There aren’t so many things I cannot stand, But of the ones I cannot stand at all Are: handshakes feeling like they’ll break my hand, Explosive laughter on a conference call, Responses to thank you that thank you back, Gum plastered on the underside of benches, Recurrent breaks in chatter for a snack, And toilets left unflushed, emitting stenches. All these I find disturbing, it is true, But one thing I can’t stand with loathing deep Is being woken from a slumber through The asking of the question, You asleep? My tolerance for whiners, though, is high; They do not bother me. I wonder why. This sonnet was borne by the silence of an early afternoon Metra ride out of Chicago. I think it was inspired by some “explosive laughter” on a conference call from earlier in the day.
I read of the time they wanted to wave The swastika over a shtetl, I’m oddly impressed the ACLU gave All it could to that storm in a kettle. The union had taken a stand that was strong In seventy-eight, and some called it wrong, Yet well it reflected the grit of the land Of the free and the home of the brave. Understand That the plan didn’t fly, but supposing it had, And further supposing had something gone bad, Can you force an incident, however sad, That MAY just have driven the union mad, To say: “I am Hitler”? I can’t. I get it, the foe of a foe can be friend. How close is a friendship like that in the end? You want the stain gone, break out the bleach, But seek out a pair of good gloves within reach. And do put them on. Just for the record, I am not bleach. I WIll Grieve, I Will Laugh, But I Am Not Charlie, by Josh Healy http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/01/13/i-will-grieve-i-will-laugh-i-am-not-charlie ACLU History: Taking a Stand for Free Speech in Skokie https://www.aclu.org/free-speech/aclu-history-taking-stand-free-speech-skokie In an Unequal World, Mocking All Serves the Powerful, by Saladin Ahmed http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/01/10/when-satire-cuts-both-ways/in-unequal-an-world-mocking-all-serves-the-powerful
Here’s a motivational piece I wrote last night. If you find yourself performing it, do drop me a recording :-). There’s a fire in your eyes. It’s your day to rise, Time to light the skies with the burning cries Of a fighter with no fear cuz the fear all dies This day you rise with a fire in your eyes. Set the field ablaze for a thousand days, Let them feel the heat of the toil that pays For a body that wields from a mind that plays The resolve of a heart in so many ways That the longer it burns, the stronger you feel Cuz that’s the effect of heat on steel, So burn till you earn what you yearn to seal, And when the victory rains, let the rain reveal Who you really are – one body, one mind, One soul, one machine that’s been designed To light the skies with the burning cries Of a fighter with no fear cuz the fear all dies This day you rise with a fire in your eyes. It’s your day to rise, your day to rise. RISE!
I always struggled to see how a mighty prophet like Musa (peace be upon him) could not keep his silence with Al-Khidr. It was only after listening to Shaykh Amin’s brilliant exegesis of Al-Qasas that I began to see how difficult it must have been for Musa (A) to be patient through it all. The three incidents from the story of Al-Khidr are grave enough to weigh down any soul. But, they well may have been the most difficult upon Musa (peace and blessings be upon him). I wonder how they weighed upon A heart submitting, pure and strong, Three incidents that seemed so wrong Were but with knowledge filled. A scuttled ship, a young boy slain, It seemed the evil would not wane Till came the act of kindness plain That his companion willed. I wonder if the silence broken Every time his words were spoken Came upon the wings of woken Grace that healthy conscience milled. Or did it come by higher grace Or pragmatism in its place, That brought his intellect to face His burdens undistilled? The scuttled ship: did he not see The people that he hoped to free From ignorance go to the sea, A tyrant army killed? The boy: was he himself not spared The fate that other infants shared? Did he not flee from Egypt scared Because of blood he spilled? The wall: did not his service tower Years to meet a noble dower, Knew the worth of every hour Spent in labor skilled. […]