Prayer is Not the Solution

We often turn to prayer to help us heal from emotional or physical trauma. Prayers can help us achieve inner peace or resolution. Prayers can help us get to a place that allows us to get on with life. In that sense, prayer can be a valuable tool.

But prayer is never a solution to a problem. Prayer is never an agent of change. For example, do you know who was praying the most fervently during the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas? The teachers and the parents of the students trapped in the classroom – and the children themselves. They were desperately praying for God to intervene and save them.

By now, we’ve established a precedent: praying to enact change does not fucking work.

Republican senators and congressmen desperately want their constituents to believe that prayer is a solution. Because they know if people rely on prayer alone, nothing changes. And if nothing changes, these senators and congressmen will continue to fill their coffers with money from the gun lobby.

The only way to enact change is through action. By demanding those who represent us support meaningful and impactful gun legislation. And if they don’t, we must organize, march, campaign, and pressure both candidates and corporations in communities and states where representatives refuse to act.

America, Land of the Dead, Home of the Selfish

How does one’s life change if they no longer have their AR-15?

What can these folks no longer do that they could do when they had their AR-15?

Does their world change in any substantive way if they no longer have that particular gun?

Can they still go to work, provide for their family, hug their children, and take their son or daughter to their little league game?

I’d suggest that the only substantive change to their lives is anchored in “feelings.” They’d no longer be able to fire an AR-15 — no longer be able to experience whatever the fuck it is that gets them off when they fire that gun.

Perhaps, those suffering under the NRA-fed delusion that they “need this type of weapon” might feel unsafe without their AR-15. But that feeling would dissipate over time.

Are a rush of endorphins and a false sense of security worth sacrificing the health and safety of children?

The depth of this uniquely American attitude in the face of unending human tragedy is a fucking disgrace.

From Classroom to Casket

Rose on tombstone. Red rose on grave. Love – loss. Flower on memorial stone close up. Tragedy and sorrow for the loss of a loved one. Memory. Gravestone with withered rose

From classroom to casket

an American journey

arrive on a school bus

depart on a gurney


As children lay dead

in Uvalde Texas

it’s hard to ignore

the obvious nexus

with unfettered access

to weapons of war

the number of dead

will continue to soar


We live in a land

of pierced hearts and sorrow

no shooting today?

just wait till tomorrow

In a fog of futility

explicably numb

we reach for our heartstrings

but there’s nothing to strum

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 futility and hopelessness we all feel for days after a school shooting.

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:

The archbishop has spoken

your soul is too broken

your Communion with God

is “Declined!”

No body of wafer

to keep your soul safer

no blood in that cup full of wine

To that tall-hatted dude out in Frisco

the one chanting “El Cuerpo de Christo”

we won’t bend to your will

Or keep our mouth’s still

Or dance to the beat in your disco

He’s condemning your views on abortion

and withholding God’s grace as extortion

his tactics aren’t bold

they’re petty and cold

we can see through the smoke

and distortion

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

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 a moistened black congruence

of oxygen and shade


A never-ending cycle

of reproductive violence

the 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


From above this Earthly

netherworld

all that we discern

are the gently blowing leaves

and the softly dancing fern

Dog Day Afternoon

It feels like the fabric that holds our society together gets 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 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.

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