CNN’s star anchorman, Wolf Blitzer, recently asked Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli PM Netanyahu, whether Israel planned to occupy Gaza for a long time. The question is shocking but not a surprise.  Neither the U.S. mainstream media nor the U.S. political machine dares to question Israeli policies.  And Mr. Blizter’s question betrays an incredible ignorance of the decades of occupation already violently and illegally imposed on the Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.  In Gaza, as the death toll approaches 300, at least 56 being children, 700 homes destroyed, as well as schools, hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, destroyed or heavily damaged, human rights organizations like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations, have named Israel’s actions as war crimes.  These names:  Fulla, Jihad, Waseem, are ones you will not read in U.S. media reports. They are the three children killed on the streetnear Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. They were feeding pigeons when an Israeli tank shelled  them.  This is genocide, ethnic cleansing, not defense of a homeland. Ninety percent of Gaza has no electricity or potable water because of Israeli military actions. End the occupation, tear down the illegal settlements and the illegal separation wall, open the Gaza borders, stop the violent enforcement of apartheid and end U.S. complicity in these war crimes. As always, the military option will not work.

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For FREE!!!  I have set up another giveaway of my book of poems, VOICE OVER. I have 15 copies available for this giveaway, just go to and enter for a chance to win a copy of the free book.  The giveaway ends on August 12th.  Support the arts, especially poetry!!  You can even BUY my books thru this website!!!  Pray for Gaza!!

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Most every news story about the Santa Barbara shootings from May 23,

talk about the “madman” killer.  That’s a tragic smokescreen for all of us

to hide behind.  What concerns me are the people, our political leaders,

apparently “sane,” who continue to do nothing courageous to end, and

therefore perpetuate, the wave of deaths across this nation.  According to

the Gun Violence Archive, over 4,100 people in the U.S. have died by

firearms since the beginning of 2014.  And Michael Waldman, author of

THE SECOND AMENDMENT, over the last thirty years the 2nd Amendment

has “re-surfaced” as an “individual” right rather than it’s original purpose which

was to establish an armed militia to protect a new nation.  It is time for a 21st

century re-interpretation of the 2nd Amendment.  The NRA and those they own,

like “Joe, the plumber” who posted: “..your dead child doesn’t trump my

constitutional rights…,” is a horrific example of an “insane” understand of the 2nd Amendment.

The NRA and those they own, from my city council here in Wichita to President

Obama need to learn a 21st century interpretation of constitutional law.  The

NRA and those they own, like CNN, MSNBC, and the mainstream media need

to find and include voices who articulately and calmly speak the truth about

the 2nd Amendment, how it is tragically misused and mangled, literally, to



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This morning, in church, I wanted to say something about Memorial Day during joys and concerns but I didn’t.  Wanted to mention how it got started by blacks to honor black soldiers buried in a mass grave.  And I wanted to honor my dad, a very brave and gifted Marine.  Two bronze stars for bravery in battle, something I know nothing about.  And I wanted to mention how, in my lonely efforts to gain CO status in 1968, he told a mutual friend that he had fought in two wars – WW II and Korea — so his son would have the opportunity to go his own path.  He never told me, I only found out years later from that mutual friend.  I can only imagine the pain and loneliness that went into his alcoholism…and his death through suffocation while lying at the bottom of the basement stairs he had just been pushed down by his wife.  I could obviously not speak all of that this morning (or talk about walking across the landmine field in Bosnia and asking my already dead father for help returning to safety – which he did) but I will honor him, Lt. Colonel Jay Vernon Poage, in some way, tomorrow, Memorial Day.

May 25, 2014

Rev. Michael Poage

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 A short story by Michael Poage

Today I drove past one of those new, brightly lit billboard signs that always flash catchy colors and, usually change messages every ten or fifteen seconds.  This particular sign did splash out its message with those wild primary colors, however, the message did not change.  In bright red, white, and blue, it announced, with the urgency of time running out:


Some signs catch my eye, as the saying goes, but this one reached out and grabbed both eyeballs, pulled them out like they were attached to rubber bands, and suddenly let loose so, as they popped back into place, I ended up with a raging headache and a nasty attitude.  I was in a Hanna and Barbera cartoon!

How did whoever was responsible for that sign know what Jesus did or did not do for me. Really, I thought. He died for my sins! I did not ask him to take that lethal step and who really knows that he died.  The Bible has some pretty flimsy and star-studded stories as far as I am concerned.  I even recently saw a serious documentary that says there is evidence that he survived the cross, was nursed back to health, and made his way across the famous Silk Road to live out his life in northern India or, perhaps, in Tibet.  Why not?  He didn’t have to die to make me aware of all my shortcomings! I’m very familiar with what I’ve done in my life – and that damn sign did not tell the half of it!

I don’t need some martyr to take on my burdens – not even sure what that means but it seems like a waste of a perfectly good life.  Don’t kill anyone else on my behalf.  Take down the stupid, gaudy sign that probably shines in someone’s bedroom window keeping them awake most of the night.  It’s not only useless, it’s a nuisance.  I get much more meaning, reassurance and comfort from a book title:  Custer Died for Your Sins.

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I was very glad to see Mr. Charles Krauthammer’s (Eagle Editorial, April 5) endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement now gaining worldwide momentum on behalf of Palestinian rights.  To quote:  “Financial sanctions are precisely the kind of pressure that can support diplomacy.”  I may be taking his words out of context but he states the perfect rationale for the BDS campaign which works even to the benefit of Israel as its leadership takes some dangerous and lethal steps leading to the isolation of Israel and tragic violations of international and Israeli law used to continue the oppression of the Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.  BDS is a non-violent, economic strategy aimed at changing unjust and illegal practices especially focused on the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.  BDS originated with Palestinian civil society groups in 2005 and is fully described and supported by Palestinian Christians in the Kairos Palestine 2009 document.  A variety of religious and secular groups have endorsed BDS:  World Council of Churches, South African Council of Churches, United Church of Canada, conferences of the U.S. United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), Deutsche Bank, Danske Bank, Heineken Breweries, and Jewish groups such as Americans for Peace Now, Jewish Voice for Peace and Rabbis for Human Rights. The BDS campaign is putting pressure on Israel so it recognizes the worldwide support for Palestinian rights. It is not an attempt to destroy Israel. It is a movement that will, as Mr. Krauthammer writes:  “…support diplomacy” and result in human and legal rights restored to the Palestinians.

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Word and Justice:

 “It is difficult/to get the news from poems/yet men die miserably every day/for lack/of what is found there.”  — William Carlos Williams, “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower”

Williams, as physician and poet, saw a great deal of life and death, literally and metaphorically.  Some of us have had professions that allow us to see the day to day joys and deep sorrows of humanity, the birthing and the dying.  And all of humanity is faced each day with the potential for so much chaos and creativity.  I watch the news….and I try to find whatever I can through “alternative” news sources and I am always surprised by the variety of perspectives I read or hear through various “stories.”  It seems that it is all story, the news is often referred to as the “narrative” of the different events.  And the narrative always depends on the narrator, that is, there is no such thing as a single story but, on the other hand, a number of stories given “authenticity” by the narrator – in the case of the news…the newscaster, writers, editors, and, maybe, even the sponsors of consumer networks!  Poetry may or may not be offer a counter-narrative, an alternative news source, for those of us willing and needing, “dying” for lack of that alternative.  So I write and read poetry as a way, not to make order out of chaos, but to discover my own narrative voice in the midst of life and death.  The dangers as well as the mundane details of daily life give us all a chance to add a beauty to the horrific, to find something invaluable when all seems lost.  It may be difficult to get the news from poetry but it is not impossible!!


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AND SO IT GOES is now on Nook!!

My latest collection of poems, AND SO IT GOES, is now an e-book on Nook thru as well as on Kindle thru the Amazon Kindle store.  It would also be great to have someone publish AND SO IT GOES as a “hold-in-your-hand” traditional hard copy book!!  Just a suggestion to someone out there! Please support poetry, we need it now more than ever!!

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My new collection of poems, AND SO IT GOES, is now available as an ebook through the Amazon Kindle store for $1.99.  

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2014 DEAL EXTENDED!!!!!!!!

Because of the overwhelming demand (!) for my books……..I have extended the “DEAL OF 2014” for the entire month of February, 2014!!  YES!  Please go to my website, www.michaelpoage,com, purchase one copy of my most recent book of poems, VOICE OVER, via PayPal, and when I send your purchased book I will include a complimentary copy of my book of poems called, ABUNDANCE.  This “DEAL OF 2014” will end on February 28, 2014.  Thanks for supporting the arts, especially poetry.

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