Blurred Borders

I rediscovered this photo while rummaging in a long-forgotten drawer for a greeting card.  The find has had me rummaging through the time I spent in the Ground Zero community, a nonviolent resistance movement to nuclear weapons. I lived in the woods in a house above the railroad tracks that moved weapons and fuel in and out of Subase Bangor in Poulsbo/Silverdale WA.  Perhaps the message I want to share in the accompanying poem is the realization that if we allow our spiritual practice to divest us of the need to cling to possessions, the world will not need weapons to protect the “lifestyle to which we’ve become accustomed.”

I.

My intrepid Blue Cream Tortoise Shell
boldly went where no sane mortal 
dared to roam.
Emily slinked across the railroad tracks
which carried warheads and fuel-
fresh and spent- into Subase Bangor.
She scooted under the gate 
making her way to the bunkers 
where armed marines waited 
ready to shoot intruders at first sight-
but surely not Emily.
Emily who did not threaten to destroy 
"the lifestyle to which we had become accustomed."*

II.

Jim and I passed out the week's leaflets
from our respective lanes at Trigger Avenue gate.
We shivered against the temperature outside, 
and the inside temperature of workers
as they spotted us when traffic stalled.
It was a typical early morning arrival-
yawning, putting on makeup, shaving.
Until an unexpected guest materialized
darting in and out of cars, nostrils flaring 
eyes betraying the deer's sheer terror.
Guards rushed out to stop traffic
and opened the gate wide.
We waited. And waited.
Finally the deer leaped up
and shot to safety on the other side.
Jim looked at me and said,
"How ironic that she is safer in there than out here."

No open gate for those who "threaten the lifestyle to which we've become accustomed."

*Admiral Trost in The Trident Tides U.S. Navy publication

c. rita hemmer kowats Indigenous Peoples Day 2021

2 thoughts on “Blurred Borders

  1. Rita,

    Is this Jim and Shelly who are now in Birmingham?

    What is their surname?

    Blurred Borders for sure, knowing that we’ve sent some of the Haitians back to their own country?

    Thank you for your rummaging and finding parts of your Non-Violence journey at Ground Zero., thirty-one years later.

    Continue your journey of Peace and Non-violence.

    Gratefully, Mary Pat

    Like

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