prayers

let this whole day be my prayer
wrapped in the arms of an imagination
that loves so much it spills over
with endless beauty
unnoticed, pushed aside, destroyed
as the empty totems are so busily tended
day in day out


but let this whole day be my prayer
paused in stillness breathing the mystery
seeing all the startling details
as each dulcet note plays 
for me for us
how and why did we ever turn our backs to this
it’s a pretty crazy game
everyone forced to play
can’t we just walk away, somehow


eyes, heart, breath, hand 
know the truth and pant for it
right here underneath the detritus of our dementia
but each whole day was and is our prayer
each step a wordless devotion

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end the war

Daniel Hale, yesterday, was sentenced to almost four years in prison. This, for the crime of leaking government secrets about drone warfare and the killing of innocent civilians. Charged under the Espionage Act, Hale was not even allowed to offer a defense that would have placed the act in its context – an act of conscience and morals on behalf of the people (things lacking in other relevant quarters).

Read Hale’s letter to the judge, here, and perhaps you will be able to see that context and weep for it.

This is yet another whistleblower being dealt the harshest hand when what we ought to be doing is learning from them and seeking to change our ways. As Assange still languishes in Belmarsh, and  Snowden in Russia, the cruelty, the duplicity, and the corruption are on full, shameless display.

It is time to end the war on whistleblowers.

I call on President Biden to pardon and free Daniel Hale, and to end the relentless, sadistic hunting of our other whistleblowers — people who bravely stood up on behalf of the people. Alas, I have little expectation of such a change in course.

If we could, however, somehow manage to end this war on whistleblowers, who knows, perhaps we could move on then to ending the addiction to war entirely

Stand for peace. Stand for freedom. Stand for love.

#FreeDanielHale

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soaring

i tread the soft path at river’s edge
where trees reach up
birds flitting between them, 
the quiet and the joy
of this wild place brings me back 
to wholeness, 
it fills me.
my spirit sings and
spirit answers
lifting me up
carrying me on wings
soaring ever higher
past the leafy canopy of trees
above the ever-changing clouds
we sail through the infinite blue
and become the explosion
of stars and shimmering dust 
and mystic tunnels of space,
so far beyond, 
all there,
at the river’s edge.

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Many thanks to Eugi’s Causerie for the delightful prompt, “soaring.”

heavens

I want to lie outside with you
in the deep of the night
lazily searching the stars
as they gaze down at us
the silence and the sounds of the dark earth
wrapping around we two like a cocoon
breathing the scents of summer on us
and in the drifting breeze
the air cool on our warm skin
our voices mere whispers under the dome of the galaxies
the stars dancing their mysteries
surely giving blessing as we gently stumble
awakened into the prayer
we finally offer

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heartstrings

these strings are tied to the pearly moon
taut and limp with the pull of the sea
humming out a thread of jazz bass in the winter deep
or funky folk on a cigar box guitar 
maybe singing the long, sweet notes of summer

these strings they reach to the wind
flying along with the birds and the clouds
sweeping around this globe of colors
wet with rain or frozen with dizzy heights
or sailing amidst the whispered prayers persistently rising

these strings are still attached
though seemingly broken again and again 
deliberately snipped or frayed to bare spindles with tension
somehow and always tied securely underneath
the heavy load of lonely emptiness

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victims

The nation looks on with sadness and grief at the Miami-area building collapse. As each day passes, some victims are found, many more still missing.  It breaks our hearts to think of what happened to those individuals, and to think of the terrible impact on their families and friends left behind.

And yet, in the midst of this grief, as if there is not enough death and destruction, the Biden administration sees fit to launch airstrikes Sunday targeting “Iranian-backed” groups in the Iraq-Syria border region. 

According to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, seven people on the ground were killed. This comes after February’s destruction of nine buildings by the US in Syria, killing at least 22 people, also targeting Iran-backed militias, with seven 500-pound bombs.

Iraq’s military spokesman decried the US air strikes as a “breach of sovereignty.” As if anyone should have to put that in words. 

As we embrace the terrible unfolding of grief in Miami, it should also give us all pause to consider the grief of victims and their families on the receiving end of military strong-arming around the world. So much incredible loss and grief through the years.

Let’s put a stop to such intentional death and destruction. Let’s look instead to healing, communication, and cooperation for a world in which we can all live safe and free from designed, deliberate disasters.

Stand for love. Stand for peace.

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still walking the path

Some years ago, I became vegan. It happened incrementally over a period of many years, until it became a conscious decision. That decision was a way point along a much longer and larger spiritual journey. I did not realize at the time that it was a choice that would facilitate my capacity to continue deeper on that journey, to walk a path of compassion.

Lately, I have been pondering the spiritual metamorphosis that continues to blossom in ever more amazing ways in my life. 

Even as all the church buildings were shuttered last year, I suspect the ensuing months were very spiritual ones for many folks. With so much on our minds, the constant fear peddling, loss, and our limited in-person contacts, who could help but be introspective, reflective about what actually matters? 

Now, as we attempt to reclaim our freedom and ways of life, the spiritual self cannot be ignored. The spiritual self is integral to all facets of the way forward. Rather than be corralled into an ever-smaller world of fear-driven mindsets, protocols, and division, the spiritual self expands and aspires to wisdom in the broadest spectrum.

It seems we are at one of those classic forks in the road. We stand at a moment of opportunity to reach toward a much more whole and healthy kind of society. 

The spiritual self points to the path of compassion, to love not fear. 

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wise one

My eyes open to the soft darkness, instantly aware of the now familiar unease. Closing my eyes again, willing myself back toward rest, I feel the fatigue of this anxiety we are all lugging around. We labor together to haul the uncertainties, the fears stoked to fever pitch and still amply fueled by so much in the gaping absence of trust.

In the quiet, troubled dark, I feel the velvet brush of the cat’s paw on my forehead, so soft and gentle. I can hear his deep, radiant purr. He speaks to me with some other kind of knowing. 

I can find my way back to joy. My heart beats not for my place on this chart, my statistical or economic value, my pool of data. No, my heart beats for the unquantifiable. The ecstatic mysteries of life and love are wholly mine, ours. It is there where all possibility remains. I turn my eyes in that direction.

Slowly, I am lulled back to restful slumber, feeling the cat’s soothing undercurrent of purr close against me.

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nest

downy feathers weave themselves into the nest
holding ever closer 
the needy hatchlings
tended with devotion 
their unquestioned cries answered again and again
until the day comes
when the dream bears fruit

the heart beats dreams into existence

the hatchling loves herself enough
to noisily demand sustenance
and knows love inevitably speaks to that demand
she aspires, bolder every day, without doubt,
to her wholeness

but what of unanswered cries?
what of the lone and tired shadow
gathering food in a barren terrain?
wandering in a dreamless pause
searching with the hatchling’s faith
when dreams refuse to come
the heart pleads

knowing dreams are born in love

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