A. J. Muste: Food for Thought and Action

Today, February 11, 2017, is the 50th anniversary of the death of A. J. Muste, a Christian radical, who believed in making peace, not war.

According to Robert Ellsberg in his prize-winning book All Saints, “In the era of bomb shelters and civil defense drills, it seemed to Muste that the world was entering a new Dark Age in which the responsibility of the Christian was to nourish small oases of sanity and conscience amid the encircling gloom.

“When asked by a reporter what good it did for him to maintain a vigil outside a nuclear weapons base, Muste replied, ‘I don’t do this to change the world. I do it to keep the world

from changing me.'”


1975: Imagine

In keeping with the recent Women’s March: one small step for each woman, one giant step for humankind. This poem has some age on it, but it is pertinent.

Monday is diapers, baking, cleaning

house, moments snatched from elastic time

where I stand at the lift-top desk during Sesame Street.


Bent with urgency over the board

unable to wait for inspiration

I write the hurried thought.


In the calm remove of summer

I gather the scraps out of the desk

and build what poems I can.


John Lennon said,

Don’t leave a lyric unfinished.

You won’t recall the original feeling.


Imagine being a woman, John, making do

with time at hand. Then come talk to me

and maybe I’ll listen.