45th Birthday in 2002


Turned 45 while low back spasmed first time in few months–
body getting old, but at least concepts of life
       becoming clearer: everyone on planet has 3 basic needs:
material (food, water, shelter, medical, solid spot of earth),
spiritual (creativity, religion, therapy, meditation, love, purple skies),
empowerment (via elections, movements, razor blades, or bombs).
Humans rarely choose the healthiest alternative
       in any field.

Deep in their heart everyone knows 2,000 year old concept
       of a sole omniscient god
       is a fiction centuries outlived.
What keeps monotheism alive? Some say fear of afterlife–
I think fear of censure by other human beings for revealing
       what lies deep in the heart—
one’s honest skeptical thoughts thrown aside
       for sake of church, mosque, temple, TV news picnics—
And thus thousands still die every year for praying
       to a god with different sized shoes.

We’ve known long before Argentina that IMF austerity
       will not solve globalized poverty
and yet defenders of a free market that isn’t free
       still fill all our top op-ed pages.
As for the bombs used when democracy’s highway blocked,
everyone now understands that’s a problem—
       when it’s others doing the bombing.
Life on the planet is obvious
       but not in the same way
       to any two folks—
that’s the challenge of building love
the dilemma of a world growing colder
       even as global warming infiltrates our core.

January 2002