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Blog

I’ve decided to add a page for blogging, and I’ll try to add to it more frequently than I do other pages.  Your suggestions will help.

If I’m working on a poem (I use the term loosely),  you can help.  My creative process does respond to suggestions.  What do you think?

The Regime  1/23/17

I love Donald Trump.
I’m horrified that he is President of the USA.
I consider him a terrorist.
I’m terrified of the damage he can do.
But he is my brother
just as every creature of creation is my sibling.
I choose not to live in alienation (alien nation).

I love Donald Trump.
But it is very difficult.
I’m not 100% successful.
I have to work on it.
I hear the call to love my enemies.
Refusing to love hurts the refuser.
So I will pray to love Donald Trump

I have to look beyond Trump to the issues.
Trump can be a distraction.
As even can McConnell and Ryan.
The issues and the system must be confronted.
We employ Trump, McConnell, and Ryan.
Their job is to serve us.
Our job is give them their orders.

I love Donald Trump.
He has taken upon himself a big job.
He is charged with being my servant.
He is charged with being your servant.
He is charged to serve all the people.
He is charged to serve Muslims, LGBT people, and me.
What a job.  Let’s make him do it.

 

Magic                1/5/17

Why do children love magic?
What’s the attraction of ghosts and goblins,
and wizards and witches,
and spells and potions?
Why is Harry Potter a Savior?

Is it because children haven’t quite forgotten
all they knew before they were born?
Is it because deep within our collective unconscious
the Mystery finds new mythologies
to reveal what can only be reflected?
Is it because realities beyond our senses
demand expressions sentient beings can sense?

Or do humans persist in denial?
Do children simply experiment with fantasy
before they can indulge in politics?
Is magic the way children can feel empowered –
as if the way things are is an illusion
and a better world is behind the curtain?
Is magic the childhood religion
that keeps its followers from despair?

Seems children are on to something.
Like they are awake to wonder.
They have hungry spirits.
In awe of reality
they live in amazement.
Wouldn’t it be nice
to be that way.

Our Thanksgiving Rose
Stephen Miller, Nov 24, 2016
The rose bush by our front doorrose
was devoured by grasshoppers this summer.
Bare branches with a few chewed leaves
starkly rose from the dirt below.
Now a few leaves toward the top have returned
along with one red rose.
One red rose
after a couple of hard frosts
a bit of rain and a lot of wind
stands stubbornly among sparse leaves
on dead-looking thorny branches.
Ah, the persistence of beauty!

Dilapidated
Stephen Miller, 11/28/16
My dilapidated body,
My dilapidated brain,
And my dilapidated spirit
Make me wish I were insane.

Then I wouldn’t know I hurt;
I wouldn’t know I can’t think;
I could simply ooze along
With a nod and then a wink.

But I’ll work with my body
And I’ll work with my brain
Since my ever growing spirit
Gives me strength to take the pain.

My Dogma
Stephen Miller August 30, 2016
My karma runs over every dogma I ever buy,Steve by Bennett JPG 1 copy
and I have bought into many.
I tend, however, to let my dogma run free,
and the busy road of life is hazardous for a dogma.
Mine get run over every time.
Some karma comes along and my dogma is dead.
So I find it better to play with a dogma
and never to own it.
We can run together unleashedWorship in Belen
until one of us tires of the other.
Then I never own a dogma
and a dogma never owns me.
I long for a dogma of my own –
Yet I’m always playing with someone else’s dogma.
Maybe I need to learn more about my karma
before I buy into another dogma.

 

Wasn’t and Won’t Be
Stephen Miller, 8/20/16
As they lay in bed side by side
his wife heard a gurgle – a strange loud gurgle.
She turned to the sound – and her dead husband.
A moment before, he was very alive.
He was by her side.
She could hear him snoring.
She could know she wasn’t alone.
She was at peace.

As they lay in bed side by side
he felt that nagging pain in his left knee.
His mind wandered over many memories.
As he drifted into half-sleep dreams began.
Still aware of an itch and of too many thoughts,
he was a complex of emotions and sensations.
Then the world, for him, stopped.
He was at peace.

Once he didn’t exist.
Once the world went on without him.
Years from now he won’t  exist.
Years from now the world will go on without him.
The miracle of birth and the miracle of death
bring worlds into existence and end them.
A baby is born, lives, and then gurgles in his bed.
Once he wasn’t.  Now he won’t be.

Every day on the news, people die.
A consciousness stops thinking.
Life experiences become meaningless.
Others have memories,
but the dead one’s memories are gone.
Once that one wasn’t.
Now, again, that one won’t be.
Isn’t that how it is with you and with me?

Where was I when my father was born?
Where was I before his sperm fertilized the egg that became me?
For billions of year I didn’t exist.
Oh, maybe some form of my soul was around.
I’ve been told I’m a very old soul.
But, as far as I know, I wasn’t.
My ego, at least, is new to the world,
even as old as I seem to think I am.

Where will I be in a hundred years?
Where will I be when my distant descendants are born?
In the near future I won’t exist.
Oh, maybe a memory or two will be passed on.
I may have an influence on the future.
But, who I think I am, won’t be.
My ego, at least, will be gone,
regardless of how important I think I am.

If I were to write a memoir,
I would try to reduce a life to words.
If someone were to read my memoir,
my words would enter their world.
Their own frame of reference would define my words.
My words would create an image, but not my life.
What would the reader project into that image?
Would I become their hopes or their fears?

Whoever is, once wasn’t and soon won’t be.
Bodies may lie on the street like roadkill.
Some may lie in state to be honored by masses.
Most of those who have lived are now nameless.
A few leave names behind for legends to find.
If we are to live on, it won’t be with our current egos.
All I have and am, like my self-image, will be gone.
Each of us once wasn’t and all of us soon won’t be.

If I never again raft a river,
If I never travel the world,
If I see no more great theater,
If I hear no more great concerts,
If I am denied new insights,
If I don’t fulfill any of my dreams,
It won’t matter in a hundred years,
Because I once wasn’t and then I won’t be.

No one knows who the historical Jesus was.
Nor the historical Buddha, nor Mohammed.
Nor the historical Hitler, nor JFK, nor Bobby.
Nor the historical Lincoln, nor Washington.
No one knows who anyone is, was, or shall be.
We are all projections on each others’ screens.
We are here for a moment, then the moment’s gone.
Once I wasn’t and soon I won’t be.

Yet I am one with all that was and all that will be.
I am stardust and earth and past and future.
My actions, destructive and constructive, create.
My brief moment in one small sphere of influence –
my life – creates ripples impacting ripples and waves.
When my body returns to the earth – ashes to ashes –
Perhaps my essence will return to the Essence
And, free of my ego and my name, I will truly live.

Exhilaration of Exhaustion
Stephen Miller 6/14/16
The race horses are about to explode from the gate.
Energy needing release has them chomping at the bit.
At the end of the race, win or lose, satisfaction awaits.
Along the way, each hoof pounding, exhilaration fills the track.
Peace at last as all tension is released to exhaustion.

Hiking along the trail I’m energized.IMG_2646
The old runner in me wants to push harder.
I want the pounding of my heart to clear my head.
I want the pushing of my lungs to clear my soul.
I want the blood clearing plaque from my veins to run free.

Riding my bike through the bosque I’m in conflict.
Pleasant woods and river invite tranquility.
Yet my legs want to pump harder.
I want the exhilaration of adrenalin.
Peace at last as all tension is released in exhaustion.

The Presence
Stephen Miller 5/12/16
Moments in my past rank as what I would call mystical
– a call to ministry
– a revelation in college that got me kicked out of Campus Crusade for Christ
because it was contrary to their fundamentals.
– a flash of reconciliation at the communion table when the elder handed me the cup,
and he had been my enemy.
– many ESP moments and directives from the collective unconscious.
But mostly
A constant Presence has accompanied me.
“Riding high in April; shot down in May,” come what may it will be okay.
When I walk through the storm, I never walk alone.
When her baby was born dead,
people said, “You can’t believe in a God that could do such a thing!”
And Carrie said, “I don’t have answers, but I feel God grieving with me.”
The Presence may be
the gathering of the ancestors,
the communion of the saints,
the Love at the heart of the Collective Unconscious of the Universe,
or simply the Presence
or the Mystery.
Whatever the Mystery may be
I have a firm foundation accompanying me.
Though the mythologies constantly change
the foundation remains the same.
The Mystery also provides.
The Providence seems personal and individual.
I feel protective power, though I know I can override it with stupidity.
I witness Providence turning my mistakes into blessings.
The Presence is active and has good intentions for my life, but
Providence is mostly concerned that the arc of history move toward justice.
When the Hebrews (in scripture) were true to the myth of Abraham and Moses
Yahweh was true to the chosen.
When they turned to their own glory or to trusting in chariots, Providence failed.
I have a Foundation.  I build on it or become unaware.
When I’m most aware is when I’m most in tune with the Jesus myth.
If I can love my neighbor and my enemy as myself, I am most secure.
If I can realize in my deepest being my oneness with creation, I am at peace.
If I can feel the pain of the victims of inhumanity, I am outraged but empowered.
If I can know I am in partnership with Providence in the journey toward justice, I am whole.
Mystical moments inspire me, inform me, and motivate me.
Persistent Presence sustains me, gives me security, and takes away my fear.

Mystery
Stephen Miller 5/3/15

We need a new word.
“Mystery” too strongly suggests solution.
We want to solve the mystery.
Mystery is too weak to call forth awe and wonder.
Mystery simply calls forth inquiry.

An unsolvable mystery brings frustration, not adulation.
Sherlock surviving Moriarty’s attack is a mere curiosity.
When does mystery invite us to celebrate in awe?

“The Mystery” – The Ultimate Unknowable
knows us and engages us.
We may enter the Mystery,
but if we even try to solve It,
the Mystery fades into the intellect.

I want to live in The Mystery.
I want to live in awe and wonder.
I want to relate to the Mystery.
I want to be embraced by the Numinous.

Maybe that’s the word:
“Numinous.”

I may reflect on my experience of the Numinous.
I may describe living in the Numinous.
I may point to the benefits of recognizing Spirit.
I may discover new meanings when you reflect too.
But there are no solutions.
Nor would I want one.

The Jesus Myth
Stephen Miller, Dec 8, 2015
The Jesus Story begins with awe and wonder.
Angels or a star in the sky call for glorious victory.
Then it plunges into darkness.
A cattle stall, a helpless baby to be a refugee –
One of the least of humanity!
So the song goes on between glory and struggle
The melody is bright, but the harmony is dark.
We’re called to sing the lowest notes in a minor key
and to feel the highest wonder in the lowest places.
Finally the lyrics proclaim victory just before the fall.
The cross (take up your own if you want to sing the song
and tell the story) plunges us back into darkness.
The final refrain – or the epilogue – starts over:
Resurrection: Final victory of peace over violence!
Awe and wonder:  Luminous experiences of a presence!
The Jesus story is the song of our lives
if only we can learn the tune.

I’m not sure if the first stanza of this should be first or second.  Opinions?  Here’s the poem:

A Mountain Road
Stephen Miller 3/23/16
On a mountain road
my friends were looking for an eagle –
or at least for some dear or an ermine.
I decided to look for some trees –
and a forest, and a sky.
I decided to see various life forms
I didn’t have to identify or quantify.
I decided to see our earth
and maybe our universe.
I was not disappointed.

No disrespect
for the human need to name,
nor awe at the unusual,
nor the sense of order in categorizing,
I can get into any of it.
But once in a while
isn’t it wonderful
to simply bathe in beauty,
to soak up the essence of all,
to be one without words.