Woman, Human

I am woman. 

Life & death reside in me

Creation, betrays me

Steals my youth

With harshest truth

I am hurt

Beneath the skirt

Trials by fire

Stolen desire

As a child

Wicked & wild

Dancing through the trees

Forced to my knees

Made to say please

I am human

Abreast upon the land

Stripped by rough hands

Shadowed sands

Erased demands

I am woman

I am human

Awaiting transformation

Strength, my definition

Releasing this trance

Trembling stance

Seeking what is

Joyful metamorphosis

KILL OR CARE

Despite what the mass media, government and corporations are saying, the real question before all of the United States right now is if we can set aside our differences long enough to stop our government from committing one of the worst atrocities mankind has ever witnessed.  It is happening all around us and to us.  Every day, a brother or sister, father or mother, friend or lover is gunned down with impunity.  We stand by watching empty houses mere moments from a homeless person without even a bed.  I’ve seen hungry children sell candy bars for under-privileged youth across the globe.  The problem is that if we don’t snap out of this apathy and separatism, we are complicit in our own demise.

For those that are reading this with utter disgust for the examples listed above, I make no apologies for the tone of this essay.  We, the people, are being slaughtered by our own country, for a pittance.  A pittance.  Nothing more than a line in a ledger.  While they slither around DC guarding their cash cow. 

There is no other way to interpret their agenda.  In the last century, they have managed to manipulate us into relinquishing our civil rights, poison our food supply, poison our air and our water, the FDA approves medicines that do more harm than good, taken our children from their families to indoctrinate them into the system, strip them of the knowledge to survive without government, limit our ability to travel, live a self-sustainable life, provide for our own defense, legislate us all the way from the bedroom to the bathroom and selling our freedom for top dollar on the open market.  The only thing that really jumps out is the callous nature with which this has been meted out.  It sends a very clear message that our government is intent on eliminating a large portion of it citizens.

That’s right.  I said it.  Our government is actively engaged in the murder of its citizenry.  My risk of death by possible “suicide” by two bullets in the back of my head just increased by a billion but someone for fuck’s sake has got to say it.  We can’t stop it, if we don’t know what it is.  It is imperative that we stop it.  I don’t know about anyone else but I have had enough of seeing our friends, family, neighbors, all of us suffering at the hands of this sadistic administration. 

It doesn’t matter who you voted for, or if you even voted.  It doesn’t.  It never did.  We are all slated for removal and if this does not cause a coming together moment for all, then we deserve our deaths at the hands of our government. 

Kill or care, that is the question before our congress, now.  So, what will it be folks?  Are you actively engaged in the murders of your constituency or are you ready to stop and give the rest of us our voices back?  Aren’t you tired of betraying humanity?  And the biggest question of them all: are you willing to bet everything you have on the continued apathy of us?

Please keep in mind that I hope my American family will remember how strong we really are together and that any legislation outside of returning the stolen money from social security, healthcare for all, return of the stolen money from the pentagon, ending all foreign conflicts immediately, bringing back the EPA, Planned Parenthood, living wages for ALL, increased taxes on the wealthy, increased government transparency, complete return of all constitutional rights, return of Glass-Steagall, free college for all, taxation of churches, separation of church and state, term limits, congressional pay cuts, and tying congressional salaries to that of the average wage of their district, will be what I consider an act of war against this country. 

No one really need worry about me.  I’m a broke as shit 45-year-old woman with crippling RA, rotting teeth, no access to health care, so I have already been pre-selected for a long torturous extraction and haven’t the strength to carry out violence.  I also firmly believe that violence is not going to fix this.  Compassion is.  Compassion is the answer.

Right now, there are millions just like me.  We were the ones that were just one catastrophe away and as luck would have it, we got a handful.  We need to see that if we step out of our cages and love our neighbors, grow a garden, raise chickens, raise a pig or two, maybe even goats.  This system is meant to chew us up and spit us out.  We do not need it. Step away from the system. It is killing us for real.  We can do this.  Most of us just want to be happy and healthy with friends and family surrounding them.  Let’s grow our families into compassionate groups that care for each other without the need for our own violent oppression. 

Kill or care, it really is that simple.  This is a call to action.  This is a call to life.  This is a call to love.  We must awaken as a mass citizenry that will no longer tolerate their oppression.  They may kill me but there are many more.  Nurses, take back your hospitals.  Doctors, invest in the health of your local community.  Teachers, take back your schools and make them a hub for the community that surrounds you by educating everyone to live for each other.  Citizens, take back your cities and rebuild the infrastructure to work for all.  We have the power to make money obsolete.  Then where would those people, whom are trying to gather it all for themselves, be able to go.  They are banking on our apathy to ensure our destruction.  Wake up to the truth and stop this mass genocide. 

Bad Dog Gone Good

A true story, from a friend of mine, about the bravery of one dog that she didn’t want.

 

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The day Snoopy came into our lives, he snatched victory from my hands and I resented him for it.  At this point in time, I was six months pregnant raising a wildly rambunctious animal loving naturalist and my husband was working and attending night school for journeyman pipefitting.  I was twenty-four and this pregnancy was not the walk in the park my first one had been.  The last thing I wanted was a dog, little did I know how important his presence was to our family.

We were at the Humane Society.  Mike, my husband, had promised our daughter a puppy when we got a home of our own.  I knew how to ask questions to make the volunteer turn us down for a puppy or dog.  I had been successful and we were leaving the Humane Society sans bigger mess for me. 

I had not counted on the fact that we might run into the “perfect dog” in the parking lot.  Yet, there he was. Tied in the back of a pickup with a rope around his neck.  My husband began the transfer of “Dopey” from the family that didn’t want him to Nickie, our oldest daughter.

Nickie was thrilled.  Her eyes lit brighter than any Christmas morn before or since.  She wrapped her arms around this skinny brown monster.  “He’s not Dopey.  He’s not stupid.  He’s a Snoopy.” And with that he was on his way to making me question my sanity and testing my patience. 

He had blown my victory out of the water and reminded me daily of all the reasons we did not need a dog.  He would steal packages of meat off the counter and eat package and all.  I began to think that I was having a bad case of pregnant brain.  He had barely been potty trained.  He left reminders everywhere.  He even instructed Nickie on the ways of peeing like a dog.  He knew how to open the fridge.  So, we had to buy a lock for it.  He knew how to operate the baby locks for the cabinet.  One time, even getting and devouring an entire can of beans. 

We were unaware that he belonged to a breed with a high prey drive.  So, our four foot chain link fence was a small hurdle to chasing rabbits.  He was constantly running off.  One evening, he had returned after being gone for almost a day and a half with 6 feet of thick rope trailing behind him.  I was disappointed by this mongrel once again.  It wasn’t until we were watching part of a dog show that we recognized the dog we had was a Rhodesian Ridgeback without a ridge and learned that most of his behaviors were breed specific.

 Of course, due to his wanderings, I had run-ins with the area dog catcher.  The worst one was when the dog catcher simply followed Snoopy home from his meanderings.  The moment the dog catcher got out of his truck, I saw a side of Snoopy that terrified me.  His heckles were up from nose to tail.  He was baring his teeth and his bark was loud and vicious.  I thought for sure I would get ticketed and Snoopy would be taken away for observation.  I did get a ticket but the dog catcher ignored the terrifying behavior.  I shrugged it off guessing all dogs hate the dog catcher.

This was just one more reason I hated this dog.  He tore up my home.  He made me think I was losing my mind.  He encouraged my daughter to lift her leg on her bed.  He had my husband and daughter mad at me for not liking him.  He was responsible for me having to go to a city hall meeting and pay a fine for dog at large.  I really hated this dog.  He was a walking disaster area but no matter my objections, he stayed.  I was overruled by team Snoopy.

We fell on hard times and ended up having to stay with my mother-in-law.  She lived near a lake on some acreage.  There were no fences and other dogs.  I thought this would be the best place.  Snoopy would run off and we’d never see him again.  I am so glad that dog was more loyal to us than I was to him. 

It was a mild early spring day.  I had two rug rats under my care.  Our youngest was just a few months old.  Nickie was in the living room watching cartoons.  I was in another room with her sister. 

I was in the middle of changing her diaper.  I looked up to see Nickie approaching the hind quarters of Boozer, my mother-in-law’s horse.  My heart filled with fear.  I knew what was coming next.  I knew that once Nickie touched that horse, she was a goner.  A boulder filled my gut with the weight of watching my daughter get killed by this horse.

From out of nowhere, a blur of red/brown knocked Nickie out of danger and went under and between the horse’s legs, drawing him away from her and into the pasture.  My mother-in-law grabbed the baby and I ran out to check Nickie for injuries.

Much to all of our surprise, she had no injuries.  We were shocked and stunned.  Snoopy had actually saved our lives.  The electric feeling from that moment was incredible and still gets me when I think about it.  I have never witnessed such loyalty and bravery from a dog.  Snoopy was a true hero.  He saved my daughter’s life.  He protected me from the guilt of having not been able to protect my child.  I owed this dog my enduring gratitude.  He was a true hero.  He had saved the little girl that saved him. 

During Snoopy’s later years he became diabetic.  I did everything to keep him healthy.  I tested his blood sugar.  I prepared his meals.  I gave him his insulin shots.  I fought to give him as much time with us as we had left.  After all, how could I not honor such a faithful companion?

He was eleven when we finally had to say goodbye.  I still cry about it now.  He was such a gentle giant.  He was a trouble maker for sure but his capacity to love us is something I will never forget.

After he passed we learned that Nickie was not the only beneficiary of Snoopy’s fierce loyalty.  Back when I was ticketed for Snoopy being at large and he was on the porch being vicious, the dog catcher turned out to be none other than the serial killer BTK, aka Dennis Rader.  When the local media announced his capture just months from saying goodbye to Snoopy, after chills swept through our bodies, we cried. 

Snoopy started out as a negative, in my eyes.  I had no idea that he had such an outstanding heart.  He knew that he had a hand in saving our whole family more than once.  He stands as a champion in our hearts.  There has never been another one like him.  Thanks to Snoopy I am much more loyal to our dogs and we have made it a point of finding the “trouble maker” dogs, adopting them and giving them the forever family they had always dreamed of. 

I am so grateful for Snoopy teaching me that the most troublesome dogs often come with the biggest hearts and the fiercest loyalty.  Due to his faith in us, we have been a forever home to many other dogs.  We have adopted them all from various organizations, no questions asked.  We look for the ones that no one else has wanted.  The returned dogs that others said were too much.  Snoopy showed me exactly what all that destructive energy can become if you just hang in there and love them like they love you, unconditionally.