Photos of militarized police pointing automatic rifles at unarmed men and women protesting the shooting of unarmed men in Missouri and Los Angeles is unnerving.
It is not a good time to be police. The helmets, the boots, the camouflage pants, the riot gear, the belief that anyone protesting mistreatment is candidate for being shot.
America is afraid of itself. It has become afraid of its citizenry. Congress is afraid of the black man elected twice president; so they play the white plantation owners’ game of disregard and disrespect.
Blowhards at Fox Spews rush to mock even the suicide for egoistic dollars. Keep the brown skins out, they bellow. This is a country for white men making greenbacks wet with surly arrogance.
I worry about the elasticity of apathy. The sleeping electorate has twisted its somnolence into a tight and thin tearing stretch of belief in corroded words such as “equality” “freedom” and “trust.”
The NSA luridly watches us into nakedness. The FBI becomes agent provocateurs inciting hapless anger into absurd plans to cause mischief -- then arrest the duped as terrorists. Throw them into cells.
The CIA foments unrest in foreign lands and spies on congress in its spare time. Assassinations are called like a bartender’s call for last round in barrooms throughout inebriated disheartened minds.
It is a dangerous time. In dangerous times the dangerous people with power and ammunition become more paranoid and dangerous -- making an unsafe situation even more unstable and unstoppable.
The church, having lost any moral cred, is a pantomime of an ancient play whose plot becomes a caricature of a once believable story now trivialized by kabuki ritual without real flesh and blood.
Is this our lament? That police, politician, pundit, public plotter, pastor and priest have become shadowy relics of useless and cruel posturing? Mirrors become empty? Mouths say nothing worthy?
Surveillance -- first by an omnipotent and omnipresent God, now by an overreaching and oppressive state -- seems to be the one skill of those who would protect us from ourselves by executing us.
It seems a dark time lowers.
I fear something stupid looms.
But for this: Sylvia reads poem, John sings song.
Their paeans transcend pains that loom like gloom.
They finish learning how to work with the dying.
Their inspiring poem and song will serve what soon will die...well.
Is this where lament gives way to lamentation of Jeremiah all those vigilant monastic vigils?
“Jerusalem, Jerusalam, return to the Lord your God!" O People, People cease the fearful foolishness!