Coexist

Healing a hurting humanity starts with a sacred pause, to listen, to learn, to understand, to accept, to forgive, to respect. That sacred pause transcends the fear-driven brutality of the primitive human survival instinct and makes way for a thoughtful, intentional, peaceful, humane response. Peaceful coexistence on this lovely planet is not impossible. It is imperative. Our future, our humanity, our very survival depends on it.

L.R. Knost

 

STAND

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What is old?  Is never new again!  As a country, we are moving further and further from love thy neighbor…and, falling fast into demonizing our differences!

I had forgotten how pivot Sly and the Family Stone had been for my childhood.  For my need to embrace diversity.

I had forgotten that is until the local indie station reminded me that Sly and the Family Stone’s…Stand had been added to the National Registry!

Being a band of musicians who were black and white, men and women, Sly and the Family
Stone embodied the promise and the pain of the country during the Sixties. They encountered
racism in many places they performed. They exemplified the youth of the counterculture
movement in embracing peace and empowering women.

How is it we have forgotten to STAND fifty years pass?  Where and when will all of us understand…it is our differences that make us the same.

What do you do
When you’ve done all you can
And it seems like it’s never enough?
And what do you say
When your friends turn away
And you’re all alone?
Tell me, what do you give
When you’ve given your all
And it seems like
You can’t make it through?

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Well you just stand
When there’s nothing left to do
You just stand
Watch the lord see you through
Yes after you done all you can
You just stand

Tell me
How do you handle the guilt of your past?
Tell me, how do you deal with the shame?
And how can you smile
While your heart has been broken
And filled with pain?
Tell me what do you give
When you’ve given your all
Seems like you can’t make it through?

Child you just stand
When there’s nothing left to do
You just stand
Watch the Lord see you through

Yes, after you’ve done all you can
You just stand

Stand and be sure
Be not entangled in that bondage again
You just stand, and endure
God has a purpose
Yes, God has a plan

Tell me what do you do
When you’ve done all you can
And it seems like you can’t make it through
Child you just stand
You just stand

Don’t you dare give up…stand-banner-shorter

Through the storm – STAND.  Stand through the rain.  Through the hurt – STAND, jet through the pain.  Don’t you bow, and don’t bend – STAND.  Don’t give up, no, don’t give in, you just hold on, just be strong.  God will step in, and it won’t be long.

##Sly Stone

 

 

A Platform of Peace

Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem

by

Maya Angelou

Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await us in our avenues.

Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.

We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?

Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.

It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.

Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.

We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.

We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Peace.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.

It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.

On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.

At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth’s tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

We, Angels and Mortal’s, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.

Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.”

Shallow from the Inside

How long has it been…

since I have swallowed my pride…

to look out from the inside.

My own reflection?

                                      Is it true?

Subdue, subdue, subdued.

There are new, old pieces of me I cannot fit together.

No matter the crevice.

No matter the wanting of…somehow, somehow.

Simpler to be always good?

Simpler to be sometimes bad?

Sounds…Ever…Green

the village people 2

there is a silver living to the white noise of a forest

a unique manner that pulls static from air

tender, invisible touches…slowing a harried way

I could stand in the ever green of nothingness…

not knowing if sound or sight has gone or stayed

how rare it is to take notice of the peace?

and, if I were to take my weathered hand to scoop ease away…

pocket the quiet grace for another kind of sway?

brooding crickets, settling leather tree trunks…

could seek refuge in the silence

all respite would fall from compliance…

leaving no room for another day