Mantra

This may be nothing new nothing at all
or nothing now you need to take to heart,
whatever it is to you it will mean nothing
until realized: with billions of minds, hearts
savage wills pulling at the seams of reality
it’s a wonder the whole doesn’t tear open
spill out into riots, revolutions, war, chaos
far more often than it does which doesn’t mean
we stop tying to make life somewhat better
but rather it will never be what you want
That’s right, it will never be just as we want–
Say it often to yourself if you think it helps.

 

 

 

 

 

Poem first appeared in Of One & Many Worlds

 

Hymn to the Deadliest Weapon on Earth

mace

Humor is the weapon of mass reduction,
It reduces bigot to nit-wit, snob to bore
The trendy cynic to last year’s unfriendly pessimist.
It’ll take the nay out of naysayer
Cure the terminal doubter and saw down denial like dead wood.

It refuses to go away

Cannot be destroyed by fire or flood
Stands up to tyrants, lets a dictator know who’s boss.
Humor fills the halls of the censor with snickers
Has clown makeup for bullies
Mocks the madness of a warmonger with one finger.

Humor puts your mother-in-law where she belongs… in a taxi.

The man who loses his sense of humor is in danger of losing his mind.
It is the in of insight
The light of delight, the tip of a glass
A whistle in the dark and a wink at the past.
It cracks lightning jokes at sullen cops
Defends against the IRS
Brightens NBC images and uncovers the lies of a government.
It brings light to darkness, lights up a eulogy
Draws the recluse into the light of day,
It can tickle a smile out of a grouch

Manage a chuckle out of a manager, soften the heart of the toughest CEO.

It puts the teach in teacher, the preach in preacher
The shoes and cans on the back of the newly wed’s car, yes
Where love goes humor follows like an old mate
The sly grin, sideway glance, the nod, the hint, elbow in the rib
The spiked punch and marijuana brownie
Love in the kitchen the truck the car
The tent boat plane alley elevator train and mini van
Top of the counter, back of the movie, deep in the wood
Woodshop workshop pet shop flower shop parking lot
Front yard backyard
Shipyard wrecking yard bowling alley
The dilly-dally-nightcap-champagne, bingo, let’s go

Would you like to see my video?

Humor is a joyful chance to see one’s self and laugh
A pun, tongue twister, quip and one liners
The glass lifted to life, to love, to loss and gain
The winner, quitter, the job well done
Oscar, hit song toast of the town, like air earth fire water
Essential to life
A breath-takin’ side-splitin’ rip snortin’ Soul Protector
It can open doors, topples walls and melt hearts
Halt a navy, turn an army, prevent a scrap and stop a war
It’s the weapon of mass creation by which disputes international and local

Ought to be settled!

Who can make ’em laugh louder and longer
Who can roll ’em in the aisle, kill ’em with fun, laugh ’em off the field
Who can bring the bloody house down?
No joke, I kid you not, it’d be a whole lot better than what we’ve got.

A nation that loses its sense of humor is in danger of losing its soul.

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Questionnaire

Questionnaire

How much poison are you willing
to eat for the success of the free
market and global trade? Please
name your preferred poisons.

For the sake of goodness, how much
evil are you willing to do?
Fill in the following blanks
with the names of your favorite
evils and acts of hatred.

What sacrifices are you prepared
to make for culture and civilization?
Please list the monuments, shrines,
and works of art you would
most willingly destroy.

In the name of patriotism and
the flag, how much of our beloved
land are you willing to desecrate?
List in the following spaces
the mountains, rivers, towns, farms
you could most readily do without.

State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes,
the energy sources, the kinds of security;
for which you would kill a child.
Name, please, the children whom
you would be willing to kill.

 

~ Wendell Berry

kids-playing

Wendell E. Berry (born August 5, 1934) is an American novelist, poet, environmental activist, cultural critic, and farmer. A prolific author, he has written many novels, short stories, poems, and essays. He is an elected member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, a recipient of The National Humanities Medal, and the Jefferson Lecturer for 2012. He is also a 2013 Fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Berry was named the recipient of the 2013 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award. On January 28, 2015, he became the first living writer to be inducted into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame.

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Bedime Prayer

Bedtime Prayer

 
Soma, xanthan, vodka sweet
Now I lay me down to sleep
 
I pray that death will not come
That would be pretty dumb
 
To die alone without a friend
Would be a bitter wasted end.
 
But if I die before I wake
I did my best for fuck sake
 
I don’t know where I’m goin’
Make sure the gate is open
 
 
 
Photo: CIRCA 1940s – Zbigniew Stypulkowski, A Member Of A Polish …

Making Room

Make room for a quiet sound, take a broom
to your heart, sweep distractions away
clear away notions and fear, let the sound
sweep through you, a wave washing sand
let the silence between two waves find you

Wander in mind without care, be the wonder
of a day lily opening slowly, the voice
not of power high or low, your own voice,
and when you hear it, be still and listen
as you did to the voice of your mother

Listen as to an old friend, as to a song
on your deathbed, lost in listening, listen
as to a great love you lost come back to you
to love you and never leave you again.

 

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Cover photo and poem by Rayn Roberts

The Truth is

for Joey

Think of unreality

                   an angel dying, a god being born.

The walls of the waiting room are like the nurses
flat and white. They lean ready to fall–
Sleep…I dream you rising from hell
to a heaven of your own.

There can be no peace until the truth is known
and the truth is love does not conquer all
I hear the shriek, the weeping
the gnashing of teeth

I see you behind glass, head shaven, arms
and legs tied down, face contorted, eyes fixed
on one ceiling light to which you pray
and curse bitterly.

Jesus cursed the fig tree, it withered and it died.
Like John below your cross
I stand by your bed
bewildered sick.
You wear love like a bloody crown
but the blade through my side
cuts deeper than my heart, my center fractures.

I can cry but not save you, laugh but not heal you
dream but not make you whole– Somewhere
an angel is dying.

The truth is
this is our earth
not as love intends, but as men make it
men and the forces we all must bend to
quaking earth, pull of moons, power of madness, and death.

 

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