Occupy “The Lord’s Prayer”

Poetry

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

Poetry

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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Sere-Month

Poetry

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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Se Desvela

Poetry

Por Nicole Eitzen

Quisiera estrechar la mano para alcanzar aquello
que frente a mí se desvela,
aquello que mi corazón desea y que a mi alma enternece.
Quisiera ser aquello que sólo mis sueños contemplan;
no una, sino dos: la que se libra y la que permanece.
Es que el querer y desear lo imposible
en mí se viven constantes:
No voy a renunciar a instruirme, voy a mi misma elevarme.
Pero dejar el amor, me dicen, resulta en falsos pasos dictantes.
La vida sin él es posible, pero amar sin él: para nadie.

¡Y paso las noches en vela, por él y su mundo velando!
Por noches de un mundo de encanto que frente a mi se desvela.
¡Y como decirle quisiera, que a su querer le tenga cuidado!
Porque cuando el alma dulce enternece,
el suave roce: desvanece.

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The Creeker Sonnet

Poetry

By Megan Siebert

Out to Sand Creek. Campus abandoned
Students trek for singing and fires
By academics and studies orphaned
Young adults their social lessons acquire

They can hear the bottles sipped on
Warm Fridays recall laughter, shouting
Twigs and brambles freely tripped on
I can’t see anything, battle cry of the outing

Smoke fills their eyes, their cups and clothes
Darkness clouds as new hands meet
Bluegrass rests for the profane, swear-filled toast
And cheerfulness fills as hearts and fire heat

At end of night, they bear welcome pressures
Drinkers and dreamers morph to Threshers

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World Building

Poetry

By Kaitlin Schmidt

When I nap in the afternoon, on top of the sheets,
I imagine the tingling ghost of something
in the space between my palm and fingers.
I imagine the weight of a hand on my hand.

I like to pretend you apologize to me in languages I can’t read –
“I’m sorry” says the glossy painting in the Chinese restaurant.
“How very careless I am” say the Spanish subtitles.

I imagine that the sparrow who studies me while I work,
who creeps and fidgets, pauses and peers,
houses the diamonds of your condensed soul in its chest.
It bounces here and there; you rattle and shine.

Tipsy and light on melancholy chords, I drink my illusions by the gallon.
I toss them up like confetti and all things ordinary blur as you flutter down.

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Made in America

Poetry

By Justin Greger

Mandalas
made of steel and dreams
swept into the junkyard of civilization.
Compassion for those who conform.
Sea of milk white sedans
flowing to fabricated fresh out of the box houses.
Purel the colour green
growth must be planned.
Graffiti belongs in the gallery.
Price the homeless out of their clothes.
Gentrify the hood to live the real life.
Young folks come and go
the system remains unchanged.

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A Night at the Library

Poetry

By Andrew Unruh

I.
The modest of cities houses the modest of libraries
where I roam as if a ghostly figure,
merely haunting the stacks, whose books are filled with
ghosts of their own, yearning to be set free.

A gentle rain patters the windows, while
the sky turns from deep blue to inky black—
the library itself almost breaths, as if a
sleeping cat, curled upon the foot of a bed.

II.
I move up and down the stairs,
while a fellow patron stares at me as I pass,
and I imagine him silently judging me,
probably thinking “I bet he doesn’t even live in this city.”

All I can do is meet his stare with my own.  My gaze
an almost listless expression, the kind found on someone caught
between boredom and a vague interest in what one is doing—
merely worn as a show, as to not look too clinically depressed.

III.
I make my way through the fiction—
past Faulkner and Fitzgerald, past Joyce and Kerouac—
I find myself in the back, among the poetry,
and sit down with a pile of Ginsberg.

I wade through his verses, and the words—
the words seem to almost shout and
barge into each other, like drunks
looking for a fight.

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Darkness

Poetry

By Emily Simpson

Alone, damaged beyond repair.
Empty yet full of darkness,
Full of the essence of oblivion.
Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
The blackness consumes me completely.
I’m Alice, falling down the rabbit hole
Forever spiraling downward with no end in sight.
What is it to be whole, to be complete?
Is it giving in to the darkness?
Letting it wrap me in its warm embrace,
Comforted by the nothingness.
Or is it the constant struggle?
Constantly picking up the pieces,
Hoping one day to find the final element.
This can’t be all there is to life,
Holding on to the edge of sanity,
Praying to just make it through another day.

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