It’s All a Game Over Here

It’s All a Game Over Here

A Poem of Polarization

By Jane Tawel

October 2019

For the Hopeful and Hopeless both here and there.

75951a51584221.5908d05a6bcdb

“Flat Flags” by Paulo Capdeville licensed under CC by NC-ND-4.0

 

 

 

It’s all a game about winning,

Over here on this side of the pond.

And I wonder if you,

On that side of the blue,

(Whether you call it “mundo” or “monde”),

Have been led to believe

It’s alright to deceive,

Or if you, like I do, feel quite conned?

 

We’ve decided that athletes are all gods.

We treat senators like they are kings.

The fools entertain us,

While corporate crooks rein us.

Heaven’s reign’s in the void,

 With Earth’s greed on steroids;

And the preachers’ idolatry pains us.

 

I wonder if there you feel hopeless;

As I sometimes do under my flag?

Or do you feel the same onus,

To try not to vomit or gag?

 

If we’re going to make this world different,

To not play the game,

To swallow our pride,

to not aim for fame;

then it’s time to decide.

We can’t keep on ignoring life’s current,

Will we bet on the horses

Who keep Caesar’s stable?

Or invite all the needy

To dine at our tables?

 

I wonder if you too, can’t pledge to your flag,

When the world just keeps filling with more body bags?

I wonder if you’re tired of games that destroy,

The planet for Future’s small girls, beasts, and boys?

I wonder if over there, over the sea,

If you too would rather be choosing, with me,

Some new games, and new roles, and new consequences,

And a way to build more homes, not more cement fences.

 

Over here I want new ways of seeing each other,

Not on teams, but as families, like sisters and brothers.

Over here, it’s all rah-rah, and yay-yay for teams,

But I’m hoping that we who still dream greater dreams,

Won’t care about winning or losing and such,

Because in the end, games won’t matter that much.

 

When The Augurs regain

What the childish teams drained,

And the new world has gained, what’s now lost;

All those who bought and sold.

will lose all, to those bold

Enough to live for only soul-stuff.

 

And when those never picked

by the tricksters and slick,

those who captained the teams in first-class;

then the first shall be last

and all teams will have passed,

and the last, to the top will be flipped.

.

When Three only remain,

With Love ruling again,

With no flags left to fly

Then I hope you and I

Will no longer, ask, “Why?”

But instead hand in hand,

We will make a new land,

where the meek all are owners.

No more hungry. No loners.

We will all share our dreams

Without hate or extremes.

For those old teams, you ask?

  It’s Game Over.

Advertisements

Until We Fly – a poem

Until We Fly

by Jane Tawel

September, 2019

 

When we go

How slow

How fast

Nothing changes

Nothing lasts.

 

This life

like sleet, it

does not stick, it’s–

so fleeting.

 

The heat melts,

and melds with cold

The heart stays young

But body and mind grow old.

 

Death parades us

like the trained

Animals we are.

Reality, feigned us,

until–

We fly with stars.

 

depositphotos_179011628-stock-video-abstract-background-flying-stars-alpha

In Nature — A Poem

 

IMG_5433

 

 

In Nature

By Jane Tawel

September 2019

 

 

IMG_5281

In figs and pears

You oft appear,

And like the rose,

You rose

Despite the thorns.

 

 

What all I lack

In yon lilacs,

I find the glory;

As morning glories

Seek the same

Of the sun.

 

 

I too find rest,

Forever blessed

In The Son.

In bird and song

And honey bee throng

Like sparrows tended

By Your strong hand,

In sky and earth

In seas and land

You reign, You reign, You reign. . .

 

 

And like the rain

You fall on all

To grow the good

Among the weeds.

In winter mulch

Alive, all, much,

New life.

First, we die

Then rise to bloom.

Temporal as a weed,

But as The Rose of Sharon,

In death with You,  Eternal.

IMG_5432

 

An Orphan Seeking The Great Spirit

An Orphan Seeking The Great Spirit

By Jane Tawel

June 9, 2019

 

I felt adrift at home within

Without, I felt a loss.

America’s vast greedy sins

Revealed themselves as dross.

 

I thought I might find Shangri-La

In Canada’s vast reaches,

But going there I saw it doesn’t practice

What it preaches.

 

I thought I’d fall in love with Spain,

But everywhere folk suffer pain,

One only has to take a glance

At England, Russia, China, France,

To see the world is wide and deep

In anger, sorrow, deeply steeped;

And looking through one’s foundling glasses

Does not make greener any grasses.

 

The Wise Ones counsel seeking Truth,

But don’t show where to find it.

I’ve spent long years just gathering clues

Now Spirit and Love must bind it.

 

It’s only inner peace combined

With outer love and open mind,

For Heaven on earth must find its start

Within a human’s contrite heart.

 

Oh, Great One Who created us,

Forgive our pillage of the Earth.

Please heal the hatred we have stoked,

Against our own and foreign folks.

Help me to find the narrow path,

So as not to incur Your wrath.

No matter where I live or roam,

Help me to treat the earth as home.

And may I live another day,

To follow The Great Spirit’s Way.

I offer You, my paltry best,

So, one day I may find my rest,

Not here in any temporal plain,

But in the Havens of Your Reign.

 

Until that day when I return

To dust and all the waste-lands burn

And world from World at last resumes

A safe, clean distance from The Doom.

When Mother Earth, reborn to life,

With no more evil, no more strife,

Will virginal, regain Her course,

Forever wed to Great Life Force.

 

Away from Earth’s small gratitudes,

I’ll seek the light, and love, and truth

Of The Great Spirit, Creator, God

And I shall humbly be awed,

By places, people, beings, times,

And through my feeble, awkward rhymes,

I’ll offer praise for all and All,

that spins around on this vast ball.

 

My heart is tender-footed.

My yearning is unwise.

You, Spirit of the Ages,

Please open my dark eyes.

Engage my hands to service,

In healing and in hope.

Accept this wandering orphan,

And purify my soul.

IMG_5606

IMG_5824

So Easy to Mourn on Paper – a poem

 

 

 

So Easy To Mourn on Paper

By Jane Tawel

May 16, 2019

It’s so easy to mourn on paper.

Send a card,

Say a prayer,

Give a thought,

Act like you care.

 

It’s so easy to mourn at a distance;

Read the morning news,

Write a post,

Hop on the back

Of a famous quote.

 

The hard way comes with changing–

Just yourself,

Maybe the world,

Digging deep for

Love’s hidden pearls.

 

The difficult path is narrow.

Pretend their shoes you wear;

Not thoughts and prayers,

But sorrow.

 

It’s so easy to mourn on paper,

Where ink not ashes are worn.

But to mourn and die like a Savior,

Means to be completely reborn.

To cry like a little baby,

In need of a Great Big Daddy,

Is to know the day’s dark tragedy,

And a broken world’s true gravity.

 

But Oh! My soul connected

To Christ’s mourning

Is then resurrected,

By the hope of a God who mourns with us,

So that one day, we shall rise like Jesus.

 

It’s so easy to mourn on paper,

As a poet, oh, don’t I know it.

But to mourn with suffering others

Yes, strangers, yet somehow

 my sisters and brothers;

to not dry my eyes,

  but to weep by their sides

is at least one small stride,

In reducing my pride.

 

Blessed are those who cry

And cry,

And cry,

with those who cry,

“Save us, Adonai!”

 

For the long path of grief,

Goes a short way towards new life.

A baby is not born alive,

Unless The Physician hears cries.

Each day my rebirth

In The One who loved Earth,

Enough to bring life

To our sorrow and strife,

Will give my sad heart

Like a child, a new start.

And with that first breath and first weeping sight,

I breathe in God’s truth, God’s love, and God’s light.

 

If I die with Him

And mourn with them,

then

In that final morning

I will wake — no more mourning!

What a life that will be

When joy is so easy.

 

So God, help me today

And hereafter, each morning

To heed your Word’s warning

To do, not just say,

To act, not just pray,

To love, not just pen,

For enemy, and friend.

 

Like a baby just born,

Please God, help me to mourn;

To spread love of The Brother,

Christ, Who, like a mother,

Wept for us all.

For, we, After The Fall,

Had so lost our way,

That The Christ had to pay

For our lives, on the Cross.

So that all we have lost,

Through our sin and sorrow,

May just as the Christ,

Be restored on that  ‘morrow,

When tears are all dried,

And with Him we will rise.

 

Ah, Lord, help me to weep,

With a God who still seeps

Life through the pages

And through all the ages,

In The Word and The words,

in the flowers and birds,

in the fields and the stars,

and in each beating heart,

of Your children, boys and girls,

throughout the whole world.

 

Lord,  in You

Our love be made whole,

So that we may be holy.

Lord, in You,

Our words be true,

That we may be like You.

Lord, in You,

Our paths be straight,

So we may be healed from hate.

Lord, in You,

May our strengths be bound,

So that in You, our joy is found.

Lord, in You,

our mourning make blessed,

So, we may be resurrected.

 

It’s so easy to mourn on paper,

But so hard to do on Christ’s rood.

Yet, it’s only through blood

There is life from Above.

So no matter how crude,

I will suffer with you,

And in mourning

Will learn how to love.

 

gfOaZDflSMWwipSmmBmJ_matt-collamer-555626-unsplash-750x490

Resurrection is a Threat, Not a Promise

Resurrection is a Threat, Not a Promise

Shared Thoughts of Julia Esquivel and  Parker Palmer

from Jane Tawel

April 13, 2019

guatemala_volcano_37878_c0-241-5760-3599_s885x516

 

It seems a “good” time to share once more excerpts from this poem by Guatemalan Poet, Julia Esquivel.  This poem, written as witness to the horrors inflicted on the people of Guatemala in the 1970’s and 1980’s, is now perhaps even more tragically relevant to us in this place at this time. Who are we in light of this current onslaught of naked need?  I include as well, a short meditation on this poem by Parker Palmer from The Active Life.

If we are not being threatened with resurrection today, and especially if we are the sort of people who are still planning on celebrating the upcoming Good Friday and Easter / “Resurrection Sunday”, perhaps we still don’t really “get” this whole Christ thing? Perhaps we don’t even get this whole Human thing? To paraphrase Palmer, “If we are to take seriously those who complete their own “marathon of hope”, The Christ’s calling, perhaps we too must undergo some form of dying.” I fear and feel deeply and spiritually that if we do not, join the “least of these”, the lost, the poor, the sojourners and needy, in, as Esquivel writes, this “marathon of hope”, we will never reach “the finish line which lies beyond death”.

I hope you will read Ms. Esquivel’s searing poem and I hope, as I am, you will be threatened by it.   Resurrection is not a promise for believing in Christ’s life, my friends, it is a threat for those willing to die with Him. The King of The World lived not in the safety and cushy-capitalistic “Christianity” of my lifetime, but in the threatening and threatened world of self-imposed poverty and outcast status of the Judeo-Roman last century B.C. Jesus has threatened us with these words:  “For as you have done it unto the least of the world’s humans, you have done it as unto God.” Those words are either terrifying or hopeful, depending on whether we hear them as promise or threat. Perhaps we need to hear them today as both threat and promise.  As Esquivel says, “then we will know how marvelous it is to live threatened with Resurrection”.

Hear the threat. Seek the threat. Embrace the threat. Be the threat.

 

“They Have Threatened Us with Resurrection”

by Julia Esquivel

It isn’t the noise in the streets

that keeps us from resting, my friend,

nor is it the shouts of the young people

coming out drunk from the “St. Pauli,”

nor is it the tumult of those who pass by excitedly

on their way to the mountains.

 

It is something within us that doesn’t let us sleep,

that doesn’t let us rest,

that won’t stop pounding

deep inside,

it is the silent, warm weeping

of Indian women without their husbands,

it is the sad gaze of the children

fixed somewhere beyond memory,

precious in our eyes

which during sleep,

though closed, keep watch,

with each contraction

of the heart

in every awakening.

 

Now six have left us,

and nine in Rabinal,

and two, plus two, plus two,

and ten, a hundred, a thousand,

a whole army

witness to our pain,

our fear,

our courage,

our hope!

 

What keeps us from sleeping

is that they have threatened us with Resurrection!

Because every evening

though weary of killings,

an endless inventory since 1954,

yet we go on loving life

and do not accept their death!

They have threatened us with Resurrection

Because we have felt their inert bodies,

and their souls penetrated ours

doubly fortified,

because in this marathon of Hope,

there are always others to relieve us

who carry the strength

to reach the finish line

which lies beyond death.

 

They have threatened us with Resurrection

because they will not be able to take away from us

their bodies,

their souls,

their strength,

their spirit,

nor even their death

and least of all their life.

Because they live

today, tomorrow, and always

in the streets baptized with their blood,

in the air that absorbed their cry,

in the jungle that hid their shadows,

in the river that gathered up their laughter,

in the ocean that holds their secrets,

in the craters of the volcanoes,

Pyramids of the New Day,

which swallowed up their ashes.

 

They have threatened us with Resurrection

because they are more alive than ever before,

because they transform our agonies

and fertilize our struggle,

because they pick us up when we fall,

because they loom like giants

before the crazed gorillas’ fear.

They have threatened us with Resurrection,

because they do not know life (poor things!).

 

That is the whirlwind

which does not let us sleep,

the reason why sleeping, we keep watch,

and awake, we dream.

 

No, it’s not the street noises,

nor the shouts from the drunks in the “St. Pauli,”

nor the noise from the fans at the ball park.

It is the internal cyclone of kaleidoscopic struggle

which will heal that wound of the quetzal

fallen in Ixcán,

it is the earthquake soon to come

that will shake the world

and put everything in its place.

 

No, brother,

it is not the noise in the streets

which does not let us sleep.

 

Join us in this vigil

and you will know what it is to dream!

Then you will know how marvelous it is

to live threatened with Resurrection!

 

To dream awake,

to keep watch asleep,

to live while dying,

and to know ourselves already

resurrected!

 

 

The longer that one dwells on the poem, the harder it is to say exactly who threatens us with resurrection. The poem itself is like the kaleidoscope whose image Esquivel uses; each time you turn it a new pattern appears. So the poem imitates life, in which the “threat of Resurrection” comes both from those who dispense death and from those who have died in the hope of new life… If it is true that both the killers and the killed threaten us with resurrection, then we, the living are caught between a rock and hard place.  On the one hand, we fear the killers, but not simply because they want to kill us.  We fear them because they test our convictions about resurrection, they test our willingness to be brought into a larger life than the one we now know. On the other hand, we fear the innocent victims of the killers, those who have died for love and justice and peace. Though they are our friends, we fear them because they call us to follow them in “this marathon of Hope.”  If we were to take their calling seriously, we ourselves would have to undergo some form of dying.  (Parker 147-8)

 

 

The Center Now Holds

The Center Now Holds

By Jane Tawel

April 1, 2019

I never had a center until now.

It took me many years to make

My center sometimes appear.

And now it often all a-sudden,

Shows up–

Solid, sure and unafraid.

 

It was sort of lurking long inside me,

Always a jiggly mess though;

Like a cake without a finished middle,

Still raw and sloshing left and right;

Unable to hold still enough for

Me to feel I even had

what other people easily used,

As nourishment or weaponry.

All my parts were always flying off in pieces.

 

Now sometimes I quietly sense in me

a firm center

Unbroken and unyielding.

But this annoys or terrifies you.

So many times, I  just sit quietly holding my center

While it holds me.

But while I hold myself in place,

And you stare blankly, wonderingly

At what you sense

 and is now un-hidden from even me,

I let you look at all the missing and shard-ed bits,

I once hurled your way.

And instead of pieces,

I often times feel peace.

My center now holds.