Another bright and shiny thing!
Let’s all shout and dance and sing!
It glitters in polluted air!
It makes you want to sit and stare!
The newest bright and shiny thing!
I’ll cage the babies! Ain’t it fun!
I’m chosen as The Chosen One!
I’ll bring you pain; I’ll bring you down.
But as of now, my game’s in town!
At end of day, my game is done.
All my wondrous treacherous creatures!
All my crimes — now being reported!
But I’ll fight back with reporters deported.
Let’s open schools and kill some teachers!
They’re over-eager over-reachers!
Black lives matter? What’s with that?
I’ve grown fatter! Chomp on my chat!
I’ll spew and spatter racist chatter.
I’ve stolen so much my platter is flatter.
I’m careful as a junkyard rat.
My Pelf on Shelf – he’s such a Sweetie!
Never tries to do his duty:
Lock me away to save the nation.
He’d rather mouth his incantation:
“Lootie, Booty, Gawd-darned Tootie!”
I’ll rest at last when all is mine,
“Der Fooler” they will claim’s divine!
Pootie will show me how it’s done!
Torture, steal — it’s all such fun!
Just drink a little chloroquine!
What’s that you’ve given me to drink?
Why Vlad, you’ve broken rank
Given me polonium — and I drank.
I threw others under bus and tank,
But I gave you your life long prize.
You betrayed me – what a surprise!
You said I was the light — just right —
The son you never had
Oh, Vlad, Oh, Vlad.
You used me like a tool it seems.
I never thought in foulest dreams
You’d play me for the fool.
You promised me and now I’m had.
Winning bigly is so sad.
I’ll tell! I’ll tell! They’ll all believe
Me when I say…
Sometimes, you do literally have to push forward against evil that pushes you.
But think. Not always.
What is your opponent’s real target? What do you really have to defend against? Sometimes, if someone charges you, head bent in anger, it’s better to step aside, place your hands on their back and gently help them on their way. Sadly, this sometimes results in their falling on their face, ungratefully as well as ungracefully. But that cannot be blamed on you. You were just trying to help, after all.
I recall a similar trick from cowboy shows and such. Someone comes at you and instead of coming at them, you back away, grab their hands and roll backwards, putting both your feet on their torso. As they rock over you, you push your feet out flinging them behind you. I did actually successfully accomplish this a few times as a kid.
Direct confrontation is also useful because it continues to send a signal that there are others out there equally committed to resisting tyranny. But pick battles carefully. You don’t want to pick battles that will splinter your cause or ones that you will lose both tactically and in such a way that you have lost strategic advantage as well.
Remember not to underestimate your adversary. It is not being orchestrated by the Liar-in-Chief. It is likely being orchestrated by ex-KGB/Russian oligarchs and/or American oligarchs who have already compromised a portion of government. They know what they’re doing. They’ve studied our weaknesses for decades. And now they are exploiting them more than ever.
Racism. Misogyny. Homophobia. Xenophobia. Lack of self-discipline. Greed. Shallow Thinking. Impulsivity. Anti-intellectualism. Etc. The litany could go on. America’s always been a work in progress and we’re no-where near perfect. All these weaknesses have their own inevitable costs to our society, with or without help from Moscow. But they can push on those cracks to make them wider. And, they have been, for decades, trying to sabotage our efforts to have our society become more open, freer, fairer, more just, and productive along with a higher quality of life. Now, the sabotage has moved into the all-out push. With Trump, they have a wrecking ball. They will have him wield the power of the Presidency to destroy as much of America as possible before early January.
In the middle of a pandemic, we must work especially hard at keeping the fabric of society from fraying completely. However much you think you are showing your appreciation for others, especially across all boundaries, double it; triple it. We need to see ourselves as having one objective — not being enslaved by a tyrant.
Once absolute rule were to be instantiated, it would be bloody difficult to revert to democracy.
Let’s imagine what this might be like. One of the first moves, of course, will be to claim criminal charges against all of Trumputin’s political opponents. They will all be show trials, of course, using made up evidence. But how will the jury be sure of that? Run their own forensics tests? No, of course not. You see that once the Justice Department becomes the Injustice Department, absolutely no-one is safe.
Imagine. The local police chief takes a shine to your little girl or boy — away they go. What are you going to do about it? Complain? To whom? Going to tell a reporter? What reporter? Oh, you mean the one put in place by the Misadministration? The one who will be quickly replaced and possibly knee-capped if he writes anything critical of the Misadministration? The one who’s boss, the editor, is also on the take and has to approve everything before it’s printed. That one? I don’t think that reporter will have much to say about the kidnapping. Probably left wing terrorists, doncha know?
Or, let’s say you own a local, home-made donut shop. You really do make damned good donuts and everyone in town, and even the surrounding towns knows it too. Especially the cinnamon sugar! For awhile, it looked as though covid might just destroy your business and the nest egg you’d set up. But, in fact, you made a few changes and reassured all your customers and by god if business hasn’t been better than ever! People don’t feel comfortable dining inside a restaurant, but they can call in their order to you, drive by, and pick up nice tasty fresh donuts. Almost like eating out with far less expense and risk of getting sick.
Well, now under the Trumputin dictatorship, it turns out that a friend of a pretty wealthy Russian oligarch has always wanted to retire and run a donut shop. Yours has great reviews so now it’s his. No, you don’t get money for it. Or maybe you did get half a fair price, but you didn’t really want to give it up for any price. One way or another, you are not happy. This isn’t “free enterprise” or “capitalism” or “competition” — no, it isn’t. What did you expect? Trump is the most cowardly person I can think of — he doesn’t want to compete in a fair contest of any kind. It’s not his thing. Even if he could have won 2020 fairly, he wouldn’t do it. Cheating is what gives him pleasure. If won without cheating, half the fun of destroying America would be gone. That’s the nature of his character and eventually that kind of cheating attitude permeates everything like the smell of a skunk. And, by the way, it turns out the that friend of a pretty wealthy Russian oligarch is both a horrible cook and a horrible manager! The donuts are for $hit and none of the employees are happy. But they are not allowed to quit. And the patrons? If anyone asks their opinion, they had damned well better say these donuts make them get down on their knees and thank GOD that the donut shop changed hands. Want to keep complaining? Fine, the gracious government has secured another spot for you to ply your cooking skills up in some Siberian prison camps. Goodbye.
The cancerous corruption that starts at the top, of course, eventually filters down to state governments, local governments, societies, book clubs, bowling leagues. As in Stalin’s Russia, no-one trusts anyone. Kids betray their parents. Parents betray each other. Step out of line, you die. Maybe you die at once. Maybe we sent you to Siberia to die slowly as with ex-cooks who complain. Either way, you die. Either way, by stealing you out of the fabric of your neighborhood, your family, and your network of friends & colleagues, the Trumputin Misadministration has damaged all of those fabrics as well. They have reinforced the message that the only thing you can really count on is a government who will always be there for you. Until you don’t behave exactly and precisely as you’re told to. If you fight, then the entire force of that gigantic faceless stone will be crushed down your face.
And, you will not be able to go to reporter. And you will not be looking for a good lawyer because everyone knows the conclusion of your trial is already pre-determined. And you will not get on social media and complain because nearly all of social media is bot-$hit crazy propaganda supporting the Misadministration.
Oh, and guns? That will, of course, be one of the most ironic parts of this whole debacle. “Guns Rights” advocates, who for millennia (it feels like) have complained that liberals want to take their guns away — will, in fact, have their guns taken away. This will not be done by the left — who didn’t want to do it anyway, but by the dictatorship. Dictatorships really do take guns away. Yeah! That you were right about all along. The part where it all went sideways though was that although the NRA kept spewing the line that a well-armed citizenry kept us from tyranny, in actual practice, the guys in camo who donned their assault rifles did not stand up to actual terrorists or unmarked private militias. It was more fun, apparently, to stand up to unarmed nurses protesting to get needed equipment in order to save lives or to storm the capital building and protest legislators doing their jobs to save lives. Anyway, you won’t have any more right to own a gun than do Russian citizens. Maybe a few special hunting licenses for “special friends” of the Grand Supreme Leader. That’s it.
Everything is so horrible and absolute power is so absolute you probably think — good god, this will never change. Why did I bring children into this world? But things do change. The first major change of the Trumputin Misadministration is very minor wording change. It will be known henceforth in the shorter version — Putin Misadministration. Trump unfortunately had to be temporarily removed from duty to deal with a strange illness. Doctors think it is not COVID19 where the US death toll is now the best in the world. In a recent press conference Trump was able to inform the AmeriKKKan public that “supplemental autopsies” confirmed that the US only had three total COVID19 deaths while the rest (1.5 million) were all part of a liberal hoax. And those three would have been saved if only they had let the Stable Genius Savior puteth his hands upon them and administereth bleach unto them.
After Trump and his co-traitors all die of similar strange diseases within days of each other, Grand Supreme Leader Putin graciously names replacements for various Senators, Judges, and Cabinet Heads. Everyone in Congress is asked to swear a loyalty pledge to Putin. Those who refuse are never heard from again.
Nothing in this grim scenario is inevitable. If enough people wake up soon enough to see what is afoot, the overthrow of America can be avoided. I hope for everyone’s sake that will happen. Even if not, eventually life, creativity, freedom, fairness — these forces will prevail. The philosophy of hate, like cancer in the human body, can only have temporary victory. In the end, fascism is incompatible with life. Like cancer, it will not create anything useful to the whole, and once it kills its host, it too will die.
“Be steadfast in purpose and flexible in tactics.”
A lonely lackey claims a throne:
A peasant traitor to the bone;
A peasant who’s impressed with gold;
A coward who pretends he’s bold.
The teeniest hands in all the lands;
The teeniest glands among the bands.
The frailest ego ever found.
The smallest heart to ever pound.
A shroom: Ka-boom! An ort of sorts.
The base proclaim his magic warts.
Eschews a fight that’s not a fix.
The courts are clogged with crappy tricks.
Now watch him crumble; watch him fold;
He’s frail and his tricks are old.
He’s flat and rancid as a toad
He’s stupidly squashed upon the road.
He cannot think from A to B;
Betrays his country easily.
Now Weenie’s caught; he can’t be taught.
He does not do coherent thought.
He’s too inept to fairly race.
Instead he hides behind his face,
A mango face with wobbly head
He whimpers; cries of “foul!” Instead.
It’s he himself who’s truly rank
A Fraud as big as Deutsche Bank.
He sucks the wealth of everyone.
But now at last his time is done.
He’s needless slain a host of lives
To compensate, he feints and dives.
He rants and raves; corrupts; depraves.
He likes to rape the younger slaves.
His daddy never showed him love;
Kowtows to every Putin shove.
He felt a quiver and a thrill.
When Putin ordered him to kill.
But soon the people will arise
Vote out the Vichy Putinate!
The People all with open eyes
Will oust the King of Agitate.
(A myth about what happens when insatiable greed is combined with lying).
(A series of tales that features ethical, empathic, & effective leadership in times of crisis and uncertainty. Our tale begins as the leader of the Veritas seeks an eventual successor so she devises a series of seven trials that mainly test empathy.)
Everyone I met as a child had a vivid, or at least a willing, imagination.
Let’s see how yours is doing. Imagine that you are in a role-playing game. The goal of the game is to acquire as much money as possible. You are cast into two very unusual roles. On the one hand, you are a player competing against a large number of other players.
On the other hand, you are also the banker/moderator of the game. You handle all the money and no-one else can see or double check on the amounts. If any disputes arise among the players (including you) you and you alone are in charge of deciding the outcome.
Now, let’s say the game begins.
Do you see how you are guaranteed a win unless you restrain your power with ethical principles such as a sense of fair play?
Remember that the goal of the game is to acquire as much money as possible. Given that, when will enough be enough? At what level will you stop? When you have 50% of the wealth? 75%? 90%? 95%? Read the goal again.
The only thing that would prevent you would be your ethical principles.
If you have any.
Sometimes, the external world changes. One day it’s sunny. The next day it pours.
If you go outside on the sunny day and you enjoy it, that’s wonderful.
The next day, however, as I said, rain comes.
Sadly, you must go to the grocery store.
You have a choice: You can be like Albert and take a look out the window at the rain and decide to wear a rain coat and take an umbrella.
You can be like Teeny and refuse to look out the window. Instead, you open up the refrigerator door and you look inside. “No rain! Good!” And then, remembering how much fun it was to walk in the sunshine, you stride out the door confidently in your nice casual clothes and soon to be soggy sweater.
I’m sure all of us, at one time or another, have played the part of Teeny. Despite all evidence to the contrary, we insist that: we’re not really getting any older/heavier/slower/thinner/more hooked/ etc. To be exhaustive would be exhausting because it’s a long list, but you get the idea.
Be Smart. Be like Albert.
There are more subtle forms of the update problem.
Suppose that Albert and Teeny go to a speech by someone, let’s call him ConMan, who touts himself as an extremely successful entrepreneur and that, for a price, he can teach you to do the same. It all sounds quite interesting and plausible to both Albert and Teeny. They each send in a check for $50 to get their first set of training materials before they make a commitment for the $5000 investment which will allow them to eventually become millionaires.
The next day, Albert and Teeny see a headline in the newspaper that says that ConMan is under indictment for mail fraud, copyright infringement, and running a pyramid scheme.
Albert turns to his friend and says, “Crap! We’ve been had!”
Teeny says, “Not so fast. Let’s hear his side of the story.”
And sure enough, on the nightly news there were three stories about various unethical and criminal actions of the ConMan (involving a person, a man, a woman, a camera & a TV and by the way, isn’t that basically what you need for a porn film? Curious coincidence #422) . And, then, ConMan appeared on TV and said, quite sincerely, “It’s all lies. It’s all just my enemies trying to take me down so that immigrants can come here and ruin everything and take everything and rape your wife and kick your dog and I’m a stable genius and you must ONLY listen to me and to NO-ONE else because I might have to kick them under the bus too. And many people, the best people, my people, the real people, the ones who send me contributions so I can keep this wonderful money-making machine we call CONMAN ENTERPRISES going and I want to share that wealth all that unimaginable wealth with all of YOU and that’s why you must do *whatever it takes* folks to keep me generating money for YOU.”
The station switches to a commercial break and Albert’s well practiced finger taps mute before a single lying phoneme spews out about the wonder drug that will at last cure the heartbreak of having to sleep every night.
Albert laughs and looks at Teeny. “Well, I guess that settles that!”
Teeny says, “Yep. Just as I suspected. All fake news. He’s innocent.”
After picking his jaw back up off the floor, Albert says, “WHAT? You can’t be serious! That was the most unconvincing nonsensical and irrelevant excuse or lie or whatever you want to call it that I’ve ever heard. He’s a self-serving ConMan.”
Teeny scrunches up his face and says, “OKKK, but I’m still going to take his course and become a millionaire.”
Albert shakes his head as though it had been a struck tuning fork. “WHAT?! What are you talking about? Don’t you understand? He doesn’t know anything about making real money. The only ‘business’ he’s in is making money off suckers like you and me. And, he’s going to jail for it!”
“Not if we can prevent it,” Teeny said.
Albert countered, “He was set to gyp us out of $5000! Why do you want to help him?”
Teeny crossed his arms and literally said “Hmph!” as though he had been cast as a cartoon character in an early Bugs Bunny cartoon. Perhaps Leghorn the Chicken. Yeah, that works.
Anyway, Albert joined a class action suit to get his $50 back.
Teeny was still looking to become a millionaire based on ConMan’s con so he sent another $5000 to the ConMan and joined a protest to free ConMan.
Teeny found out that ConMan was indeed a con man. But Teeny did not update his brain to the implications of that knowledge. Or, he found the update so painful that he decided he would just pretend not to know.
Be smart. Be like Albert.
In case you missed the Bill Barr hearing, here is a slightly satirical summary. I say “slightly” and I long for the days when I could not have added that modifier.
If you have the courage, you could go beyond Albert and be more like John Lewis. Courage, strategically applied.
“Try the truth! Try the truth!
I clearly say and loudly state:
All those lies — just let them abate.
Try the truth and you might find,
The truth is good for heart and mind!”
“Go away you pesky fools,
Your real news hurts my orange head!
You count each death as really dead!
I like to fudge a bit instead!
Lies and cruelty are my tools!
I mix them up with bogus rules.”
“Would you try the truth today?
Would you taste the truth this day?
Tell the truth — just this once.
Try it Trump and you may see
Lies are for the cowardly.
Lies are for the little runts.
Heroes take the truthful way.”
“I do not like the truth at all!
I would not tell it at a ball!
I would not tell it on a call!
I would not tell it to a doll!
I do not like the truth at all!
It makes my teeny hands go itchy.
It makes my suck-lips go all twitchy.
I do not like the truth at all!”
“But try it once and you’ll discover
The truth means there’s no Cover-
Up and Down and Left and Right,
Let it all come out in shining Light!
You’ll be part of something great!
No need more to exaggerate.”
“I do so hate the truth at dawn.
I do so hate the truth at dusk.
I hoard the corn and tout the husk.
I flash my flab as though it’s brawn.
I tell them all I’m as smart as a whip.
And fly on a magic crystal sailing ship.”
“Yet, if you’d try the truth you might well see
That truth, my friend, would set you free!
Sharing truth allows humanity
To cure disease and mount the moon!
Without the truth, no-one learns.
Without the truth, everything burns.”
“I hate the truth since I was born!
Give others husk; I’ll gorge on corn!
Give others poo while I watch porn!
Steal their wealth and kids with lies!
Rape the kids! A sweet surprise!
I believe Putin; not our own spies.”
“Try the truth! For just for one hour.
You’ll find it’ll cure your cowardly cower.
You’ll find that you can learn from errors;
Improve; get better; leave more for your heirs.”
“More? You’re nuts! That wouldn’t be wise!
My wealth is based entirely on lies!
I’ve never worked! No a day in my life.
Just ask my wife or my wife or my wife.”
“Well Mr. Trump, if you won’t try the true,
You’ll be out of a job; even Pu-
Tin can’t rig the entire election.
Lies will spoil your climb to power!
Lies will ruin not only the garish Trump Tower,
But even the teeniest shroom of erection.”
Read history, folks.
Totalitarian regimes do this: they divide the citizens agains each other. Trump starts by trying to prevent Muslims from coming to America (unless, of course, they are Muslims from countries where he has financial interests).
Then, he ignores the needs of Puerto Rico and kills 3000 American citizens with his ineptness and attempts to throw the business for rebuilding the infrastructure to a small inexperienced shell company.
Then, he cages kids and tears babies from their mothers because — after all — they are “illegals.” It is NOT illegal to come to the US border and ask for asylum! No-one IS an illegal. A person is a person. If you sped once and got a speeding ticket that doesn’t make you an “illegal” does it?
The above are only a few examples. He has been working to divide Americans against each other ever since he got Putin office. Why? What “leader” does that? Who benefits?
Democrats don’t benefit. Republicans don’t benefit. Independents don’t benefit. POC don’t benefit. White people don’t benefit. Putin benefits!
Trumputin has been trying to divide Americans against each other from day one of the Misadministration. If you let him break the law and ignore the courts when it comes to POC or immigrants or Muslims, you can be 100% sure that they will do the same for you no matter what your color or origin.
Once the rule of law no longer exists, what will prevent them from coming to your house and taking every damned thing they want?
Nothing is the answer. And at that point, if you think you will be safe because you voted for Trump or wear a magic red MAGA hat or have an assault weapon — think again.
Remember: Hitler promised to restore Germany and do wonderful things. What actually happened? Tens of millions of people died — including many Germans. Hitler himself ended up committing suicide. Mussolini was beaten to death by an angry mob as was Caligula two millennia earlier.
Wake up, America!
Putin is having Trump use chemical and biological weapons against America’s own people.
Trump is putting zero energy into getting re-elected. He’s too chicken to ever play by the rules or have a fair fight. Heel Spurs is such a coward that he won’t even fire people face to face. He’s such a coward he can’t even admit to making a mistake. He’s such a coward that he won’t ask women to have sex. He just grabs them. And, if they are 13 and he can beat them up, so much the better.
You will not benefit from a Trump dictatorship. He may give you the illusion that he will. But that’s all it is. An illusion. He’s a con man. There is no substance to him. There is nothing but a desperate, cowardly baby screaming that he must have all the pudding because he wants all the pudding. His GOP enablers have let him get away with bribery, theft, and now murder.
Murder? Surely, that’s an exaggeration, right?
What if you knew a bridge was out and you encouraged someone to drive that bridge and they plunged to their death?
That’s what months of lies and bad modeling has done — needlessly killed tens of thousands of Americans with more on the way.
Before it’s too late.
The Truth Train
She Who Saves Many Lives heard a familiar voice, as though from far away. I am dreaming, she realized. It is Tu-Swift. I wonder what he wants. Oh, of course. He wants me to bring Suze back to life. But I cannot do that. He knows that. Such a lovely dream. I must return. Such peace. So many flowers. There is a field of flowers. Wild roses, pink and white form hedges around the perimeter. And such lovely blue lupins. The happy white daisies. The bright sunflowers. You must see how beautiful it all is, Tu-Swift. But of course, he sees no such thing. His friend just died. I must rise from the dream now and give him my love. It seems so … difficult … to awaken. It’s the fever. The red plague. Now Many Paths is talking too. What is she saying though? I must return to the dream. There, everything was easy…and beautiful. Understanding words is hard. Too hard. And understanding the meaning is harder still. And listening to the heart behind the meaning — the hope, the love, the fears — that is harder still. It is nearly time. Nearly time. But I must tell Many Paths something. And I must tell Tu-Swift something as well. Lids are such heavy things to lift. I never noticed that before.
“Hello, Many Paths. Hello, Tu-Swift.” The old shaman sighed and thought: My voice sounds so weak. Just a few hours ago, or possibly a few days ago, I sounded strong. And, look at my old lady’s skin. A covering of tiny red mountains. That is not so pretty.
Tu-Swift bent over her and said, “You’re awake! Good! Suze needs you! Many Paths cannot wake her! She needs a tonic from you or some magic or — I don’t know what! You must save her! Please!”
She Who Saves Many Lives looked at the face of Many Paths. The eyes of Many Paths held the answer that she already knew. She looked back to Tu-Swift. He knew as well. “I am so sorry, Tu-Swift. This red plague is not a good thing for us. Please back away from me. Don’t look at me like that. Of course, I still love you. While I was asleep, I recalled a story my mother told me long ago when I was a child much younger than you. Another plague came and people had to leave our village and go camp by themselves for a full moon. Those who stayed in the village almost all died, like Suze. Those who camped by themselves mostly lived. We must do the same. Stay back from the sick people. Even well people! Or you will get sick too. If two or three of us must talk, we must talk with a fire between us. Now, please, Tu-Swift, do not come close to me again, but you can go and make more of the healing tea for me. Leave it at the threshold and I’ll get it…or Many Paths may bring it to me. She’s just recovered. She won’t get sick again.”
Many Paths looked down at She Who Saves Many Lives and gently murmured, “Rest, Mother. Save your energy.”
The old Shaman smiled and spoke, “Yes, I will, but I may — I may soon join back with the soil from which the Great Tree of Life draws nourishment. There is something you must know. I need to … I had a dream. Perhaps I dreamt of the Forgotten Field of Flowers. Perhaps Not. But it was very beautiful and varied. And, it occurred to me that just as we who are among the Veritas all have something unique to contribute to the tribe, so too the various tribes have learned to adapt to various circumstances and therefore become expert in various things. This is the teaching of The Forgotten Field of Flowers, of course. That teaching is about people who may argue among the Veritas. But why limit it? Why not have all the Tribes come together and learn from each other?”
“Yes, as shown in The Battle of the Three Paths. In small. But are you saying include other tribes, even The ROI and the Z-Lotz? The Z-Lotz are treacherous! They steal children! That’s not even — that’s against life itself. And, they came — they may have brought the disease of red sores intentionally!”
“Yes. You cannot trust them. Not yet. But perhaps they will learn the value of truth from us and they could change. And, perhaps we can learn something from them. It doesn’t mean we have to steal children, or spread disease as they do.”
A silence grew between them. Many Paths held the old shaman’s hand. She could see that the Old One was drifting off to sleep so she held her hand and lay down beside her. Many Paths took deep calming breaths. She herself was not back to her full energy level so she let herself be lulled by the warm day into drowsiness. She listened to the sounds of her people at work outside. So many sick and unnecessarily so. It was hard to feel anything but contempt for the Z-Lotz who had brought them this disease. She wondered about Shadow Walker and Eagle Eyes. What if they never returned? Perhaps they had been killed or taken captive. Maybe it was a mistake to even go there. As she usually did when she worried about Shadow Walker, she began to fiddle with the Sixth Ring of Empathy — the one that she alone shared with Shadow Walker. She turned it this way and that. She put it on her finger and her eyelids grew heavy with sleep.
She glanced over at She Who Saves Many Lives. She could see the many lines in her wrinkled visage. There was history there, Many Paths realized. And in her form was written, not just her personal history, but the history of the people. And in her form was written, not just the history of the Veritas, but the history of all people, for surely they all did form one small branch of the great Tree of Life. Many Paths contemplated this branch. Most of her friends were on this small branch — She Who Saves Many Lives, Shadow Walker, Tu-Swift, Eagle Eyes, Fleet of Foot. But every daisy, every oak, every butterfly, they were all on and constituted that great Tree of Life.
Many Paths listened to the beautiful haunting cooing of a mourning dove from somewhere outside. She wondered whether the dove also realized that they were from the same tree. If we are all of and make up the same tree, was it then possible, as She Who Saves Many Lives had hinted, for different tribes to get along? Many Paths closed her eyes and pictured Shadow Walker. Having him away — that was hard — especially when there was no guarantee that he would return. She touched the Sixth Ring of Empathy and traced the circle of metal around her finger. It calmed her and made her realize that the Tree itself was safe. So long as people of character like Shadow Walker did what they could, not only for themselves, but also for the Great Tree of Life itself, all would be well. Many Paths smiled. She knew in her heart that her friends would do what they could. Everyone’s path ended in this life. And yet, every path also led to other paths. A stream might dry up — even a lake — but water — water itself was plentiful. The path of paths went on forever. The water circled itself back into life. And the tree of life will be here long outlasting our individual lives, Many Paths realized. But this Tree of Life is not something separate from me, or from Shadow Walker or from Tu-Swift. We are all part of that Tree. In a way, dying was only an illusion. A tree doesn’t die, even in winter. It may lose all its leaves and look dead, but it is only dormant and waiting for another spring. None of us really dies. Still, I prefer him here, warm, in the pleasurable press of our warm bodies together. I will always have the memory, and there is that vast tree, The Tree of Life. That lasts forever. He is one of my favorite parts though. Yet, I feel as though he is alive. It could be illusion.
Many Paths jerked as her head began to fall with sleep and then she chuckled as an image flickered for a moment behind her eyes — an image of Shadow Walker and Eagle Eyes sitting together on the throne of the Z-Lotz. She shook her head at that silliness then returned her mind back to the challenge that She Who Saves Many Lives had set for her: to bring all the tribes together. Was that possible? Or even desirable? A tree branches ever outwards. The branches don’t try to impale each other with thorns! Yet, Tu-Swift now feels as though he has been impaled. She Who Saves Many Lives sleeps. I will go and I will find Tu-Swift and comfort him. Can the Z-Lotz really have brought this plague here intentionally? And can I meet with them; dialogue with them if they have? But if I cannot meet with them, are we doomed yet again to war and killing and hatred? Then, her thoughts returned to Tu-Swift. Tu-Swift is alive and hurting. I must go see him. I just need to rest my eyes for a moment, then, I will find him.
Having concluded that, Many Paths fell into a deep sleep.
With space-Alien violence, people all across the world are ri
pped from their worlds and taken to those special beds.
The COVID beds.
And just as in the movie an alien presence is
forced down their throat and in their
Perhaps they wonder whether they
Will get a final say
Departing to those left behind
The wisdom of an old, yet un-befuddled mind.
Of, if befuddled, who’s to say
Whether older wisdom may filter through
To light a little (just a little), our path to a brighter day.
Who are the Speakers for the Dead?
What do they say?
Perhaps they whisper one and all with the self-same silence of the lambs
The lambs led to slaughter from the King-Con Man of the Cowards.
Supported by the most menial of the Blowhards.
If they have no breath,
If no-one speaks before their death,
Who are the Speakers for the Dead?
What do they say?
No-one can say.
That’s kind of the whole point, don’t you see?
Everyone is different.
Everyone learns something different.
Everyone has a piece of the puzzle laid before us growing ever larger till it will overwhelm
And when no-one will dare to grab the helm.
And so these lives go silently
Out of this life and into something else entirely.
Are we learning
Through the burning
And the yearning unfulfilled
All the turning unwilled
That we are all:
Leaves upon the Tree of Life.
The Life of the Tree
Depends upon the health of every Leaf
And every Leaf
Depends upon the Health of the entire Tree.
Is that so hard to see?
That’s it — in its entirety.
Like most trees, humanity
Must be its own gardener,
How can we grow and glow
Without the unspoken words of the many
Dispersed instead of our waiting ears,
The unspoken syllables slide into the bowels of a machine?
And some few recover.
We should be listening carefully to each one.
They are bringing tales from distant lands
Which we hope never to visit ourselves.
Are they, then, the Speakers for the Dead?
And what, prey, do they tell?
Or, shall we let the politicians far and wide
Whose ear-to-ear grins have never faded.
Regardless of thousands of corpses laded.
(They’re playing for the other side)
Shall we let them be
Speakers for the Dead?
No, they will not be Speakers for the Dead.
Because they cannot hear.
Because they cannot see.
Because they cannot feel.
Because they have forgotten that Truth is not “ours” or “theirs.”
Truth belongs to the Tree of Life
Not to one Leaf or Another.
Every single Leaf’s your sis or brother!
Let us sing then; sing together.
Heal the Tree wherever it’s needed.
That’s how forests are reseeded.
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