POEM: Eternal Seasoning

A house divided soon Falls
From fair-weathered friends
A summer fallowing
Hommés united spring eternal
From perennial buds
After a parent winter
So goes
The eternal seasoning
A savor for all
The whirled

This short poem is about hope, friendship, and collective action.  I must give props to M.K. who said something with a similar sentiment: “When I despair, I remember that all through the ways of and have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it — always.”

Hope is a common theme in my writings.  Partly because the world so commonly seems in so desperate need of hope.  Partly because I find the of hope intriguing, elusive and indefatigable!  After all, I literally graduated from Hope College!  Of course, it was with a B.S., so you may want to take what I say with a grain of salt.  Though, personally, I’d prefer that you’d take it with innumerable grains of salt, as in ’s Salt Campaign for independence from British rule:

Led by Mohandas K. , the ’s Working Committee decided to target the 1882 British Salt Act that gave the British a monopoly on the collection and manufacture of salt and allowed them to levy a salt tax. Although he faced initial ambivalence and opposition to the idea of targeting the Salt Laws, asserted that salt would help unite Indians of all communities, castes, and regions for salt represented a basic and crucial dietary need that the British colonial monopolized for its own benefit. By encouraging all Indians to defy the Salt Laws by manufacturing and selling salt themselves, argued, Indians could collectively challenge the of the Raj.

At the of the Indian Salt campaign (1930-31), the United States was in the Great , as a result of reckless financial speculation, another great trickle down from the changers of the world.  Some things never .  The more recent Occupy movement recognized that the 99% vastly outnumber the 1% and that direct , empowering the masses to take of their lives without relying on the profiteering inter-mediators of the 1%.  Many mourn the rising and falling tides of , but the currents favoring hold sway forever.  Like Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice.”

The “house divided” reference is both to Mark 3:25: “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand,” and the famous speech by during his presidential re-election campaign amidst the Civil (NOTE: “civil ” is perhaps one of the greatest oxymorons ever).  The most famous passage of the speech is:

A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate ; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.

As described in Wikipedia, the people’s encyclopedia, Lincoln used this speech to frame the epic and question of the day:

“Lincoln’s goals with this speech were, firstly, to differentiate himself from Douglas, the incumbent; and secondly, to publicly voice a prophecy for the . Douglas had long advocated popular sovereignty, under which the settlers in each new territory decided their own as a slave or free ; he had repeatedly asserted that the proper application of popular sovereignty would end -induced , and would allow northern and southern states to resume their peaceful coexistence. Lincoln, however, responded that the Dred Scott decision had closed the door on Douglas’s preferred option and left the Union with only two remaining outcomes: the United States would inevitably become either all slave, or all free. Now that the North and the South had come to hold distinct opinions in the question of , and now that this issue had come to permeate every other question, the would soon come when the Union would no longer be able to function.”

This poem attempts to capture some of the flavor — the eternal seasoning — of this perennial cycling and of the for throughout our lives and across generations.  Savor the high tides, but be not discouraged when the tectonic shifts of social seem imperceptible.  Winter always passes, and hope springs eternal.  And if you still have a headache from all of this, just mix two , ingest gently, and call me in the .

Leave a Reply