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Climate Rise Up

As I write this, thousands of people are gathering to listen with each other, to sing, perhaps to dance more than walk in striking solidarity for climate health. I have been thinking of this moment, this event, this day, this strike on this sacred Earth all week.  And, each time this gathering comes to mind, so does Cassandra Batie and Jennifer Decilveo’s 2016 anthem, “Rise Up.”

This variation on Batie and Decilveo’s lyrics I sing in tears of joy and deep sorrow with those who are on their way, drawing near toward the sound and sight of each others’ voices.  I would love to join you in person, but old bones and heart and mind have learned that my climate anxiety flares into manic hope at such events, and then I pay the suicidal ideation price on my way home, feeling alone, hopeless.

I believe for every face and voice seen and heard at a Climate Strike gathering around the world today, there is at least another, and probably several others, with you in swelling heart, in passionate mind, in loving soul, but, like me, have learned that our Great Transition role, however resonant, will best remain resilient as we Rise Up on our front porches and back yards, in our forests and ocean shores, on our rivers and lakes, to sing to Earth’s tired trees, to dance to aching birdsong, to remember when we were young, more hopeful, more proud of what we can yet accomplish within Earth’s sacred solidarity.

Humbled now, this is dedicated to those more visible, to know we are millions already belonging together within this shared Great Transition, Great Turning, Great Reweaving with you; and with gratitude to Cassandra Batie and Jennifer Decilveo for Rise Up, embodied and well-sung hope.

I have been your living Earth;
I will live and die through you.

I will be your blood born sap;
You will live and die with me.

This Great Transition
into owning competitive responsibility
for climates of pathology and health,
inward and outward,
composed of all past energies,
small co-arising transitions
reweavings
regenerations
now contained in Earth’s soil,
Her rebirthing baptismal waters,
Her buoyant air,
Her fertile winds
and purging fires.

Earth’s broken down
and tired
of living love
on this unmerry-go-round,

And I can’t see Her lovers
but I hear life in you
so we gon’ rise Earth up,
Move mountains,
we gon’ walk love out
and heal oceans.

And we’ll rise up,
We’ll rise each Earth’s day,
We’ll rise up,
We’ll rise unafraid,
We’ll rise up
and we’ll love life a thousand times again;

And we’ll rise up
high like Earth’s waves,
We’ll rise up
in spite of life’s ache,
We’ll rise up
and give love a million times again,

For Earth,
For you,
Earth, for you;

When our silence isn’t quiet
and it feels like we’re growing hard to breathe
and we know Earth feels like dying,
Then I promise we’ll raise the Earth to Her feet,
Heal forests,
Bring Earth’s tribes to our feet
and move mountains.

All we need,
All we need is hope
And for faith we have each other,
And for peace we have each other;

And we will rise
we will rise
we will rise
we will rise,

We’ll rise like Earth’s day
We’ll rise up,
We rise unafraid,
We rise up
and we’ll love life a thousand times again,

And we’ll rise up
high like Earth’s waves,
We rise up
in spite of hate’s ache,
We rise up
and Earth does love a million lives again.

For Earth,
We will rise
we will rise

We will rise
for you,
Earth will rise with you.

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Slow-Cooked Conversion Stories

I was raised in one of those white nationalist churches,
passing itself off as a Christian evangelical Bible church,
where “evangelical” meant fundamental
and “fundamental” meant we did not interpret scripture
but accepted it as God’s literal trans-historical Word
of universal white male dominant
Bible thumping supremacy,
transcendently un-changing like…
like…
like nothing I’ve ever seen or heard
or smelled or tasted

Which is why we call not-Him-or-Her “God”
and not “SuperEgo”
or multicultural “Gaia”

Or anything else.
It turns out “God”
is a bit like not saying Valdemore’s name;
As Yahweh
is more about the ambiguously missing vowels
than their YHWH
YYXY
Either/Or-Both/And
bicameral structure.

Anyway, enough about sacred bisensory ecology.
While at People’s Bible Church
I was told, by all the white heterosexual adults
supporting and educating me
that being born again is not a gradual thing,
like growing into a pubescent body,
but instant,
like convenient oatmeal
or inferior mashed potatoes.

If I could not say,
with one hundred percent persuasion,
that I was reborn in Christ
on May 8, 1964
at 2:53 PM
Eastern Savings Time,
Just as I was originally born
on May 8, 1952
at 2:53 A.M.,
much to my mother’s inconvenience–
finished just in time to get home
to our dairy farm
for an unleisurely visit with “The Girls”
during her morning milking parlor gig–
Then the deviant
devilish mark of Satan
still clouds my not so milky white
not straight enough
not truly pure soul.

Such instant and yet resilient grace
felt unlikely to me.

I did not instantly lose hope
for a hot SantaDaddy
sliding down our family chimney
emerging from the family wood-burning furnace,
scorched of unnecessary
and superfluous clothes
to give me all the fruited manly gifts
I have felt so empty without
warm and wet accompaniment,
accomplishment.

Gradually,
over several years of neglecting this Santa myth
as cultural fantasy,
I did not wake up on May 8, 1956,
at 2:53 A.M.
and announce to all those not listening,
“I no longer believe in Santa Claus.”

De-mythification progress
seems to take me
about as long as my left-brain
dominating commodification process
took to grow into queer adolescence,
feeling unsafe,
unwanted,
with a best case possible future
of invisible insignificance,
hidden deeply beneath healthy humility.

Just as it took awhile to comfortably acclimate
to the toothlessness of myth,
It took me all my development years
on into late adolescence
to be sure that I would never safely
or resiliently convert
into a heterosexual.

When we were mutually experimenting grade school boys
during not much sleep overs
I was sure we shared the same destiny–
future heterosexuals,
Mr. Cleavers,
Mr. Smiths
not all too fascinated with Mr. Johnsons.

I didn’t suddenly realize,
“Oops. I failed to convert.”
Maybe I was a late bloomer,
just as some girls get pubes
and teats
and mensies later on
which seemed like more unfair girl pressure
than just sprouting new hair in old moist places
and growing at least somewhat less girlish voices.

Just as there was no May 8, 2:53 P.M.
of any year
when I knew,
“OK, that’s it.
It’s done growing
in both length and width.”
I had no day or night
when I said,
“OK, that’s it.
I choose to be queer”
so I can be the target of hate crimes,
bad jokes,
white Christian heterosexual predators,
bigoted employers,
homophobic police
and teachers
and parents
and siblings,
and preachers

Fully capable of witnessing against me
the exact date, time, and year
they began their life long love affair
with white male Jesus Christ,
straight (presumably) Jewish carpenter’s apprentice,
Son of God and…
and…
God,
who finished creating Earth,
and at least our entire Solar System,
exactly seven days
after He started, on May 8th
at 2:53 A.M.,
year 0000.

I have developed health-considered faith
in win/win progressive processes.
I accept that faith actively hopes in unseen relationships,
unheard communications,
unnoticed actions and reactions.

Still,
I find an always changing
transparent
vulnerable,
courageously curious difference
between left-brain statements of verbal instant faith,
and right/left-brain emerging lifeskill learnings
conversions
healings
redemptively felt economies,
salvific co-relational powers,

And I have trouble believing
that such ubiquitous differences
between slow-grown processive maturation
and imitative instant role-playing
is only accessible to queers,
white, black, brown, red, purple, green, or ultra-violet,
born on May 8, 1952
at 2:53 A.M.
much to the inconvenience
of busy heterosexual
pre-millennial dairy farmers.

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Raising Paradise

Rise up Genesis,
Rise up Exodus
into ReGenesis.

Rise up paradise hope,
Rise up arms and legs
for cooperative faith.

Rise up health,
Rise up compassion
vested wealth.

Rise up Creation,
Rise up habitats
for re-creation.

Rise up solidarity,
Rise up happy endings
for ego-supremacy,
anthro-infamy.

Rise up integrity,
Rise up green
resilient energy,
resonant synergy.

Rise up EarthJustice,
Rise up climates of peace.

Rise up Genesis,
Rise up Exodus
into co-arising ReGenesis.

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Lively Fires

Life burns vigorously
predatively
until retiring,
slowing down to glowering embers
reflecting on all consumed since birth.

Flaming gratitude feels not yet fulfilled,
heatedly completed,
but hanging on for what calming
cooling purpose?
Embalming remnants of fueled meaning
with smug self-satisfaction
and feckless remorse.

Family relationships burn out
turn in toward former flames
risen higher
fueled deeper in memory
than capacity for renewed heat images
now questionable
in life’s resilient potential.

Fires nurture risk and opportunity,
but old fires grow risk of cold and acrid ashes,
fading active hope for new winds
smoking in renewed fuel opportunities.

This strong-fired life
of dried out climate difference,
strong inflaming protest,
oft questioned dignity,
smolders in wrinkling
shrinking maturity
over ripe with risk
of fading opportunity to yet see Earth
with new peaceful eyes,
with impassioned fires of understanding
what this human conflagration was all about.

Smoldering embers
dimly hope for new winds,
new unbillowing eyes
to recall that initial committed moment
of inspiration,
of spark and wind and fueled experience
inviting fires from first spark
til last light spent.

Fire,
like life,
like love,
builds its own waiting sanctuary.

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Curious Journeys in Courage

As absence finds us silently saying goodbye
to everyone,
farewell to every place and memory we cherish

And absent any voluntary theological plans
in conscious development
to ecologically leave us with your absence
of both mind and body,

Pay close attention,
fully invest in,
what feels salutory,
salvific,
benign beauty,
peaceful healing

While calmly noting
what feels involuntary
and threatening,
unfair loss.

And, where you may hear
and see
and feel
All of holonic integrity above

Winning anything
but decomposing Loser usual

When absence of co-passion
finds us quietly saying goodbye
to every reductive relationship,

Farewell to each degenerative place
theology could never cherish.

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Weekday Alarm

I am anxious
as my 5:30 beeping alarm
grows defiantly louder,
reminding me of surreal difference
between asleep, longing for better days awake,
and,
now awake,
longing for more sleep
struggling toward alarming predawn buttons
to release from this first crisis
for depressing life’s day-rousing alarms.

I wish for a more therapeutic,
more leisurely,
more retiring way to awake,
if I truly must.

Nearby,
my son who cannot speak
or walk,
but hears just fine,
sleeps on.
Eyes closed.
Dimple mischievously appearing in full moon’s light.

What could be his difference
between light unconsciousness of competing spoken day
and dark consciousness of cooperating listening night?

And is this so very different
from vast humane majorities of nations,
who speak too much by day to listen
and listen too briefly at night
to speak of dreams we might share
arising once again together
toward depressing buttons of despair
for this another alarming Earth Day.

This Earth day
with too many speaking half asleep
to future invitations;
Earth nights
listening back to this internal nap half awakened
by past convocations
of memory as light
forgetfulness through therapeutic dark night.

My muted son,
though hardly silent,
as he can be a loud red-charging bull
yet in a peaceful playful warrior way
to those who believe we know
his inside sleep
showing through his outside wake
to share Earth’s daytime communion.

He and I
are equally invisible
indivisible
undiscriminated by night
and, I suppose,
both using light
to brighten differences
between inside me
and outside not yet,
not still
double-bound somehow
like outside views
impossible without inside longings
to remember our shared inside-outside intentions.

Wishes and fears,
hopes and angers,
loves and hates unraveling by predative day
arisen from our warm dry beds
of praying affluence.

Longings and belongings,
seductions and reductions,
inductions and deductions,
terrible investments and terrific divestments
calculated reweavings by dualdark night
within our Earthly rest
from fully individuating difference.

The alarm still echoes
through my half awake ears
as I stumble before dawn’s light
toward remembering how to become an enabling parent
taught by disabling children of love.
Recalled to how we might awake to love each other more
before this night’s rest reweaving Paradise.

I am anxious
as I depress my alarming button,
a toggle switch icon
transitioning anxieties of sleep
through opportunities of life together
awake.

My son turns over
toward his wall of darkening comfort
as he prepares to dream
our Therapeutic Warrior songs
and dances
once again.
His prayers rise dimpled within me.

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