Election Prayer with John Stewart et al

NYC Journal Politics
Bartleby’s Poetry Corner

Dear God,

What are you like?
How do you think and feel?
Or do you only think and feel
through us thinking feeling
created things?

What do you like?
Do you have likes and dislikes?
Some say you are an infinite outpouring of indiscriminate Love that lifts up, redeems, and saves everything and everyone;
that you are an infinite Light of infinite eternal joyful giving that delights in your creation infinitely.
Is that so?
Do you still prefer some feelings, ideas, and actions over others?
Don’t you in any case
always seek to fill our minds/hearts/bodies with a gentle love
that Knows how to Help?

We pray, God,
that You,
well, it’s embarrassing to say,
but we
humbly ask that
if you could see your way to
obliging us in this,
we pray that

You’d please

Protect the vote
on November 3rd,
Two thousand & Twenty.

But why should you
do that for us?

You don’t do it for
or for
The Democratic Republic of the Congo
or for

or for all kinds of people
who deserve a functioning democracy
everybit as much as we do.

I’ll confess
that I’m just another
loose desperate collection
of impulses, notions and heartbounces;
that I’d sneak away
if I could
to a quiet river bend
with some pretty lady
and our little self-centered love.

I’ll confess that I’m no better
than anyone
and probably worse
than someone.

But that’s the point:
we need your help because of the wayward
we are

If the government mostly runs itself
without corruption
and for the greater-good
in competence and good-intentions,
transparent and manageable,
oh joyous day!
We can mostly go about our lives
while yet sharing oversight
of our shared government
We can mostly do our thing
while yet doing our part
to nudge our land
to the better,
away from the worse.

when democracy is corrupted,
when getting and maintaining power
displaces openness, honesty, transparency,
competency, and gentle effective collaborative work
it becomes harder and harder
to provide for oneself and one’s loved ones
without embracing
corruption, theft, disinformation, suppression,
hurt, meanness, cruelty, and other wrongs.
good ideas, organizations, and actions
lose power and prestige;
While bad ideas, organizations, and actions
take all the cake and stuff their faces too.

maybe you could;
I mean:

!We know
you are mysterious in your Way
and that we
see only
as through a glass darkly
–and so–,
all that!

if you could
maybe consider
–insofar as an Eternal Infinite Good ever considers the worried cries of little incomplete and ragged-edged fragments–
If you could maybe consider

helping us
help ourselves
here & now.

Foot Notes & Five Poems:

John Stewart Singer Songwriter from California

He came along
in a cowboy hat
and a boyful grin,
swaying a little clunky
on Solid Gold
cause it was never
really his scene.

Looking a little distant
on album covers
in flight jackets
with cigarettes
that laugh along
with the changing times.

Another one come
and gone
another one
about the wheel
within the clay
and that
James Dean
wasn’t really
James Dean
that is what he means to say.

Some kind of love,
and can you hear me
whoever you are,
you are the nation
and you will go on.

Putting together the pieces,
building up a life,
spinning a life,
telling a life,
changing well,
getting wider
in the light.

A friend
because he spoke kindly
and fully
within the shapes
you could correspond to
and hear out.

April 22, 2016

Not John Stewart; but I remember sitting on my parent’s bed with their faux-wood clock radio with flip-up numbers on the center of their quilt, listening to these song and trying to understand, trying to fathom a city built of such a substance.

We Built this City

I was a little kid
Maybe seven
On my parent’s bed
listening to their wood-themed clock radio
This song comes on
Never heard it before
Can’t believe it!
Put the radio on the bed to be closer to it

We built a city on Rock n Roll?
On what?
Ideas about what?
Moving thought?
Dancing around?
Being young and free?

Big hair and bright loose fitting clothes?
Positive synths?
Constrained, profitable, but not profit-centered rebellions?

Some kind of driving ideas
Some kind of an organization of thought and attitude
Out of this we’ve built a place to live
an economy
a way of being together

Looking for America?
What’s that supposed to be?
A place with enough for everyone and some left over?
An explosion of fun creative helpful activity?
A magical ever-expanding order?

But there’s a problem with America?
Involving money?

But everything will be OK
because we built this city
we built this city
on rock n roll

We built this city on everybody having a good time together
We built this city on everyone enjoying one another
That’s why it’s gonna work

please let us
reverse engineer this city
so that it be built of pure rock n roll
that it be built of pure, silly, let’s do this! friendship

please let this work
let us work
all of us
let us work together
and let us all together work as people
stripped of all our parades
and buttons
and the tinsel stuck in our hair
after the dance
where we were so pale and red cheeked in the winter night
where we were so alone and unready
where we were not yet our fullest selves
where we were just the clapping in the sky
the darkness of the walk home
from the dance
sweaty in our nice jeans
when that idiot flicked a match at the passing car
and big kids came out en angry (not really probably) masse
and we had to scatter with raised heart rates

I hid behind a pile of logs
I think that’s safe to now disclose
that danger seems to have passe

September 21, 2019

Well, you know. See below.

Skating to That’s What’s Friends are For Sonnet

I never thanked you. Nineteen eighty four?
In hardwood roller rink with music round.
The littlest skaters; rented blue rollers.
Dark oval path around and round we’re bound.

They played That’s What Friends are For, my fav’rite
A couple’s skate. I cannot skate alone.
Your hair was blond and short. We weren’t destined
to long at men; their pushy, greedy moans.

You said we could together skate this song.
Surprised, I took your hand; we went along.

I remember something else.
A party.
I don’t think either of us was there.
Somebody’s birthday in the back room.
Because you could rent it.
A windowless white-walled room in a windowless high-walled dome.
You could rent it and eat pizza and drink soda there!
Right there! Next to the rink!
Basically in the rink!
But off to a side, close enough to hear the music and the click-clack and the video games beeping.
But private and special, with pizza and soda, which never die, which never fail, which never lose.
Maybe I attended a birthday party there once.
But whose?
Maybe I just peered in and wondered in quiet awe.

Anyway, thanks for skating with me to “That’s What Friends are for”.
I couldn’t have done it without you and I’m glad I did it.

Keep smiling!
Keep shining!

July 5, 2020

Since we’re on the topic of second grad songs that raised philosophical and spiritual questions in the youth that we shared.

USA for Africa

March 7, 1985
And then all year on TV
All our pop stars were there–about half white and half black.
They were singing to raise money for Africa.
It was a nice idea, a beautiful song masterfully done, an inspiring studio video. And it did raise some money to help some people in Africa, which at that time seemed hopelessly impoverished to eight year olds in Lawrence Park outside Erie next to Lake Erie across from Ontario.
That’s where we thought we were growing up:
in USA for Africa and That’s What Friends Are For.
Weren’t we?
Isn’t it one of the places we grew up in?
Now the rest of the world is coming on stronger, free markets, refrigerators, cars and pop stars abound. Plus there’s the internet, where people everywhere upload their notions.
Meanwhile our political climate has fallen apart and our societal fabric strained, limbo-ing us mighty patriots and our nuclear arsenal, which I’m proud to say is still quite capable of destroying I don’t know how many trillions of living things–including, for example, all of us.
It will all work out I guess.
Now it is 7:03.
It does no good to whine.

January 15, 2018

Gentle Poem

They lent their lives at gentleness
that it may come to pass.
They spent their light on’a simple wish
that light itself might last.

Come you children of the forest
you who prance upon the sea
You creatures who ignore us
Descend!, but peacefully.

Oh to spend ourselves on living
not bitter incomplete –
for the God to guide our giving –
sun sprinkles dancing feet.

August 9, 2019

Authors: Bartleby Willard & Amble Whistletown
Copyright: Andy Watson

[This essay part of From-Bartleby.com’s NYC Journal — Politics page.]

Bartleby Willard is the author of many poems, stories, and essays — including many on Something Deeperism — , and countless advertisements for Pure Love.
He currently has four books for saleSuperhero NovellaA Readable ReaderFirst Essays, and First Loves.

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NYC Journal Politics
Bartleby’s Poetry Corner