Regret & Karmic Debt

Some nights I want to

turn back the clock a decade

or more, but I made

my bed so I lay awake

trying my best to forget

wading through oceans

of regret and karmic debt

and one too many

mistakes, but the rooster crows

and takes me back to right now

and somehow I wake

up with the sun, and the day

has begun and here I am

it’s impossible to run

away from myself and time

and I’ve run away

from the salt and lime but I

miss the haze sometimes

miss the days when I forgot

about the world for a while

wouldn’t stare out more

than a mile but here I am

staring at the sun

and now it’s setting again

and now another rerun

and now I want to

turn back the clock a decade

or more but I made

my bed so I lay awake

trying my best to forget

Posted in guilt, haiku, humanity, life, peace, poem, Poetry, tanka, Uncategorized, war, war tax resistance, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

HAZMAT

Surf1Photo credit: DRYLANDProductions

We call ourselves civilized
buying what we’re told we need
throwing it ‘away’ with ease
look what we’ve become, the sum
of our life’s work is garbage
we surf man-made waves and our
bellies are filled with plastic.
it’s beyond addiction but
we believe the fiction, we
believe that we need more stuff
but no, it’s never enough
we always need more and more
ignoring perpetual
war against humanity
and against our habitat
and we all keep buying and
we’ve turned paradise into
a wasteland full of HAZMAT.
Posted in #TrashBucketChallenge, #Trashtagchallenge, american dream, capitalism, earth, haiku, hawaii, humanity, life, oceans, poem, Poetry, sustainability, tanka, trash bucket challenge, trash tag challenge, Uncategorized, water, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Farmers for Peace

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When we’re growing food
we’re liberating ourselves
from want, from need, from
greed, from seeds of fear and we’re
setting the dove free to soar
with olive branches
away from perpetual
war, away from hate
away from the fate scripted
by businessmen way back when
we can find heaven
by digging in the soil
and share it with our
neighbors rather than watch it
spoil. It starts with a seed,
love is all we need
and maybe a good nights sleep
and some elbow grease
and soon we will harvest and
soon the whole world will know peace.
Posted in doves, farm, farmers, farming, farms, haiku, human rights, humanity, peace, poem, Poetry, poetry for peace, tanka, Uncategorized, war, war tax resistance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dead Doves

It’s March Nineteenth, two-

thousand and nineteen, it’s sweet

sixteen for one of

the wars that we’ve lost count of

all that remains are dead doves

 

and the graves are all

overflowing, and we think

we’re better off not

knowing the names and faces

and the history of the

 

people and places

that we’ve turned into rubble

and bones, and Sam needs

less marching Johnnies and Janes

now, so they can stay state-side

 

and fly drones while they

drink Starbucks and eat scones and

after their shift they

can go home and sleep in their

own bed, and have nightmares from

 

the video feed

of countless dead and dying

and when they wake up

they can go on Amazon,

trying to buy happiness

 

trying to forget

the mess they’re making, and the

lives that they’re taking

trying to forget that the

GI Bill and the home loans

 

aren’t worth all the

karmic debt that keeps piling

up and up and the

green beer is gone now, no need

for that cup, Saint Patrick’s Day

 

is over and the

meadows are dry, no four-leaf

clovers, just boxes

of fodder still arriving

at Dover, still draped in lies,

 

luck can’t save us when

the last dove has died and we

realize that God

has gone AWOL and money

can never buy back our soul.

 

 

Posted in haiku, Iraq, poem, Poetry, poetry for peace, tanka, Uncategorized, war | Tagged , , , , , ,

Thoughts & Prayers

You are in my thoughts

for whatever it’s worth and

I said a prayer

for you today, though I can’t

say anyone listened, they

 

never listen. I

hope to Christ and Buddha and

Marx and to the sharks

and turtles and monk seals that

you heal, that you can steal more

 

days and months and years.

A lot more years. I’m sorry

that all I can give

is thoughts and tears, and my faith

is in medicine, not God.

 

I’ll light a candle

but it’s a facade, this one’s

up to the doctors

and up to you, and maybe

a four leaf clover or two.

 

Posted in haiku, poem, Poetry, tanka, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Let’s Go Read Rumi (Ode to Spring)

RUMI

Before the vultures

dine on another ancient

civilization

and cities become rubble

lets break bread instead of bones

 

lets cleanse our palate

and feast on the food of kings

and queens, lets walk through

smoke screens, and sit on artwork

as the mystics of old sing

 

and old women bring

way too much food, but save room

for the tadeeg and

now its time for tea, pitch black

as the fire burns out back

 

the year is winding

down, time to purify, look

to the sky, honor

the spirits of the dead, try

not to join them yet. Let’s not

 

forget chemical

weapons and CIA coups,

we have no idea

what they’ve already lost and

everything they stand to lose

 

we have no idea

who they are beyond our fear

beyond the hatred

and dehumanization,

consider Iran for your

 

next vacation. Watch

Parts Unknown episode 6

season 4, see what

Bourdain saw before it’s sticks

and stones, before tanks and drones

 

before VA loans

for veterans of another

war, lets stop this now

before fear and hate, before

we script fate, it’s not too late.

 

The new year is here

it’s time to purify, it’s

time to speak up so

no one else has to die, time

for us to see through the lies

 

see humanity

when we look into their eyes.

Before the vultures

have more war dead to dine on

let’s shine a light on the truth

 

let’s go read Rumi

and Hafez if we need proof

that they’re human, that

they’re far from evil, that we

see them through a smoke screen and

 

we rely on sound

bites, and we’re afraid to take

east bound flights because

of fear. Well, it’s Nowruz so

here’s to peace in the new year.

 

 

*Nowruz (which means ‘new day’) is the Persian new year. Nowruz the day of the vernal equinox and marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. The last Wednesday before Nowruz, the festival of Chaharshanbe Suri is celebrated. A fire is made and people jump over it in a purification ritual.

**In 1953, the CIA and British intelligence orchestrated a coup which overthrew the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, Mohammad Mosaddegh, who had recently nationalized Iran’s oil (upsetting American & British oil companies)

***During the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980’s, Iraq used chemical weapons against Iran. Well aware of what was going on, the CIA assisted the Iraqi military with intelligence reasoning that, since the Soviets weren’t condemned internationally for using chemical weapons in Afghanistan, there would be little repercussions. Causalities from these weapons were in the tens of thousands, both military and civilian (with well over 100,000 Iranians killed in the war by other means with nearly half a million wounded). America was complicit in some of the most gruesome chemical weapon attacks ever launched. President Reagan wanted to ensure an Iraqi victory against Iran, no matter the cost. In spite of this, Iranians don’t hate Americans, but they are rightfully disgusted with our government.

Posted in america, Chaharshanbe Suri, fear, fire, Hafez, haiku, humanity, ignorance, Iran, life, love, mysticism, Parts Unknown, peace, Persian food, poem, Poetry, propaganda, Rumi, sufism, tanka, travel, Uncategorized, veterans, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jump Ship/I Sailed With Columbus

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“I Sailed With Columbus” 

When I was eight years old, in 1992

I first learned about Christopher Columbus

and I sang along with my class

“In fourteen-hundred and ninety-two

Columbus sailed the ocean blue”

and we drew pictures of him

and we had a party to celebrate

the 500th anniversary

of 1492.

Ten years later, I graduated from high school

and I joined Columbus

and his crew

and it was such an honor

to sail around the world with him

finding new places to discover.

The little money we earned never lasted,

spent at brothels and bars

but we believed so much in Columbus

and so much in what we were doing

we felt like rock stars,

the money didn’t matter,

God was on our side!

A few people we didn’t know 

got a lot of the gold

that we brought home

but I felt blessed to even be a part of the voyage.

It was my duty to God and to country.

Even after I left the great explorers crew

I happily helped pay for his voyages

as he sailed off to discover new lands.

After spending some time

reflecting on the voyages

that I took part in

however,

I realized that,

though I have two eyes

I had failed to see

the humanity

of the people

in the places we ‘discovered’

rather,

in the places we invaded

and conquered,

these places we terrorized

and pillaged for gold

and for human beings.

Though I can unfortunately

never forget

the song that I learned

as a youth

about Columbus sailing the ocean blue,

my support for Columbus

and his voyages

is through

and, though I cannot undo

the things I’ve done

if I ever pick up a weapon again

I will be fighting alongside the Taino

not Columbus and his men.

.

.

.

.

. (The handwritten haiku/tanka is shorter version of this longer poem I wrote a while back reflecting on my ‘travels’ more than a decade after coming home from a beautiful land we still violently occupy)

Posted in america, haiku, Iraq, poem, Poetry, poetry for peace, solidarity, tanka, taxes, terrorism, travel, Uncategorized, veterans, war, war tax resistance | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,