The Dark Poetry of This Election

and the Light …

“There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” — Leonard Cohen

“Spider lightening” in the darkness of night, and cloud cover …

When Donald Trump (wince) gave his acceptance speech, I was somewhat behind in my political research … I was still hoping that maybe, just maybe, he was going to be, you know, somehow cool. That maybe we were all wrong about him, and he would bring us together — maybe appoint some Democrats to his cabinet, be a revolutionary. One of my friends even suggested he might seek the advice and counsel of Obama! Hire Obama! … Didn’t he used to be a Democrat? Didn’t he once work with Jesse Jackson (I think he let Jesse use one of his buildings once)? Didn’t he appear on “Oprah”?

The song he (or someone on his team) chose to play as he wrapped it all up late into election night was: “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Stones. And I thought for a hot second that maybe that was good! Maybe he was saying: “Look, you didn’t get what you wanted, but you will get what you need.”

But apparently, and so sadly, sadly, sadly … I was wrong. As the cabinet nominees filled with billionaires, and Goldman Sachs (I guess Hillary giving speeches there was no biggie, after all) executives and alums, and people who pillaged the People through sub-prime loans, and foreclosures and the executive who oversaw the mining disasters at Sago in West Virgina

… Amway executives, white supremacist enablers and “energizers” … and as hate crimes surged across the U.S. (and happened to my very own friends, and my very own family) … and as a result of the “Trump effect,” men across the nation (and globe) began to grab women’s crotches or threaten to do so; and as Trump himself threatened freedom of the press, and freedom of speech by goading his supporters to harrass and threaten those who did and do not agree with him, well … You know.

It was time to freak the f#$! out!

And then I stumbled on the “other” major political reference to that Stones tune. That song was also used as a tribute to, and fundraiser on behalf of Jo Cox, murdered by a white supremacist and British “nationalist” in June of 2016. Good God, I hope that tune on election night was not a “dog whistle” on the part of Trump’s Team for anyone with evil schemes — but then, they’ve been “dog whistling” all along.

And so, what’s so sorry is that I now know what a “dog whistle” is … I know about Putin hacking his way into our election, apparently colluding with Trump, and who knows who else? … and spreading lies and misinformation, along with the oil industry, beginning decades ago. I know about Roger Ailes and his deep sickness, and his foxy agenda at Fox, and I just know … too damn much. You know?

It’s horrifying.

So, this is the darkness. Welcome in. Once you accept its reality, you’ll find there’s something more here … Some kind of dark poetry, “something happening here …

“ … what it is, ain’t exactly clear.”

Some kind of light in this darkness arcs like spider lightening, touching on flash points across the globe, and revealing a pattern we may have suspected but never saw quite so clearly …

It’s like how they say now the trees all connect at their roots and communicate. … Do you sense it? Are you connecting the dots? The unbelievable protest by our Water Protectors (and defenders of earth) in sub-zero temperatures, and 50-below wind chill at Standing Rock, over the Dakota Access Pipeline — owned by Energy Transfer Partners, for which Trump’s Energy Department nominee sits on the board … and then, his Secretary of State nominee with billions at stake in Russia …

The pipelines that crack and spill into fresh water just hours away … Continuous spills, spilling into water, water everywhere and so, not a drop to drink.

There, at Standing Rock, is an elder women’s, and youth-led camp (as I’ve heard) on “disputed territory,” Oceti Sakowin … where prayers happen at 6 am and 8 am every morning, and all activists must go through #nonviolent direct action training before they head for “front lines.”

… A half a world away, children and non-combatants perish in Syria for the sake of another pipeline, Putin’s and Assad’s … and who is to say how the fossil fuel industry is connected, like those tree roots? Now we see them “rising to the top” across nations, the true “global elite” — oblivious to concerns, like: Earth, water, wood, human, child, animal, heart, spirit, soul …

And then, the connections on the farther reaches of left and right, some which are of the small self, of self-interest, of victimhood and fear, and some which are good and true: We want the American Dream back (or, we just want it, for once!). We all just want a chance, white and black and brown and yellow and red, and poor and barely-hanging-on-in-the-not-so-middle-class … we just want a chance, and we want to feel safe, and we want health care, too. And we want leaders and media people who speak their minds and hearts, too. Who speak in a true voice, and care about people, and get to the bottom of things.

This arcing light of connection calls on us to be braver and bigger and stronger than darkness. To love more, to understand more, and to feel also safe, somehow, because Life/God/Love itself is so much more, unspeakably more, than all of this … and yet contained like a tiny, hard seed at the heart of this chaos, too. At the heart of everyone.

Some friends have gone into hiding, or denial about it all. But country, planet, Mother needs you at this time, make no mistake. It is time to be a patriot, Left, Right or Center, Democrat, Republican, Independent, I-Don’t-Care. Or, time to be simply a devoted and loving citizen of Earth, an animal of Earth. Who can escape this genealogy?

In the U.S. and other countries, democratic, equal, and civil rights were hard fought by many before us, and we have taken them for granted. Did we know we’d be called to act in unprecedented ways as citizens in our lifetimes? Maybe some of us for the second time, or third?


Well surprise. Get over it. And get used to it for a while.

It is OK to be in fear, because you will come out of it — from coming out, and settling into your intuitive wisdom, re-connecting to this beautiful LIFE and LOVE still here, always here, beating heart, flowing breath, running river, falling leaf, drifting snow, cup of tea, you will start to think and act in ways that will help.

Everything is connected … and as we follow the whispers of our deep wisdom, our wisdom “arcs” will connect, like that spider lightening.

We don’t have to do everything, we have to do just one thing: Our thing.

But do this, we must.

It seems we are being called to walk a very fine line. To say NO to that which is unjust, hateful and would bind, hurt and constrict. And also, to say YES to that which is good in the hearts of those currently experiencing fear, hate, maybe shame … and people whose fears have given rise to what appears to be great meanness and darkness. To say Yes to Goodness, still, overall and Over All. Hmmmm.

These are days which call for those who have only been “spiritual” to now be political, and for those who have only been “political” to now be spiritual. Do you feel it?

#StandingRock is about much more than a pipeline. It is about the whispers of Spirit that drew the first elders and youth, and women there. It is about values we are in danger of losing — gratitude for Earth itself, and Earth’s natural abundance; the natural gratitude of our own minds, in stillness, in slowness … It is about listening to the truth the Native Americans and all indigenous peoples have been keeping, and protecting for us about Mother Earth, and the emptiness of money.

It is about a time of rising up. It is about conserving energy as we never have before. It is about our choices as consumers. It is about consuming less. It is about remembering that every day, at Standing Rock, brave warriors of all ages and genders stand ready to die in the freezing winds to protect the waters for us all …

… and then asking ourselves “What am I willing to do?”

This is a time of great discomfort that calls for great courage and tremendous love. So be it.

Here is what to know: we think “they” have power, but they do not. They have insecurity, agitation, fear, anger and greed … and “they” are not “they,” but somehow also us.

What can we share, and show, and offer … as we also rise up and protest and resist?

Here is something to know: The “money” that is valued does not fulfill, the “power” gained never enough, the physical “beauty,” worship of youth … the many possessions, the parties-sex-airplanes-yachts, all of it — all some kind of form and like all form in this world, like our very bodies, this all will come and go, back to earth, and back to the formless. (This is not terror, but joy!)

Yet, for so many (and not just billionaires, of course, and not all billionaires of course), the game goes on for something “else,” more-more-more, something that can never be found in what is pursued. Until the pursuit itself is the object, because the pursuit is the distraction from the emptiness within. And yet, here is the secret: the emptiness within is simply the welcome mat for the fullness within, called Love.

What people search for “outside” of themselves, and “out there,” in future, future and more, more, more cannot be found because it is already here. It is Love. It is Spirit. It is Soul. We all have it, and no one more than the other. “They” have it too, but cannot find it right now; and are not looking.

“They” have forgotten to love their fellow human beings and this earth. We who have found this spirit power must turn to spirit power now. If “they” have forgotten, we must remember even more.

There is a movement afoot. It is unlike any kind of political or spiritual activity that has ever happened in the past … yet rooted in the truth of Love in #nonviolence. You will play a part. That is your honor.

Our patron saints are Leonard Cohen, and Alexander Hamilton, Carrie Fisher … and our Nobel Prize winner, Bob Dylan. The Veterans … Do you feel it?

These are just a few I’ve found … There may be others just for you.

Your heart knows the way. I bow to you.

Light in the heart of darkness.

“They say the darkest hour is right before the dawn.” — Bob Dylan


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Author, speaker/spiritual teacher, poet & journalist: SF Chronicle and Examiner, Inc. Mag, Metro, 3 CNPA First Place awards. See “Heart of America” on YouTube

Author, speaker/spiritual teacher, poet & journalist: SF Chronicle and Examiner, Inc. Mag, Metro, 3 CNPA First Place awards. See “Heart of America” on YouTube