I Care Not; I Care

4

October 25, 2019-

The year,  of which I thought as a pinnacle,

when it was approaching,

now seems a plateau of focus,

as it begins to recede,

into the alpine mists of history.

Here and now have become

more urgent.

Past is  a glimmer,

whose lessons impact

the present stage.

Future is “that time”

of promises,

which only I

can bring to fruition.

Twenty-twenty

appears in my

mind’s eye,

like yin and yang.

In the heat of the now,

I care not for the culture

which glorifies drug use.

The mantra,

“This is better than crack!”,

is the cackling of the ignorant.

I care not for the powers

that pretend to be,

sending their tanks,

flame throwers and

armor-piercing bullets,

against unwitting defenders

of freedom.

I care not for the puppet masters,

who order the innocent

to stand down,

to step aside,

that the purveyors

of death,

may present their wares,

to the foolish and

the deluded.

I care not,

for those who

cry foul,

at being told

that an infant

has the right

to life,

the right

to be adopted,

instead of killed.

I care not,

for those who

start wildfires,

in the hopes

of returning later,

and building

cookie-cutter,

gentrified living resorts,

affordable only to

the favoured few.

I care,

for the struggling,

for the lost children,

kept in a prison box,

with no resources,

save the cement floor,

which they share,

with hundreds,

and with their reluctant

guards,

who are themselves

pariahs.

I care for those

who are beaten,

chased down,

hunted like animals

and then,

treated like filth,

by the jurists,

who look first

at the well-being

of those

who beat, menace

and hunt the innocent,

like so much prey.

I care for those

who have given

their all,

and end up

as footnotes,

in the journals

of narcissists.

Give us your tired,

poor, innocent,

that we may find room

in our hearts and

in our diminishing spaces.

 

 

Victim

17

April 27, 2018-

I have not, in real terms, ever been a victim. Yes, I have had an old laptop stolen from me. As I was the only one who could get it to work, chances are it is in the pile of useless electronics. Yes, someone pilfered a U.S. Passport, only to be himself caught, sometime later.

I have not ever been a victim.  Difficulties, stemming from misdirected choices, slow reactions to swiftly changing circumstances and excess trust of incompetent people are not grounds for crying “Poor me”.  I have been a slow learner.  I have placed trust in those who didn’t deserve it.  That is not victim-hood.

I am, instead, far more concerned with those who ARE victims: Children and teens who are put into one form, or another, of servitude-sometimes, even by their own parents;  adults, usually-but not always, women who are promised gainful employment, but instead are turned into slaves, living in brutal conditions; seniors, living in filthy conditions, and mentally unable to call attention to their plight; members of religious or ethnic minority groups, demonized by powerful interests in their own countries.

There will be a time, in the not-too-distant future, when my time, whether traveling, or in a Home Base, somewhere, will be spent primarily in voluntary service.  Then will my focus not be on keeping a roof over my head, but on keeping the vulnerable, wherever, I find them, out of harm’s way.

I am keeping my eyes open, in this relatively peaceful community, until the day that I move on,  and it’s true that there will be plenty of  opportunities to help others-not those with signs or outstretched hands, begging for cash, but people who are being genuinely mistreated, beyond their ability to fight back.

I will remain, not a victim.

 

 

The Road to 65, Mile 8: Leaves In The Wind

6

December 6, 2014, Scottsdale-  This day was the 34th anniversary of Penny and I having met, in Zuni, NM.  Since her passing, 3 1/2 years ago, I have found myself spending this day doing something or another that celebrates our Faith.  This year, December 6 was the day chosen by the Baha’is of Scottsdale, and the United Nations Association of Arizona, to observe Human Rights Day, which actually falls on December 10.  Several speakers addressed key issues pertaining to human rights:  Immigration, Native American affairs, the persecution of Baha’is in Iran, and the ongoing state of affairs between Blacks and Whites in our country.  A longtime educator, who is Baha’i, made the case for Universal Compulsory Education as the overall impetus for solutions to these, and other issues, being generated.  A member of the audience made a passionate plea for communities to address human trafficking.

As this last is a huge concern of mine, especially as it pertains to children and teens,  I spent several minutes during the social portion of the gathering, hearing this lady out on the matter.  Like her, I see both official sanctioning of human trafficking (albeit in a surreptitious manner) and the tendency we have towards viewing strangers, or those from outside the immediate circle of friends, as those better left in anonymity, as contributing factors to how easy it is for trafficking and slavery to persist in today’s world.

I will be glad to have a kindred spirit in my corner, in taking on these evils.  For too long, our society, and the human race as a whole, have regarded those outside one’s social circle as leaves in the wind.  I saw some of that in evidence among those in attendance at last night’s gathering, which underscored my earnest and hard-working colleague’s point:  Without us, who will bring in the light?