Gods or Monsters ~ Philip Brent Harris
What if you could create anything, paint like the greatest artist ever seen,
Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Gentileschi, Rousseau, Magritte, Cassatt, Ditko, Kane?
No doubt, I haven’t named your favorite, your one and only most fine.
The list is so long, I could fill up every notebook that I have ever owned.
Then I could scrape them clean, start again, fill them once more with genius,
Palimpsests where the glory listed still shines through those who join them.
Sacred light on the artists who have yet to be considered to share this space,
The unknown, the unborn whose vision outshines the sun, moon and stars.
Yet we waste time on so many useless pursuits, pastimes, stuff and nonsense;
Because we are told we should, we must, or risk not being exactly like the rest/
We were born to find our own true self, our unique gift, our ground of being,
Where we stand alone, rare, heady, a seed to plant in the waiting, fertile soil.
Once we find this secret, holy place, we must illuminate, shine forth, a beacon.
Share our vision and partake of the vision of others, until all merge and meld,
Until yet another new world is created, as all such are, a new place, a new land.
So we together may envision and realize a haven where all might safely stand.
Still what of those whose dark vision seeks wealth and power, total domination,
Where guns, armies, wars, death and destruction blossom in their bloody gardens?
Who could claim the right to deny another’s vision, that springs from their source,
Except when it interferes, harms, controls the life of others and risks the end of all?
I do not care if it seems unjust for some to have more and others to have less.
Yet, when only a limited few have all and more, while most have nothing or less,
Why cannot those who have excess, more than they need, share with those without?
Not to reduce them until all reach some mythical equanimity or fabled equality.
I cannot devise a reason why everyone should not have at least enough to live upon.
Our symbols have become our goals, worth death, defended as if they were treasure.
Where did we lose community, where all ranked more important than any one person,
Where unexpected bounty meant a grand party, joy and generous gifts for everyone?
Did just one individual decide he was entitled to more than his friends, family, clan?
A male, almost certainly, became the single pebble, started our fall, this avalanche
Which buries us, consumes us, our lives, in an ever-growing and ongoing disaster.
It’s time for us to step away, call the rescue crews and dogs, to find ourselves again.
Take stock, build a monument to those who perished, mark days of remembrance.
We must stand before all those who would perpetuate this madness and devastation,
Not judgmental, but as guides, mentors, parents, wiser adults who understand the risks,
Create for them a playground where they may play their games of war and conquest.
Perhaps we can develop somewhere in nearby space, arrange for them a dedicated place.
A moon of Jupiter perhaps, though that feels unfair to the moon no matter how barren.
Perhaps, in time, they will grow up, put away their toys, or annihilate themselves instead.
Most of us as close to out of harm’s way as we can manage, though never utterly safe.
So, we have come a long way from imaging ourselves as brilliant artists, creative geniuses;
Moving toward a time where we may strive to be complete beings, what brilliance then?
When we finally understand that life is life, no beings left behind, all worthy of our care,
What force or spirit flows through life, moves our universe, all visions always shared.
VOTE, November 3, 2020!
Peace is Purpose, Nonviolence is Strength, Diversity is Unity, Empathy is Empowerment
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