Dead Angels

Angel by Capt Piper

Dead Angels

By Jane Tawel

June 29, 2022

*

“Your angels are dying,” She said.

*

And so, we found our excuses

to offer to the God,

we had created —  all red, white and blue,

in our own image.

But if we had read it correctly,

we would have known;

there is only One God,

and He is the one who accepts,

no excuses.

*

“Your angels are dying,” She said.

*

The problem is, angels need a lot of care.

And we were once unwilling,

we are now, unwilling;

the nation was unwilling;

the churches were unwilling;

and so, the Spirit of the Age,

began to shrivel and clutch,

in very wealthy widow’s weeds.

*

I don’t know how it is in other places,

but here I know we worship money;

we worship power;

we worship who we think we are.

And we put little God stickers on the outside of it all,

reducing a Savior’s price,

so we can get more buyers.

We pray prayers of helplessness,

to make us feel safer,

to get us off the hook of actually doing anything,

to make sure Jesus takes the fall. Again.

And while outside, our Easter finery is shiny,

like newly minted thirty pieces of silver,

inside, we are rotting like hidden corpses,

hiding from ourselves,

hiding from The Source.

*

“Your angels are dying,” She said.

*

A Human-being once called us ‘white-washed tombs’.

and while we focus on unfulfilled wombs,

we don’t mind killing, no not at all,

while America’s better angels go AWOL

As long as our left hand is in the till,

our right hand ignores the Pearls — for swill.

And so, the Angels of America writhe.

And while we think we can buy God with our tithe,

we take God’s name in vain.

Our worship is profane,

because we keep leaving out Love,

and the freedom to choose

from the Eternal Equation of

God + me =Living Christ.

Instead, we have made God in our own image,

and not in the image of Them,

and we have left Christ on the cross,

so we can go shopping and buy cheaper gas.

Because who needs angels,

when we have nuclear weapons and assault rifles?

Who needs angels,

when we can blame our inner demons,

on some one who is not like us?

*

“Your angels are dying,” She said.

*

Now let us bow our heads,

in the prayer of Our Holy Flag,

and place our hope in a worship of past successes,

and the catechism of power-full-ness,

and the holy rites of more-ness-ness,

and the “our way or the highway”

of laws without consequences

for anyone but Lazarus at the gate.

And fingers crossed,

that we can keep believing that our own cross,

is bearing the pangs of the Dow Jones.

And hopefully, angels and demons are not real,

and the Kingdom of some old documents

can take the place of Heaven on Earth.

*

© Jane Tawel, June 2022

**Written with fear and trembling and much gratitude for the works of Walter Wink.

And What Will I Be When I’m Gone?

“…Time…” by ĐāżŦ {mostly absent} is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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And What Will I Be When I’m Gone?

By Jane Tawel, June 26, 2022

*

And what will it be, when I am gone?

When All is gone, when all of “I” is gone?

No and Yes,

Oh, what will I be when I am gone?

*

And what will I see, when I am gone?

In fact, will I see at all?

Or will there be a different sense,

a sense beyond all sight?

*

Oh, what will I hear, when I am gone?

Will I still listen to the day’s news?

Will I still hear the birds? Will I listen to you?

Or will my heart be tuned to The Song,

The Song of The Stars,

The Song of The Sun,

The Song of Eternity’s Hymn?

*

Oh, what will I feel when I am gone?

Will my heart still beat in my chest?

Will my feelings of fear dissipate like the dew?

Will my feelings of love remain?

*

Oh, now is the time to feel and feel more,

and to rage and to hold lovers close.

Oh, now is the time to feel and feel more,

and to shun fear for power in Love.

Oh, Now is My Time,

and I will it to be,

what Creator and human can feel, hear and see,

when We work hand in Universe — 

Universal Design.

And I will resign myself to being strong,

and to see time is short but Eternity’s long.

Oh, I will not tear down, but I will build up,

and I’ll fight all the darkness within and without,

with a whimper, a whisper, a cry and a shout!

And I will not see this Time that I’ve been given,

as anything but my one chance at True Living.

I will sing all the Love songs.

I’ll fight darkness til’ Dawn.

And I’ll seek Light’s True Love,

til’ I’m gone.

© Jane Tawel, 2022

He Bought Every Thing

“A Pile of Money” by veken is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

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He Bought Every Thing

By Jane Tawel

June 12, 2022

*

He bought up every thing in the whole, whole wide world.

He bought all the pleasures, the birds and the bees.

And he plotted and planned how to buy even more,

as he gassed the whole planet and chopped down all the trees.

*

He bought all the finish lines, so he won all the races.

He bought so many mansions, he couldn’t remember all the places.

He bought a new spouse and he bought a new face,

and when he owned the whole planet, he bought outer space.

*

This man for an instant in time was quite famous.

This rich, famous man owned the world — the whole cosmos!

Who is he, you ask? Who is this great mystery?

No one knows any more, he is buried in history.

*

The richest and ruling-est here on this earth,

think that profit and power reveal one’s true worth.

But even by owning every thing one can buy,

no one can buy out of the fact we all die.

*

The poor man bought every thing, below and above,

But in the end, what he never owned — was what lasts –

only Love.

*

“For what is the lasting profit, if we gain the whole world, but in the process lose our souls.” (Jesus of Nazareth, dirt poor but definitely remembered by history)

© Jane Tawel, June 12, 2022

Maybe It’s For the Best

“Tree” by @Doug88888 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

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Maybe It’s For the Best

By Jane Tawel

June 1, 2022

*

I haven’t lost my faith.

No, I’ve just lost my knowledge;

and maybe that’s the best, the very best place to be.

*

I haven’t lost my faith,

I’ve forfeited the facts.

And maybe that’s the best, the very best way to see.

*

I’ve given up my hope,

in something great, somewhere out there.

But now I’m seeking hope,

in little old you and me.

*

I’ve given up on hoping,

that there’s a god who’s for me.

And now I only cling to hope,

that I plus Christ make Three.

*

I don’t believe in love,

that’s never enough and never been free.

But with a seed of faith,

and just a finger-hold on hope,

I do believe that Love

abides forever with you and me.

*

Sometimes if feels so sad and scary,

not knowing what I believe.

But maybe it’s all for the best,

to give up my knowing and striving.

Yes, maybe it’s for the best,

to give up my fears of living and dying.

Yes, it must be all for The Best,

to seek only the Unknown I Am,

to be in the moment unknowing, but known,

in which all that remains — 

just the faith, hope and love — 

is this moment, — this Now — 

This is where I find rest.

*

© Jane Tawel, June, 2022

You Know You Gonna’ See My Face

“164th District — Judge Jamison” by vaXzine is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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Jury Duty Reflection #2

“You Know You Gonna’ See My Face”

By Jane Tawel

May 19, 2022

*

You know, Juror Lady?

When I first saw you in the seat,

and you let your eyes meet mine,

just that one brief time, and I said, in my head,

“Praise the Lord!” she is lookin’ right at my face,

and no one else in that place did that, you know?

Avoidance of the eyes is the order of the day.

Cuz’ just seein’ me there, everybody is aware,

I must be guilty, right? their consciences don’t put up any fight.

But I could tell yours did. I could tell you knew sin.

And though you knew it was your civic duty,

you felt it like a weight, so heavy duty,

to be sittin’ there tryin’ for size your discrimination,

in honor of your nation, but that’s the same nation,

that’s always kept folks like me in our station, yeah?

So how can you judge me, you had to ask,

I could tell you thought it was a heavy, heavy task.

And when all the others thought I bowed my head in shame,

as the judge read out my name,

I could tell you thought, “well maybe he is offering a prayer.”

And I could tell you cared just by the way you also bowed your head.

It was a mighty dread, wasn’t it? — that feeling you and me had?

But don’t you leave here today after the clerk had her say,

and after all these weeks, you are lookin’ pretty meek

and those tears in your eyes, well in the end you had to surmise, right?

And though you put up a fight, hey, now you getta’ finally leave this place,

and you think you won’t ever have to see my face, no more, once you walk out that door.

Well surprise! Tonight, when you try to sleep, and tomorrow before sunrise,

even before you open your eyes, you’ll remember our shared glance,

and in your mind, you’ll see my countenance.

And I will sear it, you will always be near it.

And though you try to erase,

You won’t ever forget, this face, Juror Lady.

You won’t ever forget me.

*

You know every night when you go to bed,

the last thing you see is gonna’ be my face.

And when you finally wake up,

to your coffee pot, and your shop, shop, shop,

and all your this and that and your smallish what-not –

you know when you aren’t lookin’ in the right place –

well you know outta’ no where — 

you gonna’ see my face.

·

You’ll be asking yourself, “Why didn’t he say a word?”

You went ahead though, and clipped my wings,

And now I’m nothin’ but a jailbird, another one of 2 million

that are locked up, outta sight, outta mind, mosta them of my kind, ya’ know?

Oh, yeah, allota us pulled the crime, so you did what you hadda do,

But didn’t you ever think — well maybe so did we?

And now I see you in my dreams thinkin’

“Hey, I did my best”.

Now you just gonna try to let the case rest,

but you still askin’ yourself, “Did I do enough?”

Now you keep on harpin’ on the clues, like you some kinda Blues Clues, ya know?

Did you really have the proof or

will you lie awake wondering if you goofed?

*

You know everybody else on that jury, well, they claimed

they got the stuff — 

but your heart — it wasn’t tough enough.

You know you will be bleeding,

asking yourself if there was any cheating

on the things the police said, oh, yeah,

I gonna be stuck in your head.

*

Don’t you wonder where my mama is?

Or who’s gonna take care of my kids?

And the defense didn’t have his biz-ness

together, man, he had no plan

to try to save me from the man, right?

And what about the circumstances you never heard?

Don’t you find it a little absurd

That all you gotta say, is “I think so”

and bam, wham, thank you ma’am, in the drink I go?

*

You think ya’all so smart,

so intelligent with your high school and college degrees.

Sleeping like babes at night,

 — nighty night, you lay yourself down with ease.

The only thing I ever laid down is the gauntlet for my boys.

And I learned the lessons of the hood

when I still shoulda’ been playin’ with ma’ toys.

I went to school on the G.I. Bill — “Gangster Institute”, man!

Yeah. You know I didn’t have no plan!

My life was a carousel of ups and downs.

I got nothin’ from you clowns, and

by fortune I was bought, by the ‘hood I was taught.

And now I face a hell –

Only cuz I was caught.

Man…. You think?

*

Cuz what is so damn wrong in all of this,

is that til now what I did with my life, no one cared.

You know, no one gave a shit about whether I was worth repair?

Now they just gonna’ throw me into there and throw away the key.

And you know? When you wake and try to get rid of the image of me — 

You think then, you gonna feel free?

And forget all about me? — won’t rehabilitate — 

I’m telling you straight.

No matter how long I’m in attendance,

what you gave me is a life sentence.

Even if I get out, I’m down the spout.

But although even my kids and mama and the friends who took me there,

won’t care, I’ll lay my bet,

Juror Lady, you won’t forget.

You won’t ever forget me.

You know, you gonna see my face.

*

You sat with those eleven folks,

and they had the nerve to be eating cookies, telling jokes.

And some of them had took one look at my race,

and couldn’t wait to set the pace,

of your deliberations, hating on their race relations,

and sitting, mighty in numbers in the back room,

Did you know — man, that was what my gang did for me?

A gang of twelve is a mighty thing.

There’s a power in a gang,

Yeah, now you know, what it is to hang,

and you feel release when you “bang, bang”,

like you felt when the judge bang banged her gavel, metaphorically,

bang banging me.

You can’t wait to be released.

And though our weapons of choice were different,

Just like me, you got swept in the current.

And alla them others of the gang of twelve felt so easy,

“He is nothing like me, I vote, Guilty!”

*

I wouldn’t even mind their hating me

if the world would just rehabilitate me.

And Lady Juror, you ain’t purer than the others,

But I could see you earlier in the row,

thinking with your heart, thinking, “I don’t know.

Is it fair to judge another, in this day and age?

And to lock him up forever in a cage, with no hope of getting’ better?

Is that the law or is that the letter?”

And I could tell, you feel me?

You had for the defendant, anxiety,

Cuz what is wrong is our whole society. You know I’m true.

But I can’t let you or your tears move me, little missus,

Cuz this is the witness,

I did what I did to survive,

just to stay alive in that place.

So now, if you put me down, send me to the hard cot,

where I will fester more and finally rot,

and for most that is the end of dealin’ with me,

but you know, Juror Lady,

you get to keep one special memory — 

It’s gonna be a long time, you and me.

Oh, you all reading this, you think I’m taking up too much space?

What’s different, then? Nothin’.

You all always have thought “my kind” take up too much breathin’ space, don’t you?

Well, get back in your SUV, and walk careful with your mace,

And don’t think about me, cuz you didn’t see it, you don’t see shit,

(Oh, does my phrasing make you uneasy? You getting’ a little queasy?

Well you keep your piety and your easy society.

But in the cell there ain’t a better word than “shit” to describe this hell.)

But Juror Lady came and saw me. I know at least, she saw me.

And even if I gotta pay, and yeah, someday, yeah, we all gotta pay.

And man, I won’t see another free day, for a long while,

I won’t see my baby’s first smile, but, Lady Juror,

You might forget the details of my case, but

Don’t you think I won’t leave a trace,

Cuz’ you’ll forever see my face.

My face.

*

And night after night, Juror Lady #9,

after on tofu and organic greens you have dined,

you will now you lay you down to sleep and pray the Lord our souls to keep,

and you will lie awake, your prayers dry, and wonder,

“Did I get it right?” Did I?”

Did you take all the pieces of me, and put the pieces of the puzzle,

together right? Cuz you just might

of got it wrong.

Cuz you will ask yourself again and again,

for a kid without no kin, but the gang,

Well, how do you expect to feel my pain?

Yeah, when I was arraigned,

did anybody bother to obtain,

the whys and wherefores of all that was profane,

in my world? Isn’t my world, too, meant to be holy and sublime?

I mean, come-on?

Can you prove I did the crime?

Prove without doubt?

Or did you just get burnt out from having to stand out,

while eleven swore to heaven, they were sure?

Hey, I ain’t pure, but please…

Did I even have a prayer in life?

It isn’t burden of proof you should have entertained,

but ‘member how you felt inside yourself again and again — 

that you could feel my pain? Oh, you became my pain. Oh, you and I gonna spend a lifetime,

feelin’ now my own pain.

But you sealed my fate,

and you will find in time,

and in the unguarded, no parole spaces

in your mind — 

You’ll be seein’ my face.

Look hard, look long, take a good long last look — 

Do you see me?

Really see me?

Cuz you know in your deepest soul’s place,

You will never not be able

no — you will never forget my face.

*

But you know, much as you hated to,

Much as you hated you — 

You had to look away from my face and you had to say:

“Guilty.”

See ya’, Number 9.

See you time and time and time again,

And you will never be sure if what you saw and heard,

was enough to put me at that place,

but one thing you do know,

you know you gonna’ see my face.

*

You will look every day in your own mirror

and you know, much as you hate to,

much as you hate you,

You will look at your own face and you will have to decree:

“Guilty.”

*

© Jane Tawel, May 2022

Jury Duty in L.A.- Reflection #1: You and Me

Homeless Person Vaporized on the Subway” by ramsay stirling is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

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Jury Duty in L.A.

Reflection #1 “You and Me?”

By Jane Tawel

May 17, 2022

*

There is no place for me to go.

No place.

No place.

No place.

And I look out at a world not mine,

and no one sees my face.

My face.

My face.

My face.

*

What did I look like, years ago,

when I had some of that?

How did I lose it all so fast,

and end up here,

and end up lost,

and end up so miscast?

‘Cuz’ you don’t really see me, do you?

You think I am not like you.

Admit it, it’s true.

You don’t see the slippery slope

that’s been keepin’ you on your side of life’s river,

and I floating downstream on my frail mat,

and alla that, alla that, alla that,

you got, you think that you deserve it?

But one wrong glance, one bad romance, one missed chance,

one person screwing your finance, one look askance,

one little perchance,

one wrong step in The Big Dance,

and there you go, lucky you, not so lucky any more, are you?

No, you are just like me.

You ARE me,

but you don’t see.

There ain’t no you and me –

The Dance is always for Three.

Let them that have eyes, see.

Let them that have ears, hear.

And let them like me that have nothing any more,

Weep and mourn.

There ain’t no joy in the morning,

‘cuz alla you-all are blocking The Light.

*

© Jane Tawel, May 2022

With Their Death

by Jane Tawel

*

With Their Death

By Jane Tawel

March 5, 2022

*

With their death

comes understanding.

And suddenly–

like a magic trick of the mind,

a magician appears

with their meaning,

and the brightness is so blinding,

as blinding as a sun;

and the pain is deep,

it is a pain as deep as the earth.

*

With their death,

comes the end of feeling—

Oh, to only–

— just once more!

touch and see and hear and

smell the rose in loamy soil

that they were.

To touch and be touched again

by the tangible love

of their hugs and crooked smiles.

And the feeling is so palpable at times,

that the heart beats hard

as it struggles to swim up,

fighting through the years of mud,

day and night

through past and present tears

not yet shed for them while they lived.

At least not enough.

Never enough.

*

And one’s life goes on.

Because it must.

But something has died inside.

Is there enough hope in me

for them,

for me

to be reborn,

as a phoenix?

as eternal presence?

*

And as I wake,

and in the hours of my nights,

 there is always now,

a real and tender presence,

whispering,

“I forgive you.”

*

And as the tide of Time

rushes towards me,

I ask,

“Who will forgive me, when I am gone?”

“Who will take my own small meaning,

and live on?”

*

© Jane Tawel, 2022

My Worry-Bed, My Garden-Bed, My Bed of Nails, My Ocean

by Jane Tawel

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My Worry-Bed, My Garden-Bed, My Bed of Nails, My Ocean

By Jane Tawel

February 23, 2022

*

Here am I,

in my Worry-Bed,

my Bed of Nails,

my wanderings,

down trails and trails,

of past and future ruts well-worn.

I’ve come to make my nest of thorns.

I lay me down,

my soul to rend,

my fears to tend,

like blood-sucking friends,

I let them in, again and again.

Dreams aborted, bashed and torn,

I fill the spaces in my head,

with raging demons, dead — 

and not yet born.

*

Here I am,

in my Garden-bed.

I come to plant and tend and seed.

I lay me down,

my soul to keep,

and furrows clean and straight,

my seeds of fear are shorn,

right at the roots.

From weeds of worry,

stones of grief,

I plough the field of dreams towards truth.

I water drop by precious drop

the flowers of joy and plants of peace.

Without a need to grasp or climb,

but letting go of all but faith

in God’s protecting, mindful vines,

that reach and curl and hold and keep

Gardens of peace and love entwined.

*

I rise up from my bed of nails,

exhausted from the fight and flight.

Oh, to wake and die no more,

to know all blindness, is now sight.

Oh, to find my tossing, turning nights,

have reached at last that tranquil shore.

I rise up from The Ocean-Bed

A wave, unique and wholly me.

I, a wave, in God’s great Sea,

and I am I, and I am Thee.

And in Love’s cradle,

even night is Light.

*

© Jane Tawel, February 24, 2022

We Are Not the Flame

Candle in the wind
“Candle in the wind” by Ralf Appelt is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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We Are Not the Flame

By Jane Tawel

February 8, 2022

*

We are not the flame.

We are but a flicker,

and a flicker, and a flicker, and a flicker after that.

*

I am not one name,

but many I have worn,

like coats of many colors,

some beautiful, some torn.

And yet the garment is all One,

and I am just the tassels,

just one small voice amongst great passels,

and yet not passing-on– not all–

and yet not passing on.

*

Eternity, we deeply feel,

must be in us, must be real.

And yet, we know we die.

We pass away to live not yet another day.

But what I do, what these hands make,

not for myself, but someone else’s sake,

will last, will conquer even death,

and even with my dying breath,

I hope, I pray, that I can say:

“The Flame. The Flame! I see it now!”

And some way, some how,

beyond– yet still me–

my little flickers of The Flame,

will live on, eternally.

*

© Jane Tawel, 2022

My Island and the Waves

Island 2018
“Island 2018” by jule.lumma is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

My Island and the Waves

By Jane Tawel

December 29, 2021

*

On my peaceful, happy island,

where my mindfulness is calm,

when for just a moment, I am free

of you, and me, and what has been or what might be,

I embrace all life and living,

in accord with God and all.

*

But freedom and peace even on an island, are briefly held,

while waves lap and rise and advance and swell.

But must even waves that threaten be feared,

when light is dark, and dark is light, and peace is meant for loosing?

*

What happiness I’m meant to find in watching waves,

and knowing if I see that they are only and always water,

I, too, can walk on waves.

And once my faith is practice,

then I return myself to my island,

and bring my friends along.

*

The waves are never too high when one is not alone.

And an island expands to create more time and space

 for all who trust and love.

*

©  Jane Tawel, December 29, 2021