Thoughts on God, Human Leadership, and Mountains, upon Leaving War’s Victims, Unfinished

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An atheist leader
who is rational,
Can be more a messenger,
of God’s mercy for the powerless,
than a leader,
who bows down to God,
over the dead bodies,
of his victims.

‘Less suffering’
Is the tortured scream
of God.

An authentic smile
Is the fleeting face of God,
A single act of kindness,
The touch of Her finger.

Only when you accept death,
Can you become committed
To the renewal of life.
Only when you see democracy die,
Can you plan its rebirth.


Pray for rational leaders,
They are the only path to less suffering.


The violent leader searches
Outside his heart,
The peaceful leader searches
Inside his heart.

The violent leader
Challenges others,
The peaceful leader
Challenges himself.

The violent leader
Demands devotion to himself,
The peaceful leader
Demands his devotion
to others.

The violent leader
Is always searching,
The peaceful leader
is always discovering.

The violent leader hates
with abandon,
The peaceful leader loves
with abandon.

inspired by Tao Te Ching 21, 53


It is a law:
Violence begets nonviolence,
Like a tulip in winter,
In all places,
In all cultures.
But only those
With eyes wide open
Can see it,
In the middle of
Winter storms.


A pine tree
Bent over,
Like an old Finnish man,
Slanted completely with the wind,
Hair waving wildly,
Seen all of history,
Through those eyes.
The pine needles
Whistling wildly,
In the furious hot sun,
Of August,
Cooled by the
Exhausting elevation.
I touch the bark,
On top of Har Hahar,
Where they say,
Moses saw what he could never inherit.
The tree is speaking,
I am blown wildly by the wind,
I press the tree,
Both hands,
Eyes shut,
Breathe deeply.
I have been here before.


(Photo: Phillip C.)

© Marc Gopin