PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … October 7th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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PoHymn 10 7 gun

Our National Sin

Yet another fool

Went into the school

To break the Golden Rule

While on the run

He took a gun

And shot his chosen few

Nine are dead

Is what they said

After commercial break

Experts are sought

A lesson is taught

About the creepy fake

Mama cries

Daddy lies

And old friends have their take

I sit and stare

As if I care

Stunned by the sameness

Looking for proof

Some lasting truth

To proclaim myself blameless.

Only nine

Slaughtered this time

A little less than before

But if nine were me

It would be different, you see

Someone shout and roar

But since I live

The little I give

My sympathy

Not much more

When blood is red

Folks are dead

Never to breathe again

Is the gun to blame?

Don’t use his name

Just bury our national sin.

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant… June 24th, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2613)
PoHymn June 24th

green divider

Welcome to Emanuel

Welcome, my son, to the Father’s place,

Sit right down and find your space

We embrace you as a brother true

And hope you receive–your faith renew

Your color is different but we don’t care

Come and join, we’ve much to share

Perhaps you have heard about our race

We see some fear etched on your face

We are you and you are us

Sit right down–no time to fuss

We’re studying the Book, a word to pray

We’re trying to find what God might say

Consider this your home, rest a spell

Don’t you leave ’til all is well

But a festering anger prompts you to stand

Pointing a gun you hold in your hand

Threatening those you’ve learned to hate

Acting out an unrighteous fate

Firing once, twice, ten … so much

Pierced and wounded by the banging touch

We fall to the earth to rise to the sky

Victors through love, yet victims of the lie

That some are better by color than others

Instead of created as sisters and brothers

So walk away from your killing spree

Yet bound to this moment you always will be

But we will soar above the pain

Sound in soul from a world insane

Welcome, my son, we shall meet again,

In a realm redeemed from the bigotry of sin.

 green divider

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Untotaled: Stepping 24 (August 17th, 1965) Walleye… July 26, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2303)

(Transcript)

There once was a young man named Jonathan who somewhat resembled me.

He was old enough to think but too old to be cute and thought about very much. His mother was busy and his dad a trifle old–and everything Jonathan really enjoyed was not appreciated by anybody else in his abode.

His dad and brothers favored hunting and fishing. It made them feel macho. Jonathan, on the other hand, was more “couch-o.”

But he was still willing to try.

He took the gun thrust into his hands and went out to chase rabbits. He liked shooting, but couldn’t hit any of the fuzzy bunnies.

The male members of the herd were greatly disappointed. A “stalefate.”

One sunny afternoon, he walked with a pole to the city reservoir to fish. An hour passed. Then two. Yet all at once, he had a bite on his hook. He pulled in the biggest fish he had ever conceived.

He ran home with his prize, stopping along the way to pant and catch his breath.

Jonathan’s dad was thrilled. He told Jonathan that he had caught a walleye–one and one-half pounds. The father was so impressed.

Then an hour later the newspaper showed up to get the whole story and take a picture. It was in the next week’s edition.

For a full three days following the print-out, Jonathan was small-town famous–the young man who had bagged a reservoir walleye.

For a while his dad was proud. No doubt about it.

It felt good.

 

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Published in: on July 26, 2014 at 1:14 pm  Comments (1)  
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Populie: In Our Best Interest … July 23, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2300)

earth on fireThe young congressman sat in his chair, completely confident in his pre-prepared answers and the stump speech that had provided him both election and platform to be the pundit of honor on the broadcast.

The question posed was simple. “Is it in our best interest to…?”

Then the interviewer offered a series of global flare-ups, hot spots and dangers in the world.

No specifics or ideas were offered by the politician, but a resounding repetition of a theme.

“We are America. We must think about America. We must take care of America. And we must be careful not to have our greatness diminished or tarnished by these difficulties. Yes, it’s popular. “America is great.”

But in the pursuit of that idea we have inserted a lie–America is better than other countries.

Religion loves this populie because it enables us to preach a gospel from a position of certainty and piety and send missionaries to the rest of the world because of their heathen status.

Entertainment has always adored “in our best interest” because it enables us to portray our great nation as the savior of all humankind.

And of course, politics adores the notion by bloating the voting block with over-wrought notions of superiority, causing them to “gloat on their way to the vote.”

Here’s the truth: 25,000 miles. That’s the entire circumference of our globe. It’s not much, when you consider that 3,000 of that is the continental United States.

With the addition of Internet, air travel and all sorts of technological surprises, we’re nearly sitting on top of each other.

Our smog floats to China, as does theirs to us.

We need to engage a simpler philosophy about our responsibility to one another other than looking at the bottom line or our cultural imperialism to determine when we’re going to be involved.

I have arrived at a rudimentary three-step process in ascertaining who I am, why I’m here, and what is expected of me if I’m going to continue to consider myself human instead of just a creature fighting for survival.

These are the three questions and my answers:

1. Who is God?

He is my Father. Any other answer to that question either diminishes the love of our Creator, eliminates His existence or generates such mystery that we’re involved in a theological paradox.

2. Who am I?

I am a child of God. I select to be a child, but not because I’m immature or untested. I select to be a child because in so proclaiming myself to be one, I admit that I am still a student of the planet and in the classroom of understanding myself and others.

3. Who is everybody else?

They are my brothers and sisters. When I start putting too many names on the human beings that surround me in this world, I become convinced that our relationships are complicated with twists and turns of culture and preference. The humans on this planet are my brothers and sisters. If we’re not linked by family genetics, we are linked to the genetics of our Creator.

Now, you might find this little trio of ideas to be very elementary in a world where we constantly hound one another with more questions than answers.

But if you begin your life by knowing that God is your Father, that you are a child of His desire and that everybody around you is brothers and sisters, the decision-making process of what is in your best interest clears up very quickly.

If I were involved in the present situations, I would realize that as a child of God, with brothers and sisters all over the world, my job is to assist and avoid killing.

Any chance we have to assist in a creative way eliminates some of the death toll.

Every gun we send over to a foreign power passes on the impression that we’ve picked sides. That means that a gun will eventually be pointed back in our direction.

I am not a pacifist unless by that term you are referring to someone who seeks peace. I am a realist.

And no man or woman that I kill in the pursuit of our best interest is going to go unnoticed by the children that he or she has left behind.

Answer the three questions.

If you’re an agnostic or atheist, you don’t believe there is a God, so you can’t be a child of God, and the human beings on the planet often tend to be your competitors.

If you’re overly religious, you don’t believe that God is your Father, but instead, a Force–often of punishment–so you feel that you’re a depraved sinner, and therefore you project that inadequacy on everyone around you.

God is my Father.

I am a child of God.

You are my brother or my sister.

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Quatrain of Nashville … April 29, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2217)

music city

Country fun

Country drinkin’

Country gun

Country thinkin’

 

 

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Published in: on April 29, 2014 at 2:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Untotaled: Stepping 2 (December 22nd, 1963) … February 15, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

I(2151)

(Transcript)

It had been exactly one month since the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

I didn’t care.

The reason for my indifference was that my parents were antagonistic against the now-deceased President. Mom and Dad were staunch Republicans, always voting “a straight Party ticket.” Perhaps worse, their political leanings often came with a nasty side order of insults and insinuations.

Two of their favorite words when referring to “that other Party” were queer and Communist.

I was twelve years old–I didn’t know what either word meant. But I surmised that “Communist” meant attempting to overthrow all the good things in our society, including candy and ice cream, and “queer” had something to do with Hollywood stars hanging around the JFK/Camelot White House.

So when the announcer from CBS came on to give a report about what had transpired since the Dallas shooting, I realized that my parents were in the room and it was a great opportunity for me to make some brownie points with them. Christmas was coming up and I had asked for a transistor radio. I was at that awkward age when I wasn’t sure if Christmas gifts came from Father Christmas or Father Cring. I thought I might please Mom and Dad by making a derogatory comment about the late President when the report commemorating his death took a commercial break.

So when the announcer said that the President was killed just a month ago, I clapped my hands in glee and shouted, “Nice shot!”

I turned, smiling, expecting approval from my overseers. But instead, for some reason they frowned, gasped–and my dad walked over, slapped me in the head and ordered me to my room. I lodged a few half-sentence objections, but he was trailing behind me, literally pushing me toward my destination.

Once imprisoned in my bedroom, I sat in a chair, confused.

What had happened? Wasn’t I just repeating what they had said all the previous weeks? Didn’t I hear them point out that he had brought this on himself? That he was the cause of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Bay of Pigs and the rising cost of hamburger? What did I do wrong?

You see, what I was not privy to was the fact that my parents, over that thirty-day period, had repented of their narrow-mindedness and realized that a very interesting but flawed man had been brutally murdered in a country where such foolishness should be forbidden.

They had changed their minds about some things without telling me.

So when my dad struck out at me, he was really attacking his own prejudices, which were now speaking back at him, taunting him for his nasty opinions.

I was the victim of his own repentance.

But what really bothered me was whether this would jeopardize my transistor radio at Christmas. I was so relieved three days later when it was under the tree and I was given access to the rest of the world that existed beyond Letts Avenue.

Yes, my tiny radio became my “ear to the queer.” All the things I had not been allowed to listen to, consider or wonder about were suddenly being piped to me through a little speaker.

As I look back at it I feel shame–not because I was a stupid kid saying something ridiculous, but because it took me too many years after that irresponsible day to finally learn how to think for myself.

It was too long before I comprehended what really happened in Dallas on that horrible afternoon. It had nothing to do with politics. It was stupidity, arrogance and prejudice … given a gun.

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Triggered… April 11, 2013

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gunI probably should never have done the gig.

I was twenty-four years old, and through a combination of my pride and pressure from a new friend, I agreed to do a concert in the park for the homeless in downtown Baltimore as an outreach for his ministry to the poor. He had jokingly suggested that our group perform, figuring that we were too “prissy” to do such an event. I leaped in and volunteered our services.

So we dressed up in our duds, deciding that we were not going to give these folks any less of a show than anyone else. We set up in the park and drove to situate our van in an alley near a meat market, where the proprietor had graciously offered us a space.

Just as soon as we stepped out of our van and were heading toward the park, a young man emerged from behind a dumpster, brandishing a knife and demanding our money. He couldn’t have been any more than sixteen years old, a hundred and nothing pounds, with eyes bloodshot and obviously an overabundance of nervous tics.

Fortunately, I had told both girls in my group to be sure to leave their money behind, so we wouldn’t get started giving out dollar bills to the homeless, ending up with them lining up for donations instead of to hear our creations. I stuck twelve dollars in my shoe to buy hotdogs after the concert.

As I stared at the young man with his shaky hands and squeaky voice, I felt no fear whatsoever. It’s not that I’m extremely brave–it’s just that he was so lacking in intimidation, even though I knew he was still dangerous because he was wielding the knife.

I motioned for the girls to get behind me, and for some reason, that action totally confused him. Before I could explain to him that we had no money, he looked to his right and left, shuffled his feet and suddenly ran away. When I arrived at the park, my friend who was in charge of the outreach said that I should have had a gun.

You see, I’ve heard this all my life. “You’re traveling on the road. You need a gun to protect you.”

So I asked him–where would I put it? He looked at me confused, as if he didn’t understand my meaning. Here’s my meaning: that day, in the back alley in Baltimore, if I had put a gun in my glove compartment, it would have been of no use to me. If I had it under my seat, it likewise would have made no difference, unless I planned to run away from my perpetrator to dive for my van. The only way a gun would have been of any help would be to carry it. So it begs the question–if we’re going to insist that guns are valuable for personal security, are we also prepared for everybody to walk around wearing holsters, with their pistols at their side? Because short of that, a gun locked in a box in your house, or secured in your closet, will do very little to help you during a home invasion, when people bust through your door and order you to lay down on the floor.

Here’s what I know about guns: guns shoot and guns kill. Guns don’t protect–because unless you lead with the fact that you’re “packing heat,” your gun will be far from you in your hour of need.

What I used that day to avoid being stabbed by a twitchy addict was calmness, level-headed thinking and maintaining eye contact. Honestly, it was better than a knife because I would have had no knowledge of how to involve myself in such a struggle. And to make a citizen’s arrest, pulling a gun on a person with a knife, would certainly be an over-reaction.

I think guns for recreational use–hunting or for display in a collection–are somewhat intriguing. But a gun will not help you in the middle of an attack from someone who has decided to do harm.

In that situation, your best trigger is an intelligent spirit.

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