Jordan River Blues

Originally posted on soitgoes1984:

I’ve got the Jordan River blues

they’ve got me on the news,

I’m drowning.

Rivers of blood flowing

carloads of tourists

going wine-tasting

and manger praying

eating stolen olives

we’re black sheep grazing

too far out

while I’m walking on water

I’m a fisherman

drown in Galilee

down and out

by the sea

side

Mediterranean resort

kill ‘em all for sport

Gaza on my mind

where jellyfish stings

bring tear gas tears

sigh,

shift the gears

quick

sand running

stuck in rubble-filled

school yards

books still burn

in piles

pills piled up

sky high on

pills

piled up on splintered

wooden tables

built by bastard carpenters

for last suppers

need more wine

fine,

forgive them father

these Roman soldiers

must be

alcoholics

all they needed was a

taste

they fell off the wagon

sweet red wine

washing down war crimes

this is my blood

sweet red

no water left for…

View original 488 more words

Jordan River Blues

I’ve got the Jordan River blues

they’ve got me on the news,

I’m drowning.

Rivers of blood flowing

carloads of tourists

going wine-tasting

and manger praying

eating stolen olives

we’re black sheep grazing

too far out

while I’m walking on water

I’m a fisherman

drown in Galilee

down and out

by the sea

side

Mediterranean resort

kill ‘em all for sport

Gaza on my mind

where jellyfish stings

bring tear gas tears

sigh,

shift the gears

quick

sand running

stuck in rubble-filled

school yards

books still burn

in piles

pills piled up

sky high on

pills

piled up on splintered

wooden tables

built by bastard carpenters

for last suppers

need more wine

fine,

forgive them father

these Roman soldiers

must be

alcoholics

all they needed was a

taste

they fell off the wagon

sweet red wine

washing down war crimes

this is my blood

sweet red

no water left for Bedouins

to walk on

and on

and on…

walking on

no newsman can erase

footprints in the sands of history

repeating itself

history

forgotten

like the golden rule

do unto others

have them

realize we’re all sisters

and brothers

and have been

throughout

history

buried beneath settlements

cut down like olive trees,

kiss me on the cheek

and on the 3rd day

I’ll be back

if I don’t have a heart attack

offer up my other cheek

we’re brothers,

I don’t want you to hang

have another

cup of my blood

makes the green grass grow

another cup of my blood

lets get drunk,

toss those coins in the well

wish on silver stars

these scars can heal

just look at these hands

touch these hands

walk hand in hand

sands cover history

cover time

cover tombs of our children

forgotten in these sands

forgetting that

this is holy land

and you are

and I am

holy

holy

holy

but houses built on graves

stone our own flesh and blood

forgotten siblings

alone and forsaken

half buried in the mud

eat my body

and drink my blood

forget me not

as I rot

beneath the rubble

of rotten humanity

in trouble

this is my SOS

shit on shingles

buried up to my neck

broken back

broken heart

don’t know where to start…

I am your brother

Palestine is our mother

laying on her death bed

drink this wine

and eat this bread

it’s all I have to offer

they confiscated my boat off Gaza

no more loaves and fish

wish I was back in Tiberius

drinking wine with my brother

skipping stones on Galilee

maybe float dehydrated

on the dead sea

scroll through channels

this shit is depressing

my brothers oppressing me

but I forgive them

and me

we know not what we do

and see

settlers with tired eyes

and tattoos honoring dead grandparents

but hate for one

won’t erase the crimes

of another

won’t you please forgive us all,

mother?

We’re walking through sandstorms

with two blind eyes

waiting on a king with one

to philosophize,

tell us we’re right

tell us it’s all

right

tell us it’s all going to be all

right

but we’re all wrong

paving paradise’s streets

with bomb after bomb

still sing psalm after psalm

I fill rivers and drown

in blood and tears

drunk on bastard’s blood

gouge out my eyes

king me

while I sing

these Jordan River blues

stroll into town

greet me like a king

with palm fronds

kiss my ring

high on life

high on myself

drunk on my own blood now

who needs loaves and fish?

I wish I could put that bottle down

sweet red wine

running out of time

running out of wine

find me singing the blues

beneath the 2,000 year old

olive trees

find me

passed out

drunk

and alone

here in the Gethsemane

they never let me

past the gate.

Salty Tears

1/17/2015

I have yet to find a bridge

and I’ve struggled to pick a poison

I’ve only been able to pull the trigger

on one-way tickets

to the middle of the Pacific

where the suicidal thoughts wash away

with each wave after wave

and each papaya and mamaki tea

and day by day

it becomes easier to forget…

and to remember

that we’re just a grain of sand

on an endless beach

and sometimes the stars

and the planets

seem within reach

and when I clean my glasses

and focus

I see a billion galexies

and behind them

billions more

so, how can I dwell on greed

and poverty

and war

when the whole planet

is hardly more

than a grain of sand

on an endless beach

and the whole universe is within reach

and within each

and every last one

by one

by one

from the ants marching

to the soldiers

laying down their guns

rusting from years and years

of salty tears

grinding gears of war,

halting more

cancerous decay

of the human race

and though space is infinate

we must slow the pace,

about face,

begin to heal the ‘aina

heal ourselves

heal the earth

our mother is worth more

than we could ever imagine.

Imagine.,..

Imagine…

Clean beaches

clean rivers

and clean consciences

pure hearts and minds,

find the time

to unwind

and imagine humanity

the way it could be

the way it should be

Imagine

a world free of hatred and greed

Imagine

free your mind and

Imagine…

because none of this is set in stone

the way things are doesn’t have to be…

So, if you’re standing on the bridge

crying over man’s inhumanity

STEP BACK

and pull the trigger

on a one way ticket

to the middle of the Pacific

or anywhere

somewhere in the sun

and relax…

take a deep breath

and know

with our children

and ancestors

our enemies

and our friends

with the earth

wind

fire

water

and spirit…

we are all

ONE.

Skyping Emma In The Berkshires

I miss simple days

like when we were Skyping

with Emma in the Berkshires,

over watermelon and hookah

in the shadows of the Baha’i temple

in the old German Colony

in that Mediterranean port city,

mixed more than most today,

where Isaac and Ishmael

at least tolerate one another

but Ishmael is stuck

at the back of the bus,

forced to drink from his own fountain,

and Jim Crow and Jesus Christ had the same initials

and at that ramshackle bakery

I was introduced to zaatar

for the first time

in this land of loaves

and fish,

and introduced to gorgeous women

with nineteen-year old flirtatious smiles

waiting in line for Gelato

with machine guns slung

over halter tops and skinny jeans,

in this land of milk

and honey in my tea

and the olive trees lack sunlight

in shadows of concrete

but the walls are miles away from here

and here

feels almost European

feels less obvious

feels almost fair

separate but…

equal if you can ignore the conscripted kids

too young to understand

socialized to see

a dehumanized enemy…

and this mint lemonade

helps soothe my hookah-smoke singed throat,

watermelon helps cool me down-

town for a whiskey later

helps smooth the sharpness of this reality-

just one ice cube

don’t water down,

truth is

it doesn’t seem so bad

it’s almost European

almost better

than Jim Crow

south

here

where my ears strain to understand

both Arabic and Hebrew

as I try to puff ringed-smoke signals to the universe…

at the cafe

eating watermelon,

and smoking hookah,

as we Skype

Emma in the Berkshires

it’s easy to forget

about checkpoints

and concrete walls,

teargas,

shit-water,

and rubber bullets,

here at this cafe

where yesterday

can seem a world away…

so, lets stay

for one more hookah,

one more watermelon,

and a last round

of mint lemonade.

Inshallah

It was easy to forget,

too easy, in fact

though I remembered from time to time,

I still forgot

and I promised I would never forget,

promised I would be back before long,

Inshallah,

but I forgot

and this summer will be four years,

and I’ve yet to return

but I want to

and have wanted to

and I feel so damn helpless

and it hurts to think about

and it’s not fair,

they’re good people

I know that life’s not fair,

but still…

they deserve justice

and I know

there are countless other places to go,

people to meet,

there are countless other people suffering

but they’re family now

they took me in

from chain-smoking on the sidewalk

and offered me coffee,

dinner,

and family

and the days

and the weeks flew by too fast

and goodbye was hell

and I promised I would be back

and Nasim said, “everyone says they’ll be back”

and that hurt

because right then

I wasn’t sure if I believed my own words

and I know he wanted to…

and things weren’t great that summer

but they’ve gotten worse

and worse

by the year

and lately by the day

and since that summer

I haven’t been back

and Nasim got out last summer

just as shit was hitting the fan,

living in poverty now in Eastern Europe

trying to help his family

himself

and his people

and he was alone and forsaken

when we last spoke,

with an expired visa

and expiring hope for a better life

for more than a refugee camp

and broken dreams,

and now his family is broken

and he needs help

and money is a shitty substitute for action

perhaps better only than prayers

in that it actually got him the insurance card and visa

and food in his belly,

but I had forgotten…

life got in the way

and I’ve yet to return

and I still intend to…

to break bread with this beautiful family again,

in this beautiful

but sad and desolate place

this prison with all but bars and shackles,

but time keeps moving,

more land keeps vanishing

more babies keep growing up

into yet another generation with no reason to hope,

more elders keep dying with broken hearts and dreams

erasing history,

erasing memories of beautiful homesteads

and olive farms,

leaving only symbolic keys

hanging by thinner and thinner thread

to a place long ago destroyed.

If I could trade places with him I would,

If I could self-immolate on the white house lawn

to end their collective suffering

I would do it right now

but I can’t

and Western-Unioning money

to a forgotten brother

in a far off land

who is homesick for a sick home

only makes me more ashamed to be human

to live in a world where Isaac slowly suffocates Ishmael

while the rest of the family eats settlement hummus

and stolen olives

and pretends that some lives matter less

or not at all,

pretends that history doesn’t rhyme…

and I lay awake now thinking back

to black coffee

and two packs

of cheap Palestinian cigarettes a day

and my soul dying from bearing witness to this madness

but my heart growing from seeing the love

this beautiful family has for each other

and the love they showed me

as I stood there chain smoking

on the sidewalk

in their refugee camp

and Nasim knew I was lost,

and when I was hungry they gave me to eat

and I can’t look at a Christmas tree

or Christmas lights

without thinking of that modern day manger,

surrounded by walls of cascading concrete

surrounded by hate

trying their best to hold on to love

and I will be back…

and I will never forget…

Inshallah.

cropped-cropped-101002597711783622.jpg

Empty

Three o’clock in the morning

driving west down the turnpike

chasing down the moon

it’s not quite full

my mind overflowing

want to run on empty…

but,

hours later

for a moment

it drains quick

and here I am,

now feeding birds

at the Quabbin,

precious life

eating from my palm.

Trust,

a beautiful thing.

Faith,

all too rare in man

but here the chickadee

and the titmouse

the kinglet

and the nuthatch

and all their songbird friends

find their faith rewarded,

and they eat their fill

and I am reminded

that I’m just one part

of this universe

no better,

no worse

than the songbirds

my friends,

happy to ring in the new year

with song and feast

and for a moment

on this cold

crisp

New England

New Year’s Day

I have again found peace

here,

in the overgrown orchard

here,

in the present

with no fear of tomorrow,

and no tears

for yesterday.

For a moment

full of mana

and empty of worry,

for tomorrow

I spread my own wings

again

like my feathered friends

and fly

back to the garden…

songbird who sings

Open Letter to Humanity: Of course ALL LIVES MATTER, but included in ALL LIVES… is BLACK LIVES

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”-Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world”- Dr. Paul Farmer

To the government, not all lives matter by any stretch. They should. It’s awful that two human beings were killed by a crazy man in Brooklyn. It’s awful that 2 human beings were killed by a crazy man in Sydney. It’s awful that 145 human beings, mostly children, were killed by inhumane men with inhumane objectives in Peshawar. It’s awful that 1 human being was killed by a man who had been socialized to ascribe less value to his life, on Staten Island. As a human being, I ache for the families of the two cops killed in NYC, but no more so than I do for the family of Eric Garner or any other innocent civilian killed at the hands of the government or anyone else, here, in Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere else. Cops lives do not matter more than those of the citizens they swore an oath to protect. The lives of black men allegedly selling untaxed, loose cigarettes, do not matter less. What happened it NY is the act of one deranged man, and it should be condemned, just as every other senseless act of violence, here and abroad, should be condemned. I condemn it for the senseless act of violence that it was. Black people, especially activists advocating for peace, justice, and equality, are not responsible for condemning this heinous act done by one crazy man, just as Muslims aren’t responsible for condemning crimes committed by individuals claiming some bastardized, radical version of their faith, just as middle class white people in suburbia are not responsible for condemning heinous acts carried out by deranged, heavily medicated, white teenagers. We should all condemn all of these acts as human beings, since taking the breath of an innocent human being is inhumane.

For those calling on law enforcement to condemn acts, accidental or otherwise, in which their brothers or sisters in arms wind up with the blood of innocent civilians on their hands, those they swore an oath to serve and protect, and for which they are compensated generously from our tax dollars, this is not the same as demanding that every black person you know immediately condemn the deaths of these officers. Civilians have not sworn an oath to fight for justice, as the police have. When there is injustice, and you have sworn an oath, and earn your salary in the pursuit of justice, you should not be required, but should absolutely feel compelled, when the evidence is clear, to take a stand for justice. As Malcolm X once said, “I am for truth, no matter who tells it. I am for justice, no matter who it’s for or against. I am a human being, first and foremost, and as such I am for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” That is the way I feel.I would call for justice for these officers, but their killer is dead. He killed his ex-girlfriend earlier in the day. He had issues. Where justice should be sought for these officers is in asking why the proper authorities weren’t notified about his deadly serious, and very real threats on social media. It is easy to second guess, after the fact, but it appears as though things could have ended without anyone being killed. For the amount of civil liberties that have been taken, I am appalled that, especially with what this crazy fuck posted online, how nothing was done. I sure he was expressing similar sentiments well before the day it happened. This was a crime committed by a man who should have triggered every red-flag there is. Sane men don’t say or do the things he did. Perhaps part of the discussion should include the mental health aspect of this?
I am extremely offended that they immediately politicized this and blame, not just Mayor de Blasio, but peaceful protesters. Patrick Lynch is a fucking coward. Without civil protest, we are no longer a democracy. The people lose what extremely limited, quiet voice still remains. My heart goes out to those mourning the deaths of their loved ones. Mayor de Blasio did nothing wrong. Protesters did nothing wrong. Pat Lynch should be fired. Though white, perhaps having a black children has led de Blasio to empathize a little more so than most other politicians, in that he has a very real anxiety and fear for his children, his son especially, who could very well wind up being the wrong color, at the wrong time. There is no sash for his children to wear denoting them as the children of a white mayor. There is nothing anti-police in Mayor de Blasio stating his very real fears as a father of black children.

And for the record, the officers killed were Asian and Hispanic. Not that it should matter, but to too many, sadly, it will. In his deranged state of mind, he was not targeting white people, or white cops, just cops in general, apparently. And somewhere out there in the world of law enforcement, someone let them down, either through incompetence, or intentionally. I’m waiting for that investigation.

yes, #AllLivesMatter and included in ALL LIVES is BLACK LIVES. They Matter. It’s almost 2015, lets evolve beyond our ignorance, but lets NOT FORGET that not too long ago in the history of this young country, Black Lives mattered to the same extent as cattle, pigs and horses. We need to know our history if we ever wish to evolve past it’s toxic legacy, the structural and social ills which grew out of it. Slavery wasn’t a ‘regrettable phase’ America went through as a teenager… these wounds don’t heal over night. The racism and ignorance we still see today is absolutely, 100% a direct result of the fact that there was slavery. Eric Garner was denied justice, but there was no justice in the aftermath of the civil war. Our great founding father and author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, who owned at some points over 200 human beings, and fathered 6 children with a slave, fully understood that black men and women are human beings and our equals…but he wanted expatriation to follow emancipation, because he also feared that if there was a just god out there, and even 1/10th of the evils perpetrated against black people were carried out against white people, it would not be pretty. Is that what so many people are worried about deep down? That if there is universal karma that one day the rates of incarceration will reverse, and white people will be the ones disproportionately serving hard time for non-violent offenses? is that the greatest fear, similar to the fears Jefferson had, that black people might one day try doing to whites, any of the heinous things white people have long done to them? Some folks try to discredit the protests of black activists, and claim that more white people are killed by police. While this is certainly no feather in the cap of the police, (all deaths they cause should be thoroughly investigated by a separate oversight committee, unrelated to the police or city government, with an interest only in justice) these claims, valid as they may be, do little to shed light on the statistics of those wrongfully killed, since in nearly every single instance, the police investigations find that their is no fault in the deaths of unarmed, innocent, young black men. If a white man pulls a gun, and a black teenager pulls an i-phone, one is perhaps justified, the other clearly is not. Both are considered justified. If we dig deep enough into this, all it would show is that maybe, just maybe, white people are more violent? When arguments are made that ‘black people commit more crime, white people are killed more often’ possession of cocaine, and even still marijuana, are considered ‘crimes’. Black people, per capita, are not using drugs more, they are just arrested far more because of things like stop-and-frisk, and charged, tried, and imprisoned. And a lot of white kids caught with blow have access to a good lawyer, if they are even charged. Often times, the argument of ‘he comes from a good family and has no record’ is more than enough for leniency. I would venture to guess that if a cop is going to shoot a white man, he has damn good reason, though that might well change. There is little risk in shooting a black man, even if he holds a bible in his hand and not a gun. ‘it was in his waistline’…an argument could be made that the bible looked like a weapon. Lets agree that the police, or anyone else, killing any innocent civilian, is wrong and should be punished. It shouldn’t matter who is killed, but that they are killed. It does matter because if i was wrongfully killed by a cop, people would care. There would be no question as to why my community was protesting, and the protests would be seen for what they were, SEEKING JUSTICE, not ANTI-COP. These protests are not anti-anything, they are PRO-JUSTICE!

Rest in Peace to the NYPD officers killed, but so to Eric Garner, so to all the unnamed and unnumbered masses of civilians left in the wake of the american empire. Rest in Peace to all the innocent Muslim civilians we have been socialized not to care about, their lives matter no more or less than yours of mine. Rest in Peace the troubled souls overdosing, cold and alone somewhere tonight, out of sight and mind of the media and in turn, all of us. Rest in Peace to, not just TWO but TWENTY-TWO American Veterans who killed themselves today, and the TWENTY-TWO who will kill themselves tomorrow, and the next day, and every day until something is done. Veterans lives matter just as much as the lives of police. But so do the lives of prisoners, our brothers and sisters rotting in prison for victimless crimes, rather, for crimes where they themselves were the only victim. Drug addicts deserve our love and kindness, they deserve help from a community that genuinely cares, not to be locked in a cage.

All lives matter. Think about that. Let that sink in. American lives matter, but no more or less than any other lives. Regardless of what we think, how inflated our American ego is…we are human beings. We matter to the same extent that all other human beings matter. There is no “protester” I know who would so much as break a window, much less kill a cop. Dr. King would be disgusted. Malcolm X would be disgusted. Neither men advocated violence. History twists the truth of Malcolm. He supported the right to defend yourself, not senseless acts of violence. No sane person wanting justice and equality thinks that murder or violence is in any way, shape, or form okay. To blame Mayor de Blasio and the protesters for this, because this crazy fuck used #EricGarner in a social media post, is no different than blaming every single cop for condoning the rape of innocent women during traffic stops, because a cop wearing a uniform and a badge did so. Any scumbag can wear a badge and violate sacred oaths to serve and protect. Any scumbag can use a hashtag in an attempt to become infamous at the expense of good, honest people seeking justice and truth. This is a disgusting attempt at political opportunism, and repression of constitutionally guaranteed rights to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and “the right of the people…to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Just as every cop should condemn injustice and corruption within their ranks, if one of my fellow patriotic American protesters should compromise the spirit of Dr. King, should they turn to senseless violence or aggression, everyone I know will condemn such things. Those ‘among’ protesters looting are NOT protesters, they are opportunists, without a care in the world for truth and justice, or who they hurt, because they inevitably hurt the cause. This crazy man in Brooklyn was NOT a protester of any sort, peaceful or otherwise. He was not even a loosely affiliated ‘looter’ using the banner of protest to rob, cheat and steal. To attempt to segway from peaceful protesters to looters to cop killers, is not only offensive and disturbing, it is un-American and dangerous. In a crowd of hundreds of peaceful protesters, a few assholes who are not part of the group and are only, allegedly (it is a fact that there are a number of police infiltrators in every movement, and are often unmasked-such as in Berkeley recently-for their aggression and advocacy for violence, which is not in keeping with the spirit of PROTEST) , using it as a cloak to rob a store, no more represents the protesters than a pedophile priest represents Jesus Christ, or a cop raping an woman during a traffic stop represents Lady Justice. Anyone can claim to be part of a group, and (most) anyone can join. There are certainly crazy people in every group, this man was certainly crazy…but he was not part of the group. He was not a protester. But even if he was, I think that would be a better example of the priest or rapist cop analogy…even if he was, that doesn’t change the fact that he is crazy and not representing in any way, shape or form, the group. Marylin Manson and EMINEM were not responsible for Columbine, Salinger was not responsible for the death of John Lennon, and Jesus Christ and the Pope are not responsible when a christian fundamentalist blows up an abortion clinic.

Maybe in this man’s sad, twisted mind, he was doing something good, or maybe he just snapped, and is an attention whore and knew the BEST way that he could get attention. Either way, this has nothing to do with the protesters OR Mayor Bill de Blasio condemning racial profiling and police brutality. This is one more attempt they are using to further silence dissent. I am NOT okay with that, and you shouldn’t be either. I sincerely hope that the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, comes out, and we see exactly why this crazy man was not stopped. I certainly hope that he wasn’t left alone for political reasons, but sadly I know better that to think that that is not a possibility. I certainly hope that the NYPD wouldn’t “sacrifice” some of their own brothers in a political move. I certainly that everyone heeds the words of Dr. King because we have seen time and time and time and time again that violence begets violence. Hate can only be conquered with love. I love those officers and I genuinely mourn their senseless deaths, but to me it is inexcusable to mourn their deaths and not the deaths of Eric Garner and Aiyana Jones and Tarika Wilson and John Crawford and Tamir Rice…and the senseless deaths of millions of innocent civilians over the past 13 years in the “war on terror.”. If you’re reading this, I love you like a brother or sister…but no more than Eric Garner, no more than the unnamed and unnumbered collateral damage. It is not human nature to not care about all of our fellow human beings…THAT is socialization. THAT is dehumanization. We learned not to care…I believe that we can all learn to care.

Still and all, why bother? Here's my answer. Many people need desperately to receive this message: I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone. -Kurt Vonnegut

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