Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cutting Time

Between showers
The lawnmower and I race around the yard
Swathing the week’s worth of green
Thrusting up despite the hail and wind
Of late April.

Round and round I go, the smell of
Green grass rich and wet,
Flumes of green pushed out the side
Making circles within circles.

Baby leaves push out of brown limbs
Trees coming back to life after winter
Now brave enough to chance another frost
At the edge of May.

The last circling finally cut
As the drops splat against the mower
And my face, coming black and gusty
Cold now, I head inside,
Watching the storm move in
Over newly flat green.

Neal Lemery 4/10

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Mad Farmer Liberation Front, by Wendell Berry

The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
by Wendell Berry

One of the articles in Reclaiming Politics (IC#30)
Fall/Winter 1991, Page 62
Copyright (c)1991, 1996 by Context Institute | To order this issue ...

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion - put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front" from The Country of Marriage, copyright © 1973 by Wendell Berry, reprinted by permission of Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Wisdom of Edna Ferber

A closed mind is a dying mind.

A stricken tree, a living thing, so beautiful, so dignified, so admirable in its potential longevity, is, next to man, perhaps the most touching of wounded objects.

A woman can look both moral and exciting - if she also looks as if it were quite a struggle.

Any garment which is cut to fit you is much more becoming, even if it is not so splendid as a garment which has been cut to fit somebody not of your stature.

Being an old maid is like death by drowning, a really delightful sensation after you cease to struggle.

Big doesn't necessarily mean better. Sunflowers aren't better than violets.

If American politics are too dirty for women to take part in, there's something wrong with American politics.

Life can't defeat a writer who is in love with writing, for life itself is a writer's lover until death.

Living the past is a dull and lonely business; looking back strains the neck muscles, causes you to bump into people not going your way.

Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I have resolved that I am a child of the universe, that I am of the essence of the universe.

That which others call God, and for which I have no real name, exists everywhere, and, of course, within me. I know that the essence of the Universe is magnificent and all wise and all knowing,and is, in fact, an aspect of Me.

My body is a temple, and I am filled with Spirit, the Universal life force and energy, and I thus interact and am present with all other aspects of the Universe, in harmony, in tune with all other beings and forces and energy.

And, I reject other, narrow, limiting ideas and values, as contrary to the ultimate wisdom of the Universe. For I am of the Universe. And as such, I am of course beautiful, and eternal, and wise and in tune with and in harmony with all other energies and forces of the Universe. My consciousness is in harmony with the Universe, and my life force is an aspect of the Universe.

I reject shame and guilt and feelings of unworthiness and uncleanliness, as those concepts are contrary to the will of the Universe and the Spirit. For the Spirit holds me as a child of the Universe, filled with love and harmony and beauty. My soul resonates with the Universe, vibrating and pulsing in harmony with everything.

All things are holy. All beings are holy. All ideas are holy. We are all aspects of the Universe.

There are some people and some ideas we may perceive as evil. Yet, in those beings and those ideas, there is also the energy of the Universe, and our path in existence is to explore those beings and ideas which may, in our mind, be shadows and darkness. It is our task to see the Light in such existences and concepts, and to shine upon those persons and ideas our own Universal Light, our love, and our sense of Oneness with All.

And in this work, we are somewhat limited by our nature as humans. Yet, those limitations may only be bounded by what we think are limits and boundaries. If we expand our consciousness and fully apply our Love within us, then our Light may illuminate the shadows and allow us to see the Universal energy and Love that is present.

We are only limited by what we believe are limits.

I rejoice in my body, as that is a gift of the Universal spirit.

I rejoice in my sexuality, as that is a gift of the Universal spirit.

I rejoice in my creativity, as that is a gift of the Universal spirit.

I am a healer. My task is to be in harmony with the Universe, to find resonance, to be in tune, to be fully aware of the vibrations of the Spirit, and to live accordingly.

And, when I am out of harmony with the Spirit, then I experience pain and shadow, and I am out of sync. In those moments, I need to retune, to reharmonize, to return to the spring waters of the Spirit, and drink deeply. I need to be at rest, in contemplation, and to breathe in the Spirit, and to be renewed.

I need to be with my brothers and sisters of the Universe, and to take in their love and their friendship and their humanity. I need to rejoice in all of that. I am of Community, I am an aspect of Community. I exist to be in Community.

My task is to find joy, to be in harmony, and to be a healer; a healer of not only others, but of myself. And healing is the work of Love, love of self, love of others, love of the Universe, and love of the Spirit. Love is infinite and has no bounds, and has no limits.

It is in the healing of myself that there is the biggest challenge. Going deep into my heart, and allowing the Universal energies of love and healing to penetrate to the core of my being, is the hardest work for me. I am often deceived by the short term ease of dwelling in hate, and prejudice and bigotry, and fear. Yet, when I follow that path, I am out of tune with the Universe and I am not heeding the Spirit that dwells within me, and is so easily accessed by my Spirit.

Friday, April 9, 2010

On Patrol

Just not dark
just above the ground
swooping, silent
at a slant, moving
above the pasture
lambs still asleep

Neal Lemery 4/7/10