if you caught in the act out

water flows as earth stays

as thoughts flow, as thoughts remain

some snagged and held

grasped in pain in shame in blame

trapped swirling

thought lungs, be at peace now

meditation is how

opening and noticing

no fearing no judging

the thoughts that go

the thoughts that stay

and if they remain

spinning, clutching and turbulent

like a thought about something 20 years ago

drawn up from the well every day

opening and noticing

that each breath taken is the present

here and now breathing

and with each breath

seeing and feeling and healing

the anger the blame the shame

the ego the selfishness the pain

the suffering that makes one moment

come back and never go away

opening and noticing

seeing why it stays

opening and noticing

a choice a strength a freedom

to let it go, to let life flow

no longer caught in the act out

the bad decisions of the trip out

another breath another thought

another chance another life

water flows as earth stays

as thoughts go, as thoughts remain

trucker hat on the dash

onward august evening

riding my bike through these hot streets tonight

head light’s out but my rear light’s fine

nowhere to go, no one texting this phone

i’m most definitely not

some show you would know

what i like most are the smells in my nose

starting and stopping, going and mixing

next to the next, onward keep breathing

the cooking foods, the cleaning laundries

smell of river, of lakes, the sewers

freeway diesel smoke, lawn mower two strokes

railroad ties glistening

locomotive, rumbling distant

front lawns, back yards, the barbecuing

music, lawn chairs, laughing

down along river, up over bridges

beginning then ending, stronger then fading

breathing deeply, breathing peaceful

finally feeling them as i roll south and homeward

the cool breezes blowing

my windows open

how many click throughs to get past who

try to make this life about trees, about earth

all these stars, god above

about everything, everything

all the things

except me

 

but who’s name in the box

when it comes time to get paid

who puts their empty stomach on the line

when it comes time to fill plates

 

try to make this life about you

about them, about us

about everybody, everyone

all us humans

except this one

 

but someone’s name on the line

when the check gets signed

someone’s life on the line

when it comes time to survive

 

crazy how it looks like there’s a self to see

in this reputation, in this image on a screen

but that reflection’s something bigger

than a frame of you or me

human no worries, there’s no self to help

if i’m helping something bigger than just this self

when i’m lifting me by lifting somebody else

in this low wage weather system

like leaves curling and branches drooping, petals burnt brown and falling

these low wage years, in this low wage weather system, can you feel that low wage pressure rhythm, of this low wage stressful living, how this low wage life keeps taking, a drought of our own making

where it’s always burning hot cuz it’s always bitter cold

it’s always dry and unhealthy, patience testing and temper sparking

pissing tiny drops when we need a downpour, pissing little coins when we need a payday

this virga not sustaining, this pressure pushing down not relenting

like clouds that can’t build up in the sky and rain down for a healthy living

we can’t build ourselves and live up to the american dream

we just run ourselves down like dust into the ground

working multiple jobs, blink and decades are gone

how there’s no time to be with kids to guide them as they’re growing

there’s no time to be healthy or see the doctor when sickness starts coughing

no time to take classes or pursue interests, enjoy a hobby or see the bigger picture

no time to vote for change to find a way out of this maze

when all we’ve got is a few hours between 2 paychecks

this low wage pressure system, this parched living that the rich and their politicians insist on 

asking why aren’t employees healthy, why aren’t employees educated, why can’t i find skilled employees, why can’t employees afford childcare, why do employees have to rely on the government for everything

as they nervously make excuses that america’s workers are just lazy

their faces on all our screens talking about principles of self determination and responsibility

but what are those principles worth if the lowest paid employees can’t afford to live them

and instead of sacrificing 5 or 10 or 20 percent of their $40,000,000 salaries to increase the pay of employees making $13 hour

instead of sacrificing a 40% profit margin

instead of sacrificing shareholder dividends

instead of sacrificing anything, anything at all

to make their political principles a reality in the lives of their employees

they raise wages one day and en masse raise prices the next

locking those mental chains of unwritten rules around their own hands

with a shrug saying, “some things can’t be changed, we’ll blame externals for the inflation”

and when the time comes to need the best and demand the most of their employees

their decades of disinvestment in the education of their employees

in the very community their own workforce is hired from

it comes calling doesn’t it

but they keep on saying the same lines, that hot air coming out their mouths dry and dusty

like good money after bad, it’s just oblivion in high definition

these low wage years, in this low wage weather system, can you feel that low wage pressure rhythm, of this low wage stressful living, how this low wage life keeps taking, a drought of our own making

but if we keep fighting and resisting and pushing pushing pushing

never accepting unacceptable excuses as worth our dignity

it will start raining, absolutely raining over a fertile and free america

and damn if we don’t start growing

moment vector

your structures bright in the sun

like bones laid out in the sun

lies plain in the sun

dude, you can’t outrun

it’s all under the sun

 

what is holding you

all hanging out, half way into space

you’re way leveraged bro, cantilevered out into nothing

on credit on margins on debt

on violence on death, on jealousy on stress

promises made but were they kept

on shimmering virga for lives parched and beaten down

by thought droughts and wasted fates

hey sorry, only one digital frame per face

as if it’s impossible to see

the bridges standing for decades and centuries

arching all of humanity’s needs

over our churning rivers of doubt and greed

 

moment vector, what is supporting you

show us the engineering drawings dude

and that column you’re hanging from, you’re clinging to

what is it made with, formed from, built of

the maximum values pushing down on the end of that line you drew

that weight, that history, that story, that fate

that point load you said was static and maintained

moment vector, it’s already gone, already changed

thought lung #9 – summer forest path

got you loud and clear passing cloud

one year and one trial

thirty eighth and chicago

and one year and one trial

and one verdict delivered just

and in that, justice

but the names the names the names

must we keep saying more names every day

of those taken from us by neglect by indifference by hate

by racist design, by it’s cunning violence

by what’s become of a broken justice

which comes and goes

but never stays with us

 

thirty eighth and chicago

after one year, after one trial

and it’s still closed to traffic, and it’s still a crossroads

of work left undone by citizens, cities, pd’s, and governments

of reforms left in the air, left in committee, left out of the books

of how far we’ve come and how far left to go

until the traffic can flow, until the barricades can go

the news cameras turned off 

the crowds in the streets all at home

 

at thirty eighth and chicago

the day when foot traffic returns

to just neighbors stopping in the corner store

will that be the day justice has come home

the day when car traffic returns to just folks getting gas and some smokes

will that be the day justice has come home

the day when all of us, of any race, at any place in america

can walk across our own crossroads

our own intersections, our own streets, our own moment

that moment in our life where we come to know the police  

will that be the day justice has come home

to thirty eighth and chicago

 

IMG_6076

minneapolis ocean breeze

minneapolis ocean breeze

windows open at 75 degrees

sunshine hazy clouds it’s blowing north north east

cool and constant at 13 miles per hour

smelling of barbecues and blooming flowers

wet with humidity onshore like there’s a sea

like i remember as a kid playing on the salty sandy beach

but there’s no ocean

there’s no sea

just green farmland

just green trees

as far as my eyes can see