Tag Archives: morality

Don’t Preach Me

Don’t preach me religion
like there’s something you can prove;
being good at treading water
doesn’t mean you can move.

Don’t preach me politics
from the safety of the status quo;
saying that you understand
doesn’t mean that you know.

Don’t preach me civic pride
like I don’t know much history;
acting like the bigger gun
makes the purer pedigree.

Don’t tell me to walk the line
when you’re circling around me;
I don’t believe your anything
has much to do with me.

Don’t preach me right and wrong
like there’s some space in between;
words like that make useful weapons
if you don’t know what they mean.

Don’t preach me morality
like some gold we’re gonna find;
being sane in a crazy world
don’t mean you ain’t lost your mind.

Don’t tell me to seek the truth
when your mouth is full of lies;
I don’t believe your anything
just because it’s super-sized.

Don’t preach me religion;
don’t preach me politics.
Don’t hand me your medicine
when you’re the one who’s sick.

Don’t preach me your civic pride;
don’t preach your right and wrong.
Don’t preach your morality;
I’ve got my own damned song.

14 JUN 2017

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Why Not?: a dit

Once upon a time (which often
means quite long ago,
but could be only yesterday
or even tomorrow)
in some far place, there lived a man
who thought the strangest thoughts,
chock-full of possibilities:
what ifs, could bes, why nots.

“What if the world ran differently?”
he wondered, off and on.
“If it could be just as it should,
would I be here, or gone –
And if perhaps the end is due,
why not be well-prepared,
and make my peace with everyone
to settle my affairs?”

And so he called on all his friends,
both those estranged and dear,
and spoke a word or two to each
in a voice low and clear.
“What if,” he said, “we both could change
one thing and make it right?
Could that small motion change the world
in just a single night?”

Each answered as they thought they should:
some laughed, some cried or sneered,
while others spoke of time and space
and others said, “Too weird!”
But each agreed the man a fool
to try too much, too late;
and told themselves to wait and see,
to leave things up to fate.

Then once upon a time, the world
came crashing to a close;
and all the wait and see was done,
all what ifs and suppose.
There was no more of what could be,
no tangents, no more plot,
unless you took time, like that man;
and if you could, why not?

17 DEC 2012

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The Libertine

You cannot win. It seems no matter
which way you progress
(to seek self-sacrifice for good,
or your own happiness),
the world will work against you
to undo what you have done.

It will erode your monuments
and interrupt your fun
with either condemnation
for the talents that you waste,
or horror at the way your talent’s used
beyond good taste.

To wit: should you choose sin
and find yourself in deep debauch,
you’ll be proclaimed a wretched soul
by those who only watch;
and virtue? that’s no better lot.

For should you speak your mind,
those holding power by wrong means
will take offense and find
some cause to treat you with contempt;
and with the line you’ve crossed
will spare no opportunity
to prove themselves your boss.

Perhaps the wisest course to pick
would be: stay underground,
refuse to share your wealth,
let your great talent stay unfound.

The world will think you “normal”,
worthy of no great alarm;
and if you’re lucky, your whole life
will do you little harm.

But then, your only enemy
will be the self you hide:
the talent that you must express,
that will not be denied.

So walk your path. It matters not
who praises which you take.

They’ll use tar to annoint you
for both feathers and the stake;
both ridicule and persecute,
should you step out of line
and either let your talent rot,
or cut an edge too fine
that it offends the sense of those
who claim to be your peers
yet think your life, in either case,
the sum of wasted years.

19 AUG 2006

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The Louisiana Post-Katrina Right Wing Blues

This used to be a quiet place northward from Baton Rouge,
a sleepy set of boroughs where no one became confused;
but now the world is changing thanks to Katrina’s deluge
and Louisiana’s really learned the blues.

It used to be there was a place to send off ne’er-do-wells,
that deserved all our outcasts who were surely bound for hell;
but now who’s right and wrong it’s getting very hard to tell
since the levees let the water come and swell …

The zipper on the Bible Belt has rusted, that’s for sure;
and the muddy water’s backed up all these troubles to our door.
Where will we send our deviants, our crazies and our poor,
since we can’t count on New Orleans anymore?

This used to be a safe place, even-keeled and quite discreet;
when someone got an urge, we sent them down to Bourbon Street.
Their systems purged by Mardi Gras, they were docile and sweet;
but no more — now decent people must retreat.

We gathered in the money from the bars and tourist trade;
now that our golden cow is gone, we really are dismayed.
And what about the music? Some of us are quite afraid
that our towns will need more places it is played …

The zipper on the Bible Belt has rusted, that’s for sure;
and the muddy water’s backed up all these troubles to our door.
Where will we send our deviants, our crazies and our poor,
since we can’t count on New Orleans anymore?

This used to be quiet place, a tidy Christian spot,
we’d send our heretics off to the place that care forgot
but now it seems our apple cart is suddenly upsot …
will Louisiana all now start to rot?

In Shreveport and Monroe, they wonder, how will they survive?
Will folks out in Coushatta have to learn how to speak jive?
How will we pay for schools, and jails, and roads in Lafayette
now that the state’s big moneymaker is all wet?

The zipper on the Bible Belt has rusted, that’s for sure;
and the muddy water’s backed up all these troubles to our door.
Where will we send our deviants, our crazies and our poor,
since we can’t count on New Orleans anymore?

P.S. … now we won’t miss the Saints, because they never were much sport,
but what about the income from the world’s third largest port?
And those artists, intellectuals and tarot-reading sorts?
We don’t want them back up here skewing our demograph reports

So what’s the best solution to this problem that we’ve found
now that the water’s pushed our trash back up to higher ground?
We’ve tried reaching the Lord but he’s not uttering a sound
and doesn’t seem to mind these heathens back in town

The zipper on the Bible Belt has rusted, that’s for sure;
and the muddy water’s backed up all these troubles to our door.
Where will we send our deviants, our crazies and our poor,
since we can’t count on New Orleans anymore?

18 JUN 2006

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Today’s Potent Quote …

The difference between the mortified, but still proud and self-centered stoic and the unmortified hedonist consists in this: the latter, being flabby, shiftless and at heart rather ashamed of himself, lacks the energy and the motive to do much harm except to his own body, mind and spirit; the former, because he has all the secondary virtues and looks down on those who are not like himself, is morally equipped to wish and to be able to do harm on the very largest scale and with a perfectly untroubled conscience. These are obvious facts; and yet, in the current religious jargon of our day the word “immoral” is reserved almost exclusively for the carnally self-indulgent. The covetous and the ambitious, the respectable toughs and those who cloak their lust for power and place under the right sort of idealistic cant, are not merely unblamed; they are even held up as models of virtue and godliness. The representatives of the organized churches begin by putting haloes on the heads of the people who do most to make wars and revolutions, then go on, rather plaintively, to wonder why the world should be in such a mess.
— Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy

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