Exile is the theme of today’s Poetic Asides Prompt:

There are bubbles of belonging inside these spaces of separation,
places where true soul contact lies, and understanding lives.
It gives the exile a chance to feel connected, even in the crowd
of loud and angry judges who seek to cut away the sinners
from the inner group of those who belong, the righteous ones.

I’m done with trying to seek favor with the hoarders of grace
who place the ancient blood rules and regulations above
the call of love. I’ve chosen my exile and it only remains
to name the spaces where the outcasts can gather together,
our Cafes of Emigres, where grace and mercy are served with the tea.

Love Trumps Doctrine

In honor of civil rights activist and wise man Dr. Vincent Harding, a powerful voice for justice whom the world lost yesterday.  The form is a syllable count style called shadorma (3/5/3/3/7/5).
“Love trumps doctrine, every time.”
–Vincent Harding   (July 25, 1931-May 19, 2014)

Every time
like the ace of spades
like Grandma
like berries
in your breakfast cereal
love will trump doctrine.

The surface of this poem is sweet, and there was great gentleness in Vincent Harding, too.  But it must be noted that his deep love was connected to his work in the struggle for Civil Rights in the United States.  The love he spoke of was not only about simple tenderness, but about willfully choosing to love your enemies.  And then to live by that choice no matter what.

What are the doctrines and dogmas that I hold dear, that you cling to, that keep us from loving as we ought?  It’s just so easy for me to look at someone else and point out the way love gets shredded by creeds.  But then I let myself off the hook.  This week at least, in honor of Dr. Harding, I commit myself to focusing on my own story of intolerance, to seeking those hidden places within me where I grasp ideology more tightly than love.


Gratitude List:
1. People who live by love rather than dogma.
2. Even though they both kick, the occasional night when a snuggly boy joins us in bed.
3. Sorting and tidying.  Here, in the mundane realm.  Up there, in the brain.
4. Possibilities.  If the thing you are doing isn’t working the way you want it to, you can change it.  Or not.
5. Buttercups.  I followed my up-road neighbor’s lead and mowed around them.  They shine so happily at me.

May we walk in Love!