Category Archives: The human element

Society and how what we do impacts others.

Until Then, I will Sit

stadium-seatsI did it. I sat through the presentation of colors, the invocation and the national anthem at a local high school game. I sat, because I love the country I live in. As much as I love it, I am bothered by so much of what I see. I am also bothered by what I see as a near compulsory demand for an adherence to ritual while failing to truly understand, that for many Americans, such rituals ring hollow. It is for them, after much contemplation that I sat.

I sat for the people of Flint, for whom profit mattered more than safe drinking water, for the residents Standing Rock for similar reasons. I sat for those serving long term sentences for minor drug charges while those who commit violent crimes go free. The injustice, often along color lines is an ongoing injustice. Even worse, profit comes into play, when we as a people care more about the bottom line more than our neighbors, I find silent and complacent is something I cannot be. So for those who suffer at the hands of corporate interests,  I sat.

I sat for the victims of war…the men and women sent to fight for ideology and control of resources than ignored and abandoned when they got home, damaged, broken, hurting. For all the rhetoric about support for our troops, I find there is less substance than we are led to believe. We spend so much for the tools of war, yet the most important ones, the people we send into harms way, our nation invests so little. We’ve been in some kind of conflict for so long, that a time of true peace, is an unknown.

We send our sons and daughters, expecting them to set everything aside, celebrating what we believe is their patriotic duty to be cogs in the mechanics of war, and we rarely question why.. I am reminded of  Walt Whitman’s Drum Taps. The poem talks about the festive celebratory air that often occurs when we prepare for war. There is a line that says: 

The tearful parting—the mother kisses her son—the son kisses his mother;  
(Loth is the mother to part—yet not a word does she speak to detain him;)

Whitman proved to be quite prophetic in the lines of his poem as we prepared to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. How many mothers and sons never got to tell each other hello again since?  It is for this poignant reasons, that I hate the dark arts of war. We celebrate war through our patriotic rituals, yet rarely stop to count the cost. It is because I feel that the price is too high, that I sat.

I sat for every homeless child, every person working three jobs to make enough to feed their families, for everyone who is a victim of violence, for every person who has been subjected to the hatred of bigotry and racism, and every person who must decide which to pay, rent or medical bills. I sat for every person who came here for a chance for their future and for that of their children, fearful that they will be denied it for lack of a piece of paper. I sat for those denied that chance to even try to come here because they are from the “wrong country” or of the the “right religious persuasion. 

I, a white, middle aged grandmother, made a simple patriotic choice and went against the crowd.  I am of the mind that we can truly be a country that understands what freedom means, that it is a responsibility, an honor, a purpose, and that we are only free when all of us can be equally so. Until then I will sit.

From Those We Give Power 

“Hear our words.” Cry those we’ve given power.

“Hear our message divinely evoked.

We’re the ones you picked to lead forward.

Listen closely, heed the wisdom we speak.”


“Heed not.” The empowered sternly warn us.

“Those who dare question the gospel we preach.

Dismiss with all malice, any message that differs

or actions that would cause you to think.”


“Stand against” Warn the despots who lead us.

“Quell against all we’re against.

We’re the ones who’s words always matter

Especially when they are speaking the truth.”


“Enemy!” Is the clarion call.

When compassionate dissension

suggests peaceful solutions

and threatens to shatter control, tightly held.


“Attack and destroy.” The leaders command.

“Any who would stand in our way.

We’re in control, don’t ever forget that

Now go, and do what we say.”


“It’s your fault.” Wail the once august leaders.

“Look at the destruction you wrought.

You failed us, and left us bereft.

Take the blame, as you justly deserve.


Silence from those we gave power

Gone, those we foolishly ignored

We are left to pick up the pieces

Of a world we nearly destroyed.







While We Weep


weepWe learn again of yet another tragedy
Of one who combined hatred, violence and guns.
We are helpless in anger and in sorrow,
looking for answers.

While we weep.
While we weep.

How many must we bury before we say enough,
While we blame anything but the true causes of hate?
How can we dismiss the solutions for peaceful coexistence,
Ignoring them?

While we weep.
While we weep.

We’ve turned our fear of others get into an addiction
And consumed divisive calls of pundits, cleric, priest
Guiltless we are not, of these senseless tragedies.
Can we find remorse?

While we weep
While we weep.

How do we begin the task of ceasing hatred using love?
Why does it seem at times, so impossible a task?
We, as a people, a nation a species must learn the way.
To save ourselves.

While we weep
While we weep

Patch of Sky

kites-kids-flying-kites-hzThe kite doesn’t care who holds her string,
She only wants to soar
She basks in sun drenched breezes
That blow upon her face.

A hundred shapes and colors
‘Neath cloudy balls of cotton.
Birds, and bees and sister kites
Share her patch of sky.

The kite knows that her time aloft
Depends on fragile tether.
She watches as a neighbor’s string
Entangles with another.

The wind make kite strings fight
Her sisters hurtle earthward.
Another finds itself
Trapped in nearby branches.

She watches far from danger
What happens down below
The figures on the ground
Soon fill the kite with wonder.

The one that holds her string
Points finger towards the peril
“Hold it tight. Don’t let it go”
Says father to his daughter.

The father helps to save her sisters
And that is when she sees.
That  people down below
Are similar, yet not, like kites.

People come in colors
And a wide array of sizes.
The kite beholds from  lofty perch
A beautiful community

A hundred shapes and sizes
Upon the green hued grass
Trees, and squirrels and each other
They share this place called earth.