relishing only in the beauty they know of themselves : some kinda poem attempt

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Living in the shadows and the night, feasting on the beautiful innocents caught in the web. A feared carnivore and ambusher building in the night. Causing anxiety and panic to all who pass into the fine threads. It’s beautiful designs and purpose understood only by the few as strange themselves. Thinkers and builders and artists with open minds and ideas, having empathy and a path for understanding creatures living in the shadows. Creatures with their own beauty created by nature and it’s unforgiving will and blindness to the final products burden of judgement. Creatures with beauty, forever living in the shadows and feeding in the night under the disgust and fear of those ignorant beings of the day and the sun. Those beings in their prison of bigotry and comforts, relishing only in the beauty they know of themselves. The creatures and beings always separated by light and dark forever. Both in fear and contempt they exist among and apart forever. Just living and never knowing, each with their own selfish beauty.

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This DACA business

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It is wrong to abolish DACA! For over 500 years, European descendents have been an occupying force on what they renamed the Americas. For over 500 years, indigenous people have been subjected to genocide through disease, warfare, industry, religions, and the political whims of Democracy’s, dictatorships, and self entitled know it alls. The longevity of an occupation doesn’t justify it. It’s always wrong. If the Nazis had occupied Poland for 50 years it wouldn’t have become okay. The mass migration of people from South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico is largely made up of people who are the decedents of the people who already lived on these continents before 1492. They are still the victims of the changing socioeconomic classes and ruling parties that presume superiority over them. Citizens of the United States somehow feel entitled to weigh in on the fate of these people as if they’re their own children. First Europeans strip them of their land, culture, and religion, and enslave them for centuries. Then when they gain their independence from European powers, America builds up and supports dictatorships to assert its own imperialistic trade policies and industry. From the Monroe doctrine to the United Fruit company and now to Facebook memes and idiot Facebook junkies, Americans have looked upon all the people south of the Rio Grande as inferiors there to do our dirty work. The people south of the United States have long been scapegoats for drug trafficking, the spread of communism, The Alamo, supposed godlessness by missionaries, gang violence, and with taking American jobs. The American view of all these different ethnicity’s and cultures and nationalities is racist, bigoted, and unfounded. To presume that what we believe about them gives us the right as individuals to decide their fates is completely insane. When you think you have the right with what little knowledge you have to determine some bodies right to be here, you’re an insane person. If you think you know what you’re talking about with your Facebook comments about following laws and all that repeated propaganda you’re delusional.

We are all immigrants. How many of our ancestors came here for the same reasons people are moving here now? How many Polish and German immigrants came here after losing their civil wars and how many Irish immigrants came here to flee starvation under the occupation of Britain? Europe of the 19th century was violent and desperate. Many people judging immigrants now are only here because their ancestors didn’t stick around and fix things in their homeland. Prior to American independence our ancestors came here as criminals, indentured servants, slaves, religious zealots, and refugees willing to steal land as they moved west and to use forced labor in the fields. Now we believe we hold the right to turn away others? Nobodies coming here to steal our lands or erase our culture or enslave us. These immigrants like most of our ancestors are here to work alongside us and fight Americas wars beside us. They only make America stronger by participating in our democracy. If you think dreamers should be deported you’re in the wrong despite any laws that say otherwise. The only reasons I see for it are out of greed and racism. You need a scapegoat for your own perceived problems and the brown people who speak a language you can’t understand are as always the scapegoat. You’re only continuing the great wrong we’ve been acting out for over 500 years.

The Special Occasions

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I’d been saving this Cuban cigar my favorite brother gave me for a special occasion, and I kept forgetting it when I went somewhere cool like a mountain top or an Arkansas river. I wanted to save it for a special occasion because how often do you get to smoke a Cuban? I went ahead and smoked it tonight realizing smoking a Cuban is an Occasion! Then I was smoking and watching the sunset and I realized every time I watched one its special. Every time I get to walk in the woods its special, or I see a muskrat or a Monarch or a fish jump its special. Those are all happy moments and things I enjoy while a few miles away people are rushing around the grocery store and waiting in line at McDonald’s with a scowl for the cashiers. I started thinking about all their unopened bottles off champagne just waiting for some moment deemed special and all the planned but never taken adventures people talk about on Facebook while they stay inside cradling their phones. I used to travel to southern Missouri all the time and people would ask why I didn’t go somewhere cooler like Colorado to the mountains. Those people asking weren’t going to Colorado themselves, they weren’t going anywhere. They were just wishing while I sat next to a fire with my friends. We knew it was special to do anything at all. We couldn’t be happier and our little escapes were paradise and to us the American dream. If you have a bottle of champagne or a cigar or a sunset to watch you need to just consume and appreciate it for the special things they are. If you can drive out and see the stars or walk outside and watch a storm roll in you really should while you can and appreciate it for the occasion it is. See your friends and listen to the cicadas and look up at the moon. Go on long drives and take new ways home from work. Get lost and hike in the snow. If you really love just doing nothing and staying home then do it, but if you blank out and day dream halfway through a show then go do something. Do something or see something that puts a smile on your face. Don’t save anything too long, just enjoy it and be happy you got to experience it. Everything about our lives is perishable. Every moment and little treat truly is a special occasion. Look around at things and chew your food long enough to taste it and open that special bottle of whatever to toast the sunset alone or enjoy with a friend.

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I hate my cell phone!

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I was watching a documentary on Netflix called, Pygmies: Children of the Jungle. An explorer named Ivan Bulik goes into the Congo and stays with a tribe of pygmies deep in the equatorial jungle. He brings them cigarettes and eats with them and hunts with them and shows how fragile and vulnerable their existence is in this shrinking world. Indigenous people around the world are truly becoming extinct, mostly due to materialism and consumerism in the great names of progress and success and capitalism. They’re disappearing for our convenience and our entertainment. 190115-rdcongo-mine In the Congolese rain forest there is Cobalt. Cobalt is needed in all of our cell phones lithium batteries. So without the very rare mineral Cobalt you can’t take Snapchat selfies or post memes, or text about cereal at the grocery store, or play a game at red lights. This mining is devastating to the Pygmies that live in the forests where Cobalt is found. Like Europeans saw the indigenous people of North and South America as less than human, the Congolese people see Pygmies as primates and savages in the way of progress and a source of mysterious power. The jungles are full of rebels and poachers who hunt anything and eat “bush meat”. Bush meat is often times monkeys and apes, and since the rebels see Pygmies as apes, the pygmies are hunted and eaten. The hunters believe eating Pygmies will give them the knowledge their prey had possessed.

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There are also hunting parties that steal the females to be raped. Since the Pygmies are a peaceful people without a word for war their defense is to dance. They dance to ward of the evil that hunts them for meat and rape. Besides the Pygmies suffering horrible atrocities, there is also the hunting of the great apes, child labor, and deforestation. For cell phone batteries, these people suffer like we can’t imagine. So we can amuse ourselves at every dull moment is what it comes down to. We get to watch fail videos and troll political posts and catch imaginary creatures and find the nearest restaurant and have cute bunny ears pictures for Tinder. The price for those mindless fun things is the destruction of ancient cultures and life. Is it really worth it? What suffering will we eventually face ourselves? Surely our gluttony won’t go unpunished. Nobodies going to go toss their cell phone into a recycling bin after reading this. In my opinion the human race has blood on its hands. Its far too late to be sorry. It was probably too late when Barbarians sacked Rome or Spartans used slaves to maintain their militarized democracy, or perhaps the first time a field was plowed and claimed as property. We are a bizarre species that left its innocence in the jungles of Africa. Now we’ll erase that last living reminder and truly become something else. I don’t know what to do about it except to say I hate my cell phone, and I’ll try to make its battery last as long as possible.

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Dear Cousin

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My first feelings toward you right now are anger and confusion. I have to ask, what were you thinking you stupid asshole?! You had friends and a loving family and you did exciting things in beautiful places. Somewhere along your path you decided to risk all those things by doing drugs? I can’t understand why and maybe you couldn’t either. I’m guessing it was out of boredom, or a drunken mistake, or to be accepted by some woman. Maybe you had some inner turmoil that was just too much? Why?, is a stupid question that doesn’t help. I’m so angry with you for the choices you made that put you here. I’m so angry at you for causing pain and sadness in people who care about you. I’m angry and confused, but I love you and I forgive you. I’m sorry you suffered and I couldn’t help. I’ll always have hypothetical thoughts about what could have been different and what could have been done. I’ll always remember the best of times with you. You were a great cousin and friend and more like a brother. You could do anything in the woods and the rivers. You kicked through the thickest brush with me and shot straight and drank hard and built the hottest fires. Adventures were made with you everywhere we went. So many things we learned we learned together. Fighting, and baseball cards, and fishing, and hunting, and blowing shit up were just things that helped create a bond between us. We were the meanest mother fuckers in the jungle, living the American dream. You put down Republicans and Christians with humor and had goofy phrases like throwing acorns at battleships. We laughed like drunkards on crazy nights and very nearly got into some serious troubles and it was great times. You were a Pulaskifield militia founder ready to kick ass and an artist tying beautiful flies. You were as complicated and unique as anybody could be. You fly fished, and partied hard and you took care of me when I got sick and you’d drop a guy for talking shit. You hated school and you gave every effort to stay informed. You were tough and crazy brave and for some reason spooked by owls. Listening to Johnny Cash while you drank and grilled for hours under a hot sun is how I will remember you. You cooked and I got drunk and took your picture and ate your delicous food. Those were my favorite times, I’m lucky to have had a crazy bastard of a cousin to be there for them. You were better than the end you met and it wasn’t what you deserved. Everyone misses you and hopes you have found your peace. See you when I get there. Build the fire high so I can find you.997005_10201790107847609_551910582_n734509_10201790304972537_834711192_n

 

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“Propaganda has absolutely nothing to do with truth.”

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The Nazis are on the march. These marchers like the suffragette marchers, civil rights marchers, gay pride marchers, and Nazis of the past won’t be defeated by violence on the streets. America is in an ideological and cultural war, where the right side of history is slowly winning. The “left” as the white supremacists and their white house call them are the majority in America and the white supremacists are on the offensive after their November victory. Nazis have a way of provoking people to violence, having a history of committing genocide does that. America has lost a battle or two lately but its on the right path and winning. The majority in a Democracy doesn’t need to scream in anyone’s face or obstruct any marches by hate groups. Anyone opposing these fascists and racists and nationalists need to know that these people are feeding their beliefs on every hateful and violent act they can gain knowledge of.

Nazis feed their beliefs from a propaganda machine that gives them the pride they feel they lost as the victims of a conspiracy acted out by all those they see as outsiders. In the 1920’s young German men who had lost a war and their way of life were told that one race was responsible for that loss. Those feeling the hunger and poverty and loss of pride were told that it wasn’t their fault but a stab in the back by those rogue figures in power that weren’t German but members of a strange minority against their culture and national and racial identity. Life was horrible in 1920’s Germany after the economy collapsed. Germans were starving to death and they were a desperate people living under the shadow of a lost world war. Americas young men today don’t have the threat of starvation or a bleak future. Nazis today see things like Hindus running the local gas station or same-sex marriage or poor black kids with iPods as a reason to be angry. The Nazis of today look to our past when whites ruled over blacks picking cotton with pride. The Nazis of today see monuments of the Confederacy’s heroes as a symbol of the America they think they lost to a conspiracy against their heritage. When the people they call the “left” take away those symbols and things they value as their heritage and culture, its to them an act of war. So then they march.

Acting out in violence against these marches proves to them they’re right in their beliefs. It shows them that they do have a reason to stockpile weapons and that America needs to be taken back. like every act of violence in the past that they made against the march to progress, these acts of violence won’t work against these foolish people. This is an ideological and cultural war where the Nazis and others following their lead are clearly the minority in America. The people winning the war on civil rights didn’t win any battles with violence or hate. They won with education, legislation, economics, and peaceful protests. If you want to oppose these marchers, expose their identities, boycott their businesses, educate your kids, support minorities in your community, create and support legislation for civil rights, vote for politicians who support all Americans and not just a race or ethnicity, or religious group. When you hear or see these people acting out against others, say something or record it or report it. The last thing people should be doing is playing their game by their rules. They live by a very old propaganda machine that works only if you make the lies they’ve been fed a reality. Our Democracy is a strong one if we vote for people who support it and we pay attention to and act accordingly to any fascist threats. Let the Nazis express themselves as far as the laws let them and let their own voices be their ruin. Expose the people behind those voices and alienate them with social media. Let people know not to do business with them or serve them or befriend them. They are losing and they’re desperate. Its their choice now to join the right side of history or not. We don’t need to show up and scream and throw rocks. If a Nazi wants to scream at me, I’ll laugh and expose them for what they are. They’re just uneducated stubborn trash who keep losing and blaming. So just keep educating your kids and vote until one day these guys are just a thing of the past.

Leaving Giant Footprints

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It’s really hard being a poor American and a nature lover living in a way that doesn’t contribute to the collective footprint on the environment of the world. You can be a vegan and you can walk everywhere and live in a cardboard box and you’re still playing into the industrialized global destruction of the planet. Especially if you’re poor. Being rich doesn’t help either. Americans walk on the backs of somebody somewhere everyday. If you drink a coke you’re supporting illegal child labor. If you use an iPhone you’re supporting crooked mining companies in Africa and horrid labor practices in China so you can Snap chat at a greater speed. That shrimp you like is possibly processed in a warehouse using slave labor. Many American companies have factories in countries with few regulations where they pollute and pay slave wages. In return for the subjugation of the worlds poor and the lands they live in we get to have neat shiny objects and great snack foods.

My guilt that I feel for my consumerism is mainly around the deforestation that is caused by the cheap foods and drinks I consume everyday. Fucking palm oil and those poor starving orangutans crawling out of acres of tree stumps down to the logging roads, they’re on my mind every time I eat shit food or use cheap detergent. I buy snacks to put in my pack for my hikes, and American snacks that are processed and packaged are horrible things. The wrappings alone probably give us health problems and then they’re full of preservatives, but the fucking palm oil from Borneo is just a nightmare situation for appeasing that sweet tooth on a hike. That palm oil is in most of the snacks and sweet things you eat and many other household items.

I was sitting by a pond today lined with willow trees. Beavers love young willow trees, as they eat the bark. Willow trees also have a chemical called salicin. Salicin kills pain and reduces fever and luckily is produced in labs to make aspirin. So, I was looking at these willow trees and thinking how horrible it would be if they were harvested for something somebody needed in some foreign land and all the animals that relied on them perished as a result. It’s a horrible apocalyptic image that is a reality for people in Borneo everyday so that I can eat Doritos with my gas station hot dog or have my Ramen noodles. Also, the share holders get to be fat cats by providing us with cheap palm oil laced foods. The one percent play a huge part in fucking us all over. From the fat fuck Cheetos addict to the orphaned starving orangutan, they’re both getting screwed for the bottom line. It’s all about profits. As the poverty stricken, broken down, nearing middle age American nature lover with few choices for comfort, I can only suck on my guilt and sweet snacks. I can also write and hope somebody else feels shitty enough to eat less snacks tomorrow when they get bored or hungry or sad and eat some disgusting food made in a factory powered on the blood of the world.

Getting too wordy. Have empathy for life and try to make a smaller footprint.

 

sick of the woods : a poem of sorts

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strangers passing by on the trail

leaving signs on the trees and in the brush

making refugees of the wild

so much trash so much noise so much graffiti so much harm to trees and flowers

the ditches there and back are full of bones and death

invasive species of plants and insects

brought here by industrialized conservation and consumerism in tires and in lumber

every year some new allergies or itch for people and death by beetle for the trees

the intensity of the sun and erratic weather with climate change

every trace being left behind

just sick of the woods as society invades them every pleasant day and weekend

 

Donald Trumps Khaki Clad Child Army

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I didn’t watch or listen to Donald Trumps address to the Boy Scouts. I’ve heard his speeches enough to know that at this point he’s just on repeat pep rally mode. We’ve been hearing the same incoherent ramblings for nearly two years. The ramblings often reaffirm a culture war that has divided the country between progressive thinkers and fans of 1950’s television reruns. If you’re a boy scout chanting “USA USA”, you most likely have been listening to your segregationist grandpa in agreement over NASCAR and Natty Lite. That’s a grandpa culture that wants bathroom laws, thinks the “blacks” ruined pretty much everything, thinks the “gay agenda” could very possibly convince you to switch teams at some point, and that Obama wasn’t an American president but some African Muslim anti-Christ. This is the same culture that supported King George and manifest destiny and slavery and fought against unions with billy clubs. These backwards thinkers are a constant part of every society dating back to the creation of recorded history. They don’t represent the Boy Scouts, but they do see the Boy Scouts as an institution representing their America. Even the scouts are on board with social changes that promote equality and everyone belonging to one community as Americans. Of course there’s going to be the classic stereotype scout master of the 90’s that molest boys and wants prayer in school to promote their brand of Christian values. It might be the norm in the Boy Scouts to rally behind Trump or it might be regional as most politics and cultural boundaries are. It doesn’t really matter. That speech was directed at Trumps army of culture warriors that are his base and believe in the culture and the president more than America and democracy or civil rights. Progressives need to recognize that there is always that part of society that will see fascism or something like it attractive and supportive to their culture and beliefs. I just hope people continue to pay attention, don’t put themselves in a bubble, progress towards an acceptance of things grandpa says is an agenda, and vote. Trump and his goons clearly don’t understand how the constitution works. All we have to do to stave off any army of khaki-clad youths is let our voices be heard and vote. Plan ahead and research what it takes and vote. Don’t wait until October or November 2018. Don’t just post memes and comment on Facebook and then stay home when it matters. Be like the Boy Scouts and be prepared and do your duty to defend democracy from a culture that uses it to take it away from your culture.

Aquaculture, Overpopulation, and a world dieing under a pile of shit.

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I was watching a PBS special about the fish we eat and its benefits to our health and where it comes from and how it’s fished. It was very informative and scary. For example theres slavery involved in the shrimp industry. I’m no longer eating shrimp. American Salmon is caught by Americans and shipped to China where unregulated things go on and its shipped back with mystery ingredients. Im checking to make sure where my fish comes from for now on and exactly whats in it. The scariest thing I learned about was the amazing amount of shit that comes out of aquaculture farms. It’s literally leaving large dead areas in the sea. In Norway, Salmon and Trout farms produce more shit than the population of Norway. The shit just settles and kills all life and spreads disease and sea lice to the fish. Everything we produce for food, even the vegan gruel, produces large amounts of shit that ends up in aquifers, small streams, rivers, lakes, seas, and oceans. There’s just way too much shit in this overpopulated world. For me the shit is the worst thing. Peoples outdated septic tanks, dog shit, chicken shit, Salmon farm shit, hikers pooping too close to streams and not burying their shit. Its fucking disgusting and its making our planet sick. Millions of poor people around the world get sick and many die from so much in their environment. These poor people have to take antibiotics for being around shit so much that antibiotics aren’t working so well for Americans who pretend like they’re above the shit. Thats some serious shit people. Im nearing 300 words in a world that doesn’t read for shit. So just think on the shit your food produced.