I’d like to talk to you about, Those Poor Bastards.
I mean this is in a spiritual sense, a biblical sense and so, you know who I mean don’t you?
I am referring to men who do not have God as their Father.
They have no community, no belonging. They have no help. They will never be complete men.
Some of them know this, they sense their need and some, the artist, the musician, the poet have given voice to their pain.
Hear this poem by William Stafford, A Ritual to Read to Each Other
If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.
For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.
And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.
And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
we could fool each other, we should consider—
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.
For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give--yes or no, or maybe—
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.
The darkness is deep and they are to be greatly pitied and we, we should think of ourselves incredibly blessed for we once were those poor bastards.
When I consider my state, being with you, living among others who will watch my back and speak into my life—you are my true wealth; you are my treasure.
So, lift a glass with me…
To Jesus, the Alpha and Omega male,
who by His sacrifice made us no longer bastards—
but sons, sons of God.
And since we be all sons of God…we are all brothers.
(Birthday speech, Sidetrack Tobacco/November 24th 2014)