Who Will Judge

And how would it feel if it happened to you?
Would it, or could it, alter your point of view?

It is not, clearly, all black and white.

Through murky shades of grey we wander,
or trespass, across the lives of others.

Shouldn’t all human beings have human rights?

History; a planet rife with examples of abuse.

Anti-Semitism, tongue-in-cheek criticism,
revealing more truth than dare. Ignorance.
Insults uttered without conscience or care.

A sad state. I cannot contemplate
moral devastation, in other nations, but I must.

It is where we live.
This globalization, this imbalance, this hatred
rooted in religion, race, gender identity, or disability.
Discrimination. Disgrace.

When does hate speech become free speech?
Who will decide, who will judge, those who
blame and shame others, unknown
and unknowing.

Imbalance, injustice. Hallow eyes do not trust us
when we are all one; aren’t we? Do you see?

Is that not what you believe?
Shouldn’t all human beings
have human rights?

Let your voice rise above red-hot rhetoric, and
assaultive language. Be honest. Be humble

Speak out for those who cannot speak up for themselves
for one day you may find yourself among them.

Who, then, will stand up for you?

© 2018 j.g. lewis

This Moon Alone

I capitalize the Moon. Proper noun, proper sphere; a sign of respect. I write about the Moon.

I write about what I know.

This Moon tonight is the only one I truly know. Yes, this magnificent universe, and possibly the one beyond, has many moons, but this Earth has only one. The others (181 and counting) appear to us only as stars, small planets, space junk, and such.

Our Moon, full right now, is the only one I care about. I do not have the need, or the bandwidth, to concern myself with any, or all, of the others. This Moon alone is above my reach, but never beyond my imagination.

Planetary science has nothing to do with my Moon, it is all about the dreams and the space allowed.

At the age when I viewed the first Moon landing only on television, and not outside with the naked eye, I realized the Moon was never as close as it appeared. From that time this orbital delight has become a fascination to me. As I grow older, with each orbit around the Sun, my allure (some may say obsession) with this Moon has only become heightened.

By high school, certainly by my time in the compulsory rocks & stars university course, I was pretty much done with a practical scientific view of the element. Even my view of the Moon through photography has been more of art than of science.

Should I choose to read of the Moon, my preference has been poetry, where the words have not only been more accurate, but deeply personal. The Moon is routinely a theme or topic of many favourite poems, as familiar as love and heartbreak, pain and persistence, and so often intertwined.

You learn about yourself, as you learn of the Moon. Life lessons are to be learned.

Of Shakespeare’s 160 sonnets, four, I feel, mark the passage of man, through life or the ages. These four sonnets, I believe, speak directly of, or to, the Moon.

Thus I pass by, at any age, in any phase, as does the moon; dependent upon the light of others, always a part of the landscape, noticeable more at night, and consistent if not dependable.

I respect the Moon as I respect myself, and, even then, not enough.

© 2018 j.g. lewis


Sonnet 35
William Shakespeare

No more be grieved at that which thou hast done:
Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud,
Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun,
And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.
All men make faults, and even I in this,
Authórizing thy trespass with compare,
Myself corrupting salving thy amiss,
Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are:
For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense—
Thy adverse party is thy advocate—
And ‘gainst myself a lawful plea commence.
Such civil war is in my love and hate,
   That I an áccessory needs must be
   To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me.

Forbidden Fruit No Longer

Forty years ago I may have been more interested. Call it timing, or time of my life, but I really don’t care about the legalization of marijuana.

As of today, consumption and sale of pot is legal in Canada, the fulfillment of a 2015 election promise by now-prime minister Justin Trudeau.

It’s a pretty big thing to some people; they were lined up at stores in Newfoundland at midnight to be the first in the country to purchase the now-legal weed. Other people will wait until morning, or until they are of legal age. Some people won’t bother.

It’s a personal thing, like beer, wine or spirits.

It is also now, like beer, wine, and spirits, a taxable commodity (some may even call it a tax grab), promoted by governments as a move to kill the lucrative black market trade and take the drug out of the hands of organized crime. Governments claim control of the substance will also better keep it away from minors (a time when many of us were introduced to weed).

I grew up through the ’70s, reading about the power and pleasure of marijuana in the pages of Rolling Stone magazine, and listening to the comical side of the sub-culture on Cheech and Chong records. I don’t really remember the first time I smoked pot, and was essentially done with it all by the time I was in university (a time when many discovered bud time).

I do remember the last time I smoked a joint, years ago, as a totally pleasurable experience. I’m just not into it now. It’s a personal thing. I do believe part of attraction to pot was the fact that it was not legal; temptation never tastes as sweet as it does from a forbidden fruit.

There been a lot of talk, for years and of late, about the lessening dangers of marijuana. There has been a lot of talk about whether or not the dangers even existed.

While Studies have shown, apparently, that marijuana is not addictive, there will be those people with an addictive personality who will still ignore responsibilities, escape their reality, and even isolate themselves from friends and families.

Others will (continue to) use marijuana as a social drug, and enjoy a Saturday evening with a couple of friends and a few fingers of dope.

Governments are now, already, projecting the millions of dollars of revenue expected to flow into its coffers. History is rife with examples of how governments capitalize on vices. Sin taxes remain one of any governments greatest addiction.

We can only hope newfound revenue will find its way into drug education and treatment plans. In the days leading up to legalization, there certainly hasn’t been enough education on the facts and folly of a drug that was, just yesterday, considered contraband.

We can only hope the increased revenue will actually provide governments with funding to do something about society’s real problem drugs, like the opioid crisis and its increased body count.

© 2018 j.g. lewis