Words for Wednesday


I think I’ve posted this poem before, but it came to me this morning when I was doing my morning practice and has been with me all day, since.

Manifesto:  The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Wendell Berry

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion – put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.


May it be so for you.


Picture found here.here.

Fact:  Most Americans, and certainly most Pagans, only vote in national elections, the elections that we have every four years to elect a president.  But elections happen, at a minimum, every two years, and in some places, local elections happen in the years in between those.  We are one state legislature away from Republicans being able to pass Constitutional amendments that would, for example, revoke same-sex marriages, criminalize abortion and birth control, take away women’s rights to vote.  You’d better get involved in your local electoral process now.  And by now, I mean, yesterday.


5 responses to “Words for Wednesday

  1. Please write about Korematsu v United States (1944) … how can this remnant of Darkness remain in place?

  2. That this law is still on the books is appalling to me. When I was 20, I escaped NJ and moved to California. One of the women I knew when I first started working in the “Pink Ghetto” of a large insurance company was Japanese. She was kind enough to car pool with me when I didn’t have a car.

    One day, she mentioned that she was in the camps. Being an NJ girl who knew zero about what happened in the West during WWII, particularly with respects to the internment camps, I replied enthusiastically that I was in camp in Nova Scotia for 3 Summers during 1964-1966.

    Being a kind and compassionate woman, she simply said, “You don’t know about the camps, do you?” I had no idea what she was talking about, but could tell from her tone of voice, that I was in for some education. She told me that she and her family endured life in the camps with detailed descriptions. I was horrified and started crying, asking her “Why didn’t we learn about this in our History classes?”

    It was one of the worst moments of my life – and one of the best in that it shook up my 2nd generation European limited white girl view of history. Seeing that this sort of thing may be repeated with Muslims – that Kuromatsu vs the US is still the law of the land – is deeply, deeply disturbing to me.

    There are times I just cannot stop crying…

  3. Exactly. When I saw this re-posted here from twitter — I did not believe it — and after checking — was appalled that the law still exists on the books — in the 21st century. Twenty-First. How?

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