Primary Poetry Archive

Poetry and Prose 2006

Sweet Ones of the Great Lakes

What gifts you bring!

How did you happen!

Why me?

Warmth, good… hot, but not too hot,
Warding off the coming cold.

Light, subtle, easy,
Relieving eerie darkness.

Enchanting vindications,
Ample evidence, ardent anticipations.

A feast!
A dance!
A dream!
An awakening!

Viva, truth bearers!

Olde
December 16,2006

You’re Golden

Black and white is an attitude,
And not enough to really get started.

Too much baggage.

It’s about what’s inside.
And you, my sweet one,

Are golden!

Olde

Good Food and Beauty

The people will come
For good food and beauty.

Good food and beauty
Arouse the best passions.

Good food and sweet aroma.
Tasteful decor and eye sweets.

We easily surrender
Clenched egos to

Good food and
Beauty.

Olde
Reflections on
Riverwest Co-op Cafe(http://milwaukeerenaissance.com/Main/HomePage#toc1)
Amaranth Bakery and Cafe(http://milwaukeerenaissance.com/AmaranthBakeryAndCafe/HomePage)
2006

Poison Arrows

Who dares
Send poison arrows
Your way?

Let me know
Their names.

So Truth may
Meet with them.

Olde
Summer/Fall 2006

Identity Adventures

Don’t be afraid. You can do it.
You are not alone.

Bound across the field,
Wade across the river,
Go into that forest,
Climb past those hills.

See what’s on the other side.

See what’s on all sides.

Inside.

Outside.

Beyond.

Imminant.

Go on.

You can do it.

Here.

Let’s do it together.

Olde
December, 2006
Milwaukee, the Holy City of
The Sweet Water Seas

The Fertility of Your Mind

It’s the fertility of your mind
That makes for the glory of your heart!

Diversity is strength!
Elaborating the soil of your mind.

The “meek” shall inherit the earth
If inspired by life to expand repertoires.

If today’s workers become city farmers too
They will blaze trails for life in a higher realm.

Worker farmers will become a new gentry
Of the mind and heart.

Daily life experiences that harmonize
Inner and outer realities.

The power of the mix of
Mental and manual labor.

Chop wood, carry water,
Meditate, transcend.

Mind, heart, life
In a higher realm.

Olde
December 2006
Milwaukee, the Holy City
Of the Sweet Water Seas

Out of the Closet

Squat in a clammy closet,
Stacking eggshells upon eggshells,
Humming versus of the Ave Maria,

So the bald old man prowling the halls
In tennis shoes and a black robe
Knows I’m doing my duty.

Exultant in an open field,
Sky blue, bursting billowing clouds,
Brilliant sun, throwing a thick stick
For my prize puppy.

Farther and farther I throw it,
Faster and faster she takes it,
We are both heated and sweating.
My Mother calls.

“What are you doing outside?
Why are you not stacking?
How will you win your prize
So indulged?”

Back to the closet,
But only for a time.
A new day was brewing.
I heard a different song.

The escape was not easy.
“You wished it stranger”
You left the path on your own,
“You are lost if you believe in danger.”

Forty years later,

Not in closets, nor even lush fields,
But in ineffably resonant worlds
Of sweet ones, where utopian visions
Are pursued amidst gales of laughter.

Olde
First Big Snow
Milwaukee the Mecca
Of the Sweet Water Seas

My Milwaukee

My Milwaukee is
Brooklyn,
Berkeley and
The Holy City
Of the Sweet Water Seas.

Olde

This Is How It Looks!

When I look upon my children,
And my grandchildren,
I am tempted to wonder
If I might be
The world’s wealthiest man.

When I look upon my children’s friends
The temptation to so think
Is almost irresistible.

When I look upon my daughter’s Love,
I know my bounty is as great
As is allowed a mortal man.

Olde
For reading at the Chicago Celebration

How Did We Get Here?

How did we get here?
To what great ancestral deeds
Do we owe this joy?

Where is this great love story
Taking us?

How did these two great
And modest beings happen?

A mystery so grand
I fear I might burst!

May I find the courage
To accept this blessing!

Olde
Hyde Park
The Morning After the Engagement Feast

As If a Dream

Reading Sufi poetry at Magic’s Starbucks
On 71st and Stoney Island Ave. in Chicago’s “South Side(!)”

As if a dream, with youthful visions materializing
Far more luxuriant and evocative
Than my best imagining 40 years back.

As if in some kind of grand epic.
Megan, elegant and thoughtful,
Ok, handsome and loving.

Yin, yang, black, white, he, she,
We!

Why are we here?
How did we arrive?

Utopian imagination
And grit.

Olde
The Morning After
Megan & Ok’s Engagement Party

Movement Peddler

I’m a reporter.
On the ground.
In the trenches.

A movement peddler,
An impresario.

A child of the
Great Lakes culture.

An awakening one.

Liberation Rituals

I think it all started with fairy tales, tap dance, and piano lessons,
Which astonished “the boys” who thought such sissy,
But loved and respected me enough to veil their reaction.

And then less haircuts and combing, to me a waste of time,
Or learning how to dance and doing such at “teen town,”
Rather than hang in the circle of “the boys.”

Soon sweatshirts rather than ironed shirts at college class,
Radical books, young “beatniks,” blacks, Jews, gays, and leftists,
In place of fraternity booze fests and sorority balls.

Law school was out because ties were required,
The mere thought of a “professional career’s” clothing and comportment demands
Filled me with terror.

At graduate school seminars was always 5 minute late,
But ferociously prepared and ready to mind grapple
With professors secretly thrilled to find opposition that stirred their blood.

A pariah trade like roofing homes can be ennobled
With liberation rituals that erode hierarchy and inspire visions of freedom
Like “the boss” cleaning scrap so “the boys” more quickly learn the trade.

Or 30 years of morning greetings—”Are you into it today?”
Because work with one not into it is toxic,
And the best workers quickly imagine themselves as co-owners or partners.

Many child rearing rituals combined the old with the new,
Like Sunday drives through “third world neighborhoods,” or vacation stops
To shrines honoring liberation movements, or freedom songs at bedtime.

An old dog can learn new tricks
By ritualizing everyday routines
For beauty and reflection’s sake.

No drives on freeways but rather old city streets,
Filled with signs of vitality
And new purpose—a feast!

No food from commercialized vendors
But co-ops where people are
Creating a new world.

No work with only money and output in mind,
But work chosen and performed
As if a calling of the divine, inside and outside,

An expanding
Astonished to be alive
Spirit.

Olde

Let Us Gentrify Milwaukee

Let us no longer tolerate success
In the corridors of mere commerce,
Power, or status.

Why not aspire to cultivate
New gentry classes.
Revolutionary, radical, progressive.

Classes where beauty and history
Trump power and money.

Where status mongering
Is in bad taste.

Let us help transform
our commercial classes
into our gentry classes.

Let us help transform
our working classes
into worker gentry classes.

Revolutionary gentry.
Radical gentry.
Progressive gentry.
Worker gentry.

Let us gentrify our neighborhoods!
our enterprises!

Let us bury mere commercialism
in the dustbin of history.

We can no longer afford
Merely pedestrian glories.

Our very planet,
Our very species
Is being ravaged
By the merely commercial classes.

Let us usher them out.
Let us gentrify humanity,
With grace, beauty, truth, and justice,
Leading the parades.

Olde

Let’s Fix Our Eyes

Let’s fix our eyes
On the prize
Of a new civilization
Because it’s time.

Olde Godshill

Revolutionary Gentry

I have finally discovered a concept
to capture the identity of my favorite friends—
the revolutionary gentry.

They are revolutionary because their lives
Have been dedicated to a vision of some kind of
Fundamental, structural transformation
Of consciousness and society—
A new civilization!

They have kept their eyes on this prize—

An awakening in response to
The horrors that have beset humanity
Rooted in excess hiearchy and rote patriarchy.

A deep understanding regarding
The ecological challenge wrought by
The “industrial revolution.”

They are gentry because their lives
Have manifest a ceaseless quest for
And acquisition of wealth—
mostly cultural, social, and spiritual riches,
But sometimes money too!

Long lives.

Make history and the money
Will take care of itself!

When the revolutionary gentry
Become more self-conscious
Of their growing power,
Augmented by the bourgeois revolution
Of the past few hundred years,
The long awaited second American revolution,
That faces up to the unfinished business of the first one,
May be around the corner,
Only a generation or two distant.

Viva, the revolutionary gentry!

Revolutionary Gentry Distinguished from Radical Gentry

The revolutionary gentry are to be distinguished from their worthy partners,
The radical gentry.

They are radical rather than revolutionary,
By virtue of the kind of spirit they bring the drama.
The radicals are not quite as exuberant as the revolutionaries.
They tend to exercise more prudence.

The radicals do not take as long a view.
They are closer to the facts.
God dwells in the details, along with the radicals.
Revolutionaries have visions.
Radicals projects.

The exultant pageant of evolution
On our lovely planet
In our daunting cosmos,
Has glorious parades of revolutionaries.
Spectacular orchestras of radicals.

Revolutionary gentry.
Radical gentry.

Viva!

Introducing the Progressive Gentry

They are progressive because their lives
Have greatly contributed to the evolution of humanity,
Especially in their daily rounds, marked by
Professional competence and life-long learning.

The progressive gentry distrust grand visions,
They tend to be leaders “inside” the dominant order,
Working from within for necessary change,
Open to new initiatives from the
Revolutionary and radical gentry,
Carefully, incrementally.

The progressive gentry are a large power bloc
Critical to protecting humanity from its worst elements,
The barbarians within and without the civitas and countryside.
Not as long-viewed as the revolutionaries,
Nor as intense and impatient as the radicals,
The progressive gentry occupy the middle way.

Burning Bushes

Papa Whitman told me it was ok to be astounded
By the multiplicities sometimes bickering
Sometimes co-mingling in my vast interiors.

He said I could contradict myself
Even slay some selves
And still be pure.

Papa Jung said I could enjoy
The powerful women inside me,
And even the lovely ladies.

He said their voices
Must be allowed
For life’s flow.

Father Chardin and Rumi opened my eyes
To the burning bush inside, the fount
Of cosmic energies, the beloved tavern keeper.

Queen Bonobo has inspired the notion
That love is the sap and the soul
E pluribus unum.

Olde
July 7, 2006

Response to Violence in Bay View

Is it not there in the history of humanity,
For all to see, who care to see.

When rural or small town populations
Are uprooted from their local communities,

And become resident of big city neighborhoods

Yet lacking the institutions to address the dislocations—
social, cultural, and economic—during the transition…

When the old clans and communities are
Not yet reconstituted in the new big cities…

Alienation, anomie, and violence.

Just focusing on the USA of the past 150 years,
The teeming Irish and Italian neighborhoods of
Ne York, Chicago, and Milwaukee,
Shocked the wealthier communities of English,
Scotch, and German,
With their levels of violence, usually internal,
But sometimes spilling over.

I see most of us doing our best to fight the good fight
And help create community institutions and
Economic opportunities to
Advance the cause of our displaced fellow Milwaukeeans,
And our own selves, families, and friends.

Are we not all in the same boat?

Might not some on-line conversations about
Community building and job creating mechanisms
Be of some value?

Growing Power, for example, has for market city farm methodologies
That could help families supplement their income as well as
Build community around projects for healthy food and extra income.

If we can continue dodging bullets, from our fellows or nature’s way,
In a few generations we might reduce our level of violence
By a considerable amount.

In my lifetime I have witnessed a very considerable erosion of racism
In many Milwaukee, Chicago, and St. Louis Euro American groups.

Perhaps over the next couple of lifetimes we will witness
An equal amount of success around the issue of violence.

I know of scores of Milwaukeeans who have been doing great work
Aimed at healing people’s minds and hearts
For the past 30 years.

And I am confident that this yahoo group will advance the cause
Of community building and an evolution of the spirit
For many years to come.

Life is tragic.
Life is grand.
Life is interesting.
We’ve made progress.
We’ve a long way to go.
We are not afraid.
We shall overcome.

Olde

Some Rumi Prayers for Shedd

Translation by Coleman Barks, Castle Books, 1997

I have given each being
a separate and unique way
Of seeing and knowing and saying
That knowledge.

He dado cada es
una manera separada y extraordinaria
De ver e instruido y diciendo
Ese conocimiento.

Earth Day 2006

The Sweet Politics of Savannah Baboons and Forest Bonobos

If you are a Savannah Baboon who likes power,
Please know that winning power may take strength,
But keeping power involves other resources.

Social intelligence, which includes empathy, ranks high.
You must divine daily even hourly shifts in alliances.
The politics of coalition formation and dissolution,
Must come second nature to you.

Tolerance for the inescapable imbecility of your allies
Is critical, Baboon allies make mistakes.
Don’t cop attitudes.

And detachment from the irritation of regular provocations
From your partners who enjoy a dance with Alpha Baboon,
Taking you right to the edge of anger, seemingly
For the fun of it.

Physical power means even less to the divine bonobos,
A matriarchal species where the females prevail
By virtue of their “sisterhood.”

Males derive their status from their mother’s rank.
The alpha bonobo, Queen Bonoba, never needed be the strongest,
But rather the kindest and the wisest.

She is alpha because she has groomed the best and the most.
She can best mediate “contradictions” among the monkeys.
She carries herself with a confidence and poise that wins respect.
A nod from her can spring a group of sisters into action,
In the face of an obnoxious bonobo, fancy on the outside,
But lacking interior grace.

Brief, solution focused cognitive therapy suggests the value of
Self-framing as an Alpha Bonobo or Savannah Baboon
To advance one’s hero quest and possibilities for bliss.

Olde

Unfinished Business

A cultural revolution,
A revolution of mind and sensibility
Is required for the “unfinished business”
of the First American Revolution.

Without attending to this business,
Freedom, justice, beauty, community,
We condemn ourselves to generations
Of terror and the terror of wars on terror.

Please consider a role as Paul Revere,
Go out to the people
And give the cry.

Ask your internet broadcaster friends
To sign on for a New American Movement.
A cultural revolution, of sensibility and mind.

Might you know 5
Who you could trust
Would let the people know
About May Day at Soldiers Home?

Might you offer me on line introductions
To your most trustworthy 5?

The barbarians are at the gate.
We must rally the people.
Sound the alarm.

Godsil
Soldiers Home of North America


Bin Laden’s Pimp

Bin Laden’s Great Resources
Are the ignorance, decadence, and hubris
Of the worst elements of “The West.”

Our greatest defense
Against Bin Ladenism
Is our quest for truth, beauty, and justice.

Who would trample upon
Truth in our land
Is a friend of Bin Laden.

Who would defile the
Beauty in our midst,
Is Bin Laden’s brother.

Who ignores the call of justice,
Is Bin Laden’s pimp.

Godsil from Bay View/Riverwest/Harambee
Timbuktu/Bucketworks/NAACP
Bridge Works/Soldiers Home/Community
Rebirth of Freedom/Great Lakes
USA/North America


Cultural Deprivation

Dear Andy,

If you have never been to the Soldiers Home
You have a right to sue
The thoughtless old white men
Who gave you not this due.

Your birthright has been trampled on
By a concatenation of “wariables”
That find you in your office on Sunday, May 1,
And not at the Soldiers Home.

Its haunting beauty
Would qualitatively improve
Your capacity to heal.

You’ll someday see
If you’ve never seen,
The Soldiers Home.

Godsil from
The Soldiers Home


YeatsEasterSunday1916


Monday, March 28, 2005

“Bin Laden’s Pimp” and the “Worst of the West”

Hey David,

I would like to try to get “Bin Laden’s Pimp” published where it would be of use for the New American Cultural Revolution brewing in response to the planet as village for world culture intellectuals like yourself.

The actions of the worst of the west
Are making true patriots like yourself
Tempted with shame?

Godsil


Hey Jack,

I very much enjoyed meeting you at the Human Rights Day and Blewett Public School Rally at Timbuktu last Monday.

You are a man of mind, heart, and courage.

God bless,

Godsil


Avoid Freeway Driving in Milwaukee’s Historic Neighborhoods

Like You Would A Weapon of Mass Destruction

Dear All,

We are 70% water I’m told.
Water is sensitive to vibrations.

Water exposed to soothing music
And kindly human words
When frozen and photographed
At the microscopic level

Is beauty, symmetry, dazzling grace.

As lovely as snowflakes magnified
A thousand fold.

When the water is placed between
Two speakers blaring heavy metal trash,
Or forced to hear harsh human sounds,
When frozen and photgraphed,
At the microscopic level,

It’s ugly, asymmetrical, piteous blah.

While driving on city freeways
We are exposed to the ugly and the plain,
The boring and the dangerous,
Like water between blaring disharmonies.

Today’s drive through the main streets
Of our historic neighborhoods,
Down KK, Lincoln, Mitchell, National,
Vliet, North Ave., Center, Locust, Burleigh,
Lisbon Tuetonia and Forest Home,

Will expose us to much new life and beauty,
Good vibrations from the people’s strenth,
Making our liquid aspect a pleasure to be.

Freeways were part of the industrial society
Of infernal factories
where democracy
stopped at the gates.

Freeways were to move heavy goods cheaply,
The people in the neighborhoods be dammed.
Freeways could be rammed down “the lower orders’” throats,
With enough politicians and construction big shots on board.

No more.
Never again.
No more ugly freeways
Through urban village beauty.

No more raping our neighborhoods and homes,
For the sake of an atavistic residue

 From a previous epoch

Of pyramidal power structures
And command posts of old white men.

This era is over.
White men are being replaced
With all of God’s children
At round tables of
Increasing creativity and grace.

Highways have no place in this world.

No more torture chambers.
No more public floggings.
No more child and wife abuse.
No more hate crimes.

No more highways through the
Beautiful neighborhoods
Of the American people,

Godsil
Sufi Poetry Night at Timbuktu
Last Tuesday of Each Month


Lovely Social Minds On Line at the Soldiers Home

The “thinking envelope”

of the Planet Earth,

Is changing the way

We do things.

With google

We can go to Harvards

Of the mind.

We can have rich conversations

With the finest minds,

The warmest hearts,

And most exuberant spirits,

Across Mother Earth,

the Beautiful.

Godsil

The Soldiers Home
Milwaukee
Where the Waters Meet
And All of God’s Children Greet

Notes at Bay View Library February 2006

The guiding insight of deconstruction is that every structure—be it literary, psychological, social, economic, political or religious—that organizes our experience is constituted and maintained through acts of exclusion. In the process of creating something, something else inevitably gets left out…These exclusive structures can become repressive—and that repression comes with consequences…
Mr. Derrida understood all too well the danger of beliefs and ideologies that divide the world into diametrical opposites: right or left, red or blue, good or evil, for us or against us… By insisting that truth and absolute value cannot be known with certainty, his detractors argue, he undercut the very possibility of moral judgment. To follow Mr. Derrida, they maintain, is to start down the slippery slope of skepticism and relativism that inevitably leaves us powerless to act responsibly…Like Kant, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, Mr. Derrida does argue that transparent truth and absolute values elude our grasp… it is necessary to recognize the unavoidable limitations and inherent contradictions in the ideas and norms that guide our actions, and do so in a way that keeps them open to constant questioning and continual revision. There can be no ethical action without critical reflection… He understood that religion is impossible without uncertainty. Whether conceived of as Yahweh, as the father of Jesus Christ, or as Allah, God can never be fully known or adequately represented by imperfect human beings…Belief not tempered by doubt poses a mortal danger…Fortunately, he also taught us that the alternative to blind belief is not simply unbelief but a different kind of belief—one that embraces uncertainty and enables us to respect others whom we do not understand. In a complex world, wisdom is knowing what we don’t know so that we can keep the future open…

What Derrida Really Meant
Mark C. Taylor


Christmas and Megan’s 23rd Birthday, December 29, 2005

Nots from Black Brain 2006

Last edited by Godsil. Based on work by Tyler Schuster, Olde, godsil, Olde Godsil, Olde Godsile and g.  Page last modified on May 25, 2012

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