Respecting the awesome power of words!

Archive for March, 2017

Deeper

FullSizeRender (68)This one was written in 2015

 

How can we more fully move
beyond a respect for the flag
and knee-jerk patriotism
to a discussion of the actions
of a government driven,
not by a desire for liberty
and justice for all,
but by the fear, greed,
and homogeneity of a few?

If our culture is going
to change for the better,
we're going to have to create
a safe environment
for deeper conversations.

We're going to have to face,
admit, and address
our own comfort and complicity
in the power structures that exist.

We're going to have to live glocally –
thinking globally and acting locally.

© 2017 Todd Jenkins

Wafting

B Padgett Fort Payne

Photo by Ben Padgett

 

Small, weak people
divide others, 
in order to conquer,
fearful there won't be enough.

Calm, safe people
accept others,
in order to include,
hoping generosity will suffice.

Courageous, strong people
gather and invite others,
in order to be transformed,
trusting abundance will bless.

There’s less a mountain
to climb here, than an atmosphere
into which a sacred fire wafts us;
as featherweight embers,
we rise into the heavens.

When the flame’s heat dissipates,
winds carry us on invisible wings
to shores whose beauty
we’ve yet to imagine.

© 2017 Todd Jenkins

Building

IMG_7343

That building we call
church isn't really a church.

It only becomes church
when people show up
to make church;

when people use it
to be and become church.

What difference would it make
for the community
if we, on the inside,
not only understood that,
but lived it more intentionally
on the outside?

© 2017 Todd Jenkins

 


Looming

IMG_7547

Photo by Anne Shurley



The world is full
of three kinds of people:

[1] The one man (Yeah,
it’s most certainly a male.)
who's more convinced
than anyone else that
all of the privilege
and power he wields
is rightfully his, and his alone.

[2] The yet-to-be-jaded children
whose bones have not
developed a single sliver
of brittle entitlement.

[3] All the rest, whose worldview
lies somewhere on the spectrum
between the other two;

a perch that’s narrower
than we might imagine,
and heavily tilted toward
our own experiences.

We are all a lot closer
to one another than we imagine;
our common humanity
capable of weaving unbreakable
bonds of hope.

Our stories, the loom upon
which the warp and weft
of this tapestry are created.
Are we ready to listen?

© 2017 Todd Jenkins

 


Falling

IMG_8046

When your heart flutters
for the plight
of some other species,
when your wallet falls
readily open
for helpless and abused animals,

by all means,
give of yourself
in ways promising
to make the world more whole.

And when your breathing
levels out again,
giving you opportunity
for reflection,

ask yourself how
you might interpolate
such far-flung love
to those whose DNA
and messy life
are intertwined with,
if not strangling your own.

Love, however it begins,
whether near or far,
is the creature for and
in whom we exist.

© 2017 Todd Jenkins

Somebody Else’s Babies

FullSizeRender (25)

It's a convenient way
to distance ourselves
from both blame and responsibility;

"Somebody else"
is a sly way of saying,
"Don't look at me!"
But it actually makes me
want to stare; to stare and ask,
"Just who do we think we aren't?"

No matter how many barriers
with which we desperately
surround ourselves –
racial, economic, national, religious –
our shared DNA
of biology and spirituality
denies every construct of "other."

If we aren't our sister's keeper,
whatever else we're keeping
isn't worth it.

© 2017 Todd Jenkins

Make Believe

K Cox 20Photo by Kendall Cox

John 2:24-25 But Jesus on his part would not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to testify about anyone; for he himself knew what was in everyone.

Pretending takes
a tremendous amount
of focus and energy.
That's why children are
so adept at it.

I don't think we ever lose
the fuel for imagination.
Instead, I think we use it up
in unnecessary and
unhelpful places in our lives.

We spend so much creative capital
on a persona we either
want to convey, or think
others want us to be,
that there's no
imaginative fuel left.

When we learn to be and
be comfortable with
who we really are,
we will have much more
passion from which
our creative souls can emerge.

We will also have
a much keener awareness
of the true and false
selves revealed in others.

© 2017 Todd Jenkins

Repeat

VT Joe StephensonPhoto by Owen Todd Jenkins

 

"Those who don't know history 
are destined to repeat it." 
(Edmund Burke)

What of those who know it
but willingly choose
to relive it?

Are not they more dangerous
than the uninformed?
To know what happened
in the past and seek
to duplicate it, with no desire
to learn history's lessons,
 
is to willfully subject the world
to a life lived backward –
a life turned toward and
tuned to the past.

There is no hope
in such a focus;
for hope, by definition,
is grounded in a future that
both learns from history's pitfalls
and visualizes a more gracious outcome.

Those who cannot unsalute yesteryear 
will always find the future behind them, 
its forward pull creating dread, anxiety, and fear.

Ignorance can be overcome
with education, but choosing
to hopelessly repeat history
can only be cured
by a seismic reorientation.

© 2017 Todd Jenkins

Reason

otj3Photo by Owen Todd Jenkins

When it comes down to it,
logic is really little more
than the fragile,
non-anxious branch
of confirmation bias on which
we temporarily light.

Once the bough breaks,
and our wings resume
their frantic flap, reason
goes the way of the wind.

The difficulty lies
in this big surprise:
truth, especially the kind
that resonates across
time and cultures, rests
not in the branches,
but in the one
who gives us wings.

© 2017 Todd Jenkins