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This Violence, this Web of Evil This Violence, this Web of Evil
by David Sparenberg
2013-04-22 09:01:26
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The poem that follows is not intended to reach only an aesthetic elite.  Like a cupid’s arrow it is aimed at the universal human heart.  The world is increasingly violent.  At the same time we are all and always responsible for making choices.  At the root of the choosing processes we are choosing between life and death.  Not only absolute life or absolute death as a last act reply to the Shakespearean question of “To be or not to be.”  But also our choices, whether large or small, are ongoing and place us on the side of the degrees of life or the degrees of death.  We participate in creation as co-creative presences or we surrender our responsibility to become death’s ambassadors.  Everyone choices and everyone confronts a personal conscience and a more deeply personal soul.  That is, until and unless conscience is eclipsed and the soul is in exile. Yet a dreadful clarity must unavoidably be emerging for even the most obdurate and insular, that global holocaust will overtake us unless, through a higher dedication and creativity, an intentional evolution becomes our species goal. From Bagdad to Boston, from Kabul to the tragic halls of Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, we awaken daily to find ourselves more tightly wrapped in this violence, this web of evil, sustained by self-righteous depravity, rage and a denigration of living otherness. So it is time, even far past time, when all of us cure one another of our addiction to the culture of violence; exorcise one another from possession by the violent-demonic we idolize; and make a jail break in solidarity from the world prison of criminal complicity—this continuous killing of sisters, brothers and children.  But enough for now!  Our common condition requires warmth and collective action, not words merely to be followed by the consequences of forgetfulness. Still, the  poem is a measured desire and the desire is to speak as an exercise in public re-visioning.  Do we dare to look and in looking see and in seeing take up the task of rearticulating and redefining the who of what we are? Do we dare to choose the poem over the gun, the melody over the bomb, the dance that celebrates and the sculpture that honors the human adventure over further bloodshed of the human family?

IN HONOR OF THE ARTS                

A person living a dream
is not waging a nightmare.

A person playing music
is not committing murder.
A person writing a poem
is not killing anyone.
A person reading a book
is not discharging a weapon.
A person painting a picture
is not spilling blood.

Somebody sculpting stone
is not polluting the earth
with another premature corpse.
To plant a garden
is not to practice rape.
To pray at dawn
is not a crime against creation.

Turn aside and look into your soul.

Not into the darkness
you have inherited from history,
but into the light coming your way
from the love of God. To humbly bow down
in the posture of mystical weeping
is to vanquish the phantoms of hatred and fear.
Everything involves a holiness in the heart;
everyone is involved in making choices.

What a difference
between the pornographers of aggression
and the artists of compassion!

Go to the place
where life embraces otherness;
enter the dialogue of becoming human.
Have you even considered
how healing the wounds of a stranger
creates laughter in children
and orchards in angels?

A person reading these words
feels like a summer cloud
floating without effort on the mirror of a river.
Tell the truth now:
Isn’t that good? 

A  person
deep into the ecology of blessing
remembers the taste of wild honey
while protesting the politics of war.
Tell the truth
now: Isn’t it better to create
than to destroy?

When the Dream Maker first
introduced the DNA of dreaming
it was called Eden.
Naming took place
in the ecstasy of love.

Now tell the truth:
Isn’t peace the most
precious art?
What is more defining
than the compassion of our vulnerability?
PeaceMaker – tell me:
What is your name?

David Sparenberg

RD Laing used to ask, “How often are you simply handed a cup of tea?” A Zen question! Or gifted 2 free eco ebooks? Just check HERE!  


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Emanuel Paparella2013-04-22 10:53:29
Thank you David for expressing for us what can only be expressed poetically or artistically. One wonders, what would the pornographer of violence Mr. La Pierre of NRA fame do after reading such a poem?

It occurs to me that in that intriguing movie “Mediterraneo” (reviewed in Ovi) which is the story of a platoon of Italian soldiers stranded on a Greek island for three years during World War II we repeatedly see the lieutenant of the platoon drawing or gifting another soldier with a book of ancient Greek poems, or painting some frescos in the local church or dancing with the natives. One of the soldiers even ends up marrying one of the natives, the local prostitute. When they are doing those artistic things they are not at war, they are waging peace and spreading real civilization; in some way they are giving back what they have received. Mussolini and war and cruelty is the furthest thing from their mind in those three years.

Your poem inspires me to want to view that movie once again. I have seen it many times with my students but next time I show it I will incorporate your poem in the discussion in Italian that will follow the viewing. Ad majorem.

Leah Sellers2013-04-22 15:35:26
Beautifully juxtapositioned Truths, David.
What a Blessing You are, Sir.

David Sparenberg2013-04-22 19:22:55
Thank you Thanos for this honor, friend ever close to my heart. Thank you Emanuel and Leah as always. You are both valued. But Leah, dear, I wish you would stop calling me sir! I want only to walk with my friends on the beach of time and through the forest of our common dreams, and not to be prisoner in some ivory tower of isolation and loneliness. Please call me david, or as you do with Emanuel, brother.

David Sparenberg2013-04-22 19:26:28
ps--And dear Emanuel your comment also honors me and yes freely share the words, the poem, with others as occasion arises. The making of peace passes through one person intent to reach another.

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