22 May 2018

As the world burns

As an advisor and liaison I lead native troops but nonetheless was looked upon as the "supreme local power", way too much power for a very young man, just out of adolescence. I used my power as a good soldier at first, fighting who was perceived and inculcated in me as the enemy. . .and if I didn't do it, I had the definite impression that very little would get done. . .However, after nine months I had an epiphany in the form of a chopper pilot asking for permission to engage, "Three military aged males with packs and weapons evading"...rote, scripted, common parlance. For some reason it was too pat, too familiar. I asked for his altitude, to which he replied some distance which would make identification of packs and weapons or gender nigh on to impossible. I suggested he go closer to find the true nature of his target. I didn't hear back from him for an inordinate length of time. So, I keyed the mike and asked if he'd identified his intended target. He responded, "Yes, disregard...it was a mamasan with two baby sans doing their laundry by a river." How many times in the past had I cleared requests to fire? Never again in any time of uncertainty would I be so gullible. I became the meanest bastard in my area of operations...unless there was contact, I generally denied requests for fire. I became very anti-war at that moment...always before it had been a song at camp, an idea...not a mind blast of reality. I was forever changed.

28 February 2018

Winter is passing

It has been since autumn that I’ve written anything.  I feel...no, I know that a coup has been stag d in this country. But, from my vantage point it is only a matter of a worsening of an already very bad sc ne. More and more I live my life on the margins, by choice I am an outsider. Some don’t have that luxury.  Being a white man in America is so different than being a POC. Indigenous peoples, who I have always lived near and with, regardless of it was in Arizona or in Minnesota, are the truest outsiders. The connection I feel to our Mother Earth and her creatures, her very being, is so important as I stand at the threshold of my elder years. Not that many years from ashes and dust, I long to step through the veil and regain the majick. My thoughts are fill d with the cries of the forests, the sadness of the winged and four legged. The trophies of man’s ego. From the margins I see more than from the outside, but I long to once again step out. To be a part of her beauty, to be apart from war and the incessant anger and fear. 

19 September 2017

The River

upstream from white sand beaches are hamlets, paddies and canyons bombshells unexploded, cratered land, cratered faces 
mangled extremities, defective births... 
the villages have memories nightmares and visions 
the countryside still echoes... 
we returned to the comfort of our politics and rhetoric 
leaving a legacy of disfigurement... 
scarring persons and landscape 
poisoned food chain 
poisoned minds 
blackened hearts... 
a righteous nation 
hands over hearts reciting the pledge still preaching to the world 
hands over ears and eyes still speaking the lies 
making the guilt safe and tucked away in hospitals and dead-end jobs 
in parades and sunday services 
in vfw and legion halls 
in broken homes 
in shattered illusions 
in battered women's shelters 
in cemeteries... 

rather than learning from our mistakes we adopt a new battle cry... 
"next time we'll only fight if they'll let us win"... 
as if that excuses our interventions

03 August 2017

We got too big for the world

Kohr’s claim was that society’s problems were not caused by particular forms of social or economic organization, but by their size. Socialism, capitalism, democracy, monarchy—all could work well on what he called “the human scale”: a scale at which people could play a part in the systems that governed their lives. But once scaled up to the level of modern states, all systems became oppressors. Changing the system, or the ideology that it claimed inspiration from, would not prevent that oppression—as any number of revolutions have shown—because “the problem is not the thing that is big, but bigness itself.”


16 July 2017

Out and about on the homestead

We have a dear friend, living relatively near to us, who is fairly housebound with oxygen...maintains a jovial demeanor, though. Has a beautiful view of the forest and a lake with otters, loons, bald eagles, beavers...we were in town yesterday and picked up groceries for her and ran some errands...Cheryl made up a bouquet of cut flowers from our yard...for a friend...and we went and visited for a while...Cheryl is a constant help to our "shut in" friend...(although she does get out now and again)...

12 June 2017

Simplify...it's a global imperative now.

We make choices, we decide what our priorities are, and we give up certain things to gain others. Adding more and more to our list of “have to’s” is killing us. Because if everything matters, then nothing matters. The beauty of life lies in its finitude—everything is fleeting, so everything is more precious. Living in light of that reality helps us to choose what matters most in each moment.
As Charles Mingus said: 'Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.' Or E. F. Schumacker: 'Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.' Hans Hofmann: 'The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.'
Simplification can be very elegant.

As the world burns

Vietnam: As an advisor and liaison I lead native troops but nonetheless was looked upon as the "supreme local power", way too muc...