Questions of Heroes and Saints

Do heroes have to be perfect

in order to earn our respect?

Must they be free from all blemish?

Is that what we’ve come to expect?

How much stain, how much tarnish,

how much of a character blemish

can be glossed over by splashing

on coats of whitewash and varnish

before the seething and gnashing

of the oppressed leads to the trashing

of monument to those held dear

in eruptions of violent clashing?

The answers, my friends, are clear.

Let’s open our ears and try to hear

the history of brutal oppression

that cause so many to live in fear.

Since if we can’t learn this lesson

we’ll lose more than an election!

Folks, it’s high time to reject

this notion that every hero warrants beatification!

Friends, Family, and Loved Ones.

As we prepare for this Memorial Day; a time to honor and thank all of those who sacrificed their lives to assure that our American society could continue, I would like to take a few minutes to propose a little thought experiment.

My purpose is to cast neither blame nor judgement but rather to inspire contemplation and encourage conscious choice in our celebratory behavior.

Many of us will gather in groups, Monday, to pay tribute to our fallen ancestors. Imagine you are there, in that gathering now, well before you actually arrive. Think about this example, and let your conscience be the guide to your personal behavior.

Picture in your mind, the celebratory environment you plan. Imagine the size of the crowd. Think about the personalities of the people with whom you will be gathering. Consider their occupations and the number of people they must interact with daily and the closeness of those interactions. Contemplate, based on those factors, how many of the people gathered will be wearing masks and how many will not. Honestly and fearlessly reflect on whether you or your immediate family will be masked or unmasked. Do you have that image firmly in your mind?

Now comes the hard part- please read the remainder with an open mind and do not assume any prejudice!

Imagine that at the culmination of the celebration, a time comes for everyone in the crowd to draw a handgun and fire all rounds straight up, into the air- kind of a all guns salute to the fallen. Appropriate, since we are honoring those who fell in battle to assure our freedom.

Thinking back of the image you formed earlier of your holiday crowd, imagine that all those wearing masks are firing blanks and all those without are firing live rounds.

Ask yourselves, in all honesty, would you wish that you and your family, friends, and loved ones were also wearing military helmets or had, even, chosen to celebrate somewhere else?

For the Farmer and the Fisherman

Today I walked alone,

Silently, among the fallen.

Snowy cold, standing stones

Basking ‘neath the setting sun

Stretching to eternity.

Here among these Legions,

I came across the one

Bearing my mother’s maiden name.

One of many, stretching back

To our very founding;

Fathers, grandfathers and greats.

Not all of whom retired here

To this, once, grand old estate.

Another found, I know, his rest

In a distant mountain stream,

The place he lived his later life,

The place he loved, by far, the best.

I honor them, those grand old men,

My few, among the many,

Not only for their sacrifice;

I honor them, out of love,

And, I suppose, that must suffice.

On The Borderline Again

His smarmy tongue waggles,
weaving glowing gossamers, clouding hearts and minds
with mists of glittering unreason.

His garbled glossolalia

explains inexplicable,

defends indefensible,

justifies vast injustices.

Before his words, miasmas
of fecund decay shift,
begins to resemble aromas
of lavender and roses.

Venomously,

crass caresses

of slimy snake oil

conceal cuts of serrated steel.

Hope and reason succumbs
to resignation and despair.
Luminous hope drowns struggling
in seas of gilded sludge.

As growing thick dark shrouds

envelop all, he pauses,

draws breath, smiles.

In that instant his spells shatter!

Plug your ears, Ulysses!
There are no second chances.

Senses and Senselessness

See those bloody shirts a wave,

lying us the reasons for?

Hear those shiny sabres rattle,

their deathly, hollow, call to war?

Feel the ache of frightened souls,

for whom living’s now a chore?

Taste the bitter widow’s tears

as she greets you at her door

to receive the tragic news

of husband dead on distant shore?

Smell the acrid tangy fumes

of burning corpse and scattered gore

drifting from the battle field;

is that enough or need you more?