Landslide/ A Psalm Across America (Part 1 of 2)

Traveling through America, I see how beautiful and robust, teaming with extraordinary lives and landscapes. I’ve driven through this whole country, but feel no closer to understanding it. I have not been able to figure out, at least geographically, why there appears to be a wide dearth between different factions in our country. They do not appear in the virulent summer valleys of the Rocky Mountain wilderness. You will find no natural reason for a human divide even across the one which divides the continent.

Within Swathes of the Holocene-era diversity cities and regions across America are afraid of each other. BIPOC must experience this country as a hellscape a times. The intolerance and bigotry has lynched Black and Native folk for centuries. Where the judgment of character before skin color is more of nightmare than it is a dream.

But it’s the White majorities whom have me crawling in my also white skin. Most of the places I lived in places America I did not belong. Where hints of homosexuality, of otherness, of intelligence, of true independence were sniffed out and rubbed in. I was prayed out of churches and asked to leave leadership due to my sexual orientation. You could be a woman, a man, a foreigner, or BIPOC which was amazing. But being openly gay- even messing around with a guy and you’d get expelled from the college I attended. For out of wedlock sex, drinking and smoking cigarettes too. Homosexuality is still “banned” in some way and deemed immoral in most of America. You learn the messages that you’re not wanted and subhuman from an early age. And you learn to hide those parts of your innate nature lest you be ripped wide out from your home, family, social status, your life.

Maybe some people choose to live in ignorance to the plight of humanity and the ecosystems because of extreme selfishness- justified by Biblical doctrine- when it’s convenient to bring in. That’s why they have to hide behind deific devotions & false arguments of morality and tradition.

The only way someone can continue to oppress and enslave others is if they subjugate their own humanity. That in itself is the problem. It is insidious and inhumane. Americans have somehow become less than human. I try not to take it personally. It seemed the land had taken something out of them too.

There are places in America that will make you know you’re felt less than welcomed. That you’re not wanted and subhuman. The only way someone can continue to oppress and enslave others is if they subjugate their own humanity. They somehow become less than human. It seemed the land had taken something out of them too.

I’m beginning to see beauty in and all things even in the evening of the trump administration’s demise. The destroyers can be our greatest allies- if we choose. For the opposition to the freedom of humanity has forces us to look in the recesses of our own hearts and minds.

The shadow is an illusion. We get lost in the dark places because we forget there’s always another way forward and out of the hatred, and chaos.

A common theme I’ve experienced in my travels and in my former profession of social work, is that life grows a myriad of different ways. There’s no exact right way to live.

There are some ways that may and are better ways of living but it is not my job to judge that as long as it’s not harming, neglecting, or abusing another person.

I cannot speak objectively about Texas or about the real red southern states (Alabama, Mississippi, LA, parts of tenneseee and Georgia) because I have lived in each of these states or spent a decent amount of time. But on the surface- and I know I’m speaking from the perspective of a 1/2 Jewish gay man who can pass for straight and can slip pass the gaydar to an extent I’m any this for context and to assert that I am only speaking from my broad but still semi privileged position. That’s why it’s so important for those in places of leadership to step up and for the least of these.

A Psalm Across America (Part 1 of 2)

I did not see the great minds

of my generation

wiped out by madness.

The minds were mined

discarded into waste bins,

Databanks of iPhones,

drinking leaden water

All the goodness

leached from bone

and from the world,

wrangled into

Coiffed sound bites

chaff given unto the masses.

Leaves of grass

once curled around

our children’s fingers

in Pastures of the past

Grew oil fields and shopping malls

Our hearts and apples

hang on withered trees

Past and passed their ripened state

Wilted fruit- still holding

onto the blessings of some

The promise of abundance

Is for all or it’s for none.

America tangled up in blue

And red

wrapped; writhing

in the leaves of

a toupee’d coup de gras

Lines drawn in

The artificial

tanlines of a tyrant.

I was held in the arms of a saguaro cactus in Arizona

Two hundred years of solitude

Like the forbears of children I have held while they cried or laughed or sat silent in the still morning hours

After they left their parents

And whose arms do we cleave to, now?

Us the steady orphans

Set towards the slaughter

By the Generation that used to lead us by the hand.

Into that silent night you go.

Go it alone, we must.

This seeking is not in vain nor will it ever end

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