Monday, October 31, 2016

Hallowiener Unleashed!

dusk approaches with a glop glop glop
lapping at the sun like a fruity lollipop

leaves swirl about me doing their worst
as i race through the autumnal colorburst

my tiny paws stampede crunch crunch crunch
bred to ferret out badgers and the beasty bunch

no longer am i a canine brute
my job now is to be Übercute

so on Halloween beware of me, the wienerdog
consume you I will, like a film by Werner Herzog

[Just a short poem this week to connect with the experience of having joyful fun. no deep explanations, just encouragement to have a laugh for the laugh of it!  (btw Into the Inferno by Werner Herzog is pretty cool and on Netflix now)]

Happy Haunting!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Pledge Across the Centuries

Centennial, 13 Stripes, 37 Stars
I pledge allegiance
to my flag
and the Republic for which it stands
one nation, indivisible
with liberty and justice for all
Bicentennial, 13 Stripes, 50 Stars
I pledge allegiance
to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands
one Nation under God, indivisible
with liberty and justice for all
Tricentennial, 13 Stripes, 1 Planet
I pledge my heart and mind
to the planet Earth
and to the pursuit of liberty and justice for
conscious creatures, a sustainable environment
and beautiful experiences everywhere

Divisiveness reigns at the moment like no other time that I can remember. This polarized patriotism inspired me to contemplate and explore what ought to lie at the heart of patriotism. With poetic exposition and found art elements I use the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance of the past, present and of a speculative future to pursue this.  

Although in the poem I imply a recitation of the pledge in 1876, technically the pledge wasn't written until 1887.  Still, I felt stepping from the original 19th Century form to the current version reflects a significant refinement of what was perceived to be required of the patriotic American. In particular, the addition of "under God" in 1954 to the official text underscores how the ideological right persisted to integrate a monotheistic belief component into the common interpretation of patriotism. 

(Aside: while reading this poem at The Without Limits Coffee House, I made a point of standing at the start of the poem, sitting down for the middle stanza and rising again for the third. This was to demonstrate support for the Sit Out the Pledge effort which seeks to remove "under God" from the pledge as a step toward a more mindful pledge)

Personally, I recited the pledge pretty much mindlessly in school growing up.  My position on the pledge has evolved alongside my worldview.  To this ends, the third stanza envisions a admittedly very progressive pledge for the Tricentennial year 2076.  I aimed to embody a positive, unifying, humane pledge with simple encouragement toward a greater, global patriotism, a patriotism that reaches beyond nationalism. Importantly, this speculative pledge is something the entire world could recite with pride, respect and hopefulness.

(Note: Namaste was added as the final line primarily because it has the punctuating character of an amen.  It also has an element of foreignness which emphasizes a joyful, global diversity .  I translate "namaste" to mean "in you i see sacredness" where the you in this case includes other people, creatures, the environment, creativity and the world as a whole.)


Friday, October 14, 2016

Angels of Indigestion

lost in wilderness
seeking answers, seeking truth
god's worshipers pray:

resolve climate change
bring peace, miraculous wealth
feed us with manna

ten trillion angels
orbit earth; watch, wait, squat; in
unison excrete

this irreverent haiku triad was created by a human, like all of the supernatural tales that have come before.  

while in principle i support the rights of people to worship peacefully, the foundation of supernatural obeisance sadly encourages believers to treat wishful thinking and mythology seriously and often to simultaneously avoid confronting the realities of the world. 

now i do enjoy fantastical, fictional creations (from Gaiman's incarnations to Clarke's machinations) and in fact, i think imaginative metaphor and allegory can help humans and humanity transcend our primal origins and motivations. however, one should first be able to identify fact (global climate change, human over-population, evolution) from fiction (heaven, sacred souls, creation myths) to more effectively implement mindful solutions that will lead to a better world for humanity and environment alike.  

believing angels or other imaginary higher powers are watching over us, waiting to escort us to paradise is a critical issue for humanity as it distracts too many people far too frequently (with violence and absolutism) from working on these solutions together.

as a hopeful exception, i have heard some "inter-faith" communities have managed to meet toward forging rational solutions while leaving their supernatural beliefs behind.  if accurate, it is a step in the right direction.

Human Creativity Takes Flight

Friday, October 7, 2016

Two Blondes and a Ballot

(I am now on hiatus compiling the Goodness First Millennium Vision blog entries into a unified manifesto.  Updates to come.  In the meantime, I will be releasing some of my poems and some commentary to fill the void. Enjoy and be warned)

word has it two blondes are vying to lead the nation
one's a casino lord so smart he evaded federal taxation
i heard the other misplaced her email
allegedly sexting pics with Dan Quayle
all while the american voter elects for aphyxiation

Here is my two cents on the upcoming election.   

My poem is meant to highlight how much national policy direction is being ignored in favor of sound byte gaffes and candidate likability.  Yes, trustworthiness is a laudable aspect of any candidate, but given the choices the country, and the world, will best be served if we elect intelligent people to lead us toward peace, prosperity and global ethical responsibility. 

Voting for the progressive candidates (which in most cases will be the Democratic candidates) from your local representatives to your national president will result in the best path forward.  Only by getting progressive leadership elected and then engaging with them can we reform political districting and political financing to reestablish fair representation of the people by their representatives.

And if there is a single reason why voting for Hillary Clinton is the better presidential candidate it is because she will continue the mildly progressive policies that President Obama has leveraged, even in the face of a very conservative congress.  Supreme Court nominations are particularly long term actions that will lead to the more progressive change many of us long for from our country, so whatever you do don't sit out this election.

Ok, that was at least 3 cents worth of commentary. Sigh.