National Veteran’s Day March 29

The sky the clouds trees
reflected in the veteran’s wall
make it seem invisible
as if we could walk though
to the other side—

                Names written in air

ascending in light appear
to enter where they’re given
dreamless sleep or heaven,
who am I to say where names go
beyond the love we give them?

Some people thank the vet
for service to the nation,
I’m home alive, well as ever
suspicious of lay sympathy.

Those who trust tradition
do not know the pain of war
nor the honor of sedition.

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Rayn Roberts 2019

Lament for the Body Politic

You’re better to believe what we tell the children: God loves all
Satan’s to blame for the evil in the world, the horror of war.

You’re better if you just think it, think the heart of humanity
The soul of the nation is one, indivisible under Mr. Donald J.

Oh say can’t you see something eatin’ away at the heart-land
Like an amoeba eatin’ the brain, a crow peckin’ the liver of liberty?

Chipping away inside, death has a bone to pick with us all.
We let hate and bloodshed go, over and over, but never have we

Quite committed to memory how we do it—our books rust on shelves
Our art rots on walls, television keeps us distracted with football

Our laws help check, but there is no remedy for reality– violence
Erupts at any turn, with or without imams, rabbis, priests

A merciful God, Almighty Wall Street—
There’s no getting away from that unless we remember

How to love one another, send the cops and soldiers home for good
Lay down our views, our arms, and live in perfect peace—

Believe it’s possible and you’re better than me, pushin’ seventy
Kickin’ the tires of a heavenly car, never seen nothin’ like it so far.

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Credo 2

Religions are a balm to a wounded heart
but an insult to sound intelligence.
They provide peace and connection
while kicking us in the head,
So because we need to connect for peace
and we like being kicked around,
We’d do well to study and get use to them.

lifespan-bodhisattva-vow   Blues for a Buddha : Credo 1 & 2 by Rayn Roberts

Rock Prophecy

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WTF IS GOING ON IN DC?!

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Hymn to the Deadliest Weapon on Earth

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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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The Ears of Seongjin Castle

In the last light of March, under cherry trees as large as the oak
Near the tomb of those lost
in the battle of Seongjin Castle, yet another tale
of the cruelty and kindness of men…

The Japanese hacked off the noses and ears of the dead
took them home, proof a battle won, souvenirs of a war.
The Koreans buried fathers and sons in a common grave and mourned.

Years later, a Buddhist monk went to Japan
Pleaded for the return of the remains–
Ten thousand ears heard him, ten thousand eyes saw him
On Heart of Love opened, Om Mani Padme Hum–

Japan relented and gave them back–
Under a large tree, in a snow of blossoms, the story teller, a Korean friend
Looked at me and said, “Only the oldest trees know the sorrow of the blossoms.

 

Rayn Roberts 2002

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Traditionally, Japanese warriors brought back the heads of enemies slain on the battlefield as proof of their deeds. Ear collection in lieu of heads became a feature of the second Korean invasion.[4]:p. 195 [10] Remuneration was paid to soldiers by their daimyō commanders based on the severed heads upon submission to collection stations, where inspectors meticulously counted, recorded, salted and packed the noses bound for Japan.[11][12] However, because of the number of civilians killed along with soldiers, and crowded conditions on the ships that transported troops, it was far easier to just bring back ears instead of whole heads.[10]

Japanese chroniclers on the second invading campaign mention that the ears hacked off the faces of the massacred were also of ordinary civilians[13] mostly in the provinces Gyeongsang (where Seongjin Fortress was located)  Jeolla, and Chungcheong.[2]:pp. 475–476 In the second invasion Hideyoshi’s orders were thus:  Mow down everyone universally, without discriminating between young and old, men and women, clergy and the laity—high ranking soldiers on the battlefield, that goes without saying, but also the hill folk, down to the poorest and meanest—and send the heads to Japan.  Many of the ears, noses and heads of the dead are now buried in Kyoto, Japan, but some were returned to Korea.  Mimizuka: Ear Tomb

Kuan Yin /  Avalokiteshvara in Tibetan, is the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion and is said to have ten thousand ears and eyes to hear and watch over the suffering people of the world.   Om Mani Padme Hum is a mantra associated with this Bodhisattva.

옴 마니 반메 훔

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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

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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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