Category Archives: Shi Sai

Sunday’s Week in Reverse – 11 November 2018

Happy Veteran’s Day. It’s a long way from the 1970’s, but today I’m feeling patriotic. Yep that’s me back in the day. USMC…Semper Fi! And in the words of President Macron this weekend, “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying ‘our interests first’…we erase what a nation holds dearest…its moral values.”

Another week, another mass shooting, an election…contested, a house regained, an attorney general fired, a sycophant hired, press pass seized, threats of retaliation, lies doubled down, fires raging. In other words, a typical week in the alternate world of trump. We learned a few things this past week. Hate is alive and well in these divided states with far too many election results lingering into the night “too close to call”. Insanity reigns as our president spirals into rage. If the last few years were trump in good times (with allies in all three branches of our government), we are in for a wild, terrifying ride from a defensive trump. The house win, he says, out loud, works well into his (evil) political plan to stay in power. He’ll just blame the democrats for everything.

But something also changed this week. There is a flickering check on the imbalance we have suffered these past few years. It’s certain to be ugly. It will most definitely be exhausting. Our divisions are real, laid bare by our party loyalties, and our recent election.

Before we trudge forward, I have one more thing to say…Apologies to Europe…to the world…for trump and his atrocious behavior in Paris, in general. Apologies to our veterans and service members who have given all to this country for a commander in chief who is afraid to get his hair wet. Apologies to the people losing their homes and sadly for some, their lives, while wildfires rage. I’m sorry you are being blamed for this tragedy and threatened by our president who’d like to cut you off from funding and ultimately out of the union. To the hopeful, seeking asylum from terror and violence in their homelands, I’m so sorry we are not the bright, shining city on the hill you imagine us to be. To the innocent people wounded and killed by angry men wielding weapons of war in our streets, to those suffering from addiction, to those with preexisting conditions, to the marginalized, the poor, the sick, the elderly, people of color, lgbtq, non-Christians, non-republicans, to all the others, I’m sorry we can’t do better. But remember this one thing. Your vote counted this week. It made a difference. We are not powerless. And trump is not who we are. He has his blind followers, but there are more of us who remember, more patriots who cling to what matters most…our moral values, decency and truth. The blue wave may not have been a tsunami, but change is coming.

Sunday’s Week in Reverse – 11 November 2018

sometimes family,
this cold, grey mourning
seeks you
mind your manners
a simple blot of ink
blue haze dissipating
show me, just show me
ice-nipped air, drizzling sleet,
peace exists


Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 4 November 2018

You know the saying, “things could not get any worse”. That one. It’s meant to encourage us when things are really bad. Unbelievably awful. I’ve been saying it to myself a lot these past few years. A lot. So many times that it almost seems meaningless, because it’s just not true…

And Worse, for his part, keeps showing me that he is not finished showing off. Every day, Worse is looming, in my face flaunting his best, the greatest hits, of his worst. And the hits keep coming. At a furious pace. Worse is relentless. He’s especially good at reminding me of what I’ve lost…friends, family, security, freedom. He loves making me beg for an end to his madness. He loves beating me down. For every uttered, “it can’t get any worse,” he’s there smugly declaring, “Oh, but it can. It can always get worse.” Worse is a bottomless pit of impossibilities just waiting to spew his venom. To poison us into believing it’s hopeless to imagine anything better than the misery he’s so good at inflicting.

But Worse doesn’t know me. I have seen Worse. And I am still here. The shimmering break of day still moves me…every day. The cool settling of dusk soothes me. I swoon to the caress of the breeze on my cheek, thrill to the trill of birdsong. Oh I know I’m waxing poetic a bit. Hey, it’s what poets do. But like I said, Worse doesn’t know me.

Go ahead give me your worst, Worse, I’ll raise you with hope. Ante up…show how vile you can be. Tell me your lies. They’re no match for the truth. I wear truth like armor. And another thing…I am a raging bundle of love. Love never fails. You can’t stop the beautiful sun from rising, or quiet the birds from singing. You can’t stop the seasons from seasoning. And my friends, the better angels, they’re not afraid of you either. Yes things may seem to be going your way Worse. But not today. Today Hope is rising. She’s ready for a fight. And when she wins, you’re gonna feel it.

Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 4 November 2018

when words are not enough it’s best not to make up stuff
nipping our hearts, numbing frost, fear, our freedom lost
something was horribly wrong
all have gone…
mustn’t be late, and then we wait, it’s the waiting I hate
the haunt begins…appease them with sweets, don’t let them in
it is not safe here
clouds, drizzle droplets
silenced by our better angels
when so much is at stake / become the truth
gilded needles clinging
remember the things that matter


A ReVerse poem is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the ReVerse features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week.

Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 28 October 2018

Most Sunday’s I reflect on the previous week. But it is deeply painful to reflect on this week’s events. How does one make sense of madness? It’s not possible. The only thing I do know is that it must stop. I don’t know how to fix this. How to reach across the aisle to those who see me as the enemy, an abomination, “the other”. All I do know is that we can’t keep killing each other with mistrust, insults, exclusion, discrimination, hate. There is no “other”. There is only us. As true as that is, it is also true that we are the only ones who can save us from ourselves.

My heart holds everyone touched by violence and threats of harm in love. Go gently my friends. Go gently.

Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 28 October 2018

take care what you wish for, keep it simple, less is more
heaven is waiting
first frost, silent dawn, wondering where the crickets have gone
it’s a poison devouring
There were people hiding behind trees everywhere.
change changes us, we learn to bend; that it’s not the end
thin as skin, the veil
pride comes before the fall; the deadliest sin of all
if you think you’re crazy you’re likely not…like a fox
They shout MAGA, crooning la-la, the world’s gone gaga!
birds on leafless boughs swoon underneath a pale moon
the earth murmurs
overthinking life
broken; their joy


A ReVerse poem is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the ReVerse features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week.

Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 21 October 2018

Ricky Gervais produced a film back in 2008 called “The Invention of Lying”. I highly recommend it. It’s a tale about a world where no one is able to tell a lie; where trust was the way of life. Imagine it if you will. When one dude figures out he has the ability to bend the truth, all hell breaks loose, as you can imagine. Of course everyone believes his lies, because, well, why wouldn’t they in a world where everyone is hardwired to trust, where there is no such thing as a lie. But as a consequence of his invention trust took a beating. It was a new reality, the idea of mistrust. It was the price to pay for lying, no matter the gain. A sobering lesson for us all.

Fast forward to 2018. A bit of an alternative reality check, if you will…

Once upon a time there was a world where truth did not exist. In fact everyone lied. No one could tell the truth. The bigger the whopper, the better. Of course no one believed anyone. The level of mistrust pitted parents against children, friend against friend, foe against…well, as you might expect everyone was a potential foe in a world without truth. People got along not because they trusted each other, but by gravitating to the lies that felt good, because those lies got them what they wanted. Lying was a means to an end.

Then one day a strange fellow uttered an incredibly powerful word…”but”. After shaking off the gasps and stares of those around him, he stepped up on a soap box and found the courage to go with it. One truth led to another and another. No one could stop him. “But that doesn’t sound right…” “But they said this only three days ago…and now they’re saying this! Look, I have video.” “But that’s not what the facts show…I have proof.” The crowd grew deadly silent, everyone staring at him, wide eyed, mouths agape. And then it happened. The crowd burst into uproarious laughter. “Good one dude!” “You really had us going!” “Proof? Facts?! They are unprovable. Everyone knows that!” “You don’t even sound credible!” “Truth? What is truth?” A group of crooners broke out in a stirring rendition of “La…la…la…” Of course no one believed him. Why would they? How could they? Mistrust grew even more. And anger…not at being duped, but at the mere suggestion that truth could possibly exist. It was unthinkable. Clusters of lie lovers organized into tribes around they’re favorite reality. It felt good there…safe. They built walls to keep truth from invading their tiny minds, which grew smaller by the day. And trust never returned. Because as everyone knows, once trust is lost, it’s over.

You expected a happy ending? I wish I could have given you that. I really do.

I’m often preaching to the choir in this place so it goes without saying, if you are a seeker of truth like me, keep seeking and speaking it. Even if no one believes you, because why would they? Why should they when their lies feel so good? At the very least, at the end of the day, you’ll be able to look at yourself in the mirror without wincing, and you’ll be able to sleep at night. Truth has its perks too. It preserves one’s soul. Peace my friends…peace.

Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 21 October 2018

do you think me strange?
sweet dreams begotten fade to mist at dawn forgotten
cool breeze, crickets peeping…the night is set for sleeping,
Sounds scary!
Everyone believed it.
a thought for a penny, no more, gets what you pay for
polyglots who bang out
crumbs are not enough to sate the starving, doomed by fate
shorter days, growing shadows, a time for letting go
a cool nip frosts the aged leaves cleaving to the trees
dreams of cool cats fiddling
a thousand wishes fill
us…hot breath, wild eyes,
they will never see
when lies become a means to an end nobody wins


A ReVerse poem is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the ReVerse features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week.

Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 7 October 2018

It’s been an exhausting week. Without planning it, today’s ReVerse sums it up quite well. Too well.

Oh I know there are those who see the culmination of this week’s events as a victory. It’s why they voted for trump after all, knowing full well what a misogynistic, racist, greedy, narcissist he was. He was a means to an end. This end. The highest court of our land is now stacked in their favor. It’s a gift from their god, surely. The one who judges and condemns women, minorities, foreigners, the poor, the sick, children, the weak. Yes, that god, praise Jesus. They are reaping the just rewards for their idolatry. One step closer to the heaven on earth they dream of and pray for each night.

I know you’re thinking, tell us what you really think, Kat. Ha! Am I right?!

Well, I’ll tell you. What I really think. What I know. The god they so piously claim to worship? He is not god…his son is not Jesus. The Jesus I know loved the outcast, the sinner, the poor, the weak. He gave women a voice and included them amongst his disciples. He listened to them, confided in them. It was a woman he first appeared to when he returned. If you believe in the stories written about him. It’s okay if you don’t.

I’ll admit I do not believe in the god of those who call themselves christian. I stopped warming a pew long ago. I could not stomach the lies, self-righteousness judgment, and hate that spewed from the pulpit and festered in the hearts of loyal congregants who gratefully thanked god, their god, for saving them from being like… well, you know, us…the others…the fallen…the lost.

In fact, I feel lost right now. I like to think that there is a god somewhere who cares. That Jesus is real. That all the sages of the ages who speak of love and mercy and forgiveness were on to something. That there is a god who asks us to love one another, to help the foreigner, to visit the prisoner, to feed the hungry, to heal the sick, to welcome the outcast…because that’s the kind of god he (or she) is. Yeah, that would be a god worth following, worth believing in.

As I write this I am sitting on my porch in the cool darkness listening to crickets and city sounds droning in the distance. I think about those who are suffering tonight. Those who were hurt this week. Those whose memories of injustice were dredged from the darkness, laid bare, and trampled upon by those who are celebrating a win this weekend. My heart breaks for us all, and I know I am not the only one who feels this way. And that gives me hope. I still believe in the goodness of those of us who feel. I believe in that spark of compassion that I see in those around me. God may not be some white haired dude sitting on a throne smiting the unchosen after all, but I’m more than okay with that. I see god in the gentle, the compassionate, the weak, the outcast, in all living, breathing things; I feel god in the wind. I can believe that god. The one who is. I can believe in us. I can believe in you. There you are. I see you.

Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 7 October 2018

i rise like air
listen…there is birdsong
I hearsay, hearsay’s not proof for true seekers of truth
no one would know
weaving threads of silken lace she lies in wait and waits
face toward the light so shadows fall behind, out of sight
death interrupts our planned existence in an instant
trust is fragile, easily lost, regained at great cost
when justice declares her verdict…
saying you believe, but…reveals a mind that is shut
She was a bitch.


A ReVerse poem is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the ReVerse features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week.

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