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Every Day Acts of Peace

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Friday, December 10, 2010

New York City 2001: I Shall Possess Within The Veil, A Life Of Joy And Peace

We are high above 
the World Trade Center site.
Every morning I wake, 
and watch the workers arrive,
and every night before sleep 
I meditate then dream.
I watch the corridors 
of sunlight elongate 
the foundations square.
It is easy to see the ground 
just below me 
being unearthed with love.
I picture this neighborhood, 
then the entire city,
and the whole planet 
bathed in healing white light.

Today I accompany my friend 
on her early morning run.
I smell the dawn full 
of fresh pizza baking 
and coffee brewing.
We jog out the door towards 
where the street ends 
at a river running blue.
On the other side 
New Jersey glows reflections
onto a piece of drifting metal 
that ferries one segment 
of population to join 
the other now disjointed.
The persistent populace 
disembarks into 
the disassembled neighborhoods -
various states of disrepair 
and recovery coexist 
with other parts 
of the city mending.

Rejuvenation and renovation 
are the sunbeams 
that catch the dust of respect,
forming and reforming 
what matters into substance.
Bits and pieces 
disperse, compose, recompose
and sting the air 
with reverence 
for a neighborhood dismissed,
to join other neighborhoods 
in other parts of the world 
now apart -
now a part of 
our torn apart text –
world history constantly written
by a push of a button,
a pull of a trigger,
one flick switches on ego,
and many hearts are turned off.

My lungs fill up irritated.
I cough out the fibers 
of something,
whatever currently now 
makes up the ingredients of the air -
emotional bacteria in trauma.
I return home 
and rest my feet 
on a giant orca whale,
a child’s toy 
laying by the window,
and at it's feet 
the red ground zero construction cranes
landmarks bookmarking 
the new landscape -
this space, 
our planetary place in space.

It seems like everyone is asleep.

In one hour we will join 
all the school children across the street.
I watch McDonalds beginning to fill up -
it seems everywhere in the world 
there is one politically situated.
We frequented the McDonalds 
by Tiananmen Square
during Martial Law in Beijing.
We sought comfort and shelter
under any golden arches 
that might hold up half the sky.
I remember that I used to cough up 
an energy so charged with emotion -
I had breathed too deeply
the smoky air of frosted coal 
foggy wintery mornings -
my lungs had expanded 
from the heat of political discussions,
and ever encompassing fire 
that rose up in us,
which warmed our passions at night,
yet made us sweat bullets during the day.

I recall the debris 
of the 1960s, '70s, '80s and '90s
bombed buses, buildings and walls falling -
within and all around 
Central Asia and the whole world.
Explosive attacks discharging smoke
to obscure all the pressures of political agendas -
pro-independence that linked and united
all the ancient world's youth
expected to soldier
and carry the weight of rebellious battles  -
the wars that the elders can no longer wage,
and the fights that the children cannot engage.

All over the world change, 
transformation, formation, deformation.
Philippines, Palestine, Yemen, Somalia, 
Kenya, Pakistan, Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, 
Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia,
Libya, Niger, India, Sudan, Bosnia, 
Japan, Tibet, Mongolia, Korea(s), 
China, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan,
Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Soviet Russia,
Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Romania, Eritrea, 
Ethiopia, South Africa, Italy, Greece, 
United States of America, Canada, Cuba, Mexico, 
Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Indigenous Americas -
Hawaiians, Native Americans, First Nations everywhere ...

Youth all over the world expected to fight the good fight
on behalf of something, for everyone, and every body.

So many martyred, old and young 
died engaged in struggle -
vast numbers 
of our future generation lost
in the bottomless well 
of intellectual jousting
over borders and boundaries 
of political will,
and whose rules should rule.

I still sometimes taste 
the spiritual pollution 
taking its toll on the lightness 
within our body of citizenry –
covert manipulation 
sinks my insight heavy,
until erroneous intent 
mutates me blind.

I remember some words 
from a song sung by many Souls,
over many years, in many countries, 
in many languages, in many religions.
A song written in 1779 by a British man,
who used to be an African slave trader.
When shame weighted down his Soul
and tortured not only his sleep, 
but every waking hour,
he then cast off worldly life.
He renounced all the riches 
he ever made from other people's 
money, blood, sweat and tears.
He let go, relaxed, made peace,
or at least chose to become 
a peace maker seeking peace within.
He became a monk,
and eventually gained insight 
at the expense of losing his eye sight.
He consoled himself through all the change
by meditating on the amazing grace of forgiveness.

"When we have been here ten thousand years, 
bright shining as the sun.
We have no less days to sing God's praise, 
than when we have first begun ...

I was blind, but now I see ...

It was Grace that taught my heart to fear ...

When this flesh and heart shall fail, 
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil, 
a life of joy and peace."

~ Other People's Fingerprints ~
Timbuktu manuscript entry 
made after 1797 by El Hadj Oumar Tall;
“Tragedy is due to divergence 
and because of lack of tolerance…
Glory to he who creates greatness from difference
and makes peace and reconciliation”





"Invisible Cities, Urban Spirit" by Karin Lisa Atkinson