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Holding Beloved Community – part 4

I received the following poem two days ago from a man I’ve never met who reads my blog, and got permission to pass it along. It feels germane to our conversations, and as you can see, it was written not only in the midst of conditions of the US war in Afghanistan, but also speaks to events closer to home for the rest of us. I particularly like the final stanza:

“I am currently in Afghanistan, and was inspired be recent events both here and at home in the states to write the following poem. Please accept it as a gift in thanks… Peace and Blessings, Joe Haydu” 

I know you

You were a baby, full of potential

You were a child, full of dreams.

You were loved, you were hated,

Your dreams faced the waves of fate

Your hopes faced the rocks of reality.

You lost those you cared for,

You loved and lost and loved again,

You have seen the best and worst of humanity.

I do not know how your life has been shaped

by the storms of time, but I know one thing,

you are me and I am you.

We are humans, and we are the same,

Beneath the skin, beyond the battle scars,

We are one, you are me and I am you.

We are not at war, we are not enemies,

You are not some horrible other,

You are me and I am you.

We are born, we live and we die

Our lives are like a flickering flame

You are me and I am you.

We believe God is real,

We believe God is an illusion,

We believe in Goddess and Gods and everything inbetween.

And yet,

       You are me and I am you.

Forget those who say that we must fear

Forget those who would rule us

You are me and I am you, and we are one.

 – Joe Haydu

Forget those who say we must fear… I hold out my hand to you, Joe, and to everyone who engages in conversation on matters both difficult and sublime. I hold out my hand to those with whom I stand on the streets, those with and for whom I scrub pots at the soup kitchen, those who disagree with me, those with whom I laugh, and those who speak kind words. I hold out my hand to Z Budapest, to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, to Jamie, and to Glenn Turner (who gives out vinegar for kerchiefs at Occupy while standing by my side). I hold out my hand to my trans brothers and sisters, and to every man and woman who works to understand their lives and this world we live in. I hold out my hand to politicians, to soldiers, to civilians, to activists, to peacemakers.  I hold out my hand to the divine flow that works its way inside each of us. I hold out my hand to Beloved Community. I hold out my hands to love.

I bow to you all.

(Stay safe, Joe.)

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