The words of the poets pour down
like the spring rain
holding the promise of summer warmth
but still cold,
cutting to the bone.
They pool up in puddles beside the road
or wait in looming black clouds.
Summer will come soon enough
when there is time for poetry
pouring over us
like the waterfall in the forest
or the waves
pounding the beaches.
we wear our slickers
and step over puddles
as wait for more time
and warmer days.
Four years ago, I ran for State Representative. My campaign was a long shot, and while I ran a vigorous campaign, it was relatively low key. Nonetheless, it was hard work. A few days before the election, Super Storm Sandy hit. My mother died in a car accident during that storm and I tried to deal with my grief as I finished my campaign. Many friends supported me during this time. I worked the crowds at events around the district and thanked everyone for their support.
Two years later, I ran again. I ran a more vigorous campaign. At the big Sunday campaign brunch before election day, we found that a couple candidates had just had close family members die. It triggered memories of two years earlier, and when it was my turn to speak, I set aside my prepared words and spoke about why we vote.
I started off by offering condolences to those whose family members had died. I said that one of the ways we show that we care for the person who died and their family and friends who remain, is by going to wakes, to funerals, by showing up and showing our support. I said that elections are like that. It is how we show that we care for our community, our state, and our country. My passionate call to get out and vote was well received.
All of this comes to mind this morning, as we prepare for the Presidential primary here in Connecticut. All of this came flashing back, crashing back, as I read the news this morning. Aspiring campaign volunteer killed ‘execution style’ moments after meeting Pa. candidate “Alex Cherry chatted with Chris Rabb, a Democratic candidate for a seat in the Pennsylvania State House, on Sunday…”
Chris? I met him in politics years ago, and we remain friends on Facebook. Brilliant. Compassionate. The sort of leader we need more people like. I quickly went to his Facebook page, where he wrote, “I am physically okay.
Thank you for your concern and expressions of support for me and my campaign workers who experienced this horrific event.”
This is why we vote. To show that we care. Chris cares enough about his community to take on the grueling task of running for office. He is working to address causes of violence in our communities.
As candidates, we work very hard to spread the word about how we can all work together to make our communities better places, safer places. Please, don’t say your vote doesn’t matter. It does. It matters a lot more than you imagine. It matters to me. It matters to Chris. It matters to friends and supporters.
Please, get out and vote! Get your friends to get out and vote. It is how we show we care.
Lawn signs don’t vote
not old adage goes,
but they certainly show up
near election day
their familiar cousins,
the realtors’ signs.
Some pop up
at busy intersections
with good visibility
where nobody lives.
Those are frequently seen
but don’t carry the same weight
as the signs on a neighbor’s lawn
which doesn’t tell you a lot
about your neighbor’s views
that you didn’t already know,
but still they mean something,
when someone is willing
to put their beliefs
on the shirt sleeves
and beside their driveways.
Most of the signs
but some linger
of candidates who lost
but are not forgotten.
A lot of my friends are supporting Hillary Clinton for President. A lot of my friends are supporting Bernie Sanders for President. Many have been presenting good reasons to support their candidate. I like both candidates and would be glad to vote for both of them.
Some of my friends have been pointing out flaws with the person they are not supporting. I see plenty of flaws with both candidates. There is only one candidate I’ve ever voted for whose political beliefs seemed to perfectly align with my own, and some might even question that. I am, of course, talking about when I voted for myself when I’ve run for various offices.
I believe that Hillary is likely to win tomorrow, and my vote and my blog post are unlikely to change that. Even if she doesn’t win Connecticut tomorrow, I expect she’ll go on to receive the nomination.
So, by voting for Bernie in the primary, and Hillary in the general, I will end up getting to vote for both of them.
Another aspect of the election is that as a progressive, I would like to see an idealist elected. I believe Bernie is close to my views both as a progressive and as an idealist. As an idealist, I will vote for Bernie in the primary. Some have suggested that Clinton would be more effective as President. She knows how to play the game, get things done. She’s the practical choice. I’m not sure that the first woman president will have much better luck in dealing with obstructionists than the first black president has, so this argument doesn’t carry as much weight with me as it might with others. However, I will admit that Hillary is probably the stronger practical choice. I expect to make a practical choice in the general election.
So, how do we get the most progressive candidate elected president? We vote for the idealistic progressive candidate in the primary so that when the practical choice runs in November and hopefully becomes president in January, she will know that she needs to answer to both the left and the right.
The Eucharistic Prayer
pounded the shore
like an ever changing
“Holy and gracious Father: In your infinite love”
and the wave paused
as it rolled back
preparing for the next
In the silence
the seabirds could be heard
running ahead of the waves
giggling in the
play and pray area
or wandering down an aisle.
“He stretched out his arms upon the cross”.
another wave crashed
Still the children fidgeted
parishioners turned pages
and that too
“On the night he was handed over to suffering and death”,
someone forgot to mute their phone
and we were all reminded
of the world he died for.
“Take, eat: This is my Body “
The homeless man
who smelled a bit funky
started to drool.
Saturday had been a rough day
without much bread.
“and when he had given thanks”
It had been a long time
since she had sat amongst friends.
After her husband died
and she moved to be closer to her kids
who would visit her when they could.
She had stopped going to church,
until by chance
she crossed the threshold
one Easter Sunday
and was welcomed.
“We’ve been waiting for you”
Someone seemed to say.
“Therefore we proclaim the mystery of faith”;
the faith of the children playing,
the faith of the hungry homeless man,
the faith of the lonely grandmother,
“in unity, constancy, and peace”
and the waves of grace
continued to pound
the broken shore.