlightening solidarity?

If we are asking Earth
to heal us with the Muse of starlight mystery,
then, indeed,
Give Us Music’s full harvest
blowed an’ blowed.

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The Prophet Speaks

Racism,
and sexism
and violent capitalism
are as American
and as bad for you
and your kids
as pre-millennial rotten and burned-out apple pie-makers
and their EarthPatriotic kids,
learning
and living
and health loving post-millennial
WinWin co-operators
against LoseLose
racism
and sexism
and violent capitalism
as AntiAmerican
as burning-out
and hanging-out
and banging-out
and harming the health in any way,
of matriotic apple-pie makers.

So said,
rather more than less,
one of the ancient river campers
speaking curbside
before the double-glass front doors
of his Cumberland Farms Cathedral.

In a sad and quiet voice.
Not a position he gloated about
as if he stood morally apart.
Rather,
he speaks of dis-integrity
of our shared powerless positions
as autonomous systems,
struggling through each impoverishing day
of lost good faith youth
for, now, mere survival
when we could become sooo very much lighter
to rediscover
remaining integrity of our identity systems
for cooperative organic thrival.

Outside,
my neighborhood prophet
for world peace
was long and lean
with sun-dried and bronzed wrinkled skin
over muscled sinew,
a long-grey bearded
and skeletal nature mystic,
with clear and open stereophonic memorizing eyes.

Inside,
remembering his times with swimming wet green frogs
and sleek flying flashing ravens,
eagles of EarthPatriotic balance,
both honorable predators
and prey to aging apple pies
regretted and suffered
by long grey-bearded prophetic times
surviving threats and violence of nationalistic racism
and monotheistic sexism
and MightMakesRight capitalism,
WinLose subnormal optimization
of WinWin BothAnd opportunities,
Left integrated in and outside Right-felt memories
of maternal love
far too unmatriotically far behind
for EarthTribe’s cooperative thrival
of these our fit-in
cooperative powerlessness.

So, I asked our neighborhood prophet
if he had mentioned these problems to the Mayor.

“I guess your news for today,
I am the Mayor.”

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Sacred Calculations

I wouldn’t want you to walk away
with any miscalculations about me.

I am about as wild and crazy as society will allow
without confinement for my own protection.

Whenever I read a self-marketing sign

Please Help…
Vacancies of home and stomach,
Needing to be filled.

I feed the bearers of these signs
of society’s emargination
into raw and naked
erase and start again.

When I notice long-haired grunge,
low-budget gypsys with backpacks and shopping carts,
heading toward me asking to become excused
for asking for things they need,
I head in their direction
to find our best redirection
together.

My husband begrudges every dime
and points out I’m too wild
for pouring mostly alcohol
or worse down throats
without a home.
He claims they’re addicted suicides
waiting for death’s embrace.

But, I say this is too often true
and who am I to judge
those who explore doing their best
of worst available options
given all their dark stuff come before
through self-medication
mixed with sheltered soups
and public kitchens?

Were I or he on that street
rejected by our own history of defeat
I would hope to find those wise enough to stay
with me long enough
to help medicate my way,
to suffer with my emptiness
and ask me please to stay,
tell them all my blues,
sing and dance this suffering away.

I’m retired.
Have more cash than I could ever need,
and don’t want to go out that way,
hoarding funds for those who already have too much
while somewhere out there stands
a homeless sign whose bearer
prefers to drink her lunch.

If our legacy composes
both what we do for love
and what we do not do from fear,
If both our action and omissions,
our positives and negatives,
remain behind to feed and haunt our kids,
then why would I not choose
to offer medicines of caring
when neglect is so clearly that of which
this homelessness was made.

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More Positive Deviance

From Rob Brezsny, except my own bracketed commentary, Pronoia, p. 274:

I say that the Creator includes death as an essential part of evolution’s master plan.
Lifetime after lifetime,
our immortal[ly shared DNA/RNA solidarity] souls take on a series of temporary forms
as we help unfold,
in our own small ways,
the inconceivably complex plot
of the divine [regenerating positively deviant v. negatively pathologically deviant] drama.
Each time we die,
it’s hard and sad to our time-bound [tragically doomed reductive] egos.
But from the perspective of the part of us that has always been
and will always be,
it’s simply part of the epic adventure
[divine comedy].

The abolition of [self and other-selves] suffering
is a worthy goal [of positive deviance].

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