Withdrawal Of Consent

“Weathered Board” (photograph)

This is a chapter in my book “Compassionate Tarot Companion”.
The book’s overview with download & 2 chapters … {-here-}
All blog posts that are chapters … {-here-}

Here is the desperate struggle
for freedom of mind.

Around nineteen-eighty:
Back then, we were in a time of lies,
lies on a very wide yet pervasively intimate scale,
as though lies were the air you breathed.
I’ll tell you one example of those times that
infuriated me:

My fellow citizens
were mostly still in love with
our US. National Propaganda Lies, and so there
was a NONSENSE QUESTION you could ask.
You could ask Ms or Mister Citizen this:

“Do you think America
is the greatest country in the world?”
Nonsense on its face of course.

To rationally reply, just to start,
they must apply some greatness score
to every country in the world.

Then if this is somehow done, and
if US. wins the tip top score,
still, how to reach the actual meaning?

For we know what is meant:
America is good and noble by its nature,
and good inherently in the world’s nature.
So how that?

But if the citizen shall judge
this inference is done,
the logic leads to

For if the logic can be proved, or is assumed,
then it confirms a pleasant feeling dawning
temptingly as the preferred conclusion
is approached.

For the climax of the thought is this:
Them and their nation
righteously dreaming, forcefully leading,
sunshiny gleaming, envy of the world;

And by encanting this, they feel themselves
now standing with

So every American I asked …
“Do you think America
is the greatest country in the world?”
with very rare exception,
would actually do exactly this:
Listen to my question,
Think momentarily,
and see the difficulties of the question,

(and shrug often,)
and answer:

“Yes, I think America is the
greatest country in the world.”

Too frail
to dare traverse
a shadow of a doubt,
these my fellow citizens.

They were doing this even after the horrors
of the very horrid Vietnam War that were
just recently gone by,
VAST horrors done
by OUR soldiers from the very start of it,
and repeated con­stantly with increasing
pitch of desperation right to the end;

Horrors done mostly by public order of our generals,
in fulfillment of our government’s public policies,
and constantly reported clearly in the daily news;

Yes it was even then after those long recent years
of vast and quite intentional EVIL,
that enormous spasm of pointless furious
insane destruction,
it was then in nineteen-eighty,

And I was finding most Americans still somehow
clung to their cherished lie that our country,
unlike most other countries,
My fellow citizens.

(And one among the dead a friend.
We men young together there were waiting;
He among us chosen
of the war machine and carried to the perpetration;
He the murdered by the war machine,
promptly murdered;
Us friends waiting; Us one letter
back from him, full of scribbled horrors;
Then he’s dead.

That long ago by then;
Dead in summer nineteen-seventy.)

Thirty years more or less,
and every one of them a year of startling surprises.

Me. Night.
A city night.
An electric glaring night of shadowed darkness
here behind us where we stand,
but blazing penetrating light across the street.

We standing here – a large but unknown number of us
– stood far out to left and right, all three ranks deep,
but crowding close to hold each other up
against the blaring light
– are, in military fact, actually
a voluntary UNARMED citizen militia,
well disci­plined by our ideals and ready; Waiting.

Our drummers drumming loud and fast.
Food and water being passed;
Waiting for the Boston Police
to cross the street in line abreast,
and take the park.

The park, the Occupy encampment.
The tiny liberated zone.
The tiny zone of real democracy,
of real news,
real educa­tion;
The zone of reality and courage.

Me a visitor tonight. Me with others
come racing in a car tonight to make this muster;
Come racing from our smaller city’s camp
where we are fully occupied
with our own version of the struggle.

but out in front to show some leadership,
waiting crouching on the curb;
But a squad of drummers shove in here,
so I fade back behind the line,
and find some other duty.


Our fellow citizens, some of them,
have come to stroll
about behind our line
and they want chatting.

I hail one: “Hi”.
This one a man the age
that I once was.

In that electric shadowed,
thrumming, rhythm dark
he does approach;
Is not shy,
But can’t find words.

Youngish, so-called white;
Clean and warmly dressed
this cool night.

He is not shy but fuddled, confused;
trying seriously to think,
but can’t find terms.
Clearly sees the movement of these souls,
clearly sympathizes,
but yet cannot see why.
He seems to seem to himself:

Cloudy, drifty, and opaque.


Me, i guess i’ll put the question.
“Can i ask you something?”
(Sarcastically?) (Ironically?)

Uncertainly: “? OKAY ?”

“Do you think America is .. ..
the greatest country in the world?”

Mister US. Citizen:
He hesitates;
He hems and haws, haws and hems,
almost makes a little dance,
offers something,
takes it back.

Then, at last, finally his countenance at last,
his countenance portrays as if perhaps,
as if a useful thought has found him.

So now at last
at long long weary last

He does not answer.

In a dharma gate.

(- Here is the end of this poem.-)

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