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Factual Joy

January 27, 2019



Be Joyful though you have considered all the facts

And this is where the struggle begins. 

This “Us vs. Them” mentality,

Where the media cycle survives, or even thrives

As partisan politics rips us apart.  

As activists in the community,

it’s impossible to turn a blind eye

Because knowledge truly is power

But how much power is needed

When your soul can barely get by

Amidst this power struggle?

I set out for a walk


Be joyful though you have considered all the facts

And I walk the streets of Philadelphia,

Sunday and sunny

smiling at strangers. 

Fist bump for a fellow Eagle’s fan as we jam on a double doink missed field goal 

 --  Pray for Cody Parkey     --

The facts say we had no business winning that game

but underdogs are the anthem for this city


Be joyful though you have considered all the facts 

We are all writers in the 21st century. 

social media has serenaded us with soliloquies 

from our far-out aunt,

or our off the wall co-worker. 

We used to go to school with that person-

            What a jackass.

                        Do they honestly believe that?

                                    I must have been a bad judge of character…

And now we are passing judgment,

letting toxic negativity take over the brain.

Online publication has become a soundboard to promote

the hatred and anger people feel

and struggle to process


Be joyful though you have considered all the facts

I sit with my grandpop and process that he will soon die.

Selfishly I’m sad

Even though I know he’s lived his best, and blessed, life.

An immigrant who worked hard on the farm

Beating the sun to the fun of the fields

And resting as the moon took center stage.

Still living off the land,

For as long as life will allow him to live

I sit with him

And we both smile and swap a few stories

Before he falls back asleep 

As I step to his side,

                        say I love you,                        and leave

both happy

to have another day of company


*Inspiration for this poem came from a line in Wendell Berry's piece of art,  "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front"

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