A Reflection on Juneteenth

Crimes unimaginable

Sins unfathomable

Wrongs not righted

With an apology,

A soft word,

Or the stroke of a pen.

Pain to the deepest parts

Of the heart and soul,

The very fiber of one’s being,

A wound that doesn’t heal,

But rather cuts deeper

With every smile,

Every handshake,

On every pay day,

Every trip to the grocery store,

Every night at mealtime,

When they look at their children,

When they look at ours.

Privilege continues

Despite the lip service,

Despite the promises,

Amidst the meager gifts,

The dregs of easy charity

From the tatters of a bursting purse,

The guilt trip laid on thick

To the middle class and even

The working poor.

Those that lack for food,

Clothing or shelter,

Living barely day to day,

Not knowing where one’s next

Meal will come from.

And at the church the preacher

Says try harder, pray more,

Save your dollars

So you can send your little ones

To a good college,

Make them study,

Keep them out of trouble,

Tell them you love them,

That you’re proud of them

For that report card.

What do you say

When the white kid

Calls them the n-word?

What do you say

When you don’t have a job

Because you refused

To kiss your supervisor’s butt

When he would talk to you

Like you were nothin’,

Just a cog in his machine,

A disposable, replaceable,

Optional, neglectable,

Insultable, disrespected,

Used, abused, tossed out

To the street

Like so much garbage,

Black man?

Power

Wrong meets right.

The fight is strong.

Laugh, they will.

Cry out, they must.

Shout, at the top of their lungs—

Justice must prevail.

So many innocent lives

Have been crushed by the fist

Of the oppressor!

So many suffer

Because of the greed

And the arrogance

Of the powerful.

The powerful?

Who is powerful?

What is power?

Don’t you know that

The wind has changed course

On this hot, dry day.

The wind! The water!

The earth! The animals!

The birds! The insects!

The trees! Yes, even the trees!

Look at an old oak tree,

And tell me about power!

Look at a rushing stream,

And tell me about power!

Watch a lion kill its prey,

And tell me about power!

Is a gun, power?

In the hands of a six year old, a gun is just as powerful as in the hands of a grown man!

A gun is just a tool.

It’s what you do with a tool

That makes it useful.

It’s what you do with a tool

That makes it powerful.

And when a thousand voices scream,

That’s power!

When the people speak as one,

That’s power!

Don’t be afraid.

Be excited!

Be joyful!

Be glad!

For power has come to the people,

And they will not be denied this moment.

They have prayed,

And they have worked,

And they have suffered

For this moment.

Listen to the wind blow

Through the trees!

Justice has come like a mighty rush of wind,

And anything that’s old, anything that’s weak,

Anything that’s not tied down tight,

Is gonna blow away!

Those old tricks, old ways,

Cowardly words, weak attitudes,

Straw men beware!

The wind of justice has come to blow you…

Away!

We the Church

Cross swinging from a chain? Sitting in church every Sunday? Giving to the church? Teaching Sunday School? What makes a Christian? As if that matters anymore. The world has written us off as elitist, racist, oppressive, unwelcoming, manipulative, money grabbing, ignorant, delusional…the list goes on. When will we realize that inside we are all the same? Mexican, Russian or African; Christian, Muslim or Jew. Or whatever. We all want to be safe, secure and part of a loving community. Maybe we need to do away with religion so we can concentrate on the spiritual. Love is the common bond for all of us.

Perfection

Intimate numbing of the minds a creative

Return to the clock strikes early too much

Peanut butter toast will fill your belly on

Old bread, but whole grain, mind you, if

The body strikes the notch skill might

Let’s go fishing from the pier at the back

Of our most scary imagination in the spot

Where we throw it all in the blender we

Hope something good will come of it but

Nothing ever does we keep on, not quite

Realizing the insanity of it all, the tiny bit

Morphs into the demon on your shoulder,

It clings, it sings, it whispers things that

Might disturb you, with a healthy set of

Wings, in a life of purity, of paradise, of

No stress or money. So, what do you do,

In this new found string of past times and

Experiential happenings, a couple stings,

For the family winged way to perfection

In the Light

It must be nice, to wear whatever fits,

And still look spectacular.

It must be nice, to show yourself off

To the rest of the world, for any excuse.

How does it feel, to be used for your body,

Treated like an object, a toy, a decoration?

We’re all pulled in, to believe the lies

About beauty and happiness.

Solomon had every woman around,

Being a king, with power and wealth.

But he concluded that having it all

Is meaningless, just an ego trip.

If you want happiness, look inside.

You’ll find a hurting child,

Desperate for attention, love and value.

Then take that child by the hand.

Lead her to the safety, security,

Wisdom and healing power

Of a loving Father, who does not judge,

But forgives, and will hold her

In his arms, until she cries it all out,

And then starts to trust him,

A little more each day, through all

The storms of life that come.

She will be ready, for she will know,

The battle is the Lord’s, not hers.

She only has to trust him,

And walk in his light.

In Whom Am I Rooted?

1.

Roots are meant to hold a tree up,

But as they age, with more limbs

And leaves, the roots take on another

Purpose, as well. The roots begin to hold

A tree down, not because it might fly up,

But because the tree may topple over,

With all the additional weight.

2.

So, my roots are important, as a part
Of my foundation, including

The people who have sought me out,

To give me support, to love me,

In my time of need,

My friends and family,

Reminding each other of all that’s been,

And the hope that exists

Based on all of my unique strengths.

3.

So, I’ve had to take a couple steps back,
To relearn some life lessons,

And to venture out again

With newfound strengths,

Realizing I have gained so much,

Over the years.

4.

And then there’s God,
A broken relationship,

From a long time ago,

A fearful one at best,

But one easily ignored, to a point.

As a child of God,

Now I’m listening to my life,

And now I seek him out,

As he has always sought me out.

5.

In holy places,

Full of those who love God’s children,

I’ve heard God say,

“Do you want to be healed?”

And, then,

“Who do you say that I am?”

I ponder in my heart,

These very true questions.

For how long have I run from the truth?

And how many times have I denied,

Who and what he is,

God incarnate,

Come to take away the sins of the world?