Lest We Forget, Again


For we do that,

oh so often, we do

decide upon a beautiful sunset,

perhaps the rising moon,

a sweet snowfall,

even the rain of a heated summer day,

lets our mind return to the numbing

nature of a human condition

built upon,

the product of denial.


But we cannot,

simply look alive people,

please don’t shut your eyes,

there’s a movement,

and this time,

it is your children,

let their voices be heard.


Imagine telling a child

you may not skip class to protest

the death of your peer

by senseless gunfire,

imagine telling your children,

I don’t love you enough

to give a crap

about your well being.

Imagine telling a child

when you leave

I’m not going to imagine

a terrible outcome.


If we demand our children

stick to the implementation

of a day of lessons

designed in minutia

and instead

forget the very reason,

we brought our child

into this world,

then we have suggested

the concept of love is a fallacy.


We are at war,

and the eyes of a child,

certainly contain the heroic passions

of our every tomorrow.


Our Violent Humanity


Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


It would seem we haven’t had enough,

Watching our neighbors fall to the sword,

The world around us eschewing the evil

Of a nation lost in a swirl of self-pity.

No one to blame but ourselves,

Yet that never comes into play,

We are soon to discover some outlet,

Easy to say we may fall personal prey.

In looking at the news today, I saw

Real lives being struck down, a society

Lost in its own pitfalls of insecurity,

All of them wondering, remaining alone.

When we might raise a flag to equality,

Shudder the notion that fire might stay,

The real burden of proof is our own lives,

Lost in the façade of believing in truth.

There is a Christian belief in humanity

Spouted from every possible pulpit,

Always with the best intentions, they say

The world will be better without evil.

Yet is it some times the very cross carrying,

Honorable, parishioner borne out of fear,

Might wield the weaponry of utter hate,

The rhetoric of painful prejudice begotten.

Pitfalls occur with anyone’s desire to change,

To make change, ask for change, demand change,

The local grocer suggests we use credit instead,

Yet it seems everywhere, fake news still relents.

I watched today with an ill heart the display

Of a humanity lost in the perils of bigotry,

Lost on themselves, lost on each other,

Drifting aimless in a world beyond reproach.

We might only reflect upon where we came

From in a society that once believed in love,

Today is seemingly hell bent on the otherwise,

The ability to act without a conscience so unwise.

Oh, to find love again – to breathe.

Peaceful Resistance


women’s march 2017

What led the world to respond,

with not only a few, enough to stop the presses

or perhaps filter the pond,

that place with which he will empty he stresses.


There this movement spoke with urgency

offered the eyes of millions to understand

we are framed within our own clemency,

to know the bounds for which we stand.


A sweet reckoning of the world

we spoke aloud the travesty of miscreants

without any harm the winds swirled

around our energy with little resistance.


Inside the mystique of love in sweet release

stand with her, and she, amidst a magical peace.


* Getty Images 2017

I Turned Off The News


Yesterday, I made a conscious decision to turn off the news. Having watched the now ‘idle’ banter of prognosticators and candidates for the last year, the outcome in hand, I wasn’t excited about hearing any theory, any ‘told you so’ antics, or any patronage from the winning side of an ugly defeat. I told all my classes I was only going to listen to whales singing in the ocean in some New Age melody all week while I gathered my thoughts and wrapped my head around this bizarre political future of our country.

The night did not allow me to completely escape my thoughts though, and the sounds of our immensely serene mammals in the deep blue didn’t contain me as long as I’d hoped. I still felt this urgency to know, to wonder, to speculate just how we had come to the conclusion we had as a voting nation. That answer still evades me this morning; however, what I did see was the peaceful protests throughout the country with our new candidate. The protests hearkened me back to a different time in my life.

I remember in the  60’s seeing pictures of the Vietnam war protests. In a child’s eyes, these were real, these were pleading students and family and friends and co-workers all banding together to make a statement, the riots that would follow later with the civil rights protests, the ever changing climate of our nation. I recall watching all of this through the eyes of my older siblings. To me, these were powerful statements of change and I was a fortunate witness to democracy at its finest – freedom of speech, the right to protest, the right to have a valued opinion. Certainly with that came tragedy, the loss of remarkable leaders from Malcolm X to MLK Jr, to RFK, to so many more names that are part of that tumultuous history. I remember Kent State and wondering how it was, as a ten year old, that our nation could be so angry within our own borders, while thousands were dying in a fruitless war across the world.

We had no advantage of social media to give us instant results. We counted upon Walter Cronkite, ‘and that’s the way it is’ and followed with tears the scroll of lost names in Vietnam on that day, that was the immediacy of our connection to the world around us. The silent protest in our minds became the visible chants outside the White House gates as the protesters ramped up the pressure on LBJ to get our boys out of Vietnam – “Hey Hey LBJ, How many kids did you kill today?” followed years later by Richard Nixon and the ‘tricky dick’ accusations of secrecy and fraud that destroyed his presidency. Back then people were vocal, and as a kid, I watched as it seemed there were good reasons to fight for what we all believed was right.

In that different time, when race and equality were still on the mind of everyone, people began to fight together, and I watched secular groups like the KKK become less severe and threatening as our nation could recognize a holistic approach to life. In the 70’s books were written about ‘The Melting Pot’ a nation burgeoning with immigration becoming one, learning to live with one another and respect each other. Racism and prejudice still existed, but there was this seeming progression, this appearance of ‘love and respect’ that started to gain footing on so many levels. With the onset of so many different cultural mores we began to see a change in the landscape of our society.

The idea of ‘The Melting Pot’ has evolved today into more of a ‘mosaic’ as we gradually become aware of the value of culture, the beauty and elegance that each person in the frame of their own unique heritage brings to our American canvas. We have tried to take the time to appreciate those differences rather than destroy their integrity while lost in our own self-driven egocentric ideals. As a child I was motivated by a naive innocence to appreciate those pieces of our life that I could witness growing up. I wonder about the children of today, and how their exposure has perhaps changed, impacted, or effected their own perception of a modern, electronically driven society around them.

I wonder about the news, and what it is the media will find important as we now walk beyond the unprecedented electoral process that has for some turned their world upside down, and for others provided a voice of indiscriminate reaction that though maybe quieted in years past with active reasoning, today is suddenly harsh and overt and frightening. We live in a democratic society, so there can be no argument to suggest one person’s right to opinion ought be considered better than another’s; however, there is an element of respect and integrity that right now seems surely to hang in the balance.

So, as I observe our new style of protest in American society, just beyond a full day of electing a controversial candidate to the POTUS, I wonder about purpose, timing and decorum. Is protesting today that valuable in a time when we have already made a decision we cannot turn back on? For some, certainly that is the motivation for hitting the concrete, but for others I wonder if we have newer challenges ahead that can capture or channel our idealism. A friend of mine recently posted there is no more time for tolerance through the ideals of love and compassion, in his words, we need to ‘stand up RIGHT now.” I cannot argue with his passion, but I still do wonder about timing.

Perhaps our protest begins in six months, then we have seen a pattern to create a need for public awareness and change. Perhaps today we need to pay closer attention to the immediacy of our national decision, and recognize the hurt, the elation, the brusque reality of our choices demand a closer eye than simply arousing a formulated statement of disagreement.

Perhaps we do still count on ourselves as being the change we desire in the world around us. Ask a friend, see if they and another, and a friend of their own, a family member, a co-worker might join each other and together determine a time, quite likely in the near future to make a stronger more relevant statement, together.

Perhaps we might leave the news off for a few more days, and pay attention to our immediate surroundings.


If I speak about this, I’m the wrong guy,

but I do want to know, how to define

the feelings,

the emotions,

the questions in my mind.

I don’t want to take away from a cause,

I really only want to say, ‘yes’

rather than give a gaze of confusion.

I want to be able to suggest

that our society will allow anyone

to hold a silent protest.

See, with the whole race is real philosophy,

there are a lot of people walking around,

with chips on their shoulders,

and who are they going to listen to,

and whose words will they respond to,

and when will they finally give up and realize,

#blacklivesmatter as much as anyone,

so how might that leave you feeling,


Torment Me More

I was just beginning to relax,

hadn’t found a need to react

steered my way clear of facts

wanting less reason to act


Yet you keep hammering home

reality tv’s quest to comb

through society’s ugly injustice

to leave me in constant notice


of our garbage world of hate

and crime that rips to negate

any notion of humanity’s love.

In St. Louis searching above


all the hate and rationalization

allows the pendulum in motion

to continue to riddle our lives.

We keep stacking the archives


a blood-letting with a constant

no matter where in an instant.

I want to hide hurt and fear away

play myself a little Marvin Gaye.


‘What’s goin’ on’ that changes

how society rearranges

the same disdain, out loud message,

a ‘we don’t give a …’ visage.


I have lived a life of dreaming

we could somehow stop clinging

to the hate, the horrific release,

Man’s fearful idiom wracks our peace.


When are we just going to stop kiling

ourselves. I mean, give our lives meaning.

I Protest

I walk into the fray, to suggest, I disagree with the status quo.

There it begins, our ability to change,

We do need only the challenge to create the fear of reprisal.

Yet everywhere we look in the books, the words, the platforms,

wherever we land always seems to encourage,

the ability to change, I mean, challenge, well, we might

go forward.

I am a white man in a world of pain that doesn’t come close to

his agony, her resentment, their desire to exchange the gains.

For when they measure their own departures aren’t childhoods reminded

of that innocence, that delight, that indulgence of the human condition

without any agenda, no scrutiny, no ill met ignorance that drains

my own energy when I try to imagine what my life is in need,

I conclude, without any distinct pleasure,

I am a lucky man.

Yet today, in the waking morning of a sunrise in winter,

I must find a way to arrive in the front lines of this,

our personal responsibility to awaken our soul,

to protest the reality of our lives, together,

moving steady,

gaining strength,

finding peace,

as we walk, slow, cautious, forward.