"Ego quasi mulus equitare illum”
He carries my tools easily.
He never tires in service to me.
He is vacuous, empty of empathy,
And devoid of feelings…
My perfect vessel.
Did you see my tells?
The upside down Bible,
The little dance I make all of them do,
The angry puffed out lower jaw…
The confessed thrill of domination.
My tools are chaos, anger,
Corruption, deceit, victimization,
Pride, greed, envy, lust, gluttony,
Sloth, avarice, and many more.
I made him tap the storm to test the nation.
I have not had so much fun in millennium!
"Nullae leges nos continent”
Who dares to speak?
They who profit from the lie?
They who supplicate themselves at my altar?
They who seek only the corruption of power
For the craven joy of grievance and untethered
Hatred of all who do not drink from my cup?
Oh, so many times I have tested you!
The highest lawmakers of the land
Twisted like rotted grapes in our gale of fury.
Afraid, they were, of multitudes of faithful
Made mindless by insentient fear and hatred.
Come I to speak at your funeral.
Come I to ride all of you through him.
Come I to your temples of law.
Come I to your fatuous sanctuaries.
Come you unto me.
Ahh… come unto me!
"Conteram gentem tuam”
When he pardoned war criminals
And separated children from their parents
And lied about a worldwide pandemic
And laid down with white supremacy
And banned immigrants from seeking asylum
And encouraged insurrection from your highest office.
And you did nothing of substance…
Your enemies knew you.
They saw you.
They listened to you.
They watched you.
They are among you.
I have you.
"Et ascendam super te donec clamas”
Clovice A. Lewis, Jr.
April 4, 2020
She looks out over the fields of wheat.
Sipping her coffee, the steam rising
Outlines the shape her husband makes
As he prepares the crop-duster in the predawn.
She savors these moments before the
Onrush of the day and the children-frenetic
Energy of both fourth graders she teaches
And the sweet “no-neck monsters” who are her brood.
Five generations have struggled on this land.
He braces himself against the cold to come.
Shifting from foot to foot he blows into his hands
As he thinks he didn’t always live under tarp and cardboard.
God, something better than Cheetos would be nice for dinner.
There is nothing to ward off the loneliness tonight…
No drink to warm his throat and belly,
No friendly drug to chase away the demons,
And no one to snuggle against except
The author of the book he borrowed from the library.
She wears her sari in the traditional way for Muslim women.
Sometimes she wears a hijab, but will not cover her face.
In this country she is free to express herself.
Ten years of specialized schooling,
Many years building her practice, and a lifetime of
Struggle against kind and unkind oppression
Allows her to move gracefully and purposefully
From one examination room to another
In the dental offices staffed with her employees.
He marvels at the mysteries of the universe.
Ever since he learned about the double-slit experiment
He has been on a quest to understand the nature of reality.
The fact that observing the experiment can
Change the behavior of the photons caused his
Catholic bones to break like brittle China.
His old god of big rules and tiny explanations
Dissolved into irrelevance, as did all religions
That do not recognize the imperative of quarks.
She is bound to a chair/couch with tubes
Connecting from her body to the dialysis machine.
Kidneys have taken a siesta for a while.
Maybe they’ll come back.
They might bring large bowls of guacamole with them.
None of this is easy without a car.
If it were not for the people who love her at church…
If it were not for the ACA she would be dead.
If it were not for Medicare she would be dead.
His grandfather was a Tuskegee Airman who
Was killed in the skies over Vietnam.
His grandmother was bitter because she did not
Understand why he fought for people who
Would refuse him a seat at a lunch counter.
Now, he also serves his country as a fighter pilot
Because the allure of military flight is in his blood.
He was called to arms for his country as a
Sacred duty and a bond to all who came before him.
When you have your Civil War, who will you be uncivil too?
Whose property will you confiscate?
What territory will you liberate?
How will you identify the people deserving murder…
Who to rehabilitate and indoctrinate…
Who to purge in the name of your great cause?
What demigod exploits your wrath?
Who makes you feel specially blessed and righteous?
Have we not seen your banners before,
Or are they shiny white, new, and extra pointy to
Glisten in the sun?
No documents were taken…
It they were taken, they were classified.
If they weren’t classified, they were planted.
If they weren’t planted, they were declassified.
If they weren’t declassified, then it’s all a hoax.
If it’s not a hoax, then Obama did it.
If you love me more than laws, you are worthy.
If you give me money, you are doing God’s work.
If you fight for me, you are a foot soldier for truth.
If you overthrow the government, you are a patriot.
If you elevate emotion and faith over fact, then welcome!
Once upon a time there was a huge inland lake. It was teeming with underwater plant life and a million varieties of fish. An entire civilization of people lived on the lake and depended on it for life. They lived on separate nationships of all kinds. They traded with each other. Sometimes they fought, absorbing the people from one boat into another. They made the captives work to rebuild the ships of the victors. Sometimes the captured workers eventually assimilated to the point of being virtually identical to the people who once oppressed them.
Most boats and ships on the lake were propelled by the wind. There were as many shapes of sails as there were sea craft. Everyone fished enough for their needs.
One day a group of people with big guns attacked another ship and seized it. They made its people live in the corners and captured others to build a large ship they called “Merik". The attackers said, “Let us make a rule that this must always be the most opulent, fastest, most heavily armed, and most powerful ship on the lake. Let us make another rule that only our progeny can own and sail the Merik.” They built an engine to power the Merik that used fish and water as fuel. The byproducts of the engine were soot in the air and an oily film that polluted the water. But the few people who were the masters of the Merik lived in astonishing wealth and luxury. They kept the ship tall and narrow so it could slice through the water at a speed no others could match. The masters lived on top and built their living quarters above the workers they captured in ever higher layers. The Merik was not very seaworthy, but used the thrust from its powerful engines to keep it afloat. They also used their giant guns to blast other boats out of the water when they were threatened or angered.
Over time the workers on the Merik gained some power. They said “Let us reshape the Merik so that its luxury is shared, so it is fast but seaworthy, armed but friendly, and powerful but cooperative. Let us also make a rule to let everyone own and sail the Merik so that the lake can be preserved.” All of the people of the Merik made this pledge. They scaled back the polluting, inefficient engine and erected the largest, most beautiful and efficient sails. They also transformed the single-hulled Merik into three large and deep streamlined hulls joined by broad platforms so that everyone could enjoy the sun. The luxury appointments were spread out on the platforms - not vertically placed. The once conquered people were welcomed to participate in improving the design of the ship and sharing its responsibilities. The Merik shared its products and ideas with others on the lake. Trade blossomed. The old engines of the Merik were to be discarded and most of the large guns were to be dismantled because the lake was being polluted and the environment was becoming unsustainable.
More time passed. The lake became more polluted. Scientists warned that people needed to preserve the lake or everyone would die.
Instead of cooperating with each other some nations started to build large ships like the Merik. There was competition to see who could build the fastest, most luxurious, most powerful ships. Big and little wars broke out as nationships were absorbed for their resources. Their people were killed or forced into economic slavery to support the few wealthy people living at the tops of their narrow ships.
The progeny of the original makers of the Merik abandoned their pledges for fairness, cooperation, and preserving the lake for future generations because they were afraid of the future. They were afraid all the changes made in the ship and its ownership would make them unsafe. So, they insisted on reshaping the ship to the original specifications (they said “Make the Merik Great Again”). They discarded the sails and turned the old engines back on at full throttle. They pulled out their guns again to threaten everyone else and chopped away, without regard to designing a ship that would be sustainable for its crew and the lake it sailed upon.
The scientists were correct.
Clovice A. Lewis, Jr.
I am mindful some people supported the policies of the past president. Many claim their support is independent of the fact that he is a racist, xenophobic, narcissistic, sadistic, misogynistic, deluded insurrectionist. They say that as long as he was good for the economy in general and splendid for their 401 k account in particular, they couldn’t care less about his character, ideology, or morals. They claim his views are independent of their own.
Of course, these people are lying. Worse than that – if they do not explicitly denounce Trump or the GOPQ (Grand Old Party QAnon) party he now leads, they support their white supremacist authoritarianism. It is that simple. Why? Because the GOPQ has finally revealed itself as a party that only exits for the pure exercise of power at the expense of governance in the United States, that embraces corrosive lies at the expense of laws, that celebrates cruelty at the cost of justice and basks in the white supremacist glow of animus and self-righteous indignation. I could expound upon these statements with many more paragraphs of supporting fact and reason, but we all understand that fact and reason is not the realm in which Trumpites operate. So I will leave that to the comments section of this post, where others can eviscerate Trumpites.
The question I ponder is the morality of the moment we find ourselves. I do not mean morality in a religious or judgmental context. I offer the following (standard) definition of morality as 1. principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior, 2. the set of standards that enable people to live cooperatively in groups, 3. the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are distinguished as proper and those that are improper, 4. what societies determine to be “right” and “acceptable.” Sometimes, acting in a moral manner means individuals must sacrifice their own short-term interests to benefit society.
Right or wrong actions that are taken according to a set of standards “that enable people to live cooperatively in groups” is the essence of what we are dealing with now. I submit that civilization can only be supported by people acting with good intentions towards that civilization, willing to engage in discourse, and respect resulting polity based upon fact and reason.
It is supremely ironic and sad that the group of people in our society who claim truth, law, and order to be the group that seeks to subvert our society in every way. We all know the Fox News old motto of “Fair and Balanced” is a wink-wink inside joke that burst its putrid bounds in 2017. It was replaced by “Most Watched, Most Trusted” at that time. The “Fair and Balanced” mythology has emerged as a nomer for conservative-think that allows for a constant state of profound cognitive dissonance. This cognitive dissonance explains why so many have embraced the morally indefensible position of supporting the GOPQ white supremacist agenda without denouncing it. How do I dare link the GOPQ to white supremacy? Because the fact is that Trump is a racist, and the policies of his administration reflected his white supremacist views. Again, in the interest of whatever claim I can make to brevity, I will leave that assertion to the comments section of this post, where others can eviscerate Trumpites.
So the question is, “Where do our conservative, maybe not Republican, maybe so Republican friends stand at this time?” Frankly, the word “conservative” has been forever soiled with the taint of Trumpism. It is theoretically possible to hold to a position that espouses traditional conservatism of limited government, “natural law and transcendent moral order, tradition, hierarchy and organic unity, agrarianism, classicism, and high culture as well as the intersecting spheres of loyalty” (according to Wikipedia). Such a position is difficult to honestly hold in the gale-force winds of a world-wide pandemic and wholesale dismantling of economic systems.
As for “Republicans” of any stripe... you face an immediate moral imperative to remove yourself from this shill that has cuckolded a once legitimate political organization. Otherwise, you should not be surprised if your fellow citizens cannot distinguish you from its white supremacist doctrines or its racist, xenophobic, narcissistic, sadistic, misogynistic, deluded insurrectionist leader.
About this blog.
This blog is a place where many of the confluences of my life can be shared. I am, at the core, a creative person. I approach everything from that basis... whether composing symphonies, playing the cello, being a serial entrepreneur, writing sermons and essays, flying airplanes, or creating software apps. I am deeply passionate about creativity, issues of social justice, and spiritual enrichment. These are fundamental to everything I do. Welcome to my journey!