I do not blame the cat who torments mice
Nor scold the child who overturns his food
I cradle both without e’en thinking twice
And reckon love a cause for gratitude.

But me—I mark my blameless days long gone
I dare not dream of innocence regained.
It’s guilt my daily nightmares dwell upon
My frank facade I know is frankly feigned.

Why not expand the compass of my ruth
Beyond the years which I excuse with youth?
Is universal innocence a truth
That’s viable and worthy of acclaim?
To view all souls about me without blame
And in the end to lift my veil of shame.

— JJM = #15 in the I Ching Sonnet Project

Zhong Fu =Inner Truth

One day, you’ll choose to die. You won’t decide
With conscious mind, but somewhere deep inside
Is knowledge of a portal you’ll pass through.
Another world is beckoning to you.

One day, you chose to live. That was before
You had a brain or corpse. Sensation nor
Cognition were entailed, the barest gist
Of you resolved (corporeally) to exist.

And while you’re here, that essence uncongealed
Remains elusive, its soft whispers drowned
By sound and light and most especially pain.
When you will ask, “Who am I”, when you’ve peeled
Away all thought and feeling, you’ll astound
Yourself in being you again.

— JJM = #61 in the I Ching Sonnet Project

Wind stirs water by penetrating it. Thus the superior man, when obliged to judge the mistakes of men, tries to penetrate their minds with understanding, in order to gain a sympathetic appreciation of the circumstances. In ancient China, the entire administration of justice was guided by this principle. A deep understanding that knows how to pardon was considered the highest form of justice. This system was not without success, for its aim was to make so strong a moral impression that there was no reason to fear abuse of such mildness. For it sprang not from weakness but from a superior clarity.</small>

Josh Responds to his Internal Critic

I’m often hard on those I love, I know.
It is not kind to them, and (what is more)
This attitude degrades my sacred core
And hinders my ability to grow.

It seems to you that I’m fore’er at war,
My invitation, beating down your door.
Please recognize from whence my passions flow
Conformity is all that I abhor.
When friends repeat what they have heard before
They spurn the loving ear that I bestow.

My quest is for your individual light
And I lament when those I love take flight.
I wish not to disrupt or gather storms,
But liberate from strict, confining norms.


Radical Faeries

Mountain, keeping still

You have impressive talents, gifts to give;
That doesn’t make you better than the rest.
Your wish to win the race, to ace the test
Eclipses your capacity to live.

You thrive on praise, but you are like a sieve—
Unsatisfied, you have to be the best.
The body and the mind with which you’re blessed
Have drained you of the power to forgive.

Your wish for mystic union is sincere,
But, mired in your loneliness and pain,
You cannot see that it’s your own disdain
That drives off your beloved as you near.

So take your time. Cling fast until the pride
No longer serves—then let it slide.

— JJM = #52 in the I Ching Sonnet Project


Alien Alert! Mind Kontrol!

Space Aliens can be 9 feet tall with slits for eyes, or they can look like little greys or lizard-people, though most of us are familiar only with the Little Green variety. But the most dangerous of the Aliens look just like us. They can mingle among us, unnoticed, and that’s where the danger arises. You could be standing next to one at the grocery store checkout, and you would never know he was an Alien from deep in the constellation called Cancer.

Because the aliens who visited in 1947 came from a nearby star in the same part of the sky, these new invaders have been designated Deep Cancerians, or DC. Astronomers are subjecting that part of the sky to intense observation, and have managed to locate the planet DC within a few seconds of arc. An amateur astronomer in Algeria claims to have snapped photos of the planet, but his images are still under investigation by the Experts.

Creatures from DC have a superpower called Mind Kontrol. If you are near one, he can take over your frontal cortex. It may not feel any different. You may not even detect that you have been altered. While you go on imagining the thoughts that you’re thinking are your own, while all the while you have become an extension of the Alien will. This is the wileyest part. The most powerful and dangerous MK practitioners have been designated MK-Uber, and they are the most powerful and dangerous. Ordinary people. They could be your kneighbors. They could be your brother-in-laws. Ordinary people who are took over by MK-Uber look and act just like they used to did before, but they are transmitting the mind-kontrol power of their masters from the planet DC.

The good news

There is one way that we can protect ourselves. Our friends in the Federal Government have set up a new agency on an Emergency Basis. Called Counter-Deep-Cancer, they have studied the situation exhaustively, and have issued their Expert recommendations.

According to the C-D-C, we can protect ourselves by wearing earplugs. Earplugs appear to have the power to block the Mind Kontrol rays that emanate from the DC creatures, or their MK-Uber zombie klones.

Hence the C-D-C’s recommendations. We should all be wearing earplugs whenever we go out in public. And at home? MK rays can be passed through your TV, your computer, or even your cell phone. The C-D-C strongly recommends wearing earplugs whenever you are exposed to any of these devices. “We’ve all become inured to Facebook videos of the neighbor’s kitten. Now we know that these can be agents of mind kontrol. They can turn you into a MK-Uber Zombie Klone. Be afraid. Be very afraid.”

Thus spake the C-D-C.

And For the Future

A few otherwise-loyal citizens have complained that they don’t want to go around with plugs in their ears for the rest of their lives. For a long-term solution, C-D-C has funded Scientists at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine to create a prosthetic solution. By a stroke of good luck, the Virtual Aural Cavity (VAC) has been in development for more than a decade. It’s almost like someone knew this was coming.

Now, the program only needs adaptation to work with natural ears, while insulating them from the hypnotic Uber-rays. The new prosthetic combining the new Insulated Natural Ear (INE) technology with the old VAC technology is expected to be available in out-patient clinics early next year. It will be sold to America under the acronym VAC-INE.


In this, as in all life’s aventures, fear is the main obstacle.

The crisis we’re experiencing is more about the use of fear to subdue and manipulate people than it is about a viral epidemic. As an epidemic, it is not unusual. When the data is all in, it may be comparable to the most recent bad flu year, 2017. It will certainly be far less deadly than the Hong Kong flu of 1968, which was eclipsed at the time by news of two tragic assassinations and the Woodstock festival.

We are stronger, more creative, more resilient, when we are free of fear. In fact, shocking us into giving up hope is part of the game plan of those who are putting on this show.

Please remember the strength of human bonds and the power of creativity, which has blossomed during the worst periods of repression in history, like flowers popping up through cracks in the pavement.

There were loving families that held together during the starvation of Mao’s Great Leap
Forward. There were groups that shared mimeographed books during the Stasi era
in East Germany. There was music composed by Jews at Auschwitz.

We will resist this clampdown, but if it should succeed temporarily, there will still be
millions like us keeping love and truth and creativity alive until the day when the
top-heavy system of repression topples, as it must.

This vision of human resilience and liberation was born millennia in the past, and it will continue to inspire long after the coronavirus of 2020 has disappeared down the memory hole.

— Josh Mitteldorf, born this day in 1949