I am up to my Eyeballs in Elephant Poop

I am up to my eyeballs in elephant poop,
A bit more than I can abide
Perhaps it’s because of my deep held belief
That everyone has their own side

We all have perspectives from the places we stand
We all have our own unique view
But the plethora of opinions and expressions of same
Are making me a bit cuckoo.

We all should be heard and our views be respected
In the best of all possible worlds
And even the one that we have has its norms
As into the future we’re hurled

But as voices all multiply, each taking stands
And insisting that their view is right
I find myself reeling from sense overload
With a mainspring that’s wound way too tight

So I find myself needing a cessation of noise
And a good healthy dose of some calm
The voices will still be there, waiting and shrill
When I return to the fray after balm.
                           John Haigis, 9/3/14  
What is success to me? What does it mean to be.....successful?

My first thought is reality, what do others think of me?
And if they think that who I am is a special kind of guy.
The validation that I feel somehow makes it all quite real
And makes me feel OK, if I am OK in their eyes

Next, success is doing good, accomplishing the things I should
Especially if I could ever figure out just what those things should be
I sometimes set myself a task, and charge ahead and do not ask
If what I’m doing’s right, or if it all makes sense for me.

I often act impulsively, charge here, charge there and do not see
If what I’m doing helps or hinders me from getting to my goal
The joy is in the doing, the seeking and pursuing,
And sometimes the fulfillment plays a less important role

I'm often chasing rabbits, distraction an old habit

All my life I have felt blessed, and somehow different from the rest
And kept myself aloof from my colleagues and my peers
Always verbal I have been, words my refuge now, and then
Retreating into books my source of solace through the years.

My penmanship quite sloppy, so I print when I write or copy
My academic prowess anemic at its best
The bottom of my class I was, a choice I made, the likely cause
To thwart the expectations set for me, my likely quest.

I did have a strong longing, to be part and for belonging
But could not match the social skills or money of my peers
And so I went the other way, a timid outlaw seeking play
And did the minimum to skate throughout the length of my career.

And then of course there's money, the lack of it not funny
The lucre most consider the best way for keeping score
Money means security, expanded possibilities
But I'm not driven by the need to collect more and more

I need it for my daily bread, but still when all is done and said
The gathering of money has been something I eschew
I often talk about the lack, perhaps there is a better track
Embracing the abundance in all I say or do

"The Secret" says it's focus, and not some hocus pocus
Believing and creating the life we want to live
I'm willing to give it a try, I'll know the answers by and by
And someday learn that to receive we simply need to give.
             John Haigis, 6/10/14
The Flushing Remonstrance, Dec 27, 1657…..
Tune: Jolly Miller, Yankee Doodle, Amazing Grace, etc)  
(Words adapted from text (below) by John Haigis, 7/6/14)

You have sent to us your strict command
To withhold hospitality
To those people known as Quakers
Who are supposed to be
Seducers of the people
Who are clearly in the wrong
But we find we can’t condemn them
Since to God we all belong

We are told offenses will surely come
But woe to them by whom they do
We are answering the Lord’s command
And the meaning that is true
And the law that is written in the heart
Designed for the good of all
The works of God will surely stand
And the works of man will fall

In this matter of our conscience
Betwixt God and our own souls
We are not insensible of the law
But we feel God’s law controls
We are told that we are not to judge
Lest we all be judged as well
We are bound to do good to all men
And of God’s great mercy tell

The law of Love, Peace, and Liberty
In the states extending to
Jews and Turks and Egyptians
And others of that crew
Who are considered Sons of Adam
A reason Holland’s glory shines
Condemns hatred, war and bondage
For today and for all time

In whatever form or title
A child of God to us shall come
Whether Baptist or Presbyterian
Or Independent son
We shall look for that of God in them
And unto all others do
As we desire to be done to us
The Law of God that’s true

So if any to us will come in Love
We shall not do them wrong
But will welcome them as our Lord commands
And will raise a welcome song
We humbly ask your pardon
As God is in his heaven
We are the citizens of Vlushing
The year sixteen fifty seven

This is the text itself which is simply lovely

Remonstrance of the Inhabitants of the Town of Flushing to Governor Stuyvesant,
December 27, 1657

Right Honorable
You have been pleased to send unto us a certain prohibition or command that we should not receive or entertain any
of those people called Quakers because they are supposed to be, by some, seducers of the people. For our part we
cannot condemn them in this case, neither can we stretch out our hands against them, for out of Christ God is a
consuming fire, and it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Wee desire therefore in this case not to judge least we be judged, neither to condemn least we be condemned, but
rather let every man stand or fall to his own Master. Wee are bounde by the law to do good unto all men, especially to
those of the household of faith. And though for the present we seem to be unsensible for the law and the Law giver,
yet when death and the Law assault us, if wee have our advocate to seeke, who shall plead for us in this case of
conscience betwixt God and our own souls; the powers of this world can neither attach us, neither excuse us, for if
God justifye who can condemn and if God condemn there is none can justifye.
And for those jealousies and suspicions which some have of them, that they are destructive unto Magistracy and
Ministerye, that cannot bee, for the Magistrate hath his sword in his hand and the Minister hath the sword in his hand,
as witnesse those two great examples, which all Magistrates and Ministers are to follow, Moses and Christ, whom God
raised up maintained and defended against all enemies both of flesh and spirit; and therefore that of God will stand,
and that which is of man will come to nothing. And as the Lord hath taught Moses or the civil power to give an outward
liberty in the state, by the law written in his heart designed for the good of all, and can truly judge who is good, who is
evil, who is true and who is false, and can pass definitive sentence of life or death against that man which arises up
against the fundamental law of the States General; soe he hath made his ministers a savor of life unto life and a savor
of death unto death.
The law of love, peace and liberty in the states extending to Jews, Turks and Egyptians, as they are considered sons
of Adam, which is the glory of the outward state of Holland, soe love, peace and liberty, extending to all in Christ Jesus,
condemns hatred, war and bondage. And because our Saviour sayeth it is impossible but that offences will come, but
woe unto him by whom they cometh, our desire is not to offend one of his little ones, in whatsoever form, name or title
hee appears in, whether Presbyterian, Independent, Baptist or Quaker, but shall be glad to see anything of God in any
of them, desiring to doe unto all men as we desire all men should doe unto us, which is the true law both of Church
and State; for our Saviour sayeth this is the law and the prophets.
Therefore if any of these said persons come in love unto us, we cannot in conscience lay violent hands upon them,
but give them free egresse and regresse unto our Town, and houses, as God shall persuade our consciences, for we
are bounde by the law of God and man to doe good unto all men and evil to noe man. And this is according to the
patent and charter of our Towne, given unto us in the name of the States General, which we are not willing to infringe,
and violate, but shall houlde to our patent and shall remaine, your humble subjects, the inhabitants of Vlishing.
Written this 27th of December in the year 1657, by mee.
Edward Hart, Clericus
Additional Signers
Tobias Feake Nathaniell Tue
The marke of William Noble Nicholas Blackford
William Thorne, Seignior The marke of Micah Tue
The marke of William Thorne, Jr. The marke of Philip Ud
Edward Tarne Robert Field, senior
John Store Robert Field, junior
Nathaniel Hefferd Nich Colas Parsell
Benjamin Hubbard Michael Milner
The marke of William Pidgion Henry Townsend
The marke of George Clere George Wright
Elias Doughtie John Foard
Antonie Feild Henry Semtell
Richard Stocton Edward Hart
Edward Griffine John Mastine
John Townesend Edward Farrington
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