Sunday, January 28, 2018

77 Years

 Random poem selection this year appears to have Hippie, Summer of Love theme...

There was miner's lettuce and plantain
    and dandelion growing
In parks and lawns
    and cracks in the sidewalks
And chamomile and fennel, nasturtium even
Peeking through someone's picket fence

Wild mother earth offered her bounty
But I wandered absent-minded and
    careless of food
Like a dreaming child

Wandering down Haight Street
Approached for some spare change
But I was fasting
Since I had no spare change anyway

But I laughed
When he said he was hungry

Wild Mother Earth laughed
As hungrily as a dreaming child
The street opened up
The cornucopia flowed, untended

University of the Street

Words stop the reality
My teacher panhandles me
The ancient plea

I am on a plain of grasses
A nomad makes hand-sign to me
    for a drink of water
Water belongs to the Earth
    to which I pretend guardianship

So I give it to him
Waters flow into his palms
which grow vibrant with wetness
I pass by quickly
    to go onto other business

If he survives
My teacher may put in a good word for me
With the Saints and administrators
If he dies before me
We will yet share the administration
    the responsibility, the guardianship
Of the land 

The Ancestors

The ancestors are with us tonight.
They sit laughing on the mountains.
They swing through silent forests on midnight wings.
They come in the form of bears.
Long-dead, extinct, alive in our totem heart of hearts.
They whisper when we need counsel,
Wondering at our fears.
The ancestors are after all, here.

They are with us tonight.
They bring old forms of poetry.
Writing it in wings of birds, leaves of trees beckoning
They show us how to call up memory.
they help us to forget what we cannot contain,
Knowing full well all memory will never die
In the subtle heart of the glorious beast.

We must remember, lest we forget:
We are the ancestors reborn.
The ancestors are here tonight.
Lest we forget, we are here.
The ancestors are alive and well.



Saturday, January 28, 2017

76 Years

San Jose 1996

random poem selection


Our heroes are coming back they say.
Our heroes are coming back to stay.
Soon flags will fly and drums will roll,
Our heroes will come to warm the soul
    of the Everyman in each of our hearts
    and give us the courage to play our parts
    in the great theater of life on the run
    growing and knowing you're the great man's son
        or daughter... we're happy with who we are

All our heroes are coming, we're now the bright Star
The future they fought for, the people we are.
We can call out their names, and call up their souls.
And what we're becoming, we probably all know.

For we are the children, the next Royal Guard
For what we've become now relates to the Bard
We'll dance on the dashboard, and sail in the win
We'll imitate bird's song, until our heart sings

Our heroes are coming... quite soon... never fear
We're learning and growing.  Fear not, we're all here.


Shall we sit crying
over milk spilt
in another time
another place
by other people?

Unfinished business
is just that, and can
be left on it's own
to recover or die
as it pleases.

I shall go wandering
with the cows
and gamboling with goats
fascinated by daisies.

And when those days come again
as they always must
when there is no milk
I will eat cheese
and praise the sun
for future promise
and fast on the
sight of lilies.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Next Century's Child

Last month marked the 6th anniversary of Jehanah’s passing.      Of course her friends and family remember her, and this blog continues to commemorate her life in pictures and poems. While we all need to eventually move on and recognize that this life is for the living, it can be grounding to pause for a moment once in a while to remember loved ones.
More and more these days I am cautious about feeding personal info to social media and commercial data aggregators, and I'm increasingly concerned about data security and privacy. Can you think of any unintended consequences of sharing your personal information with the Borg? And why is it that young people in the 21st Century don't care about personal privacy? Don't tell me you have nothing to hide. Well, just this once I want to share a personal story...
Earlier this year something amazing and unexpected emerged from the ether of the internet. The Jehanah blog apparently provided a trail of breadcrumbs to long-lost children of Jehanah. These children then confirmed what they suspected through a DNA match to my first cousin, provided by a common genealogy website. The match was further confirmed by facial recognition of each of the children.
The closed birth records system in Texas was supposed to prevent this from happening - and yet, just like systems everywhere - it has been disrupted! We have been identified and correlated through data aggregation and digital media. This is an unintended consequence that has made Jehanah's dearest wish come true.
Jehanah was forced to put two daughters up for adoption in her early life, long before she conformed to the normal societal role of Midwestern bleach blonde housewife. She spent a lifetime trying to recover from and make sense of this trauma, and we know that she made a lot of progress. Jehanah had always hoped to find her lost babies one day, but I’m sure she never could have imagined how the story would play out.
When her daughter and grand-daughter found us, we became acquainted through email and text messages over the course of several weeks. I wanted to meet them in person, and took a trip to visit them in their home state of Texas in October. Though I don’t fully know their impressions of our short visit (I was on my best behavior), I found them to be beautiful people, and I felt as though we had known each other for a long time.
The second long-lost daughter lives on the East Coast. She found Mom and had the opportunity to meet her back in 1988. She and I have corresponded and been good friends over the years, though I have only seen her three times in the last 28 years.