This kneeling for the anthem row is ridiculous when facts are considered.
“The flag is a symbol of this country and all that it stands for.” There is a lot that this country stands for that is horrible:
On the race issue, blacks make up 10% of the US population is black, yet blacks comprise 40% of the prison population. The US prison system houses 25% of the prisoners in the world, meaning that 12.5% of the worlds prisoners are black Americans.
Some 53% of convictions are for non violent crimes such as petty drug possession. Drug use is a persons choice with their own body–others may not like it or approve of it, but that doesn’t change the fact that we are disallowed personal freedom of choice on a daily basis. It is legal, however, to take some of the most insidious compounds known to man because they’re prescribed by a “doctor,” or to drink ourselves dead and fill our bodies with “approved” poisons sold in every store and fast food restaurants, which lead to more grave health issues and deaths than illegal drugs.
The entirety of the US economy is designed to favor the wealthy, with lower tax rates and giant tax rebates for corporations, as well as ridiculous government subsidy. It’s to the point that farmers who benefit from subsidies on corn (80% of the corn grown in the US is inedible, and a large portion of that is plowed under because the subsidies pay better than the harvest) and tobacco, for example, then turn around and scorn those on public assistance, sitting right alongside corporate fat cats– who pay lower tax rates than the majority of Americans– who do the same.
Our military budget is larger than that of the next 11 countries combined, yet we have not had a direct foreign threat of any magnitude on US soil since the Spanish American war, which the US started over greed.
Citizens of this country are, by and large, more interested in getting the swank new iPhone and tripping over what celebrity got plastic surgery last than with the marginalization of others. “I’ve never had any problem with cops,” people say. That’s great, for you. For the average minority it is simply not the case.
It’s too far into the present now to say simply that the imbalance is created by “cultural differences.” When the system is designed to put more of one race in prison, the “cultural differences” are foisted upon them. When a person can do life without parole for petty drug possession or petty theft, and the sentencing of minorities is most often harsher than that of whites, there is a problem.
–note: I’m not even going bother chiming in on health care issues.–
So the big issue here comes from “disrespecting the flag and what it stands for.” For millions of people in this country the flag stands for hatred, slavery, subjugation, duplicity, hypocrisy, ignorance, fear and murder. And before anyone says, “if anyone doesn’t like it they have the right to leave,” let me just say that this viewpoint is completely dismissive, diversionary, and ignorant to the actual facts of traveling–especially expatriation.
So, basically, the honor of an inanimate object is more important to many than the honor of an individual, or justice in general. “America” is not a country which stands for freedom or justice, it “just plays one in TV.”
This kneeling for the anthem row is ridiculous when facts are considered.
The fields of auric cereals dance in the summer breeze.
The skies are brimmed and teaming with undulating billowy blackness which gives way to grey and white and patches of blue.
A prisoner could be I perceived,
Or a corpse, in a steel casket meandering its way through this countryside,
But though for the uninitiated this they see,
My voyage, rife with blessing and hardship, shall never I deride.
I am not a prisoner, but a noble, borne upon the strength of fire breathing dragons which pull along my carriage.
As in myth and whimsy a young Pendragon united the disparate kingdoms of the land,
Or our David, brave and belovèd of the Holy One, unified different clans within his hand,
So too am I a king in gestation, waiting for time and place to emerge,
My kingdom is the world and my banner is love,
My buckler the blessing which streams from above,
Which allows me to tap a well of strength
When the world chooses darkness and I the light,
And gives me the power to, at great length,
Continue to love and to lovingly fight.
ive been having a bit of a bad day since I woke up not feeling well this morning. A friend said when this happens to him, he reads my poetry and it helps.
I wrote the poems, so the same doesn’t work for me–but I can write.
I don’t usually name my poems, but obviously, I did this one.
He was a mighty king, and he knew it. His effect was felt in all eight directions, throughout his kingdom.
It was his very existence that kept his subjects awake, alive and thriving, and the unique light which he shone was indispensable to the world–just as for each person who inhabits it.
Every morning, he blushed at his renewed duty to his subjects, and he felt himself the luckiest in the universe to have such an obligation. Truly, he was different from all others in this respect, as obligation was to him not a burden, but a joy, and he would rise with the crow of the cock to greet each morning with intensity and vigor.
Each day, when he reached the height of his majesty, he would begin to shrink back–little by little upon his throne–and the longing would begin. He longed for more time in the day, he longed for better conditions for his subjects, he longed for them to be happier with their days; but mostly, he longed for his queen, who had departed from him long ago.
Wished, had he, that she would stay, but she was blinded by his radiance. She felt, constantly, that she could never reach her full potential with a king so brilliant and loved, so late one night she left a note to her love.
“My dearest sweet and loving king,
Too long have I languished in your shadow.
I do not wish that you should bring
Upon me pain and sorrow for thou art great,
Noble and fair and I feel that with this ring
Have I at once given seal to my blessed fate,
But my dearest wish I ever to lovingly sing
Of the blessings which I shall surely rate
Within our life or without is all the same,
There are things that coupling cannot give
And wish I to hearken to mine own name
And in death of our union to truly live!”
What a horror he must be, thought the king, for his one truest love to wish to depart from him. How could he have been so blind to let it be unseen to his own eyes that within his life she could not live?
And so, every night from the point of the letter and onward, the king would die, and in the morning be reborn.
And every night from the point of his death, his queen would rule in his absence, her unique light spreading far and wide, and giving respite from the sun of the day, as well as well as a silvery glow in which the romantic could play.
A perfect arrangement it was not as shown, but to die as oneself for the sake of your love to live,
truly a greater love has never been known.
The spire of luminaries beckoned to us and sparked our curiosity–what did it look like up close? So in we piled to two cabs and proceeded in our ascent of the mountain. Armed with the aperitif of the barley and the cactus, we charted our course for the unknown.
It was already well past midnight when we arrived. The lights had been, to our dismay, extinguished upon the antique edifice.
In a turnout of the meandering road we drank, talked, sang, and walked–we danced and joined our souls in a ballet of joyful, if inebriated, light, in an attempt to replace those which no longer shone from the church.
Overhead in that tranquil vault, stars shot across the heavens, recalling to us the initiation of all that was and is. Upon the vegetated earth, was a stirring…into our field of view came a wild sow, startling us with her subtleness as well as reputation.
The church itself was closed to visitors, so after inspecting the situation Ismael and Khalil heralded the way around so that we could go up atop the building, and from there gaze out upon the beauty of Barcelona at night.
In a few hours, we would descend upon a playground and, afterward, into a private train carriage who’s sole purpose was to carry us down the hill to regain our habitations. For this brief window of time, however, we seven would find ourselves kings and queens of a night so uniquely ours that there could be no duplication.
The nightclub was what you may expect: overcrowded, overpriced, overvalued, and unable to deliver. From the Apolo, however, to the beach was an easy issue on the skateboard.
The early morning air was delightfully cooler than what had been in the previous day, and with the absence of sun there was no reproachment from nature–as if nature suggested the swapping of day and night for human activity.
Along the promenade, I met four friends and we walked together, eventually resting with an Australian guitar player, as I sang to his accompaniment and we pulled more passersby in for an impromptu street party.
Saying our goodbyes, we continued toward the beach.
There in the great sea, I watched as the rising sun just peaked over the horizon, casting brush strokes of a brilliant crimson to contrast the blue-silver flicker of the waters surface. There, wearing not a stitch and floating in the primordial spirit of the water, no thoughts and all were united in grand synchronicity.
This stone is what will recall this moment in time for the rest of my days.
Lunch was served on the piazza of a small restaurant, along an alley in a quiet section just away from the bustling tourist centre of Montpellier.
The poet returned his pen and paper to his attaché, as he prepared his table once again to be eaten from. Nothing, however, could prepare him for the cacophony of flavour, the utter symphony of sumptuousness which awaited him.
As he placed the first tender morsel of salmon and spinach in his mouth, he savoured it’s perfection with rapturous enjoyment. He closed his eyes as a choir of angels sang an aria to the Master of the Universe, the Endless One, the Holy One who had blessed him to be at this place, in this moment.
Perhaps he could be fortunate to find again the same restaurant again, but the sustenance would never be the same, the singular moment of perfection having passed, and all others becoming simply a substitute, an interpretation, or a poorly drafted and misshapen twin of that impossibly delectable moment plucked from the sea of creation, for which no compliment could suffice.
So, eyes closed and recording every jot and tittle of inscription into the book of life that he had thus far been fortunate to view, he for once held a vast appreciation for the artist who had created such an incomprehensible perfection, with the simple name of “lasagna,” as if it were sufficient enough to describe its qualities, and he basked in the glory that was the moment–that single second within time which marked the breath between that which was and that which had been or will be.
I’m having a hard time readjusting to being in the U.S. Partly this is due, I’ve no doubt, to the shear lack of responsibility and obligation that I had on my trip, but there seems a much different energy as well. I am very grateful to see my kids and friends again, I just maybe wish we could all be “over there” instead of here.
Maybe this is one reason I didn’t like the UK as much as spain and Italy. Although he Brits seem to be much more social, it’s still a culture similar to the U.S.
In contrast, the italian and Spanish culture and society seems to be more about a healthy balance of work and play. That’s the way I am as well. I work to live, as opposed to the other way around. I live in a small house (which is still too large much of the time), I don’t have AC except in my bedroom, and had I not had my friend staying here in the house while I was gone I probably wouldn’t even have installed that unit before I left. I cook with basic ingredients, in a basic kitchen, without all the fancy appliances and gadgets. In the grocery store yesterday, I was very happy to choose the spanish option in the self check line. This is something I’ve done before as well, but it was comforting to me this time.
As I look around my house, I feel it’s time for a change. Often I feel like changing careers as well, but then a job comes up in which I end up making a lot of money in a short time, and I question my logic!
I would like to use public transportation more, skateboard around more, and drive less. Unfortunately, the public transportation infrastructure here is almost nonexistent, I can’t afford to live closer to the city center–and even if I could, there are services still unavailable within walking distance–and in the states everything is so spread out that nothing seems to be convenient to anything else.
I don’t know what the solution is, I just wanted to write, I guess, about what it has been like for me these last couple of days back in the US.
She was told that she shouldn’t do it.
It was the one thing that was truly forbidden. Was the Creator within her? Was the serpent as well? She knew not, and neither did she care. Still, she had to know, and couldn’t rest until she did. It ate at her, nibbled in minuscule chunks like a mouse consuming a wheel of cheese. So she devoted herself to making it happen, to making the fruit that had been forbidden part of her knowledge of the world.
What the serpent didn’t tell her, was that the very same fruit that had been forbidden her was in fact the perfect fruit for sustaining beautiful life. For what is a life without knowledge of both good and evil? It is a hollow existence, devoid of flavor, and exuding only the basics of sustenance–even if only for a time, such would be a torturous affair, but in immortality?
Warned had she been not to eat of it, but unable to resist its allure, she did as she pleased. To her mingled horror and satisfaction, she found that the trophy which she had attained was everything she had ever hoped it would be. She longed for its flavor upon her pallet, thirsted for its nectar in her soul–for its nectar, ahhhh…it was an elixir of the tranquil universe for her tired musings–and smelled its fragrance everywhere. And she submitted to her desire over and again until finally, in glutinous reverie, after finding all she had searched for, she pushed away at its perfection.
For anything that seems too good to be true, she reasoned, must be, and so she ambled off dazedly, hoping to find once again the thrill of victory she felt in at last ripping into the fruit after which she had quested for so long. Once she had wandered away, however, the gates to this paradise closed. Although she wanted to return, she had not the faculties, and so onward through the realms of existence she moved, but never was she to find such perfection again. Never would she be as pleased as she had found herself in this many layered fruit’s meat. Forever did she experience a phantom of its aromatic perfection–her favorite smell–a hint of its simply perfect flavor, and the texture and fullness it imparted upon her in such brevity as she experienced. And never would the memory alone suffice.
The best response against doubters, is to kick life’s butt in spite of them.
Be the best you possible…
Don’t let mistakes–big or small–keep you from succeeding…
See temporary “failure” as a stepping stone to greater success–if we never fall, we can never learn to get up…
Every day (moment, really) is a new chance at life, extract from the past that which helps you advance, discard the rest, you really don’t need that weight holding you down…
Treat that which you see as failure as success in disguise…
Enjoy and do your best to be thankful (I know it can be hard to do) every minute, even the lousy ones. In fact, be especially grateful for the lousy ones, for without them the good moments of life would pass without notice.