Friday, February 25, 2005

Nicaragua pictures

Following this post are several pictures from my Witness for Peace trip in June of 2003. For more info on WFP, see:

Nicaragua is a beautiful but poor country with a tragic history, with many of its darker chapters having been written by the US. Nica reminds me, in may ways, of our own Eastern Kentucky, only to an extreme - taller mountains, more drastic poverty, more villainous antagonists, more striking beauty.

My visit made me wish to one day visit Nicaragua again, perhaps to hike across her pleasant countryside. I just hope to do so in a day when justice has been meted out and wrongs righted.

Nicaragua, Nicaraguita

Pro-sandinista graffiti

Monday, February 21, 2005

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Bible, on Peace

It's hard to love my enemies. They're always so mean and hateful.

But then, Jesus did point out, "If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?"

And so, maybe I should work on that whole "Love your enemies" thing some more.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.

Love your good to those who hate you.

God has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
God has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners release the oppressed.

Put away your sword! For those that live by the sword, die by the sword.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.

Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
Proverbs 3:17

Seek peace, and pursue it.
Proverbs 34:14

For three transgressions of Israel and for four,
I will not revoke the punishment;
because they sell the righteous for silver,
and the needy for a pair of sandals -
They who trample the head of the poor into the
dust of earth, and push the afflicted out of the way.
Amos 2:6-7

And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
Isaiah 32:7

They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Isaiah 11:4

He will be called...Prince of Peace.

Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

And the lion shall lie down with the lamb...

Howie n' Sunshine

Monday, February 14, 2005

Blissful Valentines Day

Nearly 24 years ago, I met Donna Beth Helton, while playing volleyball at a Baptist Student Union retreat at Murray State University. She was wearing a T-shirt from her high school that listed all the dozen or so seniors that she graduated with at Carlisle County High School.

Coming from a much larger school and not knowing how else I might charm this beautiful young lady, I teased her about how small her graduating class was.

It was the collegial equivalent of dipping her ponytail in an inkwell, I suppose. We hit it off nonetheless.

Nearly 20 years ago, Donna and I were wed and I entered marital bliss, thankful that this fine western Kentucky lass found some redeeming value in my worthless hide.

Nearly 14 years ago, Jordan Seth Trabue was born, and I once again entered into my bliss. Who could have asked for more?

And yet, we received grace upon grace when, nearly nine years ago, Sarah Grace was born.

My family is my joy. My heart's desire. I have all that a rapidly aging fella could ever ask for and more and, for this, I am thankful beyond words.

Happy Valentines Day to my loved ones.

My Loved Ones

Sunday, February 13, 2005

I'd like to see...

my vision of community

I'd like to see a row of houses,
a block in the city - two blocks, back to back
with gardens where old gray city dirt is
loved and nurtured,
mulched and composted, turned and graced
into deep black warmth.
Where mothers and neighbors, friends and children,
fathers and grandfathers
join together with God and earth and community
to raise corn, okra, potatoes and family.
Where the pride of these united individuals who
share the neighborhood
has banished all of the broken
broken glass and papers and trash.
Yet those who have broken
broken lives and no papers and trash
are received as neighbors,
loved and nurtured, turned and graced,
shared with and sharing with.
Where stories are traded and the blues and praise
ring late into the sunset
and with each passing day
the trust grows tall as sunflowers and as bright
and love roots them all to the ground.

I'd like to see a row of houses,
a block in the city - two blocks, back to back
with an urban forest taking root being
loved and nurtured, tended and trimmed
yet growing Wild and overtaking what
was once only brick and concrete.
Where city kids miss not as much of the country
because the squirrel and rabbit are playing in
and sharing this city country with them.
And the wrens and finches, robins and blue jays,
hummingbirds and whippoorwills weave
dissonant harmonies in
shades of green.
Where, on occasion, as the kids are exploring
this city jungle,
a coldeyed, snarlytoothed possum sends them
running and screaming and laughing
to the safety of the nearest parent.
A maze of greenery in which one is likely to find a
Dragon, or an Angel, or Children Playing -
sculpted in stone by one
or the other of the neighbors.
Shared Art, shared Poetry, shared Grace
all growing in an exuberant urban peace forest.

I'd like to see a row of houses,
a block in the city - two blocks, back to back
with poetic license and creative endeavors.
Where "cable" and "pager" and "cell phone" are
the dirty words
and the tv is used everyday
Where a small market has emerged selling
and trading community vegetables and fruit,
books and music, woodwork and artwork and
Grace and Beauty and Love are given freely.

I'd like to see a row of houses,
a block in the city - two blocks, back to back
which are as practical and everyday
and commonsense as a
new model of how to do cities
(which goes to show that maybe overcrowded
and dirty and concrete
are not necessarily the best way of urban life).
Which is as ethereal and aesthetic and Powerful as
nothing short of the
Kingdom of God
and which shows that the inner city
can be a place where
gardens and forests and imagination and
flourish year after year after year.

Leaf Chaos

Friday, February 11, 2005

Angry Poetry

Do You Understand What I'm Saying?

I'm becoming increasingly hostile
towards my docile little television
and, as a pacifist, it concerns me so.

From disdain to hate, from hate to
venomous derision,
we used to be best friends, you know.

It is a thief and a damned liar
sent from hades’ coldest fires,
a curse to children and a blessing to none.

The great devourer of time,
to the brain - wormwood and maggot wine,
clouds with no water, investment with no return.

Defecation by committee,
desecration to the city,
allegation with no proof,
alliteration with no groove,
abomination to all concerned.

And if it were up to me
each and every set of TV
would be systematically collected
and entirely without mercy burned.

Mad Dan

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

My Faith Community

I've been fortunate these last eight years to belong to a wonderful and wacky church: Jeff Street Baptist Community at Liberty. We've been working on a website, but while we're waiting, we've started up a blog. We hope to include writings and artwork of our diverse little membership.

Jeff Street is a small urban church located in Louisville, KY with an incredible wealth of community. Never have I had the honor to be amongst such a grand collection of weirdos and hippie-freaks. And I mean that in the best possible way.

Be sure to visit our blog at:

Jeff Street Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 6, 2005

The Meadow, in the Morn

written at the big meadow at cherokee park

The meadow in the morn

spiced with sage and the remains of the year,

covered in gentle frost

like a grandmother’s shawl

and ready to retire for the long

blessed sleep,

has sighed

and, in sighing,

breathed her sweet breath into the


scattering the starlings to the wind.

The starlings, in turn,

dashed away, some to the oak

and some to the sycamore,

still others to points beyond

the meadow,

until soon, all are gone.

Save one.

The final starling has chased after

a crow

whose lonely call over the field

spoke to the emptiness that had begun

to overtake this pasture

on this early winter’s morn.

So now, this starling and this crow

have jumped and soared,

waltzed on the wind and

swung across the sky,

two dancers, two dances

gently embrace above this lonely meadow

on this no longer lonely morn.

Woke up this mornin' with my mind

Stayed on Jesus... Posted by Hello

Friday, February 4, 2005

I love books...

And have recently read (or re-read):

God's Last Offer

by Ed Ayres

Blood and Oil

by Michael T. Klare

Paynehollow: Life on the Fringe of Society

by Harlan Hubbard

The Best Democracy Money can Buy

by Greg Palast

Moby Dick: Or, the Whale

by Herman Melville

Collected Short Stories

by Mark Twain

Home Economics

by Wendell Berry

Hannah Coulter

by Wendell Berry

and heartily recommend them all!

And, in that literary spirit, I offer a few quotes from St. Wendell of Berry:

Communists and capitalists alike, "liberal" and "conservative" capitalists alike, have needed to replace religion with some form of determinism, so that they can say to their victims, "I am doing this because I can't do otherwise. It is not my fault. It is inevitable." The wonder is how often organized religion has gone along with this lie.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.

The aim and result of war necessarily is not peace but victory, and any victory won by violence necessarily justifies the violence that won it and leads to further violence.

An economy based on waste is inherently and hopelessly violent, and war is its inevitable by-product. We need a peaceable economy.

A corporation, essentially, is a pile of money to which a number of persons have sold their moral allegiance.

There are not enough rich and powerful people to consume the whole world; for that, the rich and powerful need the help of countless ordinary people.

I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief... For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.


May we all rest in the grace of this old world.

No one's home Posted by Hello