Odes to Injustice

I spent several hours waiting around the courtroom today. Perhaps these may express some sights and sounds of this misspent day:

1. A commentary on the plea agreement system:

Quiet Consultation


Attorneys whisper

Secret, sotto voce, songs

Sibilant hissings

Singing with the A/C’s sigh.

Thus his fate is decided.


2. An examination of the contrast between expectation and reality:

Resounding Thud


With that gavel fall

Shallow party dreams collapse

Back into the hole


Hold on Life

Today, I’m going to take a break from poetry  and contemplate relative morality and ego defensive rationalization in the context of a continuum between good and evil. 

 I image by now, I’ve already lost 80% of the good people who read my random neurotic expression. I’ve exceeded 17 syllables—

This morning, somewhere between buying my cuppa Joe and unlocking the medication closet at work, my wallet houdinied through a heretofore unknown tear in the fabric of my pocket, or spacetime, I’m not sure which. At any rate, poof, my day is interrupted by anxiety. 

As of yet, there has been no attempt to use my credit or debit cards and the various financial institutions that issue them have been notified. But this leaves me facing the daunting task of reconstructing the tangible aspects of my self.  I need to reorder replacement Drivers license, insurance card, various vendor reward and discount cards, and reconcile myself to the loss of the few bucks in cash and cash equivalents like Starbucks cards.

This is what started this rumination on good versus evil and the continuum of moral behavior.  It, kind of, goes like this:

So you’re walking across the parking lot of the store you frequent regularly and, looking down, you see somebody’s wallet.! Oh the myriad of possibilities that open up before you! The many choices you can make!

Choice 1-  Step over it and pretend it isn’t there because that’s the kind of miss you just don’t need to get involved with.  Narcissist- Wow! What does this say about you! You can’t even be bothered to take a few seconds out of your day to do a total stranger a solid favor?

Choice 2- Pick it up, take it back into the store, give it to the clerk, and say, “somebody drop this in the parking lot.”  Altruism at it’s finest!- The embodiment of “Mudita”- do something good for no other reason than the joy it will bring to someone else!

Choice 3- Pick it up, open it up, look at the name on the ID, Google search them, find their number, call them, tell them you found the wallet.  Overkill!-  This is a stranger, after all. This action, begs the question, what do you hope to gain?

 Choice 4- Pick up the wallet, remove the cash, pocket the cash,turn in the wallet to the clerks. Pragmatic Self Interest.-The rationalization here is “I’ll go ahead and take my reward for saving this poor sap the trouble of cancelling his credit cards and getting new ID and insurance cards etc…

 Choice 5, Pick up the wallet, take the cash and any cash equivalents like Starbucks cards or gift cards, leave the wallet where you found it.  A Portrait in Greed!- You will benefit yourself without exposing yourself to unnecessary risk. Douchbag!

 Choice 6- Pick up the wallet, strip it of anything of value, and throw the ID the insurance card the credit cards which are going to get arrested if you try to use anyway in the nearest dumpster so you don’t get caught for your petty larceny.  Antisocial personality- you live your life with no interest in anything beyond yourself; totally unconcerned with your fellow man!

Choice 7- Pocket the cash and cash equivalence, sell the ID and the credit cards to noon business associate with criminal ties. Lazy criminal- clearly, you ain’t got no balls! You will take an easy score over working hard to maximize your criminal profit!

Choice 8- Look up the address on the ID, figure the person is not home yet, go by their place with a bunch of your buddies in a big old truck andclear their place out. Criminal Entrepreneur- You know how to take advantage of a windfall!  Everybody knows you gotta bid high or stay at home to win!

Choice 9- use the information found the wallet to build a complete portfolio of the person, steal their identity, open up every conceivable account you can, mine it for everything it’s worth, park the money offshore and destroy their life. Satan!- Clearly you are the spawn of hell!

Clearly there are a lot more options, but these nine pretty much cover the gamut from Saint to Satan when it comes to how you handle something like a wallet in the parking lot.  Think about yourself honestly, conduct that fearless moral inventory, and consider, just consider moving a little bit toward the light!

I hope whoever finds my wallet today makes choice 2… Or at least choice 4!!

Systematic Mills

Inside of this machine

Of wishes and of dreams,

Punishment and restitution, 

Hope of rehabilitation,

All humanity is lost.

Within this maze of statute,

This swamp of base ambition,

Where people have no face,

Just the role they play.

Victim, Perp, and Lawyer,

Learned, wizened Judge,

Enforcers of the peace,

Witnesses, the rest of us.

Dare we call this Justice?

“It’s Not a Family Issue”?

A hand extends to
bridge the rift that separates.
Do you strike it down,
or do you reach, in good faith,
to close the chasm between?

The slap sting ignites
a surging flood of acrid
seething, molten rage
to fill the shattered crack
leaving waste where families live.

What can cool this fire,
once lit by thoughtless action?
One answer is clear.
The icy hand of vengeance
will freeze that burning anger!