A Prayer

What is a prayer
A hopeful plea for someone to care
Something or someone
That’s bigger than everything else out there

A request for help
A feeling that we are in control
Softly pulling the invisible strings
Addressed to a God we cannot know
A mysterious force
Reliquished to the void
That manages all things

A comfort in a sea of insecurities
A negotiation for our impurities
A twisting of God’s arm
Despite the selfish nature of prayer
We mean no harm

We pray for our team to win
For something to remove our sins
For a clear day
For our sickness to go away
Prayers so deep and insignificant
Almost fully prepared to repent

A universal drawing of strings
A selected day to receive blessings
What of a prayer that helps one
And harms the rest
Some of are surely cursed
While the others are blessed
I suppose we are all just trying to do our best

Maybe I don’t know how to pray
I think I believe in something
But I don’t know what to say
To get what I want
To tip the Universe’s favor my way

I’ve tried with my eyes closed
Standing still, laying down
Walking around
Even on my knees, on the ground
If my prayers are heard
Who knows, who believes

I do know how to cry and sweat and scream
I do know how to fantasize and dream
I do know how to let go
I do know how to admit that I don’t know

Who do you pray to
Is there something special I have to do
I pray to the grass, to the sun
I scream my desires to the mountain
I forget my problems when I run
When to push myself to go far away
Just to make it through another day
When I swim in the ocean
Let the music and waves move me to fun
When I finally allow myself to play

Have you ever laid in the fresh summer grass
Let the sun beat down on your face
Beads of sweat rolling down
Knowing you will burn if you stay in that place
Not caring, letting the bugs crawl on your skin
Savoring the space, taking it in
The sweet smell of flowers, the summer season
Letting the clouds and time pass
To get up and begin again

Is that a prayer?

What do you pray for
Do you wish upon a star
Send a message to sea
To help you on your journey

You tell me to will pray for me
But I don’t want your prayers
I want kindness and empathy
Can you listen without a prayer
Listen to the Universe if you dare
Don’t offer a prayer of judgement
Don’t offer a prayer to have something to say
Your prayers won’t help me anyway

Is silence a prayer
Maybe awareness is the only thing out there
Have you ever sat for hours in meditation
So long you can feel your body, your hair
So long that your become intently aware
Of energy, of feeling, of the world that’s unfair

Have you ever run in the rain
Have you ever fully embraced your pain
Have you ever loved so deeply
That you will never be the same
Have you ever loved someone different from you
Proving our silly biases untrue

What will a prayer change?

There are billions of voices that must be heard
Hundreds of languages
In which prayers are offered
Certainly no one is favored
We are all trying to make it in this crazy world

Wether prayer is fact or fiction
Belief is the only thing that makes a difference
Claiming your space in this broad expanse
A belief that maybe you have a chance

If you believe it works then it is so
It doesn’t matter where your prayer will go
It doesn’t matter if it happens quick or slow
Keep praying so the world will know
You exist, you matter

Cancel America

Cancel America
Our cancel culture
Where we can no longer make mistakes
All errors are now public
Forever recorded with high stakes
Forcing us to be censored
Compelling us to be fake

We all must agree
Apparently, that’s the rule in 2020
We can’t have diversity
Of thought, of option
That would be considered a sin

You must say the right thing
Suppress your true feeling
Our values are virtue signaling
We are so afraid of being wrong
It’s easier just to go along
God forbid we offend someone
Say what you’re supposed to say
Ignore the obvious, the science
It’s now more important to belong
The unpopular opinion will just go away

Who gets to have a voice
And who should be silenced
A forced social execution
A quiet violence
Free speech was a milestone
But now you must make a choice
Speak freely without hesitation
Or risk losing your reputation

Whenever someone has a social platform
We dig through their closets
Looking for that one blunder
There’s got to be one
To make their career go under
Ruining lives one misstep at a time
Social shaming with no chance to rerun
Having the wrong view is a crime
The battle has been won
But by whom? Who has won?
This battle is not fun

Are there any perfect presidents?
Has any leader not made a bad decision?
Who among us has not said something dumb?
At one time we were all young
I’d like to think that we are still growing
We all are embarrassed by something we’ve said
Something we’ve done

Does every great man have a dark past?
Can we judge someone a hundred years later?
For their flaws
Erase their names from our papers
Make them pay at last
Humans have the capacity to love and hate
To build, grow, create
And to destroy, enslave, placate
Denying this is childish
We refuse to allow some to participate
As a punishment
Instead of dealing with our sad state

Cancel America
Where media is king
The only place you can say anything
Social media platforms now have the final say
Policing what we can talk about
Putting people away
How long do we pretend like this is working?

Social media has fallen into the wrong hands
It’s too complex, too big
No one understands
How to make it work best
We’ve failed the social test

Tear down all the reminders
Rename mountains and towns
Change the maps
Paint over murals
Move our history around
Dance around truths
And make it seem sound

Can history be erased?
Can we cancel all we don’t agree with?
Wipe it clean
The person who said it might be mean
But they are still here
They haven’t gone away
We can’t take away a voice
But somehow we must make them pay

The more we suppress
We fuel the flames of unrest
We must be able to have an honest
Conversation about our humanness
Our darkness
The flaws of our nation

For if we can’t be honest
If we can’t speak freely
If I’m offended by every opinion
That doesn’t suit me
How can I really listen?
Blinded by reality
We’ve become the emperor with no clothes
When we will address the actual issue
Who knows

How can we tell the truth about our history
If we can’t talk about our mistakes
Since we can’t talk about what we’ve done wrong
It has followed us all along

Cancel America
And our genocidal ways
Make all our ancestors pay
For their greed and cruelty
Double standards that haven’t quite gone away

Cancel America
Cancel our culture
False advertisement of democracy and peace
We could be honest at least
America is a vulture
That eats the poor, the less fortunate
And finds any reason to go to war
But hides it from the people
Yet we pretend that we are equal
We are happy and great
Occasionally we catch a glimpse of our fate

And we don’t like what we see
It’s like reality TV
Except it’s real
There’s no sex appeal

We can’t change by lying
We don’t learn by suppressing the truth
Let’s start by applying
What we learned in our youth

You can’t erase a mistake
We are all human
We need to have an open conversation
Acknowledge the beauty and the flaws
Acknowledge our weakness and silly laws
Hopefully, this gives us pause

To address what has gone wrong
We’ve known all along
This is just a distraction
A bad reaction

The adults have all left the room
And not a minute too soon
It’s easier to create a new problem
Then to address what we’ve failed to do

Cancel America
Cancel culture
Soon the only safe sculpture
Will be not human
In the future
It cannot take place
Can we become neutral
To save our face?

Uphill

There’s something about going deep into nature that reminds me – I can let go. I don’t have to hold on so tightly to all the things I want. I don’t have to know.

This journey is slow

I zigzag across the river, falling deeper into nature, not seeing a soul

The desolate wilderness makes me feel fear but also whole

I’m reminded that I’m so very vulnerable

I have so little control

I choose a path and try my best to follow

But it’s hard to know what to do

When the path is no longer working for you

Do I keep going and try to see it through

Or turn around and find something else to pursue

I suppose I must take my cue

From my inherent feeling

The universal dealings

That I don’t understand

I’d like to think there’s a plan

The more time I spend thinking

The less time I spend listening

I dig my head in the sand

I’m completely alone, on my path

But the butterflies dance around me

The silence settles, the leaves chime in

Allowing my awareness to expand

To be in solitude is not a punishment

But an opportunity to understand

That everything changes

Including the scape of the land

Life is a kalescope

Shaken by someone’s elses hand

The colors and patterns may not suit me

But they will reform

Changing patterns is the norm

I struggle uphill

Yet the struggle is inside still

I trudge up a mountain and wonder how

I’ll get through what I’m going through now

Despite the sweat, confusion, and tears

This journey could take years

I choose to be happy now

Despite my insistent fears

Knowing it will all workout somehow

I stop and take in the sounds of nature

The wind, birds, running water

And keep trudging, just a little softer

I climb, higher and higher

My outlook becomes a little brighter

Dementia

Your mind is a traitor that has betrayed you
It has left behind a body
But stolen your personality
Your ability to have a conversation
Your presence is here
Although not really

We all pretend like you are the same
What you have created still stands
Surrounded by your family
Reminiscing about who you used to be
Your wisdom and generosity

I found you a different person
Robbed of your energy
Greif with a side of dementia
To remember again
To be reminded again
Just to go back into that far away world
The fuzzy place of your childhood
A false memory that does no good

You look at me with blank eyes
Not seeing me
And ask where your soul is
Where he is
What can I say
Nothing I say can make it better

I don’t want to remind you
You know he is not here
Your heart breaks over and over
Every time you ask
There are no words for this
I’ll hold your hand through the fear
I’ll stay by your side during the loss

There’s an empty chair
And empty bed
Empty after sixty nine years
A house full, but empty at the same time
A table with the centerpiece missing
A room devoid of pictures and light
You can feel that something is different
But can’t place it, can’t explain it
There’s a void next to you every night

The walls have shifted
A desolate wilderness is left behind
You are alone in the desert
An arid land with no reprieve
Trying to find him

You are looking for water
He was your oasis
And has dried up, disappeared
The world has turned upside down
You don’t know where your place is

Your spirit left with him
Your love of so long
I can see it in your eyes
You have already gone

Pussy Control

Control the women, they’re too emotional
To make decisions for themselves
You want to think for us all?

It’s okay, we can play
Your brain is better
You can do experiments on me
Don’t value my body
You look at it scientifically
Trying to prevent me
From procreating
Constantly debating
My rights
What I should decide
It’s my choice though

I don’t want your fake hormones
They change how my hair grows
My natural patterns
My flow
Metabolism becomes slow
I don’t like how it feels
I tell you this
But the pharmaceutical company
Steals my truth
Makes you question me
And tell I’m crazy
But you don’t know my body
How I feel
You don’t know what’s happening inside
Still you try to preside
Over me
Because you’re trained medically
And you’re the expert

Try this one and that one
There’s one for everyone
Rings and pills and
Even surgical implantation
I don’t want it in my body
Focus on your own family
My chances of breast cancer
Grow exponentially
Still you tell me
I’m fine

You don’t care if I bleed
Tell me I’m dirty
I’m just a women
My breasts make me less
Capable then you
Yet we all know that’s not true
Your morally offended
But you don’t have to like what I choose
It doesn’t impact you
Still the courts debate what I can and can’t do
With my body
My vagina
The pastor tells you what is correct
What should be done
But he’s never even seen one

You’re so pro life
But that life is not mine
We think we’ve arrived
At a place in time
Where are have freedom
But apparently we still don’t have it

A book you read before Christ gives you the power to decide
What I should do with my mine

But really you only care about being right

What do you know about life?

Band Aid

You stuck to me like a band aid
The colorful one
That you put on sometimes
Just for fun

Giving my days a rosy hue
I’ll dig through
All my cluttered bags
For you

Soothing my wounds
Yet you leave a residue
When I tried to take you off
So I decided to keep you
An extra layer
I try to make belong

A charismatic plaster
Always in the midst of some disaster
Creating wounds
And dressing them up
An illusion that they’ll heal faster

A band aid
Covering my fears
But you never expose yours
Non absorbent
Deflecting my tears
You always disappear

A dreamer
Who doesn’t do
Eating up my time
Always making it about you
Talking yourself through

A band aid that has no depth
Adhesive worn thin
It only lasts for a few hours
You always leave, hide
Evade my deepest desires
When I need you

I’ve taken you off so many times
And walked away
My emotions sway
But you sneak back in
Enough time
Allows you to play
Tricks on my mind

The one that got away
Is easy to say
Every time your efforts
Had a delay
It’s much harder to show up
To be the one willing to stay

A dirty band aid
On the floor
You’ve been ripped off too many times
I can’t make you stick
Anymore

Past

I imagine the lives
Of those who have past
I walk amongst what is left behind
Spirituality and brutality exist
Side by side

Self preservation
Is in our nature
We have evolved so much
And shy away from war
Yet we have the same primal instincts
As those who came before

We need to conquer, explore, and claim
Make love, reproduce
And create Gods to explain
All that we can’t

Has our technology made us better
Or connected us less
From our bodies and nature
From those who knew best

Their computer was the sky
It’s memory the Earth
The sun the central force
The moon controlled the cycles
Of death and birth

We now take a selfie
Try to look our best
We’ve abandoned our compass
The sun and the stars
We use our computers to think less
Our bodies are now processed
A donut filled with jelly
Our minds unhealthy
A medicated mess

We are so out of sync
But we think we know
We own the land, the sky, the waters
And destroy it slow
Yet history teaches us
That all humans come and go
Despite our power and ego

The Earth was here before we came
We destroy and reinvent ourselves
But we all have life just the same
The larger force has not changed

Perhaps it’s in our nature to want more
Is this what humans are meant for?
Have all of us wondered
About the lives of those
Who came before

Yet we’ve put history aside
How often we use our phones
Instead of feeling what’s inside
It seems we have lost our guide
Our intuition

Let the past teach us a lesson
To appreciate human connection
And be present
For what we will become
Let us remember where we came from

Mexico City

Mexico City sprawls
Rises up
The city stretches out it’s busy arms
Between the mountains
A bustling valley
Purple flowers bloom
Uneven sidewalks greet me
Closed baskets
Street markets
Ask you to look inside

The entire city sinks
Leans
Mexico City
A city of dreams
Flowers and trees
Tortillas and towers
Pollution permeates
Fragrant gas, food, flowers

Aren’t we all leaning slightly
You might not notice at first
The flaws peek through the character
The curves lead us astray
But in them we play
We are all sinking
Deeper into life
Finding our way

The buildings bend ever so slightly
Smiling upon Mexico City
Showing their history
Cracks are markers of age
Vibrant life
The city plays music
Dances and sways

There are no straight lines
We are all warped
Defined
By our leaning
Ever so slight

Embracing our flawed beauty
Uniqueness
Mexico City invites us in
And teaches us
That we are all built on top of something
What happened before shapes us
And pushes us
To be something more
Isn’t that what cities are for?

Only Get a PhD…

Only get a PhD
If you want criticism endlessly
Pointless feedback
Warped reality
A mountain of opinions
An ego factory

There’s only so much feedback
I can take
Before I stop caring
My passions crack
My motivation breaks

It’s just that you don’t realize
How silly it all is
Until your halfway through
At that point you convince yourself
It’s worth it
What else will I do?

I’ve already spent this much time
Giving it up now would be a crime
I guess I’ll keep going after all
Someday I’ll hang something on my wall

I’ll have letters behind my name
A reward for playing this game
Appeasing the gatekeepers
The smart people
The true teachers

It’s not easy you know
In the academy
See how far you can go
Is a PhD worth your sanity?

I hope someday I don’t become
An unnecessary critic
A killer of fun
A tenured professor
A pillar at one
Of the institutions
That sucks you dry
Leaves you unemployed
In debt
With some simple letters
And a goodbye

Holes

I am full of holes
A human sieve
Emotions pour through me
But they don’t stay
I am putty
I allow people to play
Mold my identity
Sometimes irresponsibly

There are holes in my soul
My experiences are vague
I can’t make sense of
Any feeling, any day
Nothing sticks
Everything flows through me
While time passes away

My mind is full of holes
Things that happened long ago
Morphed into memories
Blank spots
Illusions and stories
That I can’t show
Shape-shift and sway
In my conscious
They are close
But happening so far away

My body is full of holes
Incomplete
Fragments of humanity
People I meet
Everyone sees me
And experiences me differently

I must be careful
Not to fall in my holes
They like to hide
I don’t know their exact location
It’s hard to see when I’m inside
Their depth is immeasurable
Their deception penetrable

Old holes and new holes
Needing repair
How can I heal myself
When there are holes everywhere?

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