“Find an independence where action becomes action that supports the whole action that includes everything and does everything that is needed.” (Presence, by C. Otto Scharmer, Peter M. Senge, Joseph Jaworski, Betty Sue Flowers)

Scripture escapes me,
I’ve read The Bible, the Tao, Buddhist teachings,
Each sticks with me in different ways,
Each leaves when the lesson loses it’s feeling

One thing seems true,
All speak of being decent to fellow man,
All implore personal responsibility
For whatever action must be dealt with

The Cathedral of Kensington needs our help
Perhaps the building has lost its significance, but
The people dying inside are not insignificant,
They need our help.

The vision of addiction is that of a personal problem
Those who see through elitist goggles are shortsighted.
Addiction does not just impact the addict’s life,
It sucks the soul from all of us.

The church can offer its blessing to those wasting away.
The media can expose the problems of those wasting away.
The police can lock up those wasting away.
The city can tear down or clean up the shooting galleries of those wasting away,

But the visions do not see all.
They are bandages ill-equipped to stave off the epidemic,
Unable to bring healing to the sick,
Unwilling to expose the problems existing in society.

Problems like the inequitable distribution of money,
The reliance of people on pill popping prophesies,
Fear-based models of governance, or
A general blind eye to compassion.

This cathedral is no longer such a place.
It’s a drug den. It’s a symbol of our failings as a society.
It’s a shell of a place that will probably be torn down,
Another fix that fails to address the whole problem.

“Find an independence where action becomes action that supports the whole action that includes everything and does everything that is needed.” (Presence, by C. Otto Scharmer, Peter M. Senge, Joseph Jaworski, Betty Sue Flowers)

“Thou shalt surprise here from time to time,”
Better known as the marriage commandment
Caused a stir in Kensington
That brought a man and a parish
Way down below.

A man thought he would take some photos
Of his wife’s old church
So she could relive the memories of her youth
Of a place where she learned
The ways of salvation.

He saw something she could not have seen back then,
A different kind of salvation,
One where men and women received healing
Of the pain brought on by the cure
Rather than the spiritual care the building once possessed.

Gone was the Catholic order,
Pews were strung about,
Belief was about the next blast,
An intravenous communion
Uniting the blood of man with demon elixir, heroin.

The picture the man took developed into desperation.
He walked to a storefront doubling as a church.
The priest and nun running the shop
Followed him to the old place of salvation,
Ascension of Our Lord.

All the priest could do
Was bless these poor souls
Who found the comfort of the needle
To be enough even as they recognized
The sapping our their souls under the gun of their addiction.

“Find an independence where action becomes action that supports the whole action that includes everything and does everything that is needed.” (Presence, by C. Otto Scharmer, Peter M. Senge, Joseph Jaworski, Betty Sue Flowers)

Give us this day
My daily shot
To remove the pain
Since yesterday’s dose
Ran its course.

Forgive me, Father,
I’m not sticking myself
Because of you
Just in the house
You used to operate.

I won’t nod off on the altar.
I won’t tie off in the pews.
I’ll stay in the back rooms,
For anything else
Would be sacrilegious.

My wounds are open.
My pains are real.
This blast will help for awhile
And I pray that it won’t be my last,
Be with me, L…

“Find an independence where action becomes action that supports the whole action that includes everything and does everything that is needed.” (Presence, by C. Otto Scharmer, Peter M. Senge, Joseph Jaworski, Betty Sue Flowers)

There was a time when Kensington was something,
Now it’s something else.
Along the tracks there is an open air shooting gallery,
An encampment that would make Bubbles cringe.
Trains rush by, bodies pile up, and no one took responsibility
Or even seemed to care,
Until the free press got involved and began exposing the Hell
That was just out of eyesight, but in plain view for all.

The cops came, the social workers came, sanitation workers came, and
The addicts began to leave.
They caught the number whatever bus to McPherson Square.
Before long the librarians were dosing Narcan
Instead of helping kids find books for summer reading.
The reporters reported.
The cops, social workers, and sanitation workers came, and
The addicts left.

Kensington is bipolar, part run down, part prime gentrification property.
The developers and hipsters are working together to drive up rents,
Clean up dilapidated buildings, and leave fewer places for the addicts
To mismanage their uncontrollable cravings, there isn’t any help to them
For fighting their disease, but the users are resourceful.
Kensington still provides the resources to those who look,
To those with no other options.

Ascension of Our Lord, the Cathedral of Kensington, had fallen out of favor
After being deconsecrated in 2012, the massive stone house of worship
Became a refuge for those parlaying with the demons of addiction.
Mattresses took over any space,
Confessionals became toilets or private spaces for the most intimate of acts,
Drugs flowed and misery embraced the once holy walls.

Once again, reporters, cops, social workers, and sanitation workers did their jobs.
Again the addicts are out looking, but
The Mayor is involved…
So is Licenses and Inspections…
They will punish the owner of the building,
Who was supposed to be doing something with it.
I wonder what God thinks of the way his old building has been treated.

How about his children?