Birthday Poem 2019

The ospreys have returned
to their stick nest
by the ballpark

The light on the
snow/cloud shrouded Crazies
is miraculous

The river wants a canoe
The sleeping morels
sing quietly in their dreams

The crimson buds of the maple
are telling that same
old story once again

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Birthday Poem 2018

Birthday Poem, 2018

Walking the ancient buffalo drive lines
rough dating the rows of rocks
by the presence or lack of lichen

At first we only hear the Sandhill Crane
A voice as prehistoric
as the greygreen-laced rocks

When it breaks from the brush
below us from where
the land slopes down to the creek

we freeze to watch
the power strokes of wing
that push the earth away

We feel ourselves descending
as the great bird rises
The earth becomes less in its departure

But we – a cousin who’s more a father
a friend who’s more a brother &
a poet turning 50 – become more

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An Appeal to Trump Supporters

When I was a kid, we sang a song in Sunday school that went “they will know we are Christians by our love.” The meaning, we were taught, was that our deeds, based in love, would show the world who we were and what we believed, rather than our words. I’ve long since left Christianity as a faith, but the teachings attributed to Jesus still make perfect sense. Love your enemy, comfort the afflicted, care for the poor and downtrodden, welcome the refugee and immigrant, shun wealth and greed, consider all people as one family. These are deeds of love that would let the world know who we are.

The problem is so many so-called Christians are busily engaged in the exact opposite of these tenets. And they’re doing these deeds in support of a dangerously unfit president who, in every way possible, exemplifies the opposite of Jesus’ teachings.

When I was a kid, we learned in school that America was a country that was a shining beacon to the poor and downtrodden of the world, a place that welcomed refugees and immigrants, a nation that believed in equality and justice and human rights. Of course, the reality has always been much less altruistic, but these ideals still make perfect sense.

The problem is so many so-called patriotic Americans are busily engaged in the exact opposite of these ideals. And they’re doing these deeds in support of a dangerously unfit president who, in every way possible, exemplifies the opposite of the writings of our founding fathers.

I doubt many Trump supporters will read this, or honestly think about it, but if any do, here’s what I’d like to say to you:

Please ask yourself what you are supporting when you support Trump. I know it’s difficult to admit a mistake, but based on the words and deeds of this administration this is what you are telling the world you support:

You support lying every day to the people of the United States.

You support children and babies being torn from their mothers and locked in cages designed for animals.

You support trashing the Constitution and rule of law.

You support racism.

You support homophobia.

You support the annihilation of the First Amendment and the suppression of a free press.

You support religious bigotry and persecution.

You support the poisoning of our environment.

You support taking money from 99% of the people to give it to 1% of them.

You support coddling dictators who murder and imprison their people for resisting fascism.

You support fascism.

You support abusing women.

You support cheating on wives with prostitutes, then paying hush money and threatening violence to hide it.

You support giving our public lands to corporations that will destroy them and leave us with the clean-up bill.

You support rape.

You support a foreign hostile power toppling our democracy from within.

You support treason.

You support using public office to enrich oneself in direct violation of the law.

You support arrogance, greed, hatred, ignorance dishonesty and violence.

You support what the Bible calls evil and what common sense calls being a traitor.

No argument about Obama or Hilary’s emails or crime or law & order or fake news or snowflakes can get you out of the position where you are. These are the things you are telling the world that you support. This is who you are telling us you are. This is how you will be remembered.

If you don’t, in your heart, actually support the items on this list, then you cannot, you must not, support Trump or his enablers. You must, as a Christian (if you are a Christian), as an American, as a human being who knows right from wrong, you must stand against this concerted attack on our democracy. This is not about left vs. right or Democrat vs. Republican. The Republicans should be more outraged than anyone that this man is destroying their party for his own ends. They should be offended that he dare call himself one of them. This is not a partisan issue, this is a Constitutional crisis and a threat to our nation. History will view this time for what it is: an attempt to replace democracy with fascism.

You must decide which side of history you will be on. For the sake of us all, please make the right choice.

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