Sunday, September 11

10 Years on,...


At about 1 am Pacific time on September 11, 2001 I was unable to sleep. As I awoke I was over come with powerful emotions and was then "opened" to a horrific vision that lasted until 5 am. At exactly 6:11 am I was awakened to the the sound of breaking glass, followed by extreme silence. Then for the longest time, 45 minutes or so, I heard the sounds of bright and beautiful bells. They were ringing all around me. 

This first poem is from my vision, and the one after it is from my emotions and feelings from the next few days. This was for me, as it was for so many a very intense week in my life. May my experience bring you peace, insight, and love.

I love you all,

w-

Poems follow
======

William, it's time to Wake Up

William, they call my name
Arriving one by one the beautiful
Sound of tinkling bells fills my room
An exquisite delicate ringing
That only Angels make

It is the Ninth month, the eleventh morning
Nine – One – One, Wake up! Wake up!
Each with a bell speaking as one
Uncountable hundreds or more
A symphony of Divine Gentleness

My heart pounds, searing burning pain
Rips through my chest as a 10,000-megawatt
Lightening bolt of fear brings grim images
Gasping, no air reaches my lungs as death
Revisits those who would deliver death

Over, and over, and over again
An appetite unquenchable
Senseless Meaningless Horrific
Go ahead, kill me!
I’ll kill you right back!

The glorious bells return
Softly, tenderly I am brought back
Blue green bright numbers on the bedside
Clock; 11 minutes after 6 am
3000 miles away it is 9:11 am

Nine – One – One; Nine – One – One
William! Wake up! Wake up!
Hundreds of Angels newly made bring Divine
Wisdom from the path they walked this day
Remember us by learning the lesson we bring

It is time to put away childish things
The time for killing is over
Let go of hate and fear
Love calls you through an open door
At 12 minutes after 9 today’s lesson begins

Poem 2
======

Where the Love Light Shines & the Freedom Bell Rings

Early morning misty memory
How small I felt standing before your
Beauty and greatness in awe I trembled
The immense power of your embrace
Wrapped and caressed by the loving folds of
Your swift and passionate ever-beating heart
Holding my hand we walked together
Each step my amazement grew like so many
Who lovingly call you simply, The City
The images now fresh and sharp as though
Freshly developed on the silver white paper
Of the wonderful photographs you gave me

Uncontrolled weeping takes me by surprise
In a flash it is gone only to return moments later
Hours pass as my soul pours itself out in
Response to the horror of last Tuesday’s madness
Gut wrenched soul, quenched by tears, God! Let the healing begin
Unable to stand in a heap I fall to my knees
Shaking and sobbing I wail and gasp for air
Finally I am released, standing, no, leaning on
Something eyes swelled shut I find myself
In the kitchen; raisins, flakes, milk, bowl and spoon
From an unknown deeper wellspring I am overcome
Tears and cereal mix, my chest heaves as I leave for work

Could it be the words, “Please enjoy your stay”
When your passport was stamped that so angers
You as your drive past the shopping mall?
Maybe it was the joyful noise of innocent children
As they played in the park at the end of
Your street that has filled you with such rage?
No! The darkness you carry came with you
Your well-learned lessons of hatred and murder
Silently covered by your smile as you ask when
There will be more of the Granny Smith apples on sale
In this land of plenty where all are welcomed as family
Your teacher’s words ring in your head “Kill these godless dogs”

Brother, your teacher has deceived you
Blinded and filled with hatred his darkness prevents
You from seeing the glorious light surrounding you
This seething torrent of rage you have been fed
Now burning hot in your breast driving you towards
This bitter path that ends in your own violent destruction
Your master is safe, hearing of your loss he does not weep
Waiting and watching for the river of innocent blood
Hoping to open the floodgates of fear; his disappointment grows
Overlooking your anger and hatred on the wings of
Precious Angels you are carried into the next world
Perhaps, now you will appreciate the gifts you have taken

Hiding behind robes given by false clerics
Deceiver of my brothers and sisters
The Great Light reveals the lies you teach
Like some long frozen prehistoric fossil
Freshly raised from the sub-Antarctic darkness
Your hatred and violence has no place in our world
Like the fool who argues with himself your own madness
Daily recreates for you a nonexistent enemy
Crazed by hatred, rage has murdered your own family
Your own hand exposes your dark purpose
You sell the persona of the lion of the desert, but
The light of truth reveals, the common sewer rat

How frustrated you must now be
In your fantasy you believed by your fear
Freedom could be brought to its knees
Behold! There in the harbor a light brightly burns
Steadfast and powerful she stands
The light of love raised high, liberty has not fallen!
Tears of pride flow in her eyes as she watches
The Bravest, the Finest, the Strongest and the Work-a-day
Every day heroes pressed hard again into service
Risking their own lives to ensure the safety of others
In beauty, the students of compassion and love display their mastery
These the grandchildren of the once huddled masses

Just a moment ago I saw two holding hands
Brother and sister, tall and bright shining twins
In the blink of an eye they have disappeared
Shattering the heavens a great bell has been rung
God has reached out her hand, the very ground
Heaves and shakes as if giving birth
What is this? Growing slowly at first bit by bit
A mountain now reaches to the sky
In memory of those two beautiful twins
Wait! Look at what the light has revealed
Bright shining gems each one brilliant and special the
Unseen wellspring of heavens’ most precious treasure

For over two centuries the Master Smithy
Pumps the great bellows that drives
An eternal fire of blazing white-hot love
Rarely seen until This Smithy came to town
In his hand is held a precious many-colored alloy
Glowing brightly while a Mighty Hammer
Repeatedly pounds and forges it into a shape
Made for a purpose only His keen eyes can see
Each generation is pounded anew in a searing white hot
Moment of truth that hammer forges the generations together
Those who choose to test the metal of His Forge have invited
The freedom bell to ring, oh what a lovely sound it is!

Copyright ©2001 William A. York, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, July 2

Upstream

Fearless butterfly
Gentleness consumes dragon
Salmon swims upstream

Monday, May 16

Dab in the Middle

Dab in the Middle

Not a clue, I do not know.
Do I pen a letter
to Miss Manners, or
inquire of dear Aunt Flow?

With which spoon do I eat sorbet.
and why is that of great import?
From outside in I pick my fork.
So many rules I must obey.

One state, two state, red state, blue state
one vote, two vote, red vote, blue vote
Demo girls and Repo boys, why does 
their nonsense rule our fate.

Knowing what’s right and proper
get’s harder every day.
The microwave just beeped,
as the newsman tell’s a whopper.

My neighbor pilots a Prius,
my cousin’s in her Hummer and
a bicycle is just peachy for me. From
big oil, please just someone free us?

I don’t mean to create a flap,
but speak my mind I will.
But the hour is so very late. Time for 
this curmudgeon's cookie, milk and nap.

Saturday, May 14

Greed Kills

(greed kills)

When Reagan decided to feed
the poor, what he meant was, 
let’s feed the poor to the rich. 

(greed kills)

His Piss-on-the-Poor theory, 
otherwise known as Tinkle-Down
economics, 
is just a fancy name for greed. 

(greed kills)

When those who have way
to much, cry out
keening, wailing, desperate
for more; people
die.

(greed kills)

Saturday, April 16

Poetry practice

Still mind helps us to discover ourselves
        What if we find only beauty inside?

Allowing compassion to lead the way
        Yields answers to questions not thought of yet

Tossing a stone into the deep blue lake
        Radical notions with each breath we take

Change does not approach, nor does it vanish
        In this moment, with each breath, I am change

More Iambic practice

Hiding the beauty, hatred divides us
        Creating beauty, leads us out of fear

To be gentle is to be powerful
        Aggression is not the pathway to peace

They tell us the dogs of war must be fed
        This breed and their masters feed on our fear

Morning thoughts

We have chosen that hatred is okay,
        because we are not happy with ourselves

Tuesday, March 15

Freedom

William York
Letters From the Earth
Final Essay: Freedom
15 MArch, 2011
A Walk Between Worlds
A great blue heron stands silently near the edge of a small lake. Partially concealed by a stand of pampas grass, she waits. It is not quite dawn, and the forest makes no sound. The sounds of last nights crickets and frogs have disappeared into the mist that hugs the shore of the lake. Gone too, is the screeching of owls, the night hunters, who glide silently overhead, patiently searching for that one mouse or vole that has been unwary, and is caught off guard. 
Throughout the forest there is tension. Tension that comes from the coming change. Everything feels it. The time of the great sleep, the period profound and restorative rest, that great slumber called Winter, is nearly at an end. The silence, the crisp cold, the small patches of remaining snow, are but delicate appetizers, to the prelude, of the bountiful menu that is Spring. Change is indeed coming. 
It is nearly the full moon. The early morning sky is changing from the void of near blackness, to a full and earthy blue. The stars are clearly visible in both the heavens and the lake. Draco, Betelgeuse, and Cassiopeia’s Chair hold their familiar places, in the pantheon of celestial friends. To the east, the mountains are turning to shades of purple and blue. Above, the faintest hint of baby blue sky, conceals the first of the Sun’s intensity. The whole valley is holding its breath, waiting. Waiting for something. 
Ian feels it too. He is awake. His large, friendly blue eyes still closed, but it is there. An inner gnawing. Something, he is not sure what, is amiss. Lying in his bed of fresh clover, insulated from the cold by several handwoven wool blankets carefully layered between animal skins of bear, wolf and hart. He takes a long, slow, silent deep breath. And then another, and another. For several minutes he continues his breathing, allowing his mind and heart to awaken to this fresh new day. Despite his intuition telling him that there may be some kind of mischief afoot, he remains calm and open, to the many possibilities that today present. 
Opening his eyes for the first time he sees the great blue heron. While most would see just a majestic bird with powerful wings, Ian sees more. The heron is a messenger. Bringing him a message of patience. Ian is being asked to prepare for an arduous inner journey to the underworld and perhaps, beyond. Suddenly, the heron takes flight. Its massive wings pound hard against the cold morning air. On each downstroke the morning mist is scattered and the sound of her wingbeats echo across the lake, stirring the forest into wakefulness.
Sitting up, Ian carefully rolls up his bedding and ties it with a long knotted cord. Standing up, he walks a few steps to the western edge of the lake. To the north is the river that follows a twisted path for many miles until it reaches the sea. To the south west the river descends. Gently at first, but soon becomes a series of small waterfalls, as it cuts it way through rock and glacier on its journey to the valley floor. Turning south, Ian walks quietly. His boots of fur and hart skin make almost no noise, even as Ian picks up his pace to a brisk walk. “Excellent morning for a hike,” Ian mutters to himself. 
Ian is a tall man, in his mid-thirties. His copper-colored, shoulder length hair is braided, and interwoven with beads and feathers. He wears a simple brown cotton tunic, and a forest green kilt, worn in the traditional, over-the-shoulder style. Held in place with a simple broach, made from the hip bone of the same bear that his cloak is made from. A woven belt on his waist holds four items. A dagger for defense, a medium sized pouch containing a dozen or so different herbs, a crescent shaped copper knife with a bone handle, and finally a medium sized gourd, holding water. Across his back is his bed roll, a quiver of gray goose fletched arrows and a sturdy bow, made of oak and strung with sinew. Ian continues his journey down the trail from the high mountain lake. 
Walking in near silence, he continues at a forthright pace. More messengers come to him. Blackbird, or in the old tongue, Druid-Dhubh, reminds him to heed his inner call, and seek the gateway to the other realms. A wild boar races quickly across his path, and Ian is reminded  of his leadership, to remain focused and directed in his quest, but most all, this day, he must inherit the warrior spirit of his ancestors. A trio of bumble bees lead Ian further down the trail. They speak to him of community, and the importance of celebrating each day. Slowly, during his hike the entire forest speaks to Ian and it is revealed to him what he must do. 
Nearing a thicket of blackberries Ian sits down. It is mid afternoon and he has been walking for many hours. Taking this opportunity to rest, to eat and to refill his gourd with water at the river, that is never more than a few feet from the trail, Ian ponders the rest of his journey. It will be nightfall by the time he reaches the last of the waterfalls. Refreshed, the berries and water clearing the cobwebs from his head, Ian continues his journey. He walks for many hours, lost in his thoughts and munching on the remaining blackberries, and the few hazelnuts from the pouch on his waist. 
As the sun sets across the western valley, the forest trail grows dark. Shadows lengthen. Trees, not yet blessed with Spring’s burst of green, transform into withered skeleton bones, giving this normally bright forest a frightening and foreboding look. It will be several hours before the full moon will light the final steps on his path. It matters not. Ian is a man of the forest. He knows this trail by feel, by smell and by sound. Winding his way down the trail, Ian begins to tire. The long days hike, the continued downward slope is making his knees wobbly, and his feet become more and more unsure of themselves. Ian lumbers onward as the trail begins to widen and flatten. Nearly exhausted, he reaches the edge of a clearing and through the darkness he sees the faint flicker of firelight. Leaning against the coarse bark of a birch tree, Ian catches his breath, refreshes himself with the last of his water and then encouraged by the fire, he presses on. 
The simple fire stands at the center of a grove of hazel trees, and is being tended by two of Ian’s oldest friends. Saleem, is tall, with broad shoulders, and his sister, Eileen, is also quite tall. They both smile and laugh a bit as they greet Ian, who is breathing hard, covered in sweat, but is nonetheless capable of letting out a resounding “Hoy Hoots” at the sight of his friends. Eileen, hugging Ian’s neck, “wasn’t sure you’d make it,” as she tugs at his beard and kisses his cheeks. Saleem is equally excited to see him, “everything has been prepared,” and Saleem hands Ian his robe. Taking the robe Ian takes a short walk to the bank of the river, removes all his other clothing and dives in. The water bites at his skin. Fresh with melted snow, Ian wonders how this could be the same river, that so warmly greeted him barely some six months ago. Saleem holds the dark blue robe for his friend as he shivers and shakes off both water and the cold. Ian and Saleem rejoin Eileen around the fire. Ian hands Eileen the herbs he  gathered the night before, and she in turn rubs them between her hands and drops them into the pot of boiling water, that is sitting in the center of the fire. Ian then hands an odd looking fungus to Saleem, who smiles, and quickly sets about preparing the fungus and the rest of the ingredients for their simple meal. Saleem is Eileen’s younger brother, and he wears a plain purple robe that has been dyed with blackberries. Both Eileen and Ian wear robes of carefully woven linen, that have been repeatedly dyed in woad. Each of their robes are decorated with simple yet fine silver thread in keeping with their status as co-leaders of their clan. Saleem announces that he is ready, and that he will now light the fire in the cave behind them. While Saleem makes the cave ready for them, Eileen and Ian gather up the herbal tea she has made and the root vegetables and fungus that Saleem has prepared. 
It is not a large cave, but it is well hidden from the outside. No flames or drumming sounds will be heard outside of it. The walls are brightly painted with pictograms, of hunting, dancing and the many vision quests of their ancestors. The three sit around the small fire Saleem has built, as Eileen pours the tea into a large treenware mug. Ian places the bowl of food between himself and Eileen. She lifts the mug as Saleem begins to pound out an ancient clan rhythm on his large round drum. Eileen looks intensely at Ian, drinking the tea,” May violence fade from our memories,” as Ian takes the mug from her. Ian holds the mug high over his head and stares quietly at the fire and his powerful voice fills the cave, “May there be peace.” Ian fishes the tea and places the mug into the fire. The mug is quickly engulfed in flames of green and red, and soon blends into main portion of the fire. Picking up several pieces of root vegetable and fungus, Eileen and Ian quickly chew and swallow them. “May abundance flourish and spread, may hunger and want become distant memories.” Repeating these words of those who have come before them, and remembering the many times they themselves, since they early youth, have repeated these same words, Eileen and Ian allow the moment to consume them as they stare into the fire. Saleem’s drumming intensifies, becoming both louder and faster. Then with out a word he stops. “It is time.”
Ian and Eileen lie down on the prepared animal skins, with the tops of their heads just touching one another. Saleem gently blends their hair with feathers, fresh herbs and scented oil, in a loose but intricate braid. Eileen and Ian are about to travel, travel between the worlds. The touching of heads and the ceremonial braid ensure that this gifted couple, having spent many lifetimes in each others company will travel together on this night of the full moon. No one but Ian and Eileen knows where they go. Saleem will watch over their bodies, and tend the fire during the trance that will soon overtake his older sister, and best friend. 
Ian and Eileen are two of many that since birth have the gift of traveling between worlds. Unlike the many, they have not forgotten their connection to the land, to the ancestors and they vital role they play in continuing the traditions of their clan. This allows them to keep the precious gift of sight, of vision, and the ability to walk between the worlds.  Around their necks they each hold two halves of a simple gray stone. As they lightly rub the stones, Ian and Eileen begin to drift, dream, and as their breathing slows, they enter a peaceful trance-like sleep. This is what they do at every full moon. They travel from one world to the next. With them they take the lessons and wisdom they have learned, share it with the world on the other side, and in return they bring wisdom back with them. Together, Ian and Eileen continue an unbroken tradition that spans a thousand generations, perhaps more.
It is raining and Ian’s hair is matted and wet. To look at him, one would see no separation between his long gray hair and his even longer gray beard. Both have become hopelessly knotted and tangled during the night. He is cold. Ian is awakened by the moaning wail, that erupts from the horn of a great blue Honda. He reaches next to him, as always Eileen is there. She touches his cheek and they sit up, and huddle close underneath their 21st century animal hides. Bear, wolf and Hart skins replaced now with skins of Maytag, Frigidaire and Panasonic. Ian offers Eileen an orange that he has pulled from the pocket of his tattered gray trench coat. Taking the orange, Eileen leans her had on Ian’s shoulder, “may there always be enough,” as Ian connects the two halves of stone around their necks. Together they form a spiral, and the Gaelic word for peace. Next to them is a shopping cart. It is filled with everything Eileen and Ian own in this world. On the side is the symbol for the Tao, Yin and Yang. The Way. Beneath the symbol reads, “Safeway.” When the rain stops, this happy couple, nearly in their seventies, will walk the streets and share the wisdom they have brought with them.
Who decides where our freedom lives? Is it dependent on our ability to wield the power that our relative status in this world allows us? Or are we capable of more depth, more compassion and fully capable of being in control of our own creative expression in this world? Where do our dreams begin and end, and what makes us so sure that we are right about the answer? Perhaps this is it. That great and ancient Koan, known as freedom.

Saturday, February 12

Wind in the trees

Time to sit. Out the window Portland grows from partly sunny to mostly cloudy. Music that I like, but don't recognize plays through the coffee house speakers. Surrounded by other writers. Life is good. The hot chocolate, however, is a bit weak.

Pine trees are pushed sideways and the flag pole quivers and bounces back and forth. The sky is shifting to ever darker shades of  gray. Today's sunny morning has turned into a more cold gray afternoon.

Two women drink their coffee from large brown French-style cups that rattle nervously in their saucers, as the last few days events, and gossip are bantered about. The women are friends, but they sit far apart. Even a friendly touch between the two seems unpracticed and awkward. Animated and smiling, rich with gestures, she regales her friend; who looks downwards and scratches her head nervously. An odd conversational style, have these two. One leans in, to make point and the other leans away. Can a conversation be animated, yet stilted. Heads tilted aggressively backward, backs arched they take big slugs of their coffee.

The door, opened unskillfully as the wind and three men sweep into the coffee shop. The boyfriends arrive. Noisily. Newspapers flutter and crackle in the hasty process of stuffing them under-arm to accommodate hugs and air kisses.The quiet conversation of two, becomes a loud, brutish, stumbling, five-way group discussion. The two women, now with nervous girlish smiles are quiet. The men dominate the conversation. Having stolen the quiet from the rest of us, the newcomers are reluctantly pushed to the counter and finally order something. The silence, temporarily restored, during the reading of the handwritten chalkboard menu. Blocking my view, the two quiet, now five loud sit down. The women go back to their conversation. The men pull out their smart phones and gadgets. The brown double wide door is flung open again, and the five abruptly leave. Outside they are joined by two more friends and a large, fluffy brown dog. Drinking coffee, with wind disoriented hair, the seven-and-a-dog disappear up the street.

Friday, February 11

Collateral damage in the wake of a landslide

Collateral damage in the wake
of a landslide

Back wheels stick,
bind,
while
front wheels
stutter & twitch.

Gnarled, arthritic hands
tell a story punctuated by
cracked nails and
fresh bruises;
she
pushes her world
in her own
Safeway.

Sweat from her matted hair
slices its way
down coarse & painful
wrinkles.

On my mega yacht,
sipping the perfect Martini,
stirred, never shaken.

Bright sunlight refracts
a single drop of water,
slowly repelling down the
crystal stem.

Trickle down

Reaganomics

Thursday, January 27

Last Summer

Last Summer
Sitting together
on the banks of the Truckee
My best friend Shelly,
ageless wisdom beaming
from her fifteen year-old eyes, 
“You really can, you know,
tell by the sound of it,
that is,
whether a stream is 
happy or sad.”
Sitting in silence together,
on that warm summer day,
waiting,
watching 
the sunset
over Donner Lake. 
Thirty-seven years ago.
Shelly’s words, spoken in one of those timeless, powerfully subtle, almost deniably so, life altering moments, awakened me. I answered the ringing phone, and listened. A compelling conversation between me and the natural world. The writer, photographer; as witness, was born that day. 
The deeper the passion 
the more resounding the 
crack 
when hidden chasms 
finally open. 
That ominous, 
hideous, marvelous rumbling crescendo 
as the high mountain dam

bursts. 
Words and ideas 
as free as the once trapped waters,
gushing, swirling, 
violently crash onto the paper.
Our parents, district attorney, stockbroker, gynecologist, aerospace engineer(s),  geologist, veterinarian and corporate executives all generously shared their frugality with us. Weekends hiking in the Sierras, fueled our dreams. While aluminum cans and old newspapers got recycled into precious gold. We funded our own adventures.
High
Above the tree line
Raw stone, earth, rock and pebble
reclaims its dominion over
green, sprouting and living things
yearning to send their roots 
deep. 
Darkness
Contrasting tones of
earth and sky
separateness now
illusion.
In the thin air, giddy at reaching our base camp, we imagine ourselves as Queens and Kings of the hill. Delirious in our belief that we have conquered the high ground, we dance at our own, fleeting coronation. The mountain knows better. It laughs at us. Mere court jesters, pitching our tents, in the blackness. Stars smile at our naiveté, before the moon-rise. 
Huddled tightly around three white gas stoves. Their deafening static-like hiss, serve us one final time, by intensifying the quiet, that folded in around us, once the stoves were finally silent. It seemed like hours passed before anyone spoke. For nine summers, and nearly every weekend in between, my friends and I hiked the Sierras, the Grand Tetons, and the Rocky Mountains. In both summer and winter months, canoed and rafted the American, Truckee and Snake rivers. When not planning or preparing for our next adventure, we rode our bicycles, like mad fiends, everywhere. Here at some 8000 feet, above the tree line, at the base of Mt. Victoria, we had reached the beginning of the end.  
North of the Wikwaxys
East of Yoho
a dozen old friends
dream our last 
summit together.
Tomorrow
4000 foot vertical climb
Baseball sized shale,
soccer balls of granite
in a deep salad bowl gorge 
of loose gravel. 
Laughing, holding hands and running down that last mile
passing Cedar and Hemlock. Hundreds of startled elk,
bolt away from us.
Wild, rapturous 
beginning. 

Tuesday, January 25

You Know Me, Right?


You Know Me, Right?
Two pithy statements come to mind at this point in time.  The first one goes something like this “if you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention,” and the second, “if you didn’t learn anything today, you’re not paying attention.”  So in my head, when these two modern-day Koans mash together, I am left with the result that says, “if I’m paying attention, and I am, I have learned something, and what I learned is that I’m outraged about a great many things.”  Looking under the surface a little more deeply, at the subtext of my life and my own inner world, I find I am less than satisfied. My ideals haunt me. Listening to the news broadcasts, and talking with my friends, some of whom I’ve known for the better part of several decades, and I can’t help but think that those of us who helped create and participate in that original Earth Day celebration, and other important milestones of my generation, have missed the mark. The powerful idealism that shaped my generation, has been lost over the years and I regret that. We baby boomers, even before most of us could vote, we were already a Brand-name. Collectively and all to conveniently we were lumped together, as if manufactured, into a force to reckoned with. What have we become?
I look at the people that are in office, my elected officials. You, who are supposed to represent all of us, and responsibly control, monitor and fairly distribute the resources that are meant to look out for our collective well-being. You claim to represent the best of service in this country, but I find myself disgusted by your actions. And yet, if I am genuine, if I am sincere, then when I look in the mirror, I must also be disgusted with myself. The Boomers. Society has bound us together, but are we really cut from the same cloth? Our generation, that was so concerned with the environment, so concerned about creating peace on our planet, and so greatly interested in the welfare of our fellow human being, has become horribly corrupt. The generation that held so much hope, has really failed to deliver on all the promises that it made to itself, to each other, and to our world. I awaken each morning to the realization that the most powerful and influential members of my generation have abandoned our ideals. The lust for power, the desire for more, more money and honey, has turned the promise of the summer of love, into a cold and harsh reality, that has become the winter of greed. 
I find myself, not unlike the fictional movie character, Howard Beale, in the 1976 movie, The Network, who entices his audience to get up out of their seats, walk over to the window, open the window, lean their head out the window, and yell at the top of their lungs “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”  This kind of inner rage that I experience when I look at the world around me, has a paralyzing effect on my ability to understand, and to reason a way through the morass of issues, problems and difficulties that this world has to deal with on a regular basis. More importantly, it makes it extremely difficult for me at 53, to find a way to contribute in some sort of lasting and meaningful way. Is this too, part of your malicious misdirection?
I look at our democracy and I find myself outraged. I look at the state of the environment, the world that we have created, abused in the most essential ways, and have the audacity to leave the cleanup to our children’s, children’s children.  This, too leaves me outraged. Finally, I look at how wealth is distributed in this country and issues related to the poorest of us. Those who do not have healthcare, do not have a safe place to live, do not have appropriate clothing, and the large number, way too large in fact, of people that go without food every single day in this country. And, again I am outraged. So, I asked myself, am I up to this challenge, am I ready to face my own inner demons in such a way that I can adequately face the outer demons that affect my country and the world that I live in? Do I have the courage to speak?
Closing my eyes, it doesn’t take long for me to see the vision of the world I once thought would soon be readily available to everyone. As a child of the 60s, I envisioned a world of peace and harmony, a world where technology was both a thing of beauty and a reliable servant (flying cars included). I certainly expected, that the world of the 21st century would be a one of global harmony, abundance, and a world where we had come to understand that we are partners with each other in this world. I believe, that we as human beings must form a sacred partnership with our planet, the plants, the animals, the mountains, the rivers and the oceans, or we will perish. 
I would like to address my so-called, public servants. So many of us depend upon your actions. Yet, at a local, statewide, and federal level, I find the lot of you to be a huge disappointment.  Given the opportunity to express to each of you, face-to-face, what I generally feel about your performance in your selected positions, I would have to say that I would spare no amount of vinegar and vitriol in your collective and individual directions, in discussing your abysmal performance. While you claim to be representatives of the people, your actions would tell us, that you are far more invested in being the servants of big corporations, and their paid lobbyists. Each of you, Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, red or blue, seem far more concerned about the rightness of your own ideas, the wrongness of your oppositions ideas, and for how much media coverage, and the number of all to glorified soundbites, you and your compatriot toadies can amass in a single day. All this, in order to promote your hateful and narcissistic version of democracy.
I would like to call your attention to one recent example, that I think aptly illustrates your selfish behavior, your lust for power, and your love affair with the media. Your recent grandstanding and bizarre spectacle, of having each member of Congress read five or six words of the Constitution of the United States. Not only does this behavior prove how little you understand about the nature, the heart, and the seriousness, of those who wrote our founding documents, but it shows how little you respect the work, the effort of daily toil, the sacrifice, and the hard-earned dollars and cents of each American that paid for this most heinous spectacle of yours. (nearly $400,000.000) I ask you, what leader of a large organization, would take an entire day, to cease all production, suspend all sales efforts, postpone all meetings, and put all phones on voicemail, so that each and every single employee, From CEO on down, could interrupt any and all productive labors, for the sole purpose, of having a public group reading of the employee manual?
I suspect, that were you to present this cockamamie scheme of  yours, to any of your buddies in big business, I’m sure they would tell you what a huge waste of time and money this kind of  parlor room stunt would be.  Go-ahead call them and ask, I’ll wait. I’m sure you have them on speed dial. Oh, one more thing, let us not forget the members of the military who put their live’s on the line, that day, and every day. Who even, perhaps died, during your little tea party. Since you took the time out of not just your busy day, but mine and all Americans as well, and chose to get no work done at all during the hours of the reading of the Constitution, I propose that you should also not be paid for that time. After-all, most of us don’t get paid, when we don’t go to work. I would like to suggest, that you take the hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money, that was wasted on your combined salary and your overly privileged benefit package, and write a personal check out of your own bank account to the nearest homeless shelter or food bank that is in the closest proximity to your own private residence, in your home district. Further, I insist that you not mail this check, but rather under the power of your own two feet, using only public transportation, that you hand deliver this check. By yourself. No aides, no limos, and absolutely, no media.
Why is this such a big deal? Because while you were busy wrapping yourselves in the Constitution, you completely ignored the hard work and sacrifice, of the people who wrote it. Not to mention, the people you swore a solemn oath
 to represent. The men who wrote our Constitution, were stalwart men of of character, at time when those things meant something. One of those men, Benjamin Franklin, suggested that members of congress should actually receive no pay for their service. Merely reading the Constitution does not make you a better person or more qualified to lead this country. It does indicate that you prefer media attention over doing a solid days work. Your collective behavior is at best, reprehensible. More befitting a gang of common scoundrels, than that of esteemed leaders of a great and powerful nation. You know me, right? I am Veteran. I live below the poverty line, I pay taxes, and I vote!

Crack!

The deeper the passion,
the more resounding, the

crack,

when the hidden chasam finally opens.

That ominous, hideous, marvelous rumbling crescendo as the high mountain dam,

bursts.

Words, as free as the
once trapped waters, gushing, swirling,
violently crash onto the paper.