bring and borrow

I borrowed a teaspoon of your faith

I drank the shot of courage you handed me

I put that coin of belief in my pocket you lent me

I wear the scarf of courage you put around my neck

I put on the necklace of peace you brought me

I ate the kindness you prepared for me

I put on the shoes of comfort you gave me

so I can walk back into the world

When we can’t reach the water to sustain our souls

we need to bring it to each other

*my husband and daughter, Denver, CO*

speak

let what must be said

be said

said well

this is an age of twisted meanings

messages and narratives crafted

sly and secret campaigns of the mind

then so they always were

you’d like to see it black and white with that cult you’re in

not a shred of gray in that lovely little ideal world you imagine we came from

the imaginary one you wish to build again

but it ain’t so

you exploit the narrative for your own truth

it ain’t so, sister

your experts can fuss about with their talk

it helps you look away

I’m sorry for your hardness that seeks to put your fine little world in a bubble

it ain’t so

I will use my words

use them well

call out the abundant garbage that shape-shifts in your mind

try to have a bit of compassion instead of looking away

*the botanical garden, LA*

all is well

all is well

and very well is all

when I still find magic in the moon

snow seems to be a billion shattered diamonds

my feet can’t keep the boogie beat away and I begin to sway

the kiss of my man melts me like a marsh mellow on the flame

I’ve got a few souls on this earth who mean more to me than every dollar I will ever earn

words are exquisite, every one, placed carefully, turned over, wrought from inside a soul

all is well

and very well is all

*coast of Oregon*

there’s my line

a small child hasn’t been taught yet

that a human being’s status

can be defined by color of skin, class, caste

ability to articulate well

education

privilege

having the right genitals

a small child innately knows the whole world rests on the good of a small felt kindness, the warmth of protection, acceptance and giving of love, the importance of gentleness, (being young but) treated with respect

children unlearn this as they grow if other things seem to matter more

it is said that we are all made in the image of God

male and female in the image of God

it is said we see his fingerprints in the galaxies

I see them in kindness

I see his fingerprints in equality

I see them in those who lift others

I see his fingerprints in the minds of those who condemn the wretched wrongs

I see his fingerprints in those who call for justice, reject hate, fear and small mindedness

I feel his fingerprints when we give back power, strength and dignity to those it was stolen from

Christ said unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven

there’s my line in the sand

*RHINO, Denver*

Keep the faith

young people, keep the faith

though the walls of caste rise tall

with a whisper of hope they have been known to fall

let bitterness have no place, but gentle stubbornness replace

never rise to fate, let fate be subject to insurmountable determination

be who you are and let not others decide the translation of your life and place

rise above your circumstances and be a beacon for the right to justice and equality

look to those before you who walked this path of sacrifice to principles, larger than themselves

wear hope as your mantle, truth your helmet, keep kindness in your pockets, let justice be your shield, and fear not

*Mt. Bierstadt, CO*

Insurrection of 1/6/2021

you are sure that inroads into freedom will be erased

parapets will fall; crashing with the symbols of the state

blood of children running through the streets with God erased

you don’t wish to be erased

so you raise your voice to screaming pitch

amplify the fervor of your warnings

perhaps some will heed your call before the world is wiped away as kingdom comes

drums of distant apocalyptic anarchy are beating, beating, beating

names of Lenin, Stalin, Hitler bounce through clouds of keyboards and screens

your day of doom is the day I dance upon the grave of hate

I celebrate

*a naturalization ceremony in Denver, 2018*

Remembering Dr. King today

Today I remember the legacy of Dr. King who, though slandered and imprisoned, refused to give into hatred, who kept his heart open in the face of violence. He was strong, yet still soft. He stood up and spoke up with courage, love and truth to change the landscape of our nation. His legacy leaves me with faith and hope for all that is good in the world- and all that is good in others.

Peace

I want to be a hippie

I want to be a flower child

think only of the sun and stars

see flowers strewn in every frame

I want to feel only sunbeams

I want to hear the words of the wind

I want to say peace, peace, peace

let that mantra be enough

to carry me through the day

make all the ugly go away

I wasn’t born a hippie, though

while the beauty of a river heals my soul

it doesn’t last, alas

I find the old struggles of balancing love, kindness, mercy, and justice

waiting

*Salem, Oregon*

Awash

I see your hate

you are awash in it’s fate

I cannot rescue you from it’s end

my love did not end

but the words that you spew

have an end, there is an end

I will not swim in the racism

the polarization

you may not take my faith with your words and your hate

I am not bowed, I am not cowed

by your accusations

it is you who are drowning in the lies that you make

eating your hate

the things that you say DO NOT GO AWAY:

“and we found out George Floyd died of a drug overdose”

“Sandy Hook; actors”

“if you voted for Joe Biden you are a baby killer”

“the gays should burn like Sodom and Gomorrah”

“911; actors”

*RHINO, Denver*