Excerpt for Curse Of The Poet And Other Stuff by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

















Curse of the Poet

and other stuff





ISBN: 9781370248650

Title: Curse Of The Poet And Other Stuff

Author: Damion Boyd

Publisher: Smashwords, Inc.







Copyright 2018









All rights reserved.





Curse of the poet



Daily life floods the mind

down, around

the spillway of our hearts,

swirling waters of good and bad debris

which sometimes catch

the wide grate across the soul

with large things

like a daughter’s wedding

or global tragedy



Yet, the poet’s heart is utterly tried,

cursed by something worse:

a fine mesh screen that clogs continually

with the pain of dying leaves

or the shadow of a butterfly





Doors of Addiction



When DeLorean was arrested

I spent the weekend at the home

of a drug dealer: snorting coke, watching the news

and waiting for the door to be kicked in.

On Sunday, something kept knocking against my hollow soul

the way rocks clang off an empty, metal barrel.

Echoing, I drank more beer.

Later, kneeling before a shifting toilet,

I asked Almighty God to let me live just that day.

My face burned. My arteries ached.

Covered with sweat, I was afraid

but could soon forget that God had listened.



Sometimes then, I would see myself from across the room

and wonder if anyone else

thought I looked like a talking dead body

waiting for God to kick the door in.







Lost Pet” posters



Some are pictures more than print

Some adult, some childish

Some are crooked, in a hurry

Some book-length with worry

Some accuse: a pet was taken

Some are firm and some shaken

Some are here, some are there

Pets are missing everywhere



Some say “Give my cat a clutch.”

Some say, “Never, never touch!”

While some are careless, misspelled notes

Some are noble prayers in quotes

Some all business, money in charge

Yet, someone’s heart is still at large

Some today, some tomorrow

have you seen my little “Sorrow”?





Some are posted on a tree

Some have paid a modest fee

Some are wet, some smeared

Some have blown away I fear

Some are walking away--funny

Some are talking serious money

Some drip tears from little eyes

Some are simply TMI

From every wall and public place

There are even some in cyberspace





Hero

Good master, what does it take?

Is a hero an empathetic

well-intentioned

State?

Is a hero simply someone

with Parkinson’s

or Aids or breast cancer?

What is the answer?

Is a hero merely a lucky stroke,

a child dialing 911

or a dog barking at smoke?

Is a hero merely a nod and wink of lies:

an inside joke at funeral homes

where everyone is canonized?

Or do heroes really creep along

common roads unsung

or rise from tired neighborhoods…?



But why do you call Me good?

There is but One







Kites



Kites are like ideas

found in a dark place

promising bright, blue skies:

a sunshine toy twisting

this way and that…for all to enjoy.

But, wait, it still need be built

and strung and run full out into a breeze

that might simply die.



Leaving you looking about,

with a touch of guilt,

at a field, a life,

of half-flown kites

As you wonder: “Why?”

And He reminds you:

“The Wind blows where It will”



Yes, kites are like

ideas, people, a new relationship

but the Wind is the true gift







THE SACRED TEMPLE



You will find your way by the grace of God

over the broad dirt road

through the merchant mob:

the press of children selling holy cards,

the pretty, gypsy girls

and brown, drunken bards

yelling “No…no plaster…alabaster!”

as the sea air fills with rum and laughter

rum and laughter



Scattering the seagulls like failed prayer’s fruit

in a once quiet place

the mob is upon you pushing, tugging, pulling at your jacket

with old gum and bloody,

sad gods of plastic

their playfully wild dogs between your feet

looking, whining, growling

for something to eat

something to eat



But, then your senses blur. You are taken

into, away, beyond

the soul awakens

where the bright sweetness of eternal light

consumes that crazy mob

of our false delights,

where the Word of God draws with gentle bands

and you know and are known

where the birds fly home

to the holy land.



[previously published Review For Religious 1994, Loyola Press]



SERVICE PET



Emptiness runs about the place

in a sweater wrapped anxiety

I scratch fear behind the ears

and panic licks my smiling face





The Unconditional Door



There is an ancient door

when opened,

opens no more.

Though, it was spoken,

were it to close

it would be forevermore.

Now, it’s said, by the untraditional,

“closing” is dead

and “open” is unconditional!



Yet, the door remains a door





THE GREAT BATTLE



Yesterday

near a crowded mall

a sun-bronzed woman and a seagull

plundered the open dumpster.

The bird

clumsily pecked at a blown paper ball,

as if it were a crumb from heaven.

The woman

smiled a toothless smile at a broken radio,

tuning the dead dials, remembering home.

Yet, some gathered

to take a long, harsh but reasonable,

business-people-look

from across the parking lot.

Seeing them, the bird took wing

and she stood up to proclaim some loud, personal thing

to unravel the crowd.

Then she sat back down and laughed,

having won the great battle of 8 rattling cans and a broken radio.

And that was enough

but that was

Yesterday







SHOOTING



We live in the strangest place

of crawling birds and flying pigs

and human trees that “grow”

more or less

in a salty waste, a wilderness



Where clueless children

are bound by technology:

scooped out and filled with straw

then asked to carry

huge loads around



Though, we still feel

we’re on the edge

of some great wonder…that wasn’t.

Yet, the beast still bites,

the dragon floods

and everyone plays nice

until someone

doesn’t.









The New Left



As a child, you squirmed a lot

with impatient desire

empowered by a new box

of multi-colored crayons

and enough blank pages

to narrate any tale you could inspire

but chose instead

to scribble violent swirls of red and black

death.

Now, we hang your gory,

little drawings

from every corner of culture

like an embarrassing

refrigerator story.







A homeless pigeon meets Social Services



Dirty, loose pigeons

often avoid breadcrumb parks

like so many supervised kitchens

Instead, they scatter among the cars

oblivious to the official pattern of big-named avenues

Where perched atop waxed taxis

or dodging polished, high-heeled shoes…they linger

outside the rules of a crosswalk world

to sidestep rolling tires

and look up, wide-eyed,

profoundly suspicious

of little girls with outstretched fingers.





[Excerpt sample from my most popular book]







About the End of the World



by



Damion Boyd





My friend gave me a warm grin and blurted out: “Boyd, did you know that there are parts of the Bible that have been deleted? And, they mention the end of the world in 2012!” His shoulders were back and he stood straighter than usual. Ray was a somewhat heavy-set guy, an iron worker, who seemed to use his mind like a workbench for tinkering with whatever event or worry that society would cough up. For years I had tried to get him to use that busy workbench to understand the larger picture, the clash of philosophies in the West. But, he seemed content with tearing apart the smaller stuff—the daily fare of modern America. Therefore, he was the kind of man who would laugh at the very notion of being afraid and, yet, would often share his fears with you. The hysteria over the Mayan calendar abruptly stopping in 2012, with the related doomsday movies and documentaries, was a typical fixation for him. His eyes sparkled with glee. Ray was just another American hungry for the truth.

These days Western children are born into a maelstrom of social anxiety: into a technologically complex and busy culture. There are immense demands and distractions on the dark, churning surface of life, with seemingly little time for meaningful reflection. And, we are not only scratched up with our own daily struggles but, in an “Information Age”, continually bombarded with global maladies as well: brutal murders in France, an angry mob in Turkey, terrorists in California, teenage sex-slaves in Mexico and on and on. From billions of ordinary lives just working hard to get by each day, the world media blares out a never ending cacophony of ugly exceptions with no meaningful interpretation: which is, perhaps, the very definition of cynicism: the condition of having to process information without wisdom.

[end of excerpt from About the End of the World]













The following is an excerpt from my book Primal Ethics:



Physical ethics

What are those primal urges? What are the most basic, physical drivers? Well, in social terms, these would be Survival, Utility, Victim and Nature ethics. These have, for better or worse, replaced God in the West. This is the new source of physical “morality”. So let’s quickly touch on each one.

Survival ethics—Certainly, the most primal urge of all is our will to survive. Survival is a powerful law written into the very tissue of our bodies. Therefore, it gives a primacy, a kind of ethical authority to every health and safety concern. In a world stripped of spiritual safety concerns—of eternal life and death—physical safety takes center stage.

Thus, people can shelter in Survival ethics, not only rejecting all spiritually inspired ideals that might lead to conflicts like war, but also they might feel entirely justified in trying to bubble-wrap the world we live in. You’ve already noticed their worry about cigarettes, product labeling, drugs, bullying, childhood obesity, choking hazards, safety labels and soft playgrounds as they push for more car seats, safer cribs and less unhealthy diets. In a world so full of sharp edges and potential hazards, from a pin prick to international war, Survivalists are a busy crowd.

Utility ethics—Now, at the core of every primal urge is a single driver: me getting what I want by utilizing any means necessary. The challenge is that the Earth is an unequal place where the Strong naturally dominates the Weak. Therefore, without some self-restraining, overarching morality that belief in God affords, the human animal is justified in taking any opportunity to impose power over others: to achieve what works, what is profitable, regardless of the impact on others.

Adolph Hitler was an obvious picture of Utility. He spoke of a “master race” and brutally imposed solutions. Dickens character “Scrooge” is a milder example. But, of course, there are many more. There are men who seek only to use women. There are schoolyard bullies, corrupt politicians, pimps, crime bosses, thugs and predators of every stripe. In short, the manipulation of Utility ethics is quite common. It is merely the human animal seeking itself first.

Victim ethics—One way for the Weak to get what they want, to defend themselves and to ensure survival, is to find a way to manipulate the Strong. However, in rejecting God, the secular city has rejected the subsequent moral imperative to care for our Weaker brothers and sisters under heaven. Rather, we are reduced to animals in an anxious struggle, where there is a critical need for the Weak to band together and equalize things with the Strong. This urgent need takes the form of an “ethic” or “right” based on victimhood. Central to Victim ethics is the notion of imposing equality. But, this is not an equality born of the humble, loving recognition of our common Father. No, it is not what the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was talking about. Rather, Victim ethics are born of a defensive need to control the Strong, to equalize the social environment out of fear.

For example, large corporations like Exxon or Wal-Mart are an obvious threat to a person caught up in Victim ethics. Such industries are a potential source of manipulation for the little individual. These could monopolize the market place with cheap labor and price gouging profits. Therefore, Victims band together under the guise of government and seek to intentionally weaken these with regulation and higher taxation.

Now, Victims might rally together for defense against just about any perceived big threat like those with big money—the rich. The problem is that there are a myriad of potential threats out there. And, Victim ethics ultimately divide a nation into agitated, special-interest groups. Thus, as the West replaces Judeo-Christian values with radical secularization, we tear apart into various racial groups, advocacy for the homeless, child advocacy guilds, feminist groups, thuggish worker unions, gay activists, disability activists, patient rights groups, animal rights groups, teenage acne support teams and a million other perceptions of weakness or inequality.

However, all these balkanized groups usually have one goal in common: a big government (a sheltering herd) friendly to their cause. For it is only a really large and powerful government that could stand up to the Strong, that could even attempt to micro-manage the inequality of hundreds of millions of people. Therefore, modern Victim ethics aims to uplift the Weak and control the Strong but it, eventually, achieves the opposite result. It ultimately empowers a Strong government bureaucracy that subjugates the entire population: a government that makes everyone equally miserable by tearing down society to the level of the Weakest victim. Thus, a Victim society becomes the haunt of every caged bird, with oppressive restraints on our most basic freedoms.

Nature ethics—Now, in all of this you can easily see that a god-free world generates a singular choice: “Will I dominate or must I seek the shelter of the herd?” The natural world is filled with both answers. There are Strong creatures (like lions) of raw manipulation and Weak ones (like zebras) using subtle forms of self-preservation. Yet, most creatures are not dominant. Most creatures seek the equalizing power of the herd or some other deceptive cover to level the playing field. The same is true of Humans. Without God, without an overarching morality to guide a self-restrained people, the critical question remains: “Am I strong enough to get what I want directly or must I achieve it corporately through some equalizing technique?”

Of course, such techniques are rooted in a primal fear, but what ethical basis could there be for imposing equality? Where is the moral absolute in all this? Well, from the perspective of the Weak, the theory of absolute, physical equality--Nature Ethics--would be a convenient ethic to impose. Nature Ethics are built on the belief that all things evolved randomly and, thus, no shape is inherently more or less valuable than any other shape. A seal, a tree and an Eskimo are essentially equal. Therefore, the presumption of a moral absolute (the premise of absolute, physical equality) underpins the entire moral case of the Weak. It is the defensive rational or “ethic” behind modern secularism. In other words, it is wrong for the Strong to bully the Weak because all of Nature is equal.

Now, thanks to a legion of secular thinkers like Rousseau, the ideal of Natural harmony has developed quite a narrative over the centuries. Perhaps, their story goes something like this: Once upon a time, maybe a billion years ago, there was a lush garden that sprang up. It was full of evolving plants and living things of every sort in natural balance. Very recently, however, a clever animal evolved—mankind. Man lived for a while in a balanced equality with the rest of Nature. It was a time of great freedom and pleasure, with no sexual inhibitions and everyone shared everything equally. Then, one day, the first “bad” man began to think in unequal terms. He hunted for meat. He stopped sharing his food and sex partner and built a private shelter for his family—all of which he now had to defend.

Thus, we are led to believe that selfishness, greed, war, hatred, indeed, every “evil” apparently can be traced to a defective person who began seeing the world as an “unequal place”. Therefore, as the story goes, people are intrinsically good, “civilization” has led us astray and the problem of evil in the world can be physically explained away by some defect in the brain that creates the delusion of inequality and disordered appetites like religion. Hence, the frantic search in our own day for discovering the physical malady of “the Right Wing brain” or the elusive “god gene”.

Assuredly, Nature ethics is a fascinating study that generates many bizarre, secondary principles that are most often anti-human because they are premised, like all defensive ethics, on a fear of the Strong—in this case, a fear of our natural, Human domination of the planet. For example, the “pristine ethic” is a biased evaluation of environments based on the premise that humans contaminate Nature. “Come see Nature’s unspoiled beauty” the travel brochure exclaims. Such logic avoids the obvious conclusion that building a Volvo is just as natural to our human capabilities as digging a hole is to a gopher—that humans are part of nature too. However, for space requirements, we will not go into further detail on concepts of “natural balance”, “proportion”, “natural goodness” or the ultimate “attraction of pantheism” here. It is suffice to say that there are serious problems with Nature ethics, not the least of which is that it seems to contradict the entire Natural order where we can plainly see various hierarchies and a pervasive law of Utility within, for example, the animal kingdom.

In other words, if absolute physical equality is supposed to be fact of the universe, it is not really found in Nature. Nonetheless, the take home point is that Nature ethics are, first and foremost, a denial of the existence of God, with the subsequent claim that everything should receive equal deference. Thus, “going Green” is not so much a movement based on the responsible stewardship of the planet God gave us. Rather, it is based on a primal fear of domination, with Humanity in the crosshairs.

Our new ethical system

Therefore, as you can see, stripping the world of a belief in God forces everyone to depend on physical “ethics” born of primal fear and desire. Since most of us are not strong enough to control, much less dominate our circumstances, we shelter in the herd and try to defend ourselves. Together we impose restrictions on the Strong. Thus, our first ethic is to Survive which eventually drives us into herds (Victim ethics) where we cleverly equalize things according to the “moral absolute” of physical equality (Nature ethics). Admittedly, throughout all of this, there remains the yearning desire to “get what I want”, the ubiquitous will to power of Utility.

Thus, a god-free public square generates a lot of worried ethics. Go to any public elementary school and see them almost shouted from the walls: EQUALITY, RESPECT, TOLERANCE, RESPONSIBILITY, SHARING, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE…etc. The anxiety is palpable. And why not? There is so much to do and so little time! Young children--potential citizens of the great secular city--need to unlearn the inequality of a Created world order and all its “unhealthy” values. Then, they must learn the dangers of following their natural, Utilitarian desires—perhaps, with a trip to the Tolerance Museum. Then, they must thoroughly understand the blessed doctrine of Nature, Victim and Survival ethics: which will become a lifelong social expectation called “political correctness”. Eventually, the young, secular adult will soak in the message. They will develop a “social conscience” premised on a cartoon planet wherein battle the loving and enlightened equalizers vs. unhealthy, selfish dominators. And they will carry this battle into all walks of life, giving intense political interpretation to most everything--from baking fat-free cookies to green trash collection to manipulating news reports.

Yet, history shows these battle lines to be a false dichotomy because Utility (“me getting what I want”) is at the root of every secular ethic. And, notions of “equality” actually prove to be quite fungible in practice. It is a great “moral war” that can easily be dropped if I become dominant or there is some Utilitarian gain in sight. In other words, the Weak may impose equality until they are Strong enough then it all goes out the window. Then every inhuman cruelty can be indulged without restraint—equality be damned.

The novel “Animal Farm” outlines the classic progression of equalizers rising to authority and then administering a coercive, utilitarian abuse on the workers they had just “rescued” from utilitarian abuse. Yes, the motto on your kid’s classroom wall should actually read: “EQUALITY UBER ALLES [over all]… UNTIL I AM UBER ALLES!” For all the seduction of the towering secular dream of equality, impartial justice, sharing, love and tolerance, the whole thing is utilitarian to the core. With History as a bleary-eyed witness, the Earth is littered with millions of bones of the “equalized”, from Havana to Beijing, whose leaders suddenly discovered they were now dominant.

[end of excerpt from Chapter 7]





THE FALL OF MANKIND



Theo Perkins walked the long, twisting line of people with a sweet and gentle confidence. His fine suit and radiant smile seemed completely out of place amidst the broken windows, ravaged streets and gangland graffiti scrawled angrily across the brick of the dilapidated buildings. The crowd gawked at him as he appeared to search their ranks for children mostly--that special little boy and his mom, or some impoverished man with his daughter or a lone widow. He called them forward to follow him back to the theater entrance amid howling jeers and cursing.

“Hey (explicative) you can’t do that! We’re gonna burn your (explicative) theater to the ground!”

With a delightful smile, he held the door open for his new guests. The theater was now full. But just before the show, Perkins stood before the hall and raised his hand for silence.

“It gives me great pleasure to offer this community a free movie night.” The theater broke forth into steady applause. Raising his hand again, Perkins continued. “The concessions tonight will be free of charge and….” He could not continue as the people were now on their feet cheering—some eyeing the aisles for an opening. “And all I ask is that you use the facilities with care. Your seats have adjustments on the left. The bathrooms are to the back and, please listen, this is important.”

A hushed silence spread across the audience. “Whatever you do, leave THAT door closed!” he said, pointing to one of the exits that certainly would open to the rough streets outside. A curious murmur went through the seats. Mr. Perkins listened a moment to the muttering crowd, then smiled tenderly as he lifted up his voice--“Enjoy the show.”



Play



Just before the end of day

as Mary lit the well-worn lamp,

the Boy came back from

play

but hiding some squirmy thing

in the tattered folds of an old cloth,

His eyes burning with enough joy to take her there…

There before the ancient worlds were wrought

And she pondered

if He had played with Wisdom,

had wandered all about those vast realms of Possibility

exploring both what could and what would never be?

And did He run and shout?

And did the Nothing-horrors flee Him

or the Angels “hide and seek” Him down the corridors of time?

And did He ever, back then,

return home to the Eternal Godhead

and smile to have hidden in His arms

a small kitten

or a few bright stars?




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