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Showing posts from April, 2017

Whose fault is it then?

Plan 30 years Ahead, Start Today

"Without community, politics is dead. But communities have been scattered like dust in the wind. At work, at home, both practically and imaginatively, we are atomised." George Monbiot Many experience politics as an external force, ruled from above. Politicians that understand this and realize we have been duped, and who want to create a relevant government, are viewed with cynicism and suspicion. It's as though graduation into adulthood means you understand this and any conversation about how to improve our collective lot will be met with derision.  "Extrinsic values such as power, fame and status" writes Monbiot, make love and peace redundant.   Monbiot offers  examples of how we might begin to rebuild our shared future: Community shops, development trusts, food assemblies (fresh food directly from local producers), community choirs, free universities where people exchange knowledge and skills in social spaces, time banking where neighbours give their time to …

Happy Easter

[The Resurrection] "teaches us that the oppressive systems of this world do not stand a chance against Love. It teaches us that you cannot nail Love down – we tried that once and it did not work." Rev. Mark Sandlin What is love? Generally love is attachment and can be interpreted in many ways. In the context of the resurrection of a beloved teacher, I believe, it is empathy and compassion. A call to know life around us, not just as labour for capitalism, a trainee for the military, or a consumer for business. The meaning of life is life itself and should be its own reward. A reverence for life does not oppress, or befuddle with sophistry, games and false hierarchy.

We are all related, so whatever hurts others hurts me too. I can see that I have a vested interest in the way humans are treated because I am also a human. This is clear with the threatened use  of nuclear weapons.

It Isn't Your Fault

It isn't your fault that systems have learned  how to manipulate you with false beliefs. 
It isn't your fault that patriarchy has learned how to kill  your brothers by making you their robots. 
It isn't your fault you vote for parties who promise wealth  but only for those at the top when you thought for all. 
It isn't your fault that rulers have philosophers, marketers, strategists  and weapons while you have only one vote. 
It isn't your fault the oppressors have learned all the tricks  to keep you coming back for more. 
It isn't your fault that those given the privilege to choose  life, invested only in control of a woman's body, 
while showing contempt for the needs of the beings born from that body. 
It isn't your fault your heart has been broken so many times it severed the link to your brain. 
It isn't your fault the highest public endeavour  has been turned into a 30 second commercial.

Inequality Threatens Core of Democracy

As Tommy Douglas used to say: “We must never underestimate our opponents; nor should we forget that the closer we come to reaching our objectives, the more vicious and forthright will their opposition become.”

Ed Broadbent warns we "must renew our commitment to a more equal society to head off the spreading of disenchantment with its resultant intolerance and nativism."

Intolerance and hatred is the goal of those who seek fleeting feelings of power because they are, or at least feel politically powerless. Their rage percolates beneath the surface until a rhetoric becomes more vicious and incites attacks such as the murder of six people in Quebec targeted for simply being Muslim.

Right wing fanning of intolerance and hate benefits the ruling elite who fear their privileges will be taken away. When emancipation of the masses becomes normal, new wars, restrictive policies and social chaos are the devices used to shut down democracy.

"We need to change the game. And we …

National Poetry Month III

Treasure Your Grief
Not like a piece of jewellery kept in a box but a scar across your face a house plant blooming where sun glares through a window.
Go back to that time— the sunny afternoon in the park you didn’t question your feelings sweeping you out from childhood to another’s body so close it enters like a possession a desire that doesn’t name itself
cut by fear this is how women are destroyed and you run away shut down the portal to pleasure as you will do again and again.
Go back to the image you hold onto the someday promised, this or this the girl who gives because she feels the movie star everyone wants but can’t have the radiant flesh, the brilliant idea all yours if you play your cards right not wrong. Right not left. Right not alone, starving or battered.
New dove, shapely, winged and wise, goddess poised on the edge of a mountain in the clouds ready to jump or fly to eternal glory

Why Do Civilizations Collapse?

What will become of America, Canada, Britain and other nations that are struggling with democracy as it slips into corruption, is a question I keep asking.

I look for answers anywhere and everywhere. George Monbiot, Chris Hedges, Naomi Klein,Thich Nhat Hanh, Jonathan Sacks,Unitarian Universalism and other writings.

Sacks' recent post from his newsletter Covenant and Conversation, gives us a concise overview of other civilizations that have come and gone. But the part I was most interested in was near the end of his essay. He writes that civilizations come to a point where there are so many problems they cannot fix them, so they look for sacrifices - symbolic or real. 
"Surely there is a lesson here for the Jewish people today: Plan generations ahead. Think at least 25 years into the future. Contemplate worst-case scenarios. Ask what we would do, if… What saved the Jewish people was their ability, despite their deep and abiding faith, never to let go of rational thought, and d…

God Is Not Gendered

I don't dare proclaim what God is, but I have a strong feeling for what  God is not.

Common assumptions of God being male, Christian and white seem like shallow affirmations for hegemonic social systems such as the divine right of kings. Certainly we humans have had no trouble creating deities that support, guide and root for our side.  However this is not only not enough - it is immature and deadly.

God is not a misogynist, a racist, a capitalist and a homophobe. God does not want us to be fashionably skinny and rich. God does not want us to tear children away from their parents, imprison them in residential schools then beat and rape them in order to teach them "about His love". God does not support nuclear weapons. God is not cruel, wanting us to flagellate ourselves for having desire. And God does not want us to go to war to kill all those whose faith is different from ours.

Just because history reveals a series of beliefs that contradict themselves for the sake of …

National Poetry Month II

Old Man in the Corner
In the dark corner of the bar  an old man crumpled in his seat can barely lift his glass —each pint gets heavier each day takes more to numb the pain.
He has given up trying to understand the source of his grief, the reason for his expulsion from a place, like joy, peace, or belonging. He knows like blood coursing through his veins he was robbed. Of what? His manliness? His hope? His tribe. He has lost his tribe. He has lost his job. And someone has to pay.
Yes he knows about NAFTA and the jobs that went to India and the slick talkers in suits cutting him loose from the plant and he knows like the knife in his stomach that they can’t be hurt, can’t be touched by anything he does.
And he can’t tell his buddies they have cut off his balls.
So when he screams get rid of all the others, he means those who are not like him and throughout his years of becoming a man <

National Poetry Month


Power is an obsession in the Fourth Estate.
What does it mean anyway in terms of your life?
In how we talk to each other?

What will it save you from?
The military, government, knowledge, love?
Each decade tells us what we think we need
is out of date.

Are we prisoners laying bricks for new prisons
trapped by words with limited definitions?
Shall we throw up our hands and say
that’s life isn’t it?

Even if we agree the problem is not our nature
but the way language keeps us from feeling and so
we declare war.

Against what? Hegemony?

Seems no matter what we choose
the rules of engagement have found a way
to win forever and we could endure oppression if it was fair ...

The word will not leave us or set us free.

We are thin sticks holding the ocean’s waves
in our small hands and our large conceit.
Strike out at anything, small or large,
and we strike against our willingness to surrender
to the infinite power we can’t control.

But what if I dared invent new words
like ‘th…