Friday, June 28, 2013

Justice, Rights, Freedoms: in the Name of God!

Edward Snowden has turned the world upside down. Or have the leaders turned ethics upside down? Is black -white , truth-a lie, heroism-betrayal? Who are the traitors and who are the heros? What are our rights anyway when you have no rights the moment you walk into your employer's building?

Who does one stand with if one's government has violated its own laws and then denies it? What do those who "spill the beans" so to speak have to gain? All is muddied water. Clarity is needed. But what if you are born in a time without being able to see truth, a time when ethics don't really hold much sway, when success, power and money are the God to worship? What do you do if those who profess to be looking out for and praying for humanity (Christians) are lost in the abyss following the blind?

Then they will all fall in the ditch. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. Can you see the difference? Do you care? Here is my prayer.

Oh Christ, I cannot fathom all your ways,
When those parade your name and speak of peace
Yet war they bring for profit then betray
The ones who fight, who die, who pray surcease.
Oh do you listen to these war lords when
They pray increase to all their treasuries?
Oh do you grant them happiness, defend
Them from opponents and their enemies?
Those who uphold our freedoms and our rights
The tyrants see as chaff to be destroyed.
They call them traitors see them as a blight
On global plans elite groups have deployed.
Oh God of righteousness is justice slain?
Help us return to justice in Your Name.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mothers Missing Children: A Prayer

Lion of the Tribe of Judah
This poem is in remembrance of Louwana Miller who never gave up hope that her daughter Amanda Berry was alive. The mother died before she could be reunited with he daughter in the flesh. However, her prayers and the prayers and faith of others kept Amanda Berry, Georgina Lynn DeJesus and Michelle Knight alive and brought them back to their loved ones after 10 years.

For all the mothers who are missing children and praying for their return, this sonnet is for you.

               Mother's Day Prayer

Despite all darkness, loneliness and pain,
My prayers continually search through  space and time
To penetrate thick walls and cut through chains
That block escape, destroy your will and mind.
Trust God, His strength. Accept His soul embrace
As it ignites your powerful spirit life,
Against all physical harm that would disgrace
Your pride, oppress you with its hateful strife.
Be firm within, determined, hopeful, strong.
You know we'll find their dark and secret shore
From clues they've left. We'll right this unjust wrong
"Assured!" Lion of Judah* triumphant, roars!
Have faith! Impossibility with man,
Is possible with God, the great "I AM!"

*Lion of the Tribe of Judah is a Biblical reference to Christ. Please note that the lion Aslan in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe represents Christ. C.S. Lewis has stated his lion is a reference to Christ and discussed this with individuals who questioned him about it. Liam Neeson most probably isn't familiar with C.S. Lewis' writings on Christian apologetics.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Gore Vidal: In Memoriam

It is about four months from a year since Gore Vidal's death. His impressions of the country would certainly not have changed. I can't help but think that the body of work he has left is worthy of study in campuses across the nation. Connected with political science, culture and history, his was a patrician voice, but he spoke for the people who could not speak for themselves. He was a paradoxical combination of elite and everyman. I wrote the sonnet right after his passing. Now, I've added "Notes and Impressions." I'm glad his words resonate to chide this nation. Is anyone listening?
Vidal's second memoir
Acerbic, vitriolic, searing words,
In you fermented, then poured out, a draught
Of wine. We sipped refreshed, the wisdom heard.
It quenched our ravaged souls and spirits wrought.
We culturally dispossessed? You raised us high.
Redeemed our history's worth with wit and grace,
And literary gifts none could decry.
Your genius ne'r could Truman* er' displace. 
Self-described emotionally cold were you
Patrician, righteous, prophet of the age,
To Buckley calumnious, to Mailer crude,
Tiresias: forthright, just, a humorous sage.
Your writings live, though Death choked off your time.
You lived a maverick's life, one of a kind.

*Truman Capote. Vidal and Capote often knifed each other's work or person with serrated sarcasm 


I read a good deal of Vidal, his American Empire series from soup to nuts beginning with Burr and ending with The Golden Age, the seventh and last historical novel in the series. But I was introduced to Vidal much earlier in my teen years when I saw him being interviewed on TV a frequent guest of talk show hosts. Unfortunately, I missed the spectacular program with Vidal, Mailer and another guest on the Dick Cavett Show which I read about later in Cavett's wonderful Talk Show. I thought he was witty then, but didn't come to appreciate his great talent for word craft until much later after I read his two memoirs and then moved on to his essays, the empire series and Julian. He was incredibly prolific. I saw The Best Man on Broadway last year, twice, and regretted that I never worked hard enough to get an opening night ticket in the hopes of being able to speak with him to tell him how much I appreciated the gift he had given Americans with his empire series, an iconic history of the country seen through his eyes and in great measure neither accepted nor acknowledged by many historians. 
Vidal was a beautiful young man.
However, Vidal could care two hoots about them and their traditional and non investigative approach to the study of this nation's glory and infamy. Vidal was edgy, calculating and unafraid to peel back the onion to arrive at the meat of what was often an ugly core of colonialism, paternalism and corruption which he laughed at with a bitter, sardonic irony that revealed the child-like hope he still held for this nation which never lived up to or embraced the best part of itself or its ideals. In many ways he was the last political intellectual, uncompromising and undaunted in his outlook at what he noted was the growing oppression of freedom of thought and the burgeoning of the corporate-political fascist state. He was our voice, he was our conscience. And who shall take his utterly American place? I shudder to think of it. RIP, Gore Vidal. You were a professed atheist, but God loved you and loves you for His magnificent creation who like Jesus' Nathaniel within whom there was no guile. And if you were not true to yourself? You were brazen enough not to let on that you may not have cared.

In his last years, stentorian, a statesman who mellowed ever so slightly.