Happy crappy New Year (a sonnet)

Are you a lover or a killer. You can’t say both.
Straddling doesn’t cut it anymore.
I’m tired of people dicing and splicing their truth,
Praying for forgiveness while gearing up for war.
Spears of righteous immorality are ready.
Guns are locked but loaded on the wall.
After all the kissing and confetti
I’ll be waiting for the next Little Boy to fall.
Is it Ukraine or Korea, Taiwan or Iran,
Or out of sight and mind in the Arctic sea?
You know lately I’ve been thinking (because I can)
It’s not countries I don’t trust, it’s the military.
I thought by now there would have been a recalibration
Of the bloody wheel that jams civilization.
Opening the strong eye: Why did I write this sonnet just now?

With this poem I am saying, I’ve had it!

Every year around this time I hope for the better, for the sake of the world I will sooner than later leave behind. I am 70, and no matter how much longer I have to live, I now know that people aren’t going to change fast enough to offset “the damage done” and the damage ongoing. It’s just super- depressing. And what makes it so depressing is that there are lots of people alive today whose hearts are open and who know how to live in a world that treats everyone fairly. I have friends who are reasonable, smart, loving people. But they are outnumbered. I could write sonnet after sonnet pointing my finger of blame at lots of different villains and cold-blooded perversions of humanity. Many of them are our short-sighted and clueless leaders. (Aside: Ask Bernie why 20 F-35s [nuclear capable slealth fighter jets] are being stationed in Burlington [where he started out as mayor in the 80s] and he’ll give you a crappy answer.)

But you know what is really happening that’s depressing me? I’m changing much faster than the collective of humanity, where the sea change needs to happen if the world is going to transform, even slightly, for the better. My shamanic practice is the reason for my accelerated change.

The “strong eye” of shamanism beholds the living spirit of creation. It’s not a poeticism, but it is descriptive of the shamanic perspective, to say that everything in creation is animated. It is animated by a universal energy that responds to conscious / creative engagement via dreaming and ritual and an ancient form of awake-dreaming . The amount of consciousness we bring to the world determines how alive it feels or how much of its life it reveals to us. If you love it, chances are it will love you back! So, when you practice shamanism, whenever you witness people doing the exact opposite of loving the world (i.e., trashing it, waging war, squandering finite resources, being cruel to other living creatures, practicing every sort of violent act against creation) it hurts! My heart hurts, my soul recoils, and my dreams sound the alarm and react to help me process the assault on my sensibilities.

But lately I’ve been feeling like there really are two kinds of human beings . . . Not people who see shamanically VS people who don’t . . ., but people for whom love is the grail, the animating spirit suffusing all creation, and there are those for whom power is the grail. And if power is the grail then love is nonexistent or, at best, secondary. These people can justify just about any means to attain more power.

Why did I write this sonnet besides as a way to vent? Not to depress anyone. I think I wrote it to invite or challenge us all to see if we can imagine ourselves consciously choosing love as our grail going forward. In other words, for example, how would I handle such and such a situation if I was better at loving? Would I be more patient? More forgiving? Or, how about this? Would I be less patient with those who are destroying the one place where love might be concealing itself, just waiting for me to open my strong eye?