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Archive for March, 2008

Postscript

Little by little, I plan on using bits of my autobiography to acquaint my blogger-friends with a sense of who I am. Instead of the preface, I am going to post a few last remarks. I hope it makes sense. If not, I can delete it and start from scratch.
From the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
The Moving Finger writes; and having writ,
Moves on; nor all you Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears was out a word of it.

Those are words I try to remember when the past bothers me. Perhaps I shall never completely succeed in putting the past to rest, but I’ll keep trying. When driving past meadows where horses are grazing, or I see a rider on horseback, the longing to have my own horse and the hurt is still deeply embedded within me. At such times I wonder why I had to live on three farms and have the pleasure of owning my own horse for such short periods of time. Then, I come back to reality and I’m aware of just how fortunate a woman I am. Six wonderful children who have grown into responsible adults. Grandchildren who have either already grown to responsible adulthood or are well on their way to doing so. I’ve created paintings and sculptures that found a ready market. My poetry, for the most part, has been nothing much than a side-hobby, but I’ve written a few that I think are darn good. My health is excellent for a woman my age, (88 as of this posting) and I’ve a myriad pleasant things to keep both my mind and body active. Indeed, I am a lucky woman. Though I still indulge in and enjoy an occasional drink, or a glass or two of wine, I no longer do so to blot out unhappiness. I am fiercely jealous of my independence and wary of anyone who would try to deprive me of it. There are times, perhaps, when the years ahead hold a certain amount of apprehension for me, but I face them content in the knowledge that, while my life with Carl Kaufman was not always happy, comfortable and serene, I have maintained courage with which to face the future. It was my husband’s cursed determination to have things his way; that bulldog tenacity that caused me so much pain for so many years, that brought us through. He would not allow himself to admit failure. Carl would not quit on himself or on me. I believe that both of us, in our own fashion, put forth our best effort to forget what was past and forgive that which could not be changed. His love for me had never faltered; I knew that, although I suppose there were many times he had to have wondered whether I would ever again be the person he once knew.
I wish Carl and I could have enjoyed more time together in Florida than we did. He treasured the sun, the shore and the ocean. He delighted in the many stage plays, musicals, theaters and concerts we attended. He enjoyed the writing classes to which we were both enrolled. He withstood heroically, the open heart surgery when two valves were replaced. He was in a recovery room for over a week after an aortic operation that came close to killing him. When another valve in his heart ceased to function and could not be replaced; when he knew his time was greatly limited to a possible few months, he chose not to die in some hospital connected to all manner of tubes dripping nourishment into his veins and others excreting wastes.
Two days before Thanksgiving, 1993, he came into the living room from his office to eat his supper. Without taking a bite of his salad, he pushed the plate aside. ‘This is not living,‘ were the only words he uttered. I knew what he was saying. He was placing in my keeping the only important decision I was to make concerning the two of us during our fifty and more years together. I knew what he was asking of me—make certain he would die in his own bed and by a method of his own choosing. I was, under no condition, to call anybody until he breathed his last breath.

I responded, “Carl, I’ll do whatever you want me to do.” I left my chair, picked up the salad plate and returned to the kitchen. For several moments I stood at the sink looking out into the darkness before returning to the living room. We spent an hour or two looking toward the television, but I doubt either of us was aware of what was broadcast. It wasn’t long after the program came to a close that Carl rose and went into the bedroom. I knew he wanted to be alone and remained in my chair, my thoughts and feelings reeling as I faced the future alone.
Some time later I rose, locked the front door and with the exception of one afternoon when a close friend and neighbor helped me at a time I could not have handled things by myself, Carl and I spent the next ten days alone. Those ten days were terrible, but I do not regret residing by Carl’s wishes. From the time Carl was old enough to take control of his life he had done so, and I was as determined as he was to save him from our modern miracles of inhumanity to mankind. My only fear now?
Who will do the same for me?

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Take Care Of Your Own

I’ve chosen the following poem from my book The Iconoclast, because I have reached the “cut-off” point. If I so much as suspect the contents of an envelope I find in my mailbox contains a solicition for funds from some church, or organization, that does not provide “family planning and early abortion—when conditions warrant it—the envelope goes unopened into my wastepaper container. Since she testified before Congress, I guess my friend S. Mutulis, would not mind if I told a bit of her story. Before abortion was made legal, she was horribly and brutally raped one evening on her way home from work. It was not long before she found the rapist had impregnated her. Without access to a legal abortion, she had but one option: seek out a back-alley abortionist who came close to killing her. I knew, after reading her story, I had to put my thoughts into a protest-poem.
TO ALL ADVOCATORS OF NEVER-TOO-MANY-BABIES-IN-THIS-WORLD . .

The world today is overflowing
with children born and never knowing
throughout their childhood, love and care.
They’re doomed to misery and despair
and if they live through puberty, they’ll face the imbecility
the Bible says is God’s command
to copulate and further overpopulate the land.
Women who’ve no right to choose,
forbidden by the pope to use
means to hinder contraception,
are quite likely to produce,
in their turn, more babies who
will grow up without a clue that perhaps the “Holy Pope”
sins when he destroys hope.

There’s not a biblical decree—that every sperm
that enters egg must come full term
and loved or not—it doesn’t matter.
God loves all the pitter-patter
of toddlers born who were not wanted and later, grown,
if Church is flaunted,
He damns to Hell’s reformatory.
If dead at birth? another story.
For still-born babes, it’s “limbo-tory”.

All churches who forbid the use
of contraceptives—now that’s abuse—
should find it sin to live in wealth,
should be troubled by lack of health
of children born to poverty, hunger and adversity.
Pro-lifers who abide in ease
while children starve and sometimes freeze,
should be the ones to sacrifice.
Adopt those babies, pay the price
for believing God to be a judge, a jury, referee
of “sinful, sexual venery”.
The pope’s, adored, loved by the masses
too blind to see themselves as asses for giving lives,
their hearts and reason
to creeds that call all thinking, treason.
Those filled with senseless, rapt devotion,
either for God or with the notion
that family planning is a sin,
do what you expect of me.
Accept responsibility.

If those who adamantly insist,
if sperm reach egg, it’s “instant-baby”,
would just step up with open arms
and with due alacrity
adopt those babies born to live
in endless, abject poverty, and regardless of its race
—or not exactly fair of face—
would give them homes and give them love
I will admit that all above may be a bit too harsh, but then,
I’ve yet to see the church set pen
to paper and send out the word,
“We may have erred, it’s time you heard
that perhaps the world’s been blest
with babes enough to fill God’s nest:
that perhaps each baby born
has a right to greet each morn
in a home where love and care
will be always waiting there’.

A child should be a cherished ward:
wanted, valued and adored.
It’s time to strike from God’s decree,
the rule that women, willing be,
complacent, breeding, human-mares,
trapped in ancient, absurd snares.
Well, I have news for all who beg:
if sperm cannot be kept from egg,
and though abortion, shouldn’t be,
I’m certain if the child were me:
if I’d been born to ceaseless strife,
forced to term, to birth, to life:
unwanted burden, doomed to shift
in hopelessness, I’m sure I’d find
abortion, far, the kinder gift.

I think the church and pro-life throng
are absolutely in the wrong.
Until the church and all their ilk,
give up all wealth and use it for
the hungry children of the poor,
you positively cannot bilk
me of my small security. Go to pro-lifers and the pope.
Go to those who banish hope. Seek the over-pious dope
who is blind, who can not see,
the poor have not the means to cope
with far too large a family.
I’ve compassion for the situation:
for children facing deprivation
but when seeking funds, my plea,
go to pro-lifers—not to me!

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About Reparations

This morning I received an email from a fellow-writer and poet, a not so young any more person whom I admire for his unbounded enthusiasm. We agree on almost all things, especially politically. However, this morning I found myself at odds with him over whether or not we owe any one race for the evils of another. The day before yesterday I matched the movie Mandingo, starring James Mason as the owner of a rundown plantation where, instead of crops, slaves are bred like cattle. If there was ever a movie to justify reparation to the descendents of those slaves, that movie does so, and yet . . . Here is my reply:
Had I been the offspring of black parents, instead of trying to make every white person in this country feel guilty for the slavery my great great great grandparents suffered, I think I’d try to be thankful for having been born an American citizen—and especially since I happened to have been born a female. Had I been born of black parents living in Africa, chances are I would have been taken out into the brush, alone or with a group of other girls, and, without benefit of an anesthetic, been pinned to the ground while my entire genital area was sawed from my body by an old woman using some crude tool, and the flesh stitched together by any means available. I watch my share of documentaries filmed in Africa and other areas from which slaves were found, and, male or female, I think I’d be glad to have been born in America, regardless of how I got here.
Not one of my ancestors ever owned a slave, and, as far as I know, never mistreated a person for no other reason than he or she was black. Plenty of white people in this country mistreated the Irish when they first settled in America. Perhaps I am owed some compensation for that? Most of my ancestors were born in Ireland and suffered greatly under the English. Perhaps the English people owe me for having mistreated my people? One more thing: I should hope that if I were a Black American, I’d try to remember this: before the white race could purchase black slaves, most of them were originially brought to the slave markets in Africa by their black brothers—many of them Arabs, but also black. Mary A. Kaufman

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I had meant to use an Easter theme for today’s blog, but since my viewpoint on the season is decidedly far from the “Jesus died for my sins”, instead of the “Messianic restoration of Jerusalem to its former glory and to bring in the Kingdom of God”, I’ve decided to use the following. . .

GENESIS 30:26 through 43

If trickery was not thievery,
and voodoo had Yahweh’s approval
when he became
Jacob’s Co-conspirator:
and Nature’s sole Competitor,
then who am I to file complaint?
‘Tis written Jacob took a knife
and peeled some saplings of their bark:
fragrant almond, poplar, plane,
and all to gain a second wife.
There are those who claim it’s true
because the Bible says it’s so:
but I am one who says it ain’t!
Rods of poplar, almond, plane,
spotted, striped and speckled wood
placed before a snow-white pair
of mating sheep or goats, ne’re could
produce the speckled, spotted, striped,
the varied offspring Jacob claimed.
Yet none the less, he left for home
a full-fledged Semite millionaire.
I think that God should be ashamed—
at least I’m certain that he would—
if obeah truly proved to be
a Biblical reality.
I’m more than thankful when I’m faced
with the Bible, interlaced,
with tales that I just can’t believe,
that I finally came to see
that doubt is what our brains are for.
And doubting led me to perceive
such tales are legends—nothing more.

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God’s Will

I do my best to never pretend to be anything I am not, so when it comes to writing fiction, I do little of it. I know a good story when I read one, but I don’t pretend to be above average when trying to write my own, and good story writers must know what they are doing in order to be successful. Nonetheless, once in a while I try my hand at a short story: for instance. . .

Six, would-be-passengers crowded just inside the gate to the tarmac and watched as the shuttle plane they were to have taken to Sandy Cove Retreat circled low over a nearby wooded hill and, to the horror of all, nose-dived, hit the ground and exploded in a blazing inferno. Even as they watched, a young man, suitcase in one hand and briefcase in the other, came running up to join the stunned group. Realizing what had taken place, he slumped within himself, sought a nearby bench and buried his face in his shaking hands. The others continued to stare at the pandemonium taking place as emergency vehicles, manned by frantic airport personnel, raced toward the scene of the disaster. One, unspoken concept circulated among the group. There, but for the grace of God, they would have been on that plane.
“Please,” counseled an airport security guard, “Come into the office lounge where you can recover from your shock. There is nothing you can do out here, and naturally, all future flights for the day are canceled.” The six nodded their agreement. It took a tug on the sleeve of the seated, still dazed man on the bench, to bring him to his feet. He moved toward the gate leading out to airfield, paused, then turned to join the group keeping close on the heels of their solicitous guard.
The aroma of freshly brewed coffee brought a sense of reality to the four women and two men, all from an evangelical church in the small town of Bellford, Indiana, some sixty miles from the airport. Rotund, silver-haired Pastor Nathan Nolton had, from the first, taken charge of his little flock, comforting the women and counseling Mr. Howard, who had a tendency toward small weeping spells. Soon, all were seated in the comfortable chairs arranged in a semicircle around a low, glass-topped table on which lay several outdated magazines. The pastor himself poured and passed around cups of coffee, sugared and creamed as preferred.
“If the van hadn’t stalled at that last stop sign, we would not have been late and every last one of us would be dead by now,” whimpered a small voice. It came from Miss May Prentice, a slightly plump and much loved Sunday School teacher for teenage girls. She was highly regarded by all for her sincere piety. “I just know it was God’s way of keeping us off that plane.”
“What else could it have been,” Mrs. Priscilla Adams, wife of the austere, revered church deacon, added. Mrs. Adams, of the tightly-lipped frozen smile and always reserved manner, was regarded as a most fitting model for her women’s Sunday School class, as was her husband who taught the young men’s class.
“All I know is, the church has had that van for over a year and it’s never once given us a one bit of trouble. It’s never once failed to start at the first turn of the key, and I’ve never so much as heard a sputter from the motor up until today—not until we were headed for this airport and certain death. No one can convince me that it wasn’t God’s way for causing us miss the plane.” This was from Mrs. Agatha Crisswell, dour-faced wife of Mr. Henry Crisswell who was known to have been a back-slider, even while a member of the church. His name was seldom mentioned among church members, at least not in the presence of Agatha. Miss Gilders said she saw it all—Mr. Crisswell coming out of a bar with that loose Bowmont woman one night at two-thirty in the morning. Every conscientious member of the church felt sorry for poor Agatha who kept a spotlessly clean house, run her household with an iron-like discipline and was a tireless worker in all the various church activities.
Mr. Howard—no one ever referred to him by his first name—wiped his eyes and settled the bridge of his glasses low on his nose. “I have to agree with the ladies.” A shudder shook his spare frame. “I know we are all grateful to God for his marvelous salvation of, not only our souls, but these wayward bodies and minds. I think it time we knelt in thanks and told him so. Pastor Nolton, will you lead us in prayer?”
If the six who knelt in gratitude noticed the young man remained seated, they pretended not to take offense. God was sufficiently thanked before they rose from their knees and resettled themselves in their chairs. Pastor Nolton refilled the coffee cups and conversation continued.
“Do you remember that awful train wreck that killed one hundred and twenty-three people in Lakeside last year?” questioned Mrs. Adams.
“Indeed we do,” chimed in the other five.
“I had a dream the night before that something terrible was going to happen. Don’t remember much about the dream, but I do know something bad was going to happen and soon. I’ve always believed that sometimes angels visit us in our sleep, don’t you,” Mrs. Adams asked as she reached for a chocolate chip cookie. Heads nodded in agreement.
“As I recall,” she continued, “I was thinking of visiting Aunt Ina, and I might well have been on that train. Just a blessing of the Lord that Aunt Ina decided to go on a trip around the world at that time, or I could have been one of those killed. Or maybe badly wounded. So many were, you know.”
The ever timid Miss Prentice spoke up, her voice subdued and hesitant as she pondered her words. “Most everyone in car thirteen lost their lives. My cousin Dorothy would have been sitting in that very car along side her friend Patty. Poor Patty wasn’t killed, but she will never walk again. At the last minute, just before Dorothy was to leave for the station, her mother, who had been doctoring for high blood pressure, had a massive stroke and died on the spot. After that, Dorthy gave her heart to the Lord and became a missionary. Too bad the young man she was engaged to, found himself another girl. He and Dorothy seemed so right for each other, but the Lord knows best.” Miss Prentice’s voice lowered, almost as though speaking to herself, “Too bad she contracted encephalitis in Africa. She never was any too strong. Wonder if she’ll recognize me the next time I visit her?”
Pastor Nolan, anxious to mitigate Miss. Prentice’s troubled thoughts, took her hand in his. “The Lord indeed works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform and we must not question him. He knows what he is doing and your cousin made the right choice. Whatever happens, she in God’s hands.” Anxious to outdo one another, each in turn, recounted some miraculous escape from death they had either read about, or of which they were personally aware. Now, here they were, themselves, all recipients of God’s merciful intervention. The more the subject was discussed, the deeper the conviction grew in each breast: God had intervened in their behalf.
It was not until conversation grew sporadic that Pastor Nolton turned to the young man who had seated himself somewhat apart from the others. “Young man, are you not aware of how great a blessing you have been handed? You too, might have been unfortunate enough to have been on that plane. Are you not thankful to God that he delayed your arrival here. Whatever it was that delayed you, you should be on your knees thanking him for keeping you on the ground.”
The silent figure remained slumped in his chair for a few moments. He then straightened, rose to his feet and bared his growing outrage. “I was late because the wonderful girl to whom I’ve been engaged for the last two years, was a pilot and at the controls of that plane from which your crazy God saw fit to save you. She came in before noon to help out in the office, so I decided to come along with her as far as a restaurant and bar about a quarter of a mile down the road. My fiancée said the restaurant here was closed for repairs. I told her I’d have lunch, walk the rest of the way, and I’d be on the plane when it took off. I rarely ever take a drink ’cause I’m not much of a drinker, but a gin and tonic sounded good to me after I ate a lousy sandwich. Guess I shouldn’t have had that drink, because I fell asleep in one of the back booths.
“By the time the waitress noticed I was still there and woke me up, it was too late. There was nobody around with a car so I ran all the way. My girl and I planned to continue on to San Francisco where we were going to be married. Guess she thought I’d catch the next plane, but that’s not going to happen, is it? I guess God uses gin, as well as train wrecks and motor problems to work his wonders, because I drank one gin and tonic and that’s the reason I’m still among the living. After listening to the six of you, I think I need another drink—a large, stiff drink.”
The lounge was strangely quiet for several minutes after the retreating figure left the room. It was Pastor Nolton who first gathered up his things in preparation for leaving. The others followed his lead and they went out to the waiting van. When all were settled in their seats, buckled in and ready for the trip back home, the good pastor bowed his head over the steering wheel and once again gave thanks to God for their deliverance. He asked for a safe journey back to town, put the automatic gear shift into ‘park’, turned the key and the motor sprang into action. Pastor Nolan shifted into drive, pulled out of the airport parking lot and, with a grateful glance heavenward, exited the ramp into the path of an oncoming double-hitched tractor-trailer.

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A Special Delivery

Bossy’s low, drawn out moan signaled trouble, serious trouble. It was after eight o’clock in the evening and I had returned to the barn and to the Holstein heifer whose labor began while the children and I were attending to the evening milking.
Evening chores always began between five-thirty and six. By seven, five days a week, my husband and the children were usually back in the house and hungry. Twice a week, Tuesday and Friday, Carl left the farm in his route truck loaded with chickens killed the day before and headed for Philadelphia, some thirty five miles south of our dairyfarm in Montgomery, Pennsylvania. On his way into the city he purchased wholesale: fresh eggs, butter and a variety of smoked sausages and other breakfast meats. Supermarkets were as yet unknown to most city housewives and corner grocery stores offered little in the way of fresh farm products.
There is, I believe, a law declaring that a buttered piece of toast, if dropped, must land butter-side down. In my case, I believed such a law applied to me. If trouble was to be my lot, it was ordained to occur when my husband was miles for home and unable to come to my rescue. This was to be one of those times.
Though concerned for the heifer when I left the barn with the children and headed for the house and supper, I had not been unduly alarmed. First calves usually took their time being born. After the evening meal was over, the dishes washed and left to dry, the smaller children bathed and in their pajamas, the older children busy with homework, or other activities, I left the house and headed back to the barn—hoping Bossy had delivered her calf. I was not to be that lucky. She was still standing, restlessly tossing her head as though she did not understand what was happening to her.
There was a roomy box stall close by and I would have preferred to have allowed her the freedom of movement it provided. I dared not. If she needed help, and I feared she would, I was the only help available. She had to remain in the confines of her stanchion. My dismay deepened to fear as nine o’clock became ten and still no indication of an imminent birth. None too happy with the developing possibility of facing what I feared was going to be a difficult birth, I stayed close by, returning to the house but twice to check on the children and to fortify myself with hot coffee.
I knew, even during the milking hour, there was little likelihood of getting help for Bossy should I need it. In the late afternoon, a tenebrous cloud-cover darkened the northern skies heralding a coming snow storm. During milking, it struck with ferocious force, closing all roads to and from our farm. Chances were, Carl would not be able to return before midnight, perhaps not until the following day. He could stay overnight with his parents who lived in the city, thus avoiding a treacherous ride home. I was on my own and worried.
I doubt it eased the heifer, but I stroked her gently as I waited for the moment she would lie down, the usual position for birthing. A small eternity slid slowly by before her front legs folded under her brisket and she settled on her side. I breathed a sigh of relief, all the time knowing we both could be in for a bad time. Her labor increased in intensity. It was almost eleven o’clock before I finally sat down on the cement walk behind the laboring heifer and prepared to examine the position of the calf. I inserted a hand into the soft interior of the vagina. Two slippery hoofs were within easy reach and I could feel the calf’s nose resting on its front legs. At least all was well so far, but the head of the calf was lodged in the pelvis. My strength and endurance were about to be tested.
As quickly as I could, I selected three lengths of baling twine, twisted them together and formed a noose at each end. Once again I sat down behind Bossy, placed the rope of twine behind my back and brought the noose ends forward. Next, I reached into Bossy’s swollen vagina and secured one noose just above a hoof, then did the same with the second noose, pulled them taut, slid back on my rump, and gave an experimental tug. The loops of twine held firm. I was now ready for Bossy to do her part and I was determined to give my best to help her through her coming ordeal.
It was not the calf I was worried about—it was the young heifer. My success meant either a profitable addition to our milking herd, or a paralyzed heifer’s back quarters which would render her unfit for anything other than expensive meat on the table. The buzzards, who scanned the skies above our farm, would find a dead calf waiting them in some isolated field the following day. I determined that neither meat on the table or a buzzard’s feast was to be the case.
Scarcely had I tested my expertise securing the twine nooses, the heifer’s sides heaved again in her effort to give birth. I grasped both ends of the makeshift forceps and pulled, my eyes bulging from their sockets. Two black and white, cartilage-like hooves emerged, the first real signs of progress. The young heifer relaxed, her head falling into the pile of hay I had placed before her. In a few moments another contraction struck, and once again her sides heaved. The calf’s nose, glistening with mucous, emerged. One more such contraction and I saw the calf’s closed eyes, but that was as far as Bossy and I were able to go. I loosened my grip on the twine rope and worked the vulva up and over the calf’s eyes. Another contraction began and Bossy, once again, bellowed in pain. During the next period of rest, I worked the vulva completely up and over the rounded head of the calf. The shoulders were not going to be easy, but with the head through, we were almost home.
As she struggled once again to force the calf’s birth, I pushed my feet against the wall of the gutter, pulled to the utmost of my strength, slid backward as the rope bit into my spine, and . . . it was over. The largest, firstborn calf of any heifer I ever saw lay sprawled before me on the walk and almost in my lap.
I did not take time to savor the victory. The calf was not breathing and there wasn’t a moment to lose. First, I cleared and cleaned the mucous from the calf’s nostrils as best I could, clamped my hands about its jaws and for the first time in my life, performed mouth to mouth resuscitation on an apparently, dead creature. The calf’s eyes opened and its wet ears flopped forward as it drew in its first breath of air. I was, at that moment, a creative goddess. Bossy lay resting from her ordeal and made no attempt to stir.
There is nothing like a massage to get the body moving and the little fellow—it was a bull calf—received an all-over rubdown that would have given me points in any massage parlor. Evidently the little critter wasn’t all that appreciative, because he began the struggle to stand which caused him to grunt. The tired mother heaved herself to a stand, looked back at my usurpation over her domain and softly bawled a motherly-moo. I released her from her stanchion, freeing her to care for her baby.
Before leaving the barn, I spread straw on the walk and made sure the feed bin was tightly covered. Not wishing to leave the two in total dankness, I left a light bulb burning over the walkway. Bossy was contentedly cleaning her charge of all residue of birth mucous, burlap fiber and human odor as I left the barn.
Overhead, silver-fringed clouds played ring-around-the-rosy with a brilliant full moon that turned the snow-sculptured fields and woods into a gigantic, glistening Shangri-La. The world was an all right place in which to live.

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If The Shoe Fits

Because religion appears to be of prime importance in the upcoming selection of presidential candidates for the office of President of the United States of America, this morning I decided to search my book “The Iconoclast” for a suitable poem for today’s blog. The following seemed to be an appropriate choice.

Witless, the man who does not ponder
on his worth, or ever wonder
if to facts he is asleep.
His ignorance, a guarantee,
whereby he proves himself to be
an empty-headed, well-sheared sheep.

Complacency can lead to woe,
mere faith to sheer imbroglio.
Such lack of thought, insanity.
Let all who mine and seek for truth
probe myths and legends, play the sleuth
and prove them all inanity.

Unless we delve and sift and seek
what lies beneath belief’s mystique,
we’re easy prey for churchly babble.
There are now, and ere will be,
clerics decked in trumpery
spouting faith and gibble-gabble.

Knowledge brings delight in learning:
also may replace the yearning
some carry with them to the tomb.
Some seek a Father, ever-caring,
never cruel nor overbearing:
the need was born within the womb.
They evidently do not see
God’s Book as it appears to me.
If they truly sought they’d find
God’s lack of love for humankind.

I searched in vain for hidden feast
but found instead that God’s like Baal
once worshipped in the Middle East:
bloodthirsty, vengeful, cruel and grim—
and I’m supposed to worship Him?

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