paulclarkesongs

Songs and excerpts from a literary work in progress

Eco-justice, social-justice, topical, timeless, and zany, my treasure-trove of songs will be available for purchase in addition to narrative excerpts from a literary work in progress.

$1.00

Health Care

Today the People’s House postpones a vote on Health Care Bill. They don’t have the votes. Plan ‘B’ will be more severe, more austere, more insincere. Time for Plan ‘C’ – Universal, Single Payer. It’s eminently affordable, humane, and civilized. Partisan poison infects the body politic and the soul of the nation. Shame on US.

The Beach at Tulum

I’m at the apex, the pinnacle

the crest of the wave

riding in the trough

between the cradle and grave

I’m at the zenith, the high-point

the sun in the sky

walking on the Earth

it’s a good day to die.

I ride Poseidon’s blue mane, wrapped in silky, salty, cheery bliss beyond words. I say the unsayable, “Today is a good day to die.” The beach at Tulum has seduced me, beguiled, enjoined me to suspend my disbelief, to release my critical faculties, to sacrifice and surrender my defenses and battle plans at the altar of the eternal sea. Tropical, winter waves, bounce and trounce me, a drop of nada, in a wrap-around ocean. They would break me in pieces on the shore.  Wind-swept crests, roar this water train that carries me lost and found beyond the blue sky and white clouds.. The moon will be full bright tonight. The beach at Tulum – a total eclipse of life.

To Steve Bannon: Did I hear Apocalypse, Again?

––the complete final destruction of the world?  especially as described in the biblical book of Revelation? I’ve heard it said, the gods try to awaken us. Awaken us to participate in the awesome, mystery of heaven on earth, or as Joseph Campbell says, “in the agony of time and the rapture of eternity.” Joe’s rapture is not an ‘end-time’ event, that would E-ZPass a mere 144,000 souls, spared god’s wrath, through heaven’s gate. I think Campbell’s gods are not that mean. We’re invited to listen to the gods’ first of many appeals through our small, inner voices–the whispers in silence, or next, as Carl Jung advises, through, “dreams which are little hidden doors to the innermost soul,” which, if we fail to remember, present as meaningful coincidences and sychronicities happening during the day, and lest we finally awaken, plagued we become by catastrophes, diseases, and disasters–all of which we have brought upon ourselves. Is that where we are today? Those convinced of apocalyptic endings are not unlike the man stuck on his roof during a flood who repeatedly turned away assistance because he was waiting for god. “No thanks,” he said, “I’m praying to god for rescue me. God answers, “I came as a man with a ladder, as a sailor in boat, by emergency helicopter, and you refused me.” Did he drown? Can we step back from a self-fulfilling, prophetic precipice, of Apocalyptic fantasies? Hasn’t our conception and experience of god matured? Isn’t the ‘battle-field’ always and everywhere here and now? Isn’t life the open field of opportunity to contest good and evil inside our very own hearts every step, everyday? Surely these little, personal battles would spare us a Big Bang remix. Our omnipotent, apocalyptic fantasies, betray a pathological lack of imagination, a total blinding effect of literalizing and concretizing scripture, metaphor, symbols, and images, and our diseased projections then create the very evil we seek to destroy in others, and no supernal, intensity of violence is great enough to annihilate that which cannot be vanquished by force. 

On Betsy DeVos

The vote, tipped by one man is not a mandate, but, given our winner take all mindset, a continental divide nonetheless. So, change will trickle down the slope on high based on one vote. The ‘majority of one,’ has a noble pedigree, according to Thoreau, “any man more right than his neighbors, constitutes a majority of one.” I fear we’ve come to read this as, “any man more powerful than his neighbors, constitutes a majority of one.” The powers that be may delude themselves to feel as ‘big fishes in small ponds’ but ultimately, the immanence of death, and the mysteries of the universe render us ‘small fishes in an incomprehensibly large pond.’ Our ‘powerful’ ideas, ideals, beliefs, fears, and actions about education are not tempered with humility and informed by participants and troops in the trenches, by kids in school playgrounds, and by communities intimately stitched into and dependent on local schools. Schooling children has become an insidious business, an industry, a religion?, that  sunders our integral connection to each other, to our families, to the natural life-cycle, to the Earth, and to the Inner Reachers of Outer Space  by Joseph Campbell. This dystopian vision disempowers all stakeholders, billionaires and penny-stricken alike, and everything immediate, transient, and transcendently beautiful is dismissed, disregarded, even – invisible, for if ‘it’ can not be measured, captured, commodified, it doesn’t exist. What did Einstein remind us? –”Not everything that counts can be measured, and not everything that can be measured counts.”  How do we go forward? In desperation I would even admit religion back in schools, if it be the Dali Lama’s – whose religion is kindness. 

Post-election blues.

And what about blue? Solitary? Distant? Cold? Empty? From ashes I rise and set to work. I say, “No,” to hatred, and stoking fear, with violent intolerance of myself and the ‘other’. “No,” to my ignorance, arrogance, greed, entitlement, moral complacency, ethical torpor…in a word – sleepfullness (without the effortless gift of dreams). I have found the enemy and he is me. Blue. My complicity, my discreet and guileful selectivity, my self-interest. And blue? Sorrow? Fear? Longing? For what? For whom? I say, “Yes,” to life. To it all! Birthing, aging, dying, loving, losing, beauty. “Yes,” to horror and terror, that I may greet the monsters at the door and slow their violent entry, into the gods paradises. “Yes,” to mingling with the creatures of the Earth, immersed in a soul that would intenerate the spirit, make tender hard hearts, open closed minds, and unfurl twisted fists. “Yes,” to Blake, who saw a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wildflower. Blues of longing, for a vast future of peace and wonder and love. “Yes,” to the soles of our feet that sojourn across the planet. “Yes,” to the millions of blue students in classrooms across the nation and the world. I sing the post-election blues.