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  • Alex Garver

The Non-Duality of Social Justice: A Poem



the pendulum swings

from 'White is good' to 'White is bad'

and back again

the crowd cheering and jeering in jest


rhythmic osculations of duality

hypnotize me into

a trance of separation

that flattens fractal dimensions

into cookie-cutout identities

so simple and sweet my holy longing

is hijacked in addiction


chips of histories, bittersweet

trails of tears, frozen streaks

stain the land

that would sustain me


who was pained

and who awakens

in the morning light

with warm skin

and peppery cacao?


what perceptions pin reality

like a tiger caught beneath a fallen tree?


may I,

dare we,

walk free?


like a dancing leaf—

apparent personality

fed and moved by cosmic breath,

still grounded

exhaling into the Earth.


perhaps it is time we learn

with humility

how the melting glacier's

death gives birth

to the sun's shimmerings

on an alpine lake.


my prayer

today and for this age

is to not judge others

by the color of their skin

by the shape of their identity

not even by their awareness

or lack thereof


I forgive us our flailing grabs at love

our entitled wounds demanding address

our inconsiderate raping

of women and Earth

our domination and killing

of innocent people

because I know the pain

who writes the script

and the lonely actor who loses himself

for the sake of adoration


I too have killed for love.

I have mistaken sex for worthiness.

I have manipulated the vulnerable and

abused my power to prevent

lack and aloneness

from annihilating myself.


And I also sense the end of this story

the dark void might dissolve myself

but it is no end that is not also the beginning

the very thing I most feared

is what I have most sought

in eons of disconnection and confusion

fear in its repulsion and desire in its outflow

point the way through opposites

craving and aversion

arise from the same still point

of mind.


sit still my child

and know you are God

unknowable perhaps

but knowing unknowing

allows knowing of all


in accepting our trials

and my old karmic tries for Self

I do not condone or allow

others to harm myself or my friends

I stand, I fight, I cry, I sing

for truth for freedom for presence for love


life after life I swim for the shore

not just for myself but for all of my selves

for you, your mother, and our child

interlocking, interweaving forms filled with love

like Mozart's notes, different and connected,

downloaded, bit by bit, like a Zip drive

from the source of all things.


I know not who I am

or who you are

And yet I know

who we are not.

I am not deceived

nor so intoxicated

with form

to lose awareness of play

arising from spacious nothing

Nor am I so enamored with my own religion

that I cease to enjoy the ecstatic flow of mystery

in and through the world.


I hope to join you again

one day under a starry sky

or in song around a campfire

or tending to the wounds of war


It matters not so much where or when we meet

or on which dusty road we fall in love

I only hope we remember

our connection

inherent in the One

who dreams...

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