A necessary litany

18 Jun


Reflecting on Orlando, June 12, 2016

So many ways to say we’re other
different clans, not my tribe
not normal, don’t look like me
not conforming, don’t act like us
dangerous, don’t believe like me

We have special words
them, not us

We have special ways to act
put you on a reservation
offer bad schools
move you out
beat you into senselessness
make you use a different bathroom
lynch you
gun you down
je suis Orlando
je suis Omar

So few ways to say
we belong
we’re one
we’re family

Let me try

Started out
in the same
Big Bang
stardust every one

Clambered out
of the primeval soup
as one

Shinnied up the
tree of life
absorbed the same
Chimpanzee stock

Migrated out of Africa
together refugees
from the Savannah

The same good God
breathed life
into our clay
in the image of that God


The same Jesus
reaches to us
from a cross

We fell into otherness
just as early
already as Chimps
tribes came easily to us

But family must come first

Slave ships
Wounded Knee
Mother Emanuel

This necessary litany of blood and shame

Must transmute
family celebration


(c). Phil Hefner. 17 June 2016

5 Responses to “A necessary litany”

  1. Karl E. Peters June 18, 2016 at 2:18 pm #

    Phil, This is powerful. Thank you so much. I shared it on my Facebook page. Karl

  2. Liftthescreen June 18, 2016 at 4:22 pm #

    Glad it resonated, Karl. Best wishes for you and the upcoming IRAS conference.

  3. sandyjwhite June 18, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

    Succinctly and well said. Thanks, Phil.

  4. Katharine June 21, 2016 at 12:37 am #

    Thank you for this, Phil. Painful and beautiful. ❤

  5. spiritualgypsy June 30, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

    Reblogged this on Transforming Change; The Beginning or The End? and commented:
    From one of our esteemed Professor Emertus!!

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