Empty

I don’t know what to say anymore. I feel empty inside – bereft of hope – drowning in sorrow – swallowed in darkness.

My expectations of humanity obliterated – smashed into the ground under the butt of an AR-15 in the hands of apathetic, craven, and power-hungry lawmakers.

What does it say about our country that slaughtered elementary school children huddled in corners of classrooms, their bodies ripped open, their fragile bones splintered and shattered, their blood smeared on the floor and splattered on the walls, the final minutes of their lives filled with overwhelming fear and terror, and still US representatives refuse to even talk about gun legislation?

This happens over and over and over again. The next school shooting is right around the corner and yet we remain stuck, unable to do anything because the people we send to congress care more about their job than the safety of your children.

The river of apathy that runs through the halls of congress intensifies the feelings of futility and hopelessness that we experience the day after these school shootings.

Now we’ll go through the scripted responses from spineless and heartless Republican legislators – the lies about the threat to the second amendment, the outrageous claim that we need more guns to combat this violence, the blame it on mental illness argument.

We’ve heard these responses so many times that we can recite them almost word-for-word.

Uvalde, Buffalo, El Paso, Pittsburg, Las Vegas, Charlston . . . . .

Until US representatives who oppose gun regulation get voted out or begin losing their loved ones to gun violence, situations like what played out in Uvalde, TX, and Buffalo, NY will happen repeatedly.

Would Republican lawmakers care enough to act if their child or loved one was struck down by a bullet from an AR-15?

Would Republican lawmakers care enough to act if they had to identify their child or loved one gruesomely and mortally wounded by a bullet from an AR-15?

Sadly, other people’s children and loved ones being mowed down in a hail of gunfire is not enough to get these people to act.

Vote. Them. Out.

The Communion Nazi

Dear Nancy Pelosi:

No communion wafer and wine!

The archbishop has spoken

Your soul is too broken

Your union with the savior, “Declined!”


To that tall-hatted dude out in Frisco

The one chanting “El Cuerpo de Christo”

I’ll pass on your wafer, to make women safer

Then dance in the street, like a disco


Condemning our views on abortion

Withholding God’s grace as extortion!!??

Your tactics aren’t bold

They’re petty and cold

We’ll not bend to suit your contortion


To the Church that treats women like cattle

For the lines that you’ve drawn for this battle

It’s a badge (not a snub)

to be tossed from your club

We will march on New York and Seattle


To the congregation

of the pedophile protector

I’m a cool conscientious objector

I’ll pass on the cracker

and fight the attacker

To the church

You can call me defector

Between the Fence and the Fern

Between the fence and fern

In the back of the yard

In the cool of the dirt

On the soft moss and sod

In a universe of silt

In a narrow never-glade

In the moist and darkened

congruence

of oxygen and shade


A never-ending cycle

of reproductive violence

Natural machinations

Of Darwinian compliance


Larvae, Beetles, Earthworms

Black and Orange Ants

Decomposing nutrients

A lifeblood for the plants


A constantly raging battle

Steadfastly unforgiving

A cyclic constitution

where the dead support the living


It’s a brutal hidden world

so, all that we discern

are the gently blowing leaves

On the softly dancing fern

Dog Day Afternoon

It kind of feels like the fabric that holds our society together is becoming more and more threadbare by the day.

Calamity fuels anxiety, and anxiety churns our ideas and emotions into a bitter black butter, clogging the arteries in our brain and preventing us from generating optimistic thoughts.

Hopelessness gathers on the horizon, settling in our collective consciousness.

War, disease, and apathy carry the day, leading humanity down a dark and twisting path, permanently away from light and hope.

But my dog doesn’t sense any of this.

My dog still greets me with smiling eyes and a wagging backside – the same way she did when life on earth was good. She still strolls from the patio to the sun-warmed grass, shoulder-rolls onto the ground, and joyfully wiggles on her back.

Somedays, she’s the ray of light that sees me through tomorrow.

Baby teeth and bullets

bendingtheneedle

I’m Calvin’s lonely cousin
the one without a friend
The darkly-quiet moody one
The one who couldn’t blend
I’m the smoker in the stairwell,
skipping school all day
the fall-between-the-crack-type-kid
the one who slips away

I’m the ink inside the headlines
the lead story on the news
The kid the network anchor says
was surely born to lose
I’m the details at eleven
a community in shock
I’m the often-bullied quirky kid
who lived just up the block

I’m a parent’s darkest nightmare
I’m my doctors deep concern
I’m the angst that no one seems to get
the match about to burn
I’m an issue in the social science
circles of the day
I’m the brush it underneath the rug
that never goes away

I see angels circling the sun
feathered wings and halos
golden and hand-spun
Frozen little angels
Circling the sun
bursting into rain drops
cleansing everyone

I’m…

View original post 99 more words

Sustainable Outrage

At first, it was difficult to brush aside the carnage.

We see the horror of war and empathize with those engulfed by it.

We get angry at the senselessness of it.

We get agitated that one man’s evil ambition can wreak havoc on millions of innocent people who just want to live their lives.

But as the war drags on, we’ll grow to accept it as part of the global landscape.

For Ukrainians, outrage and anger fuel their fight and their will to survive.

For Ukrainians, outrage is ammunition. Outrage is necessary.

But for us watching the war from a safe distance, in 3-minute segments on flat-screen TVs, maintaining the same level of outrage we felt initially is not sustainable. Not because we’re callous or ambivalent, but because that level of outrage interferes with our daily routine and our need to get on with our lives.

Humans are not wired to maintain a constant state of outrage when their environment does not merit it, or when their survival does not depend on it.

For those not directly impacted by war, extended outrage is an impediment. To move on with our lives, outrage gives way to a begrudging (and guilt-laden) acceptance of other people’s suffering.

In a way, turning off our outrage becomes a survival mechanism.

Putin understands this.

Putin is betting that the world will get tired of feeling outrage.

Putin knows that outrage has a short shelf-life and all he has to do for victory is wait us out.

We need sustainable outrage to stand up against the enemies of freedom and democracy.

Religious Fanatics in Red Caps and Black Robes

Religious fanatics in red caps and black robes
Choice Appomattox and transvaginal probes
Beaten and raped, then told what to do
Stripped of your voice, no autonomous you


Back-alley midwives with buckets and hangers
Forced into action, like fierce Margret Sangers
Matt K and Sam A, don’t care what you think
Judge Thomas and Barrett drown Roe in the sink


Ejaculate holder, an object, a vessel
A fait accompli, with no room to wrestle
Your thoughts do not matter; just do what we say
Your handmaid’s dilemma, the American way


From pro-choice to no-voice, a Trump court of minions
Precedent killing abortion opinions
The fetus and soul are what matters the most
Your womanly role is to be a good host

Middle-aged Man Buys First Condo He Sees

“Sandi Beaches, nice to meet you.”

Across from you stands 5-feet seven inches of sunshine, splendidly packaged in twinkly eyes on a lightly freckled face, each freckle perfectly placed by one of God’s angels.

“Nice to meet you, Sandi,” you suck in your gut and shake her hand.

She turns and walks ahead, her hair bouncing playfully on tanned and toned shoulders as you stroll towards the front door of an overpriced, undersized 2-bedroom condo.

You struggle to not let your gaze drift southward.

Newly divorced, you’re looking for your own place for the first time in 30 years – “A fresh start,” you tell yourself, and Sandi’s listing seems to
fit the bill — at least on paper.

At 60, you’re done mowing lawns; your achy knees are a weekly testament to that. You’ve convinced yourself a monthly HOA is a small price to free you from that discomfort.

As you enter the condo, Sandi begins her pitch:

“In addition to the living area, we have 2 bedrooms (one with an ensuite) and a lovely eat-in kitchen leading to a cheery patio overlooking the backyard.”

Sandi’s lilting voice bounces softly off the walls of the empty condo, mixing with her perfume to form an intoxicating blend of scent and sound that hangs in the air for you to absorb.

You quietly inhale.

Ballerina-like, she spins and says, “feel free to walk about,” then heads onto the patio, taking out her phone and sitting down in one graceful motion.

You realize you’re barely a blip to her. A soon to be forgotten notation on her calendar.

You sigh.

This unexpected encounter with youthful exuberance brings a heightened awareness to your current station in life. It wasn’t that long ago when purpose and promise filled your days. Now, in the full grip of a midlife crisis, you grasp for what’s no longer there.

Your situation hits you like a two-by-four to the back of the head. You tour the unit numbly; you feel yourself move from room to room, seeing it all but noticing nothing.

You walk towards the patio where Sandi sits in the sun. “I’ll take it,” you say, not because you want it, but just to see her turn towards you and smile.

The Hum of the Drone

Bucha and Kiev get blasted by rockets

Widows and orphans – dead soldiers in lockets

Cruise missiles fall From Ukrainian skies

Putin’s foul mouth spewing nothing but lies


Train station platforms with panicked civilians

War crimes and weapons, with aid in the billions

Switchblades and Javelins seek tanks with their eyes

Dead Russian generals provide food for the flies


Thrust on the world stage

An actor turns hero

Europe is burning

as Putin plays Nero

Nuclear sabers, they rattle and clang

The world anxiously waits

for that one final bang


The EU and NATO Fight Russian aggression

While Russian civilians live under suppression

Doomsday on doorsteps, a knock at the door

Mankind is dead on the living room floor


Sunflower seeds in dead soldiers’ pockets

White teeming maggots in bloody eye sockets

Children lie dead under rubble and stone

To the flutter of birds and the hum of the drone