Independence Day Manifesto

The stakes are too great-
an America gone mad with materialism, 
a police-state America, 
a sexless and soulless America 
prepared to battle the world 
in defense of a false image of its authority. 

Not the wild and beautiful America
of the comrades of Walt Whitman, 
not the historic America 
of William Blake and Henry David Thoreau 
where the spiritual independence of each individual was an America, 
a universe, 
more huge and awesome than 
all the abstract bureaucracies and authoritative officialdoms 
of the world combined.

Only those who have entered the world of spirit 
know what a vast laugh there is 
in the illusory appearance of worldly authority. 
And all men at one time or other enter that Spirit, 
whether in life or death.

How many hypocrites are there in America? 
How many trembling lambs, fearful of discovery? 
What authority have we set up over ourselves, 
that we are not as we are? 
Who shall prohibit an art from being published to the world? 
What conspirators have power to determine our mode of consciousness, 
our sexual enjoyments, our different labors and our loves? 
What fiends determine our wars?

When will we discover an America
that will not deny its own God? 
Who takes up 
arms, money, police, and a million hands 
to murder the consciousness of God? 

Who spits in the beautiful face of poetry 
which sings of the glory of God 
and weeps in the dust of the world?

Alan Ginsberg, 2000

Amber Alert

Sometimes the Church
Sometimes the World
are like the Psalmist.

When some tragedy occurs
they ask the Other,
"Where were You?"

And when we discern
the response
 is the same 
as what
Mary and Joseph heard,
“I AM where I AM 
supposed to be.” 

the quandary arises: 
Do we
like Mary place
the answer in our hearts
or silently wonder 
as Joseph:
“What is Your
Father’s business?”