POVERTY: The Deadliest Form of Violence

We are all in this together.
What happens to the least of us will be the fate we follow.
But we can open our eyes, employ compassion and empathy, realign with our highest potentials and break the binds of the capitalist mentality that is dictating our harshest and most harmful realities.
It’s time to let our hearts create priorities and follow the paths our dreams weave.
Don’t let anyone tell you that this insanity is the only way it could be.
I believe we are falling far short of the potential of our ingenuity!

Outer Limits Radio Show

homelessness

Ignoring Problems Does Not Make Them Disappear

Recently one of Missoula’s local newspapers used images of summer-squatters to give a face to the new boogie man we must all demonize, as part of a new jihad on panhandling. That’s right. There are homeless people downtown begging for your money, and now it is our duty to declare war on them – right?

Wrong.

As more individuals than ever struggle to get by, the war on the impoverished rages to new heights.
But before we get too deep into this topic, let’s not take my word for it. Perhaps we should take a look at this article directly…
The headline reads:

Police and Businesses: Downtown Missoula Panhandling Growing Worse

Martin Kidston for the Missoulian writes:

Panhandlers still press for money, transients still congregate in front of businesses, and the homeless with addiction issues still sleep on city sidewalks.

Some downtown business…

View original post 9,584 more words

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May 16, 2014

Thoughts flow viscose like the spring thaw forgot them

Are the plum blossoms nearly past while ideation dwells in hibernation?

Muscles move awkward without true presence of mind

The work of these limbs, grasping for anything to find

 

Image

 

Something to wedge

Something to lever

Something to weight

 

Moving muscles from memory

To hoist the cover stone from winter’s entry

With a chilly breeze from dank depths,

Footsteps follow a descent into darkness

 

Light creeps carefully behind

Peeking through strands of hair

Where it’s safely entwined

Observing this mysterious lair

 

Vocal sounds echo sonar cantatas

Trying to captivate imagination’s desiderata

Soil crustaceans flee as the sounds

Vibrate their being so close with the ground

 

Toes touching twigs

Fingers finding feathers, fur

Sour smells smothered

 

Lifting layers from the nested

With patience not to startle awake

Coordination greatly tested

As excitement builds to see unity create

 

Oh mind your slumber must be over

It’s time to join me in the outer world

Look the spring flowers are calling

The rains have come to quench

Intellect, famished and thirsty

The waters run to regenerate

It’s integral electricity

Come back to be with body

The heart that drums your song.

March 14, 2014 Common Thread Collective Poetic Conscious’stream Is.16

This special reflection is inspired by the 58th annual UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The umbrella topic of this years CSW was to summarize the effectiveness of the MDGs or Millennium Development Goals that were created in 2000. If that doesn’t mean much to you, don’t worry it didn’t mean much to me, until I started preparing myself to attend this phenomenal event.

As a member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and a developing Woman of Peace, I know that as we seek to grow and develop our communities, localities, regions, nations and world, the only way we will develop true Freedom, Liberty and Justice is through disarmament and new cultures of discussion, debate, mediation and cooperation.

Here’s a reflection:

Millennium Development Goals

            And why the arms trade is dismantling them all….

1.    Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.

Guns made by the multi-national high-tech industry defy borders and become imported tools of violence to flood the rest of the world. Their purpose is to divide inherent communities from their right to the inherited security of the lands, work and wealth grown through cultural creativity.

2.    Achieve universal primary education.

So much money spent by corporations and governments upon the tools of armament rather than the simple tools to enhance intelligence. Critical thought processes manipulated by propaganda spreading ignorance and fear rather than promoting the ability for children to learn and enjoy the discovery of the gifts that persevere.

3.    Promote gender equality and empower women.

Weapons of pain, violence and destruction are a-gendered tools that defy both feminine and masculine empowerment. Held in the hands of unhealthy men and by their will condemn global communities of women from gaining equal space and being heard in the socio-political and economic realms. Woman, her very body taken to be made over by man into a weapon of war that dismantles her integral strength and ability to be the stable hearth at the center of her family.

4.    Reduce child mortality.

Whether by military, paramilitary, militia, guerilla, solitary psychopath, stranger or family member- Women and children are forced to bear the blows of and many never recover from outbursts of violence that happen along sectarian lines or within their own homes. Children around the world are directly caught in the crossfire or directly face the repercussions imposed by sanctions that restrict the flow of food, water and medicine. Forced to orphans or refugees, many grow up weak without the support of vital community.

5.    Improve maternal health.

Emotional well-being, complete nutrition, and access to health care are three pillars that give a mother best chance of giving birth to a healthy child. All three are easily shattered by the stress of fear and violence of community and national instability. Insecurity perpetuated by the diseased masculine narrative that maintains its skewed perspective that weapons are needed to bring peace when it is easy to see that their presence only denies our ability to resolve conflicts peacefully.

6.    Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases.

Where armaments control populations the dissemination of critical information and medicine that enlighten, help prevent sickness, and cure suffering becomes severely limited by perceptions narrowly formed and forced upon; as well as causing the instability that shuts down the causeways of our distributive means.

7.    Ensure environmental sustainability.

There’s a great difficulty in maintaining sustainability of our environments when guns are sold to both lines of sectarian violence by elite manipulation that leads to power driven agreements, inevitably leasing lands to multi-national corporations that have no allegiance to communities other-than the profit-driven interest of their board of trustees.

  1. 8.    Global partnership for development.

Above all, the obscene amount of money being funneled into research, development, manufacture and sale of ammunitions and armaments is money directly being kept from funding grassroots movements that build stability, security and a precedent for the kinds of development that feed the visionaries dreaming of being part of a new age of enlightenment.

Where Peace Agreements include the insights of Women;

Where gender and sexual violence is sad tales of the past;

Where environmental sustainability includes human culture and biological diversity;

Where all people have safe space to give voice to the vantage point they’ve taken on;

Thereby fleshing out a whole conscious perception of where the human family is coming from

And the dreams we seek to form.

February 28, 2014 Common Thread Collective Poetic Conscious’stream

February 28, 2014

Reality Bytes and The Common Thread Collective

Poetic Conscious’stream

Alexandria “Rain” Smith

 

The greatest power in existence

Transformation

Impatient for a witness

Found me sleeping

In the nest I made of spit and ashes

 

She poured the waters of her heart upon me

He planted the rhythm within me

 

I arose from the mud

Every sense cleansed open

To interpret the song

As it sang muscles into motion

 

I dance with the Transvestite God

As She spins with a wind

Under which all harshness softens

 

I gallop with the Transgender Goddess

Gallantly guiding His warriors

To the strength of creation

 

She threads His needle

And makes a spiral of the chain-stitch

He laid straight

 

He brings wood to Her fire

And stretches a skin over her loins

Making a drum of Her

 

Their single Hand

Clothes me in embroidery

Places the drum in my two

One to hold steady

One to move steady

 

I play a beacon through the Darkness

 

The blind can see the rhythm

The deaf can hear the light

Hand in Hand they rise

 

Men made over by the strength of women

Women recreated by the sensitivity of men

Each beside the other

Transformation enthroned within

 

Hands hold the hem of this tapestry

Feet guide threads woven

With each step in this journey

 

Our voices make an offering

A mighty choir in brilliant harmony

Color the image of our perception

Help brothers and sisters to see what they cannot hear

 

Sew lyrics to teach of the painful progressions

One witness,

two shared with,

four directions learn

How to find the medicine growing from our need to mend

 

The great hoop that remembers no beginning

Will live to see it is without end

February 21, 2014 Common Thread Collective Poetic Conscious’stream Is.14

Based on the Missoula Independent Cover Story (Vol.25 No.8 Feb 20-27 2014):

http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/missoula/the-damage-done/Content?oid=1932025

The Damage Done by Kelly Conde

 

1970s, NE Montana, on the Fort Peck Reservation:

The cool springs of water off Road 75 still offered temptation,

Luring the townies with jars and jugs in preparation

They knock on the door… “You’re water’s so sweet,

Can we get a little please?

That cold natural flow is too much of a tease!”

 

Get in while the people are oblivious...

Get in while the people are oblivious…

In the 1950s the lands nearby fell under the scrutiny

Of three major oil and gas companies

Who tapped in with their drills and pumping machinery

To the depth of a 300,000 year old ocean creation.

The 1st encroach on the Bakkan formation

Has devastated today’s cool sweet water on the Indian Reservation.

 

It took 20 years, it happened slowly…

First it made the pipes rusty,

Staining the sinks and drains;

Then it colored all the white laundry.

Once the clean dishes remained oily,

Then it was time to drink bottled water only.

The smell of sulfur like rotten eggs wafts

From the bathtub, the bubbles aren’t enough to cover the stench.

The skin of the youth is too delicate;

When it began turning blue, then even the bath water they hauled in.

 

One concerned Lady, made early inquiries

She wondered at the change right as the faucets began rusting.

It took two decades for a community member to move into position to help.

She opened her ears to the strange tales being told of the water.

“My water is yellow, it smells awful and looks like pee.”

“My water is reddish and it’s staining everything!”

“My water, can you believe, it’s 0 degrees Fahrenheit and it still won’t freeze.”

“My water, it tastes salty; how can that be?

Seriously, check it out! It’s even fizzy!”

 

This lady took her brain muscle and personal grit to the USGS,

Where accumulated evidence was piling up higher than the depth of Butte’s Berkley Pit.

Add on 10 years for an in-depth investigation

10 plus the 20 it took for anyone to do anything

Plus the 20 it took for the contamination to begin coloring the plumbing

And that’s 50 long years of environmental, soil and water being tainted

Just at this stretch of prairie land in Montana.

 

40 square miles of land has been tarnished, it’s undisputed.

Somewhere between 9 and 60 billion gallons of drinking water polluted.

That’s enough water for the lifetime of every Montanan,

But no one’s counting the gallons the wildlife depend on.

 

Murphy Oil Corp. was the 1st to find the Bakkan oil;

In 3 years had built 35 wells.

Other companies came and together they claimed

The oil for their profits

So the future’s destruction lined their pockets.

 

From 1952 to ’55 there were no guidelines for the wastewater created.

Into unlined pits- directly onto the ground and unregulated,

Ancient hot water still slick with oil residues devastated.

Sadly, legislated regulations do not enforcement hone.

C.C. Thomas Oil Company was still dumping up to 42,000 gallons of waste water per day alone!

In 1961, at a public hearing, a company Rep. claimed “It’s not hurting anyone.”

 

Retired wells are forming more dire straits.

Just a ½ mile from Road 75 one sealed up just couldn’t wait

For the end of time to advance its impertinent fate.

The cement bonds loosened and underground pressure forced

Oil and tainted agua back up to seep into the shallow aquifer.

This well, close to the residents is monitored for its vicinity

The impact of its hot plume of oil-stained water has been, for its neighbors, devastating.

But there are numerous wells in the East Poplar fields that don’t get the same monitoring.

If only it was profitable to speculate how many of them are leaking.

 

14 families filed suit with a tribal attorney

A pipeline for WATER is what they were seeking.

Meanwhile an EPA toxicologist discovered Benzene

A definite carcinogen linked to over exposure

Now giving real cause to the high number of cancers found in the neighbors

The oil companies now had two strong contenders:

The People on Road 75 and the EPA wielding safe drinking water standards.

In 2002 this suit was finally settled.

The companies will build a pipeline connecting these residents to the water

In the township of Popla.r

They will also pay each family $60,000 in damages

And $5,000 to replace the pipes in their houses

They still sent bottled water as well, for 10 additional years

Or until they are certain their tap waters are clear.

 

5 years ago, in 2009

The Poplar Dialysis Center cried out with a sign

High levels of chloride were found, the mark of the ancient ocean’s brine.

The contamination had caught up with the town’s water too.

The EPA quickly charged the same 3 companies with responsibility.

Of course they appeal and deny any accountability.

 

And I’m sure you’re all wondering, how I’m going to end this long sad story.

http://www.nemontel.net/~dprw/actvities.html

Dry Prairie Rural Water Authority

The waters of NE Montana are diseased

The companies- Both oil and agricultural are free

From healing the waters for the lands and creatures in need.

They chipped in to pay for a rural treatment plant

That is cleaning the mud from the mighty Missouri.

They paid for the pipe that brings water to Poplar.

But they don’t have to suffer

From that pipeline breaking 20-30 times a year

For it was rushed into production without proper planning

Just like they rush into drilling, pumping and scamming,

As they put away special savings

To pay lawyers, when the time comes for evading.

 

February 14, 2014 Common Thread Collective Poetic Conscious’stream Is. 13

We have such trouble with separation of church and state

When I listen to the news these days

I’m crying out for a separation of state and science!

Image

Their war on science is a well-planned campaign of ignorance that is being imposed on the American public.

How can these poli-trick-cians waste their breathe and our money

While our future is divided between drying up, icing over, and eroding away

In the floods of our developed apathy

Get ready, we are entering the era to be known as:

The Age of Emergency

Image

In a State of Emergency, We must find in ourselves the gateway to healing…

Cali’s facing the worst drought in 5 centuries,

Philly hasn’t had a winter like this since 1884

How many 100s of 1000s of people have had ice storms cut their power

From North to South

Storms, lack thereof, and environmental disasters have been terrorizing the nation

And some California big mouth gonna claim

The people are thirsty because the Act to protect endangered species is to blame

For allocating water to be left in the river for the trout

Like water is for man alone

Who would not be clinging to the concrete construction of tyrannical hurt

If it wasn’t for the fish that sustained the progressions of the people

That fish fertilized the forest from the very first

That lived its life and blessed the future with its decay

So take the river fully from the fish, grow the fish on a factory farm

Feeding them on the industrial wasteland while we waste away

On the genetically violated,

Chemically-enhanced and immune-deficiency created ways

Of the corporate regime that abides by theoretic fallacies

That pay to influence legislated policies

That are driving us faster and faster into a deep State of Emergency

Forcing governments to appease suffering people that have long been forced into

Sedentary ignorance of our original abilities to abide times such as these

When we would move with the seasons

Or have more freedom to resettle in a new place

Now we spend money to rebuild the only places we have left

In the same ways that crumbled away like the storm will never come back

Like the waters we contaminate will be cleansed with industrial treatment

Like water has a strictly human relationship

And humanity can solely control it

But when did the godless decide man was omnipotent

For only the decimation of caring collaborative, cooperative and creative spirit

Could foster these rumors, feuds and violent nonsense

That keeps us from coming together to build imperfect perfection

From finding in each other the innate gifts and honed skills

That only the opportunity guided by great need could call up to surface

The incredible presence we have to bring.

May the tides continue rising

May we begin to listen,

To hear beyond the shells of our calcified comfort zones and insecure bomb shelters

Of our historic canons pompous misdirecting

To find the talents of our ancestors are just beneath the surface

Still pulsing like rivers full of fish that fed their bodies or spiritual dreaming,

Fed the bears and birds and forest full of diversity

That made a living tapestry adding rich embroidery to our personal stories

May the tides continue to activate the conscious seeking the love of creation

Until there are billions of spirits

All together rising

Up up up

With the spirit of a dance

That knows only our need

Is to be freed from the violence of this devastating inconvenience

That has been driving our psychological reflection

Of brutal terrorization

May billions Rise and pull more heartstrings into this harmonic recapitulation

May we be called out of this tragic apathetic trance

May we be moved to Dance Dance Dance

Dance and end the violence!

The violence done to sisters, Mother, daughters,

The violence that denies the gifts of the feminine divinely contained in everything

The violence echoing retribution throughout ages

Where generations have come and gone, all war-torn without relief

Believing masculinity could be found in such acts of brutality

The violent reaction of anger born of the fear of being rejected and misunderstood

Has rippled out to form homogenized societies that cannot bear the burden of the

Miraculous and unique, the transformational spirits that rattle us out of stagnant routine

To remind us that life itself is the purpose of living

Our personal progression is the greatest journey worth discovering

And this earthly diversity, both cultural and biological

Add flavor, flare, color, and mystery to a plot-line that would otherwise be unbearably boring.

May we dance together, far and wide

Far from yet still a part, participating, in something greater than self.

Our undulations are a cosmic heart pumping life into the river of love.

And that dance can bring a rain to wash away all this heavy sludge,

But we have to be willing to budge

When it comes.

February 7, 2014 Common Thread Collective Poetic Conscious’stream Is. 12

“I pledge allegiance to Mother Earth

And all the life which she supports.

ONE planet, in our care,

Irreplaceable, with sustenance and respect for all”

-not my words… not sure who’s…

Image

inseparable

We are ready for the change

Gather us in

An accumulation of crystal visions

Each perspective adding contours

Like cumulous cloud forms

Ready for the transformation

The alchemy of time transfiguring mind and matter

Into new physical forms and ways of being

Ready the floodgates to be open

Filled with precious intuition carefully collected

Over years of listening listening listening to the sound of a world gone awry

Let them open and spill into the drought worn land of our disillusionment

Let them open and spill forth with the creative quenching

Washing away the chemical manipulation

That dried up and hid how heirloom phantasies are withering

That mirage on the horizon is waiting for our belief in the water we need

This year is a horse at my side and ready

We both made it through the muck left by the coal ash, chemicals and bitumen spilling

Now to spring forth, for this toxic deceit is not worth drinking

The fire inside is set for cleansing

Set muscle to bone taught tendons to vault beyond their barbed fencing

The foundations running away from our feet

Are the stones they made to appear perfect but their lies are hollow and empty

We toss the stones the Builders refuse in front for our trodding

Each step faithfully grips a new reality

With each breath together we define what is to be seen

Our visions form vast expanses of vibrant hues of every brilliant color

Feeding fully from the compost of unnecessary deceit

To grow strong wills, opening with transparent clarity

Unafraid to blossom with potent vulnerability

We are ready

To be seen as interdependencies

Rotating lines of horizons and vertices

Spiraling perfect geometry

There is no musician and instrument

We are all fingers and strings

We are all elements of breath and brass and reed

We are all pores in the skin stretched taut

And we hone our will to stretch with what’s taught

By the breeze and the bird and river canal

By the root and the worm and rotting core

By the stem and flower and fruit into seed

We hum with the rhythm of the Universe’s composing

The drum of the heart is our gospel singer

Inspiring

Hands to grasp the hoop of all relating

Here we find all once lost

Is still rippling with longing

We are ready.

January 31, 2014 Common Thread Collective Poetic Commentary Is. 11

Free vs. Fair Trade Participate or Perish

Free vs. Fair Trade
Participate or Perish

TransPacific to TransAtlantic

FreeTrade creates the barrier to making information transparent

How many corporations will it take

To decide this global fate

How many doors to close in a curious face

Cut off the ability for honest people to partake

In legislating the reality of our everyday

What has free trade done but increased a CEO’s wage

While in Mexico alone 2 million farmers it displaced

And here in the US how many manufacturing jobs migrated away?

Decent paying union benefits by fast food employment was replaced

We need jobs that don’t pillage, pollute, or mean servitude

To the ideals of Transnational interests pumping our veins full of crude

Noxious inebriation on these chemical fumes

They will add to any recipe for us to consume

With this latest secret ploy

They will make a corporate pact as solid as titanium alloy

Just another Free trade deal, Ha! Let’s not be coy

Our lives and the life blood of the future is not some little toy

This new scheme seeks to destroy

A nation’s, and thereby a citizen’s sovereignty

To boycott a product —or toxic chemical or process would be beyond its ability

Lest it face judgment in a tribunal court that will only waste taxpayer money

To argue against projected profits, like a corporate claim to deserved annuity?!

Sounds a lot like corporate welfare if you ask me

This has got to be the twilight zone, this shit is obscene

Did I die and awake in Psychopaths dream

Where freedom means shut up and buy what we tell you you need?

 

The best gift from NAFTA is the formation of its parallel: FairTrade

As we make our way into a whole new age

It’s time to insist we turn this page

And make Equal Exchange

Our route to real change

Where citizens of any national claim

Can afford the cost of life and earn a living in a dignified way

Without perpetuating the violence that seeks to lay waste

To our creative dreams we need to revive them today!

January 24, 2014 Common Thread Collective Poetic Commentary Is.10

Excerpt from Empty Harvest: Understanding the Link between Our Food, Our Immunity and Our Planet by Dr. Bernard Jensen and Mark Anderson, copyright 1990 by Bernard Jensen.

From the chapter on Soil, pg 36:

“To appreciate the historical perspective of the diminished state of the human immune system in the 1990s, we must not assume that science and truth march straight ahead and that the present is the beneficiary of the accumulated knowledge of the past. Because, in many instances—health and nutrition is one—the past is full of deception and factual manipulation resulting in the inheritance of a tarnished view of scientific progress. History repeatedly proclaims that business and politics are too important to be governed by the facts of unfeigned science.”

Healthy Forest YNP, photo by Rain 2006

“Business and politics are too important to be governed by

Unfeigned, [genuine] science”…

Oh deceiver

What do you stand to gain

An inch above your brother

For a platform to your shoe inlay’n

Puppet masters began the trend

Now see your height as their will to bend

Easily paid for with the blood of the land

Coins, stolen from the destiny of the dead

Pool in your pockets instead

Now the living dead cannot ferry across

The rivers of Styx and Acheron

Lest we also become acolytes

In the temples of Dow, Monsanto and Chevron

The great-grandfather figureheads of the modern myths

Getting us drunk on the whiskey that pours from their lips

Lulling us to sleep on neoliberal currencies

Too intoxicated to feel the barb-wire sting of their so-called securities

Rocked by the water-treatment-ways that stole the living river from its course

Daydreaming in the empire’s nightmare built on the malnourishment of profit-bound force

Stamped with the claim to Freedom

Freedom, bleached re-enriched with a shelf life of a century

Freedom, soap bubbles floating from the mouths of millions

Freedom, a kingdom of the spirit; we have the keys to it, but cannot find

Freedom is a hollow claim

When the business of politics and industry dictate

Living ways

Perhaps the cry will again

Strike true chords

And remind us that

The life to know is more than mine or yours

We all feed on the health of the soil

The well-being of our rootlets in communion

Foster the well-being of our soul

And therein true Freedom may sprout once more…

January 17, 2014 Common Thread Collective Poetic Commentary Is.9

Image

Common Threads weave through every heARTform

 

One Soul calling out to the whole

Words echo from a dream-state:

“We should wake

And not be held by some unrefined vision of it.”

 

Awakening

A lingering vision:

Footfalls upon brittle plants

An entire field of dark decimation

Crumbling away… the vision fades

 

Eyes Wide

Open to the globe

Out from the covers

Feet to the floor

 

Perception seeking

Realities of life on Earth

Lifting the veil

One foundation to explore

 

Many lenses offer insight

Rays of light shine through prisms at different angles, through different facets

Each reveal and obscure distinctive elements

Truth is amorphous and unprejudiced

 

Truth, amorphous and unprejudiced, sliced into wedges and put through a juicer

Blood oranges of pain and hunger paint this glass red

Fermented brutality of prejudice perpetuated by dogmatic fanaticism

                                                                   By ethnic and cultural discrimination

                                                                                    By corporate detachment

                                    Blood fruit, soured, floods the fertile earth and my cup

                       Tearful tsunamis of salty decimation pinched and dashed upon

Lemons add acid, golden and unmerciful

One from the tree in the yard

                        One from the tree plantation

                        One’s citrus burns through the ink on the codex

One’s citrus adds fuel to passion’s will to cleanse

Eat through the scum clouding the focus of a billion eyes

                         Or eat through the wisdom left for the future to learn from

Then, the kale, vital medicine, secret weapon

            Green leaves grown in the bitter cold

                        Acids, of whatever intention, unlock the essential minerals of body nourishment

 

One world Being

            Strong limbs

            Weak ligaments

Drink down this concoction

 

Let this fuel facilitate remembrance

Re member the body aggregate

Lift the veils on every dimension

From cellular membrane

To humanity’s fenced-in conditions

 

Conditional life

Cannot foster unconditional love

Oh! One

Make a choice!

 

Unconditionally envision

New sprouts beneath the broken

Uplifted by regeneration

Soothe the soreness of this body made broken

By the mouth

                        So blinded by the selfish eyes

Not to see its hunger was the foot

                        Starved apart for the hand that only fed it’s other

            And died only to become ghostly bones dancing on pages yet to be written

 

Let every One

Envision

Hand to mouth to feed the foot

I’s that see whether open to within or to without

But all ways open

To be uncovered by the hunger to witness, comprehend, appreciate

All the gifts every aspect brings to this presence.