Dear Legislators

[Editor's note: Please send this article by Frances Payne Adler, our new poetry editor, to all of your legislators.
--Rabbi Michael Lerner]

"There are approximately 750 U.S. military base sites abroad in 80 foreign 
countries and colonies." 

– "Drawdown: Improving U.S. and Global Security Through Military Base Closures Abroad."
David Vine, Patterson Deppen, Leah Bolger.  Foreign Policy in Focus. Sept. 20, 2021. 

Dear legislators in Capitol City, sweating in stone buildings this Session,
searching for cash and coins for clinics and coronary bypass machines,
for bandages and bedpans, searching inside books and briefs and file
cabinets. Surely you've looked everywhere, but what do I know? I'm just
a poet with my papers and pens, just a professor with my satchel and silly
books, just a former nurse from Canada with my starched cap and soft-soled
shoes. Have you checked the bills coming in for aircraft carriers and chemicals
for our bases in Colombia and Cuba, for gas masks and guns for our soldiers
in Greece, Kyrgyzstan, and Paraguay, for tanks and tracer bullets in Thailand,
and São Tomé e Principe? Have you asked why we're still buying barbed wire
and bayonets for our battalions in Bahrain and Britain? Or claymore mines
and missiles for our military in the Marianas and the United Arab Emirates?
What about the cost of nuclear intelligence for our navy in Norway and the
Netherlands? Or artillery for our armed forces in Egypt, Ecuador and Ethiopia,
in Japan, Djibouti, and Jordan, in Panama and in Puerto Rico, Spain and Saudi
Arabia, in Poland, Liberia and Italy? Can we talk about foreclosing the bases?
Funding defibrillators instead for families in Florida and Delaware. Buying syringes
and scalpels and stethoscopes for clinic staff in South Dakota and Colorado.
Pacemakers for elders with arrhythmia in Alabama and Alaska. Bicycles
and jogging institutes for Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa. Treadmill machines
and touring nutritionists for Utah, Texas, and Kentucky. But what do I know,
I'm just a poet with my papers and pens, just a person wondering why we're
buying bullets with our billions instead of seeking care for our millions

This poem was published in an earlier version on Foreign Policy in Focus, Washington, DC.

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Frances Payne Adler is the author of five poetry books and exhibitions, most recently, "Dare I Call You Cousin," about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She is the poetry editor of Tikkun and Professor Emerita and founder of the Creative Writing & Social Action Program at California State University Monterey Bay. In her earlier life, Adler was an emergency room nurse in Montreal.


4 thoughts on “Dear Legislators

  1. From the God’s-eye view of a celestial perspective, a divisive identity-crisis pervades the affairs of mankind on a global scale. Unity in agreement is, or should be, recognised as purely beneficial to mankind and our environment, and the most obvious ideal to aim for if a scientifically predicted mass-extinction is to be avoided. However, for that to happen, there must be a willingness among some individuals to face what caused and sustains the identity crisis.
    One of the first things to face, in order to re-engage with the ascension-process of oneness with life, is to recognise that everybody on Earth has inherited a fragment of the divisive identity-crisis. There are various levels of intensity within the fragmented identity, ranging from majority to minority. Most obvious are national and international identity separations, which have evolved their own unique languages, partly to accommodate geographical and climate variations. Then we have a range of religious identities, county, town, and village identities, and lower down, surname and forename identities.
    To trace the start of the identity fragmentation, it is apparently necessary to look back in time before the development of human memory, when man, male and female, lived only in the present moment, and there was no need for planning, or experimenting, to accommodate and resolve problems caused by a fall in consciousness from our true identity in the oneness of life.
    What is happening now, as the identity-crisis is coming to a close, as it must if people are to survive the effects of their experimental stage, whether participating directly or indirectly, is a process of awakening to the presence of life and the way life works. Part of the way life works is to integrate the ingredients of ongoing creation – from the mineral kingdom, through the kingdom of vegetation, and on up through the animal kingdom – in an ascension process harmoniously orchestrated by the universal pulsation of life, according to the creative order of design-and-control inherent in the way-of-life.
    We have some idea of this ever-present orchestration as it relates to the inner kingdom of the human body, by the fact that we have each ascended from babyhood, through childhood and adolescence, on to manhood and womanhood. However, as participants in sustaining the fragmented identity of man, male and female, albeit unwittingly – by beliefs such as “we all have to die someday”, or, “I am only human” (thank God we’re not only human else we would already be human remains), or, and here is the most blasphemous attitude humanity has ever held towards the sacredness of life, “Jesus came to die for us”, instead of “Jesus came that we may have life, and have it more abundantly.”
    Lastly, a poem for Frances: —
    We aspire to know Tikkun now. In participation love is known
    It is our must, I trust, to grow from study of the Word gone by
    In ascension with the Word that is, and was, and ever shall be
    “To be or not to be That, is the answer to our Holy Aspiration.”

    We learn from Tikkun now. In expression love is known
    Safely grounded in love remembered we ascend in love that is
    The Way, in which we grow from child to adult and on beyond
    “To be this truth-of-love answers assuredly our Holy Tikkun.”

    Only in man and God reconciled can Tikkun’s work be done now
    For God makes man to know the truth-of-love in God’s Holy Word
    Tikkun is God-in-action on earth to restore God’s earth to heaven
    “Turned to know this truth-of-love, assures us God is almighty.”
    We belong in God’s truth-of-love, wherein is known our light-of-life.

    Only by being God’s intervention in the human problem can integrity be restored to human consciousness.
    With Love, Peter

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