Occupy “The Lord’s Prayer”


By Hamilton Williams and Ami Regier

We playfully revised “The Lord’s Prayer” during a long night drive across the country. The spirit of Gordon Kaufman,  author of In the Beginning, Creativity, came to our aid when we realized we could no longer utter the familiar prayer that speaks through medieval, feudal, patriarchal metaphors: lord, kingdom, father.  We perceive creativity as well as the ideologies of time and place inhabiting the ancient words of the scriptural prayer.  We imagine the ancient prayer is still unfinished. We hear other voices with their lists of deliverances through time. We hope others will offer infinite and contesting revisions, reflecting their perspectives and language. We know our voice in this poem escalates here and there with our ideological issues of the millennial moment.  We hear in the occasionally wrenched cadence much  ongoing wrestling with religious inheritances. We hope for cross-cultural religious intersections. We imagine a reverse occupation, whereby the religious tradition that occupied indigenous religious spaces could be in turn re-occupied, in the spirit of the Occupy movement, of course!  We share a tendency to experience religious language as struggle and transformation. Gordon Kaufman recommended addressing divinity as a non-anthropomorphic construct, Creativity:  


Our Creativity, which stretches throughout the universe,

Hallowed be thy energies.

Thy challenges come, as true human beings we become

Changed by the garden, and changed by the sky.

Mutate us this day our daily being.

Forgive us for climate change, as we forgive those one-percenters who duped us, those trespassers.  

Forgive us our blindnesses.

Transform our biases — for example, the blindness of whiteness.

Lead us away from capitalism and into social embraces.

Deliver us from individualism and cultural stagnation.

Guide us away from GMO biological manipulation, to respect culture and food sovereignty. 

Protect us from privatization and its refusal of public good.

Bring us the grace of earth and heaven, as we restore the indigenous values of your being.

For creativity has the power and glory to transform us, forever and ever.

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September is Octobering


By Martin Olson

September is Octobering,
and you and I can’t hide from the wind.
I heard it was getting colder, but I never thought that it was true.
The rustling curtains, the papers blowing off the desk,
the doors that slam.
We had an uninvited guest, I thought.
It was you, I thought.

But no,
September is Octobering,
and our windows are not closed.
You and I can’t keep out the wind like this.
It’s just a matter of time till it gets in.
It’s just the wind, isn’t it?

You and I have nothing to worry about.
Well, nothing except for the wind.

September is Octobering, and
sometimes at night I wake up chilly,
with dew drops formed on the peak of my nose, and
balanced on my eyes, and
they slide across my face when I get up, and
it looks like I’ve been crying, but
it’s just because of the wind.
Nothing is the matter, and I
‘m not even cold.

September is Octobering,
and it’s just the wind, and
if your papers get thrown to the ground, and
if we both get chills in the night, and
if the door slams behind me, and
if we stay up all night, it’s
the wind.

Just the wind.
September is Octobering,
and things are alright.

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By Martin Olson

It is sobering, after a summer day in winter,
to become like ice in the world, and to feel it even inside.
I know these things now the wind’s changed.

I just get stuck, used to it, when the warmth comes around,
and these days of summer––peppering us with hope in the face
of the blizzard––lie.
You lie   next to me, and I   to you,
because my hand drags along the page after the pen,
smearing these words as soon as I write them.

As I drift into winter, I see the sun dying again,
taking back its warmth, but I don’t think I’ll miss it;
now I don’t need it quite so much.
Things don’t break apart,  and they don’t decay.
They just get colder and stop moving,
so we kindle fires and keep alive,
but sometimes I just don’t want to.

Your summer is longer than mine,
or rather you have more than one,
and you never want summer to end.
I used to want another summer…
but now I think that winter’s fine.
No more lies, and

No more summer days.
I can live on canned beans and soft potatoes,
and I don’t use my fingers anymore, so if they
fall off in the frost, that’s fine.

All paper is brown, and crumbling even in vestigial sun––
particles drift to the ground, lackadaisical
––but I won’t anymore.
Summer is a lie come winter
and I don’t need to lie down.

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