The tedious and the astonishing


Strife at first light. Fear for breakfast.
Daily meal of hostility.
All this is tedious.

Hate is tedious.
The man shaking his fist behind his windshield,
behind his pulpit, behind his Generals, behind his ideology—bloody tedious.

What astonishes is someone singing in the dark,
listen, hear the soft inhale before each gentle note.

Tedious: Paranoia’s new president barking, terrorist! terrorist!
Astonishing: while every year 40,000 die at their own hands.

The Left, the Right,
the mind in black and white…tedious.
What astonishes is nuanced intelligence—a rainbow soul.

Christ in cahoots with America, God’s co-opted blessing
of nationalism, of militarism—Jesus that’s tedious!
What astonishes is the long obedience to nonviolent resistance.

Walls for tyranny, scapegoats for unity, the rage for security,
tedious! tedious! tedious!

What isn’t, is Rachel who rises at four to feed the homeless at seven,
a man in a suit, stopping, bending, picking up litter on his way to work,
wrens that never quit building a broken nest.


  1. What astonishes is someone singing in the dark… [and] a rainbow soul. This. I needed this. Today. The simplicity and depth of your sentiments – astonishing. Thank you, Stephen.

Leave a Reply to stephen t berg Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *