The Watchers ------------------------------------------- 1

Prisoners   ----------------------------------------------- 2

Root Causes  -------------------------------------------- 3

The Pain of People ------------------------------------ 4

Defining The Guilty  ---------------------------------- 5

Hope for Shackled Children ------------------------- 6

From God to God -------------------------------------- 6

Risk Factors and Human Rights  ------------------- 7

Flowers in The Garden  ------------------------------ 8

Prayer at 9/11    ---------------------------------------- 8

Responses to 9/11 -------------------------------------- 9

Deep With-in -------------------------------------------10

Violence Breeds Violence---------------------------- 11

Stop The Madness! ----------------------------------- 12

When The State Is The Killer ---------------------- 13

Fighting in Vietnam --------------------------------- 14

Idolatry------------------------------------------------- 15

A Broken Construction  ----------------------------- 16

Integration  -------------------------------------------- 17

What Would You Tell Those in Charge? --------- 18

Wisdom ------------------------------------------------- 19

Squandering Induced by Social Systems  -------- 20

Too Busy to Think Peace --------------------------- 21

The Gender of Gods --------------------------------- 22

A God’s Eye View ------------------------------------ 23

We Are Church  -------------------------------------- 24

Discipleship  ------------------------------------------ 25

To Overcome Prejudice ----------------------------- 26

Many Parts, One Body  ----------------------------- 26

Who Is Jesus? ---------------------------------------- 27

People As Symbols  ---------------------------------- 27

Advice from A Good Guy  -------------------------- 28

On Not Dealing With Sin --------------------------- 28

Fetters and Keys -------------------------------------- 29

What Is Wrong with The World  ------------------- 30

The Option of Respecting Others  ----------------- 31

Our Justice System Has Gone Astray  ------------ 32

No Taxation Without Representation ------------- 33

Ask The Children About Rockefeller Laws  ----- 34

More Prisoners Than Farmers!  ------------------- 35

Rewards for Sacrifice and The Death Penalty -- 36

Does God Believe in Prisons?  --------------------- 37

Kingdom of God or Realm of Peaceful Spirit --- 38

Risk Taking -------------------------------------------- 39

A New Commandment  ------------------------------ 40

Can A Leader Be Evil? ------------------------------ 41

Anti-Semitism ----------------------------------------- 41

Just War Is Outdated -------------------------------- 42

God’s Grace ------------------------------------------- 43

E-Mail as Savior ------------------------------------ 43

Remember Me Here In Jail ------------------------ 44

The Messaging of Earth  ---------------------------- 45

Laws Cause Frustration  ---------------------------- 46

Black Night  ------------------------------------------- 47

On Right and Wrong  -------------------------------- 48

Prayer Transfigures ---------------------------------- 49

On Prayer ---------------------------------------------- 50

Five Young Boys -------------------------------------- 51

TV Entertainment ------------------------------------ 52

Abuse and Restoration  ------------------------------ 52

No Choir Practice ------------------------------------ 53

On Failures and Successes ------------------------- 54

Conflict as Good  ------------------------------------- 55

Influencing The Distant  ---------------------------- 55

Bondage------------------------------------------------ 56

Economic Justice------------------------------------- 57

On Power ---------------------------------------------- 58

War - Experience, Analyze, Judge, Decide ------ 58

The Beloved Community  --------------------------- 59

God’s Realm  ------------------------------------------ 60

The God We Worship -------------------------------- 61

Humans as Sacred, Humans as Humble  -------- 62

A Type of Creed --------------------------------------- 63

Negotiating Peace ------------------------------------ 64

Forgive Us, Loving Spirit --------------------------- 65

Sinners of Whom I Am The Chief ----------------- 66

No Room for Forgiveness --------------------------- 67

Love Is Faster Than Light -------------------------- 68

The Good News Is Forgiveness ---------------------69

Forgiving Others -------------------------------------- 70

For The Imprisoned ---------------------------------- 71

Fighting Terrorism ----------------------------------- 72

How Could We? ----------------------------------------73

Swords to Plowshares ---------------------- back cover





The Children Are Watching



Cora E. Cypser


ISBN: 1-892063-09-3



The Children Are Watching contains poems

that protest our nation’s use of war and weaponry

in our international relationships.







Dedicated to all those

who forego the desire

to punish or retaliate

and who work

for restorative justice

and forgiveness.



The Watchers


The children of Iraq are watching

from behind the barricades.

They have trembled at the sound of planes.

They have heard the bombs bursting.

Will they be the future terrorists

filled with hidden fears and angers?


The soldiers of the United States are marching

guns ready to fire at any resistance.

They are weary and their nerves are jagged.

When they return home

will they be troubled with flashbacks?


The young of the world

are watching, acting, and reacting.

They are the future of the earth.

Who will tell them that the earth is marvelous?

Will we continue to give them gloom and doom

or can we dream up a rainbow

for them to hang onto?







All people should have access

to jobs, education, health care, and housing.

They should be allowed to participate

in the government of their community.

Why do we consider some folk as less worthy?

Or is it that we find ourselves superior?

Or are we guilty of greed?

Are we afraid we will not get our share?


Recently, it was concluded that women were not chattel.

As human beings, they could vote.

Others in our communities are still denied this right.

The poor are put in prison more often than the rich.

Ex-slaves could not vote until after Lincoln.

Some states made laws to take voting rights away.


We should not allow manipulation of others

(as in prisons or as in police states)

without representation or feedback.


We must give all people a say

in the decisions of their community.

Those who are not heard become frustrated.

When we do not listen, we breed violence.


When we deny the rights of others

we plunge ourselves into self-righteousness

and become the prisoners of our ego.


When we refuse empathy to others

we wrap our hearts with chains.



*from Think on These Things by Cora E. Cypser






Root Causes


The terrorism in the world

is the result of an imbalance

between the Haves and the Have-nots.


The Haves who are a minority

are grabbing resources

although they do not own the earth.

Have-nots who are the majority

are forced into a corner.


The Haves are market-dominant minorities

who unconsciously incite

racial and ethnic hatreds

in those who are deprived of human rights

to land, to food, to education.


The world cannot exist with such imbalance.

Like a wound-down top, it totters as it spins.





The Pain of People


As a world society

we are in a well of stress and depression.


Some of us claim prosperity

exploiting the environment

using resources with abandon

acquiring cars, boats, houses

frequenting shopping plazas

having paid up health care

trusting in the military.


Others of us starve

wander as refugees

live in shelters or campsites

suffer diseases like AIDS

have little educational opportunity

undergo bombing

spend time in prison.


The great faiths emphasize

that if we treat each other kindly

we will have all we need

to live fulfilled lives.

If we share

it will be well with us.

If we do not share

we must shoulder responsibility

for the problems of the world.




Defining The Guilty


In the same manner as leaders in our culture

respond to local lawlessness

world leaders respond to terrorism.

They choose to retaliate

rather than forgive.


Our prisons punish rather than reform.

Our social system ignores root causes

and comes down heavy on the faulty.


Those laden with childhoods full of trauma

grown up with insufficient education

scuttled in channels of alcohol and drugs

find there is no funding for their problems

but only funds for long incarceration.


Who is more guilty?

Is society guilty for ignoring

the transgressor’s human rights?

Is the transgressor guiltless

because he acted out of ignorance?


Christ on the cross declared

“Forgive them, for they know not what they do!”




Hope for Shackled Children


The children are in bondage

taught to fear the future

from failures in the past.

They remain in confusion

because of others’ omissions

in guidance and encouragement.


But the quietness of God

breaks through bleak walls

breathtakingly, to guide us all.

Quite invisible to reality

love crashes through barriers

urging us from misdeeds into kindness.


The Wisdom who makes souls

is an expert in guiding souls

past trauma and despair.


From God to God


We come by way of a Creator God

and surely will return to such a haven.


It is the duty of all of us

to bring out the possibilities of godliness

that lie within.


God and humanity cling to each other

so as to become one fulfilled destiny.




Risk Factors and Human Rights


Those in the Egypts of our social systems

enduring the risk factors of:–

the violence seen on TV and in movies

the life of being children of single parents

or an outsider in a foster home

the partakers of substandard schooling

the exposure to child abuse, drugs, alcohol

these children are at heavy risk for failure.


God looked down on the weary in this Egypt

and called out— “Let them go!”

God bargains with the keepers—

“Free my sons and daughters!

Let them have hope!

Prepare them for fulfillment.

Give them an education

fit for a Dalai Lama.

Then my sons will build the earth

will heal the hurts and traumas

of those around, will guide and love

from deep beneath the scars

of fear and hatred.

My daughters, too, will sing

songs of joy and peace

giving thanks for each new day.

Give to my children

the rights I have dreamed for them.

In giving, you, too, will reap a blessing.”




Flowers in The Garden


What kind of children

are we of the United States

growing in Afghanistan–

children who fear the terror from the sky

and wince from hunger in the belly?


What kind of children

are we growing in the United States––

children who watch on TV

a rain of collateral damage

push it into their sub-conscious

deny the reality of pain and death

children who are led to believe

that bombing other countries

will keep them safe?


Prayer at 9/11


Let us never do to them

what they have done to us.

Let us not inflict on another

what infects us with trauma.

Forgive us for what we have done

to cause this conflagration.




Responses to 9/11


There was a choice made evident

at the Twin Towers Disaster

of two quite different paths to take

to stop future terrorism.

Both paths are insufficient.

Our world will never be

a place of perfect peace.

The best course we can take

is the one of least destruction.

Our leaders chose the path of most destruction.


The first choice was the way

of power and punishment.

The world was told

“What they have done to us

we will do to them twice over.”

Then fear infected us and blinded us.

Whatever power we had, we used in swift retaliation

which made our children and our soldiers

liable to becoming terrorists.


The second choice would have involved

the world in less destruction.

This choice searches for root causes

mediates just solutions for enemies

debriefs the traumatized, forgives the guilty.

Taking this path, there would have been little need

for war or bombs or landmines or suspicions

or stereotyping or confining other people.




Deep With-in


A war on terrorism

is a spasm wrought by fear.

We rage and don’t forgive.

We hold our passion to us

feeling that we are justified

yet it harms our inner being.


In our futile anger

we throw bombs around

causing damage to the innocent.

Our traumas haunt us.

We become less in our own eyes

and in the eyes of all the world.


A war on terrorism

is morally unjustifiable

because we kill

because we revenge

and there is no opponent

no object to our rage.


To achieve peace of mind

we should admit

that each of us might be a piece

of what is wrong with the world.




Violence Breeds Violence


Retaliation is not justice.

Justice is not retaliation.

Justice has something to do

with finding out why

the perpetrator did what he did.


Bombing is an archaic cruelty.

It does not solve problems

but only serves to escalate situations.


If we all respected each other

we would not need law upon law.


Our prisons reflect our ethical level

our neglect of human rights.

They reflect values of retribution and retaliation.

An ethical and non-violent world

should have ethical prisons.

Changing human behavior in prison situations

would be the start to making

a significant change in community values

that could eventually transform the world.



Stop The Madness!


If God is love––

and I do believe God is love––

then putting people in cages

is not what love is all about.

If we love our children

do we put them in cages?


If God is love––

and I do believe God is love––

then dropping bombs on foreign countries

because a leader suspicions wrong-doing

because someone has a knee-jerk reaction

leading to retaliation–

such dropping of bombs on other human beings

is not love;

it is madness.


What are we doing?

What can we be thinking?

If God is love––

and I do believe God is connected

with compassion and forgiveness––

then our actions scream insanity!


Compassion and forgiveness

seem opposite to retaliation.

Bombs kill children. Soldiers kill soldiers.

Are we a society gone insane?




When The State Is The Killer


State sanctioned killing

such as war or the death penalty

may be more immoral than a one-person murder.


When immoral acts are given the blessing

of state or church authorities

the ethics of a whole society

are undermined.


When one person kills another

in anger or greed or passion

only one person has been desecrated

and only one person has allowed

his better senses to be overcome.

But the whole society

has not accepted degradation.


Conversely, the whole society

when viewing the calamity

may have its sights set higher

and may rise in unison to condemn

such a thoughtless and spontaneous deed.

In this elevated state

the total community might also look

towards healing both the victim and offender.




Fighting in Vietnam


We did not know we were at war for a long time.

We did not know we were cutting people’s throats

or burning babies or shooting wrinkle-faced women

who refused to shed tears.


No one wanted to be the first to tell us.

We would not have believed them.

The soldiers did not want to believe it themselves.

Such a mutilation was beneath us.


We had no quarrels with anyone.

When we spoke, there was no argument.

We felt we were too good and too great

to stoop to the killing done in war.


Oh, how we deceived ourselves! We did not understand

for the longest time that we were at war.

How could a people repeat the same error?

Real Americans believe in peace, not bombs.






Idolatry is to worship laws, authority, and power

instead of Loving Spirit which can be found abundantly

in doing kindly deeds for friends and foes.


Idolatry is to worship words in books

that talk of ancient wars and claiming land

not hearing guides in those same books

that call for kindness and concern

for widows, orphans, wounded, and oppressed.


True worship is respect for human rights

to see the face of God in every face

to sense the Spirit guiding all the earth

to peace that transforms weapons into tools

with laws that bring fulfillment to all people.




A Broken Construction


The system needs repair.

Structures long held in place are falling down.

Should we restore the buildings

on their old foundations?

Do we retell the old pre-Bible myths

which claim Divine Right to the land

and give Divine Power to the rulers

 condemning protests of the prophets?


Today the prophets cower before the kings.

The vision of democracy is blurring.

There is contempt for other nations

for their cultures and their treaties.

Where is the glue to mend the broken

the wisdom to heal the people?






God wishes

to exist

as an integral part

of you.

How did the gentle Jesus

make this thought reality?


He became the pure bread

the pure wine

with no yeast, no spoilage

no rot, no sin

the pure word

the pure thought

placed in new bottles.


If we continue

confined in our old customs

in our old ways of governance

in our old religions

there will be excessive fermentation.

The bottles will break.


New wine, new movings of spirit

can transform decaying governments

with compassionate guidance.





What Would You Tell Those in Charge?


We would say to leaders

“Come and see!”

See two million Colombians in misery

and the military aid that is causing this distress.

There are displaced people, ruined farms

no schools for children, no programs, no ethics

people killed through bullets

harmed through lack of education

destroyed through lack of health care

starving for lack of food.


Para military groups are causing

a society of silence, a society of fear.

Political crises cannot be solved by war.

Politicians blinded by materialism and greed

are too busy to recognize the possibilities

of salvation in non-violent alternatives.


Our leaders drive our fears.

Happiness eludes the fearful.

We will be free of the cycle of destruction

only when we can lessen the fears

found in every human being.


We ask our leaders

“Come and see! Imagine with us!

Imagine a world free of fear

free from militarism, free of weapons.

We challenge you to build the earth

and not destroy it!”






It is wise

to use the information

that is in the biblical myths

to lead a good life

but to realize these myths

came from an earlier time

when warfare was more common.


These myths retell the acts of ancestors

who had many things to learn about

the peaceful dwelling in the land

and kindness to their neighbor.


Today we have the message of a Christ

to lead us on to peaceful settlements

of our many aggravations.

We are advised to keep in mind

the wisdom words––

“If he repents, forgive him!”




Squandering Induced by Social Systems*

We have wasted so many centuries

when we could have been loving

arguing about things like whether to use

debts or trespasses in the Lord’s prayer

when Jesus never said either debts or trespasses

as he spoke Aramaic.


We have killed women with warts on their noses

for being witches instead of empathizing

 with their pain at ugliness.

Jesus would have advised

that only those with no imperfections

could throw stones on other souls.


We have confined the angry, violent insane

to solitary or disruptive prisons

instead of giving them counselors or friends.

Jesus was willing to listen to and console

those full of devils of his day.


We have self-importantly theologized

about the words just war,  instead of seeing

small Iraqi children dying in the arms

of those who would have protected them.

Jesus invited children to the home of his heart.


We have discarded pyramidal heaps of human souls

creations that God made and loved

creations so discouraged from our treatment

that they could not even love themselves.

How we have wasted opportunities

down through the centuries!


*from Lion and Lamb by Cora E. Cypser




Too Busy to Think Peace


Yes, there’s a marble stairway there

that winds up to a palace fair.

They say the road is long and steep

and I have promises to keep.

Today I cannot walk that way

but there will be another day.

I’ll see then if it’s as they say.


They tell me that the keeper there

is kind as is the palace fair

but I must take my friend to town

and talk with men who hem and frown.

Next week, perhaps, -- say wait with me;

my friend and I will go with thee

and then the road will shorter be.


And so we tarried, saying so

“Perhaps tomorrow we will go.”




The Gender of Gods


Early religions, when speaking of the Great Unknown

were hesitant to call God male or female.

Some chose to emphasize the female.

Others made the wording male.

The Hebrews had a female word Shekinah

meaning God's Spirit of Wisdom.

The Assyrs had Goddess Astarte

to describe the power they felt.

Tribal groups named El Shaddah and Jehovah

to rouse up reverent feelings.


In theological and cultural evolvement

church leaders such as Augustine assumed maleness

in the power that transcends human thought.


Language evolved side by side with theology.

Primitive people had only very basic words

to describe untouchable divinity.

Today we have a host of words and symbols

to tell the world what we believe

and the power to invent more words

in our attempt to control others

and divinity.



A God's Eye View*


How does God see her creation?

How she must shudder when she views

the weapons we turn upon each other!

She must cry out with horror

when someone places a land mine!


How could God approve

of any of our forms of government

unless the rulers listen most carefully

to the Spirit of Loving Concern

speaking in the common people?


The wisdom that holds great stars in their places

may not think church communities need leaders.

A God of love may have no use

for senators or presidents.

Courts may have no need for judges

but could use mediators

calmly assisting neighbors

with their problems.

God may frown on strict laws

and smile on gentle guidelines.

Prisons may not be a necessity for social systems

if all of us could follow the law of love.


*from Think on These Things by Cora E. Cypser




We Are Church


Our church is not a Pope.

It’s not the bishops

not even all the leaders of all churches.

We are the church.

We, all the people, are the spirit gift

to one another.


We, as the church, are not a pinnacle of power

that shouts down to the crowd

from a golden-gilded tower.

We do not color other sects as wrong

or claim to be the sole way up the mountain

or the one boat on the lake.

All people have their place in Spirit Song.


The transfiguration moment for the earth

is when the vision eyes of many people

see all the earth could be

and join in building just community.





Jesus said that those who proclaimed

they were disciples of Moses

did not in deed follow

the precepts of Moses.


Today, those who proclaim

to be disciples of Jesus

often don’t follow

the precepts of Jesus.


Moses was a murderer

who fled from punishment

by the ruling pharaoh

but God forgave Moses.


Today those who act

like the youthful Moses

might find themselves

in the electric chair.


Enforcement of behavior

puts others in inferior positions

and deprives them of the freedom

to become fulfilled like Jesus.


Today there is more concern

with maintaining authority

than with proclaiming

a gospel of love.



*from Think on These Things by Cora E. Cypser




To Overcome Prejudice


Anti-catholicism surfaces

When Catholics say their Pope is infallible

or more knowledgeable in God’s sight.


Anti-semitism increases

when the Jews insist they are different

or more loved by God

or more deserving of the LAND.


If we treat others with equanimity

they are more likely to respect us.



Many Parts, One Body


Among the molecules, there is no hierarchy.

As soon as you get one molecule

dominating the others

the whole structure loses reality.


Among us monads, it is similar.

We must remember no man is our authority

and we are equal children

of a generous Creator.




Who is Jesus?


To worship one of our own kind

might be idolatry.

Jesus, as Christ symbol

has gone to be united

with Great Spirit

whom we worship.


People as Symbols*

When we symbolize God

as man in Christ Jesus

we are making a statement

about the possibility of godliness and spirituality

in every human being.

This possibility was pointed out by Jesus

in his saying, “I am in the Father.

The Father is in me. I am in you. You are in me.”

We must trace the outline of the God within

in our outward behavior.

As Jesus symbolizes God for us

we, too, must symbolize God for others.


Symbols get their strengths

from the minds that hold them and propose them.

The God of the whole universe is bigger than any symbol

yet can be spiritually present

in me and in all others.


*from Wandering in The Wilderness by Cora E. Cypser




Advice from A Good Guy


No matter how you look at it

Jesus was a good guy

and to all reports

he had a wonderful mother.


What advice did he give?

“Love your enemies.”

Do we have enemies?

Do we love them?

How do I show love for my enemy

or to those who distress me?


On Not Dealing with Sin

Christ offers himself only once to take the faults of many on himself, and when he appears a second time, it will not be to deal with sin, but to reward with salvation those who are waiting for him. - Hebrews 9:28


How do we deal with bombs and fratricide?

The just wait patiently believing

that good offerings save from sin

if accompanied by a change of heart within.

What is offered for our sin

 does us no good at all

unless we change our hearts to being kind.

If brotherhood is not in us

then we can have no part in world salvation.       




Fetters and Keys


The human being often finds herself

in bondage to the powerful.

The worker serves her boss.

The slave obeys his master.


We find ourselves

in bondage to the past

to doctrines of just war

when war is never just

to charges that

we populate the world

to punishments

that go against our nature

to laws that harm

to leaders that twist words

to guiders of our faiths

who teach us to believe

in their authority

and that they hold

the keys to heaven.




What Is Wrong With The World


How do cultures deal with what is wrong?

How does a culture develop

a concept of what is evil?

Cultures have a notion

of what they want.

They want homes to live in

food to eat, pure water

peace with their neighbors.

Evil is the opposite of these.

Evil is when your neighbors' interests

are contrary to your own

and the normalcy of seed time and harvest

is interrupted by a distortion

that we cannot handle.


Society sets up standards

of the best that is possible within us.

When things don't go as they should

we look for causes in the community.

If we see deviant behavior

we hasten to stop it.


Humanity has a notion of a pleasant future

so we search for ways to shape behavior

that will insure such a future.




The Option of Respecting Others*


It is as wrong for us to imprison people

as it is wrong to enslave people.


It is as evil to manufacture or use armaments

with the purpose of killing people

as it is to enslave people

or to imprison people.


In order to help people to live optimum lives

we must encourage creative options.

These will not include



or the manufacture of weapons of war.


*from Think on These Things by Cora E. Cypser




Our Justice System Has Gone Astray


There are three branches of government

put in place by those who crafted our Constitution.

They were wise men who tried very hard.

A few wise women might have improved the project.

The three branches of government are:

the Legislative, the Executive, and the Judicial.

The Legislative, with the help of the people

makes the laws for the people.

Congress, as the representative Legislative body

has the right to declare war.

The Executive does not have the right to declare war.

The Executive enables and enforces the laws.

He does not make the laws.

The Judicial interprets the law

decides if the law has really been broken

determines and pronounces the sentence.

The District Attorneys do not determine the sentence.


What’s wrong with our system?

District attorneys are acting as judges.

District attorneys are bribing offenders.

Often District Attorneys can hand out a lesser sentence

to the accused who pleads to a lesser charge

or who points the finger at an associate.

Such persons are being tempted to bribery.

This is unethical and unjust.

We need laws and lawyers who will act for

and envision a positive future

for those handicapped with addictions.









No Taxation Without Representation


What’s wrong with Legislators?

They are not listening to the people’s wishes.

Viewing the fireworks over Baghdad

I visualize my income tax going up in hate.

I am being forced into taking responsibility

for the dastardly deeds of political leaders.

Congress does not represent the people's wishes.

It follows the wealthy lobby money stream.


Our forefathers did not want a king!

They did not want a dictator!

According to the Constitution

the President is not the one to declare war.

Only Congress can declare war

but illegally passed this right to the President.


What’s wrong with judges and with juries?

Our forefathers asked for juries of one’s peers

 not juries carefully selected, but juries

with knowledge of their rights to nullify a sentence.

Unconsciously, white judges and police

who are majority, favor the wealthy and their own.

They fill the prisons with the poor minorities.

There are many things wrong with prisons.

We used to vote for or against prison construction.

Then it was found that prisons could be built

with money taken from Housing and Urban Development.


I weep that my tax money is used for bombs and prisons.




Ask the Children about Rockefeller Laws

The US Bureau of Justice Statistics states that 6.6 million people were under some form of the nations’s correctional system in 2001. This translates into about the same number of children who are affected by the incarceration of a parent.


Is your father or mother in prison?

Do you miss them in the middle of the night

or do they tell you that they are in a safe place

and getting help for their problems

or don’t you know where they are

and your foster-care parent says

you should forget them?

Do you daydream of a safe home

with a parent all your own?

If you get a chance to visit

do you cry when you must leave?


Is your father or mother a prison guard?

Do you worry about the work they do?

Do they come home angry or sad

or order you around with annoyance?

Do they talk about the prisoners as good people

or do you hear about knifings and solitary confinement?

When you grow up will you be a prison guard?

Do you believe that bad people must be punished?

Or do you believe that all people

should have their human rights respected?




More Prisoners Than Farmers!


In the United States there are more prisoners

than those who work our farms.

What can we do to make the prisoners useful?

What can we do with pedophile priests

who are educated men accustomed

to instructing others through their homilies?


Make prisoners into farmers.

Build farm lots on each prison’s grounds.

Hold schools where prisoners can teach each other.

Teach agricultural skills, health services, and reading.

Teach ethics and the ways to help each other.

Teach sociology, responsibility.

Bring in the videos of specialists in these fields.


There is little need for special housing units

when prisoners are busy with their tasks

and viewing how the seed becomes the flower

learning the just and natural ways of all the earth.




Rewards for Sacrifice


The Death Penalty


It’s dangerous to teach that

giving up your life will lead to paradise.

If we knew for sure

that death was followed by something better

wouldn’t everyone kill themselves?

When obligations and beliefs are labeled religious

they are accepted by society, even when suicidal.


A law that orders one human to kill another

and thus deliberately take away his life

(when we do not know if Paradise or Hell awaits)

usurps the power of God.


A social custom such as war

that lets one leader bomb another’s country

and kill the people our Just God created

also defies the power of Loving Spirit.




Does God Believe in Prisons?*


As an archaeo-theologian

I look at the early constructions

and I meditate on

what kind of a God they worshipped.


For them, was God male or female?

Or both? Or neither?

Was God loving? Was God powerful?


Then I whiz across the centuries

and look at human constructions today.

I look at great buildings towering into the sky.

I see tunnels under and bridges over the rivers.

I see prisons with high walls

decorated with silvery barbed wire.

I watch fantasies on TV

and I meditate on what kind of God

we, the people of the present, worship.


What are our objectives?

What do we wish for our sisters and brothers?

What are our dreams for those who come after?

Does God believe in prisons?

Do we place our faith in barbed wire?


* from Journey of Belief by Cora E. Cypser




The Kingdom of God


The Realm of The Peaceful Spirit


Moses had a dream of God’s Kingdom.

The God of Moses was an angry God

full of ‘thou-shalt-not’ commandments.

This God could tell Moses to kill

all those who gave trouble to the tribe.


The prophets rose to criticize the kings.

They spoke for the oppressed.

Elijah’s God was still a tribal God

but more compassionate to all.

To dwell in peace with strangers in the land

you acted kindly to the orphans and the widows.


Jesus saw God as One with all the earth

loving and in-dwelling the creation.

With Spirit God thus energizing all

there was no need for king.

All nations had this God within

and thus could treat each other kindly.


Now that we know that Loving Spirit God

has made the earth and total universe

we can believe that tumbling galaxies

and also thrones, dominions, and regimes

will follow the design of such a Guider.




Risk Taking


To risk

is to make oneself vulnerable

and to accept the consequences:


Jesus took risks.


Because he met disaster

with his risk taking

does that make him

less believable?


It makes him

more believable.

It makes him

like God.


Does not our God

take risks?

Is not the earth

the universe

a terrifying risk

for God to take?





A New Commandment


The Golden Rule advises to be kind

to act with peace, forgiveness, justice, love.

Doing these noble deeds, we often find

spirits below can mirror heaven above.

Good Jesus held the shining rule before the eyes

of those who followed in an earlier day.

Back then he called it new. It’s no surprise

that we of later ages still display

abundant anger, hatred, vice, and greed

ignoring those along our way who are in need.

It seems that politics and wars will never cease.

Leaders ignore the voices clamoring for peace

while those who practice to forgive are few.

Thus this commandment still is shining new.




Can A Leader Be Evil?


Evil is lack.

Evil is when you have

no secure nest

when you have no food

to sustain you

when you and your neighbor

are at odds

when the land is dry

and there is no rain

when a world leader

drops bombs on the innocent.








Are not the loudest voices

accusing others of anti-Semitism

those who persecute other Semites?

Israelis who have been abused as children

held in forced labor camps, deprived of homeland

are often first to pillage their own brothers

who are from the loins of Abraham and people Palestine.

Those who have suffered violence

often become repeaters of that trauma.




Just War Is Outdated


Augustine’s exposition of the just war theory

assumes the dualism of good and evil.

Augustine was indoctrinated

in the beliefs of the Manicheans

who saw everything as black or white.

Is anyone truly totally evil when made by God?

We are taught to look for

that which is good in everyone

and as all are made by God

we are sure to find that good.

The scenario of the evil terrorist

blowing up the earth, being held off

by the righteous just one with a weapon

is never a true scenario.

Weapons are being understood

to be less and less appropriate

as a means to keeping peace.



God’s Grace


When did the human

first recognize

the God within?


When I experience God today

something rises in my heart

that sings for joy.


The Spirit blows

as the Spirit pleases.

God graces me today

and graced my ancestor

back in the past.


God’s grace enables us

to experience God.


E-Mail as Saviour


What Jesus Christ could have done with e-mail!

Such a tool to bring the world to understanding

of forgiveness and compassion!


Can one lay hands on a war-torn world

with an electronic message?

Can one bless the polluted sands of Iraq

with thoughts jammed through a wire?


Can our verbal and mental blessings

bring world peace?

Are words turned into thoughts

the magic that can redeem us?




Remember Me Here In Jail*

Colossians 4:18


Christ, my brother

let me not forget you

in any of your disguises.


Let me listen to

the word you tell me

though I may not recognize

your lips.


Let me rejoice with you

in the freedom of heaven

where masks

no longer deceive.


Christ, my brother

do not forget me

in the prison

of my flesh.


*from Wandering in The Wilderness by Cora E. Cypser




The Messaging of Earth


Where do the prayers go

when they leave my head?


If I pray for you

does that make you

pick up the phone

and dial my number?


If I dream of you

does that mean

some kind thought you send

is filtering through my slumber?


Is the whole universe

and its accompanying realm of Spirit

agog with blessings

waiting for a mind’s reception?


When do our beings

cease to send

these comforting radiations?




Laws Cause Frustration*


Domination and slavery must go!

We must not be the slave to laws

that men have made.

These men enslave themselves

as well as others.

Those seeking laws to make themselves secure

make others, the oppressed, obey those laws.


Jesus exposed the purposes of law.

He told us that the law should be our servant

not our master.

All peoples must be liberated

from all forms of domination.

Laws should heal

rather than harm.


If laws lead to unjust dominance or persecution

slavery or crucifixion

we must speak out against them.

We lovers must obey the law of love.



*from Journey of Belief by Cora E. Cypser




Black Night


If you see the Lord of Love

tell him I looked for him

on the long grey beaches

with wet sand

when there was no moon.


If you see the Lord of Love

tell him I traveled far

on great ships

hoping to find him.

Tell him I saw many faces

looking for his.


Tell him I searched hard

but the dream is now ending

and the wet sands

are sifting and sinking.

Tell him I searched hard.


What did you say?

The waves roar so wildly

that I scarce can hear you.

Was it “heart?”

Was it “Look in your heart?”

The elements’ shrieking

makes my hearing deceitful.




On Right and Wrong


Determinedly we pray

that war might cease

but find there is no

everlasting peace.

We would not thrive

on never-ending bliss.

We grow from turmoil

wrest what’s right from wrong

rejoice that we are free and strong.


What some think just

others condemn as wrong.

Cains kill their brothers.

Abrahams plan sacrifice of sons

believing they are doing justice.

Down through the centuries

the women mourn.


As long as people

have the right to freedom

of the mind and heart

they will tend to disagree.




Prayer Transfigures


It is difficult to cast a demon from another

if we ourselves harbor that same terror.

If we don’t know how to forgive an error

we cannot pass that knowledge onto others.


Can we believe in New Jerusalem–

in a world free of oppressive leaders?

If we believe, and firmly ask in prayer

surely the New Jerusalem will come to pass

and peace will drop down like dew from heaven.


Pray brothers, sisters; all you people.

The Spirit hears and works on your agenda.

Prayer leads you on to wisdom and self knowledge.

A prayer for peace leads to an inner peace.

Prayer casts out fear, reveals what ties us down

helps us to name the wounds that keep us silent.


We are God’s living bread, a part of great reality.

Surely, we fail, but often times a failure

is a better teacher than success.

Failure and unbelief say naught will really change

yet Spirit changes us, leads us to new roads.


Step out bravely on the shining road

and leave behind the grinding teeth of fear.






On Prayer

Prayer does not change God, but changes

him who prays.  Kierkegaard


How many ways to talk to you, my God?

Must I pray always with the same few words?

Must I say always what I’ve said before

always the same, “Lamb of God,

who takes away the sin of all the world.”?

Cannot I call you something new

and full of faith and joy

you who have come that I might have life

and that I might have it more abundantly?

Cannot I reach down

into the depths of my abundance

and find a name for you

that thanks and praises

and that rolls beautifully on the tongue?


And then, when I have called you by a name

why can’t I speak to you

in living language?

Must I always use prayers I have learned

with other people’s words

and other people’s thoughts?

I would like to write momentous prayers to you

that challenge other minds and show

your Blessing and your Being.

We were made to praise you.

Help us to praise you.




Five Young Boys


There was this precious moment

blessed in the sunlight.

The one with red curls asked

“Why are you here?”


I had to say some words.

“Sister Mary sent me here

to write what I believe.

What do you believe?”


They laid their souls

out in the sunlight

pronouncing all the good

that they were taught.


One held back

dubious, protesting

“I can’t think ...”


We all have times

when it is hard to think.

We all have times

when we can’t say

just what it is

that we believe.




TV Entertainment


The march from Basra, bloody red.

Defenders of the city, fled.

The women carry off their dead.

Israelis bulldoze family homes

and close the Palestinian wells.

The women up in Ramah weep.


Our children grown

will claim this violence

as their own

will take the pathways

that we’ve shown

will prove the ancient wisdom deep

“As you sow, so shall you reap.”



Abuse and Restoration


To make a better world for children

we should have ways to heal dark trauma.

Those who undergo abuse

need restoration and a sense of justice.

Healing begins with telling what’s repressed.

But do not force their talk.

They must decide themselves

what they most need to tell.

The process includes this telling of the truth

perhaps a confrontation with the abuser

a hope for the repentance of the sinner

a hope for blessing and forgiveness.




No Choir Practice


Life is not like a churchy choir practice

with chance to do it over more concisely.

You sing the music as it comes to you

sour notes and all

with never ample time to catch your breath

between the notes!


The music falters, soars

adds heartbeats to the heart.

Our part within the song

is winding down, and others raise

strong voices holding up the tune.


But still I want to harmonize with you.

I want to build the song with you

as long as voices last.




On Failures and Successes


What happens when

we search for the Holy Grail and fail?


The story is that we can never fail.

The process insures us ups

when there are downs.


There may be prisons

and there may be parks.

A prison may look bad, like death

but it can be a place

to rethink options.


There may be spaces of war

and some of peace.

Disasters may be challenges

that change us.


Spending time

meditating on our good

and on our possibilities.

might funnel us

into all sorts of creativity.




Conflict as Good


We are in process!

We evolve!

We are human beings.

We can change.

Our ideas can change.

We have choices.

Often we progress

because we do wrong

and feel ashamed.

Conflict can lead

to new beginnings.



Influencing The Distant


If you stand in the light

from the rising sun

your shadow may fall

on the far-away hills.






There is a worse bondage

than shackles on the ankles

that rankle and scar the legs

that weigh us down.

Iron bands do not carve groves

of addiction in our minds.


There is a bondage of the body

to power or to drugs

that takes our health, our strength

our initiative, our responsibility.

There is bondage of the soul

to what is less

than unconditional love.


Such bondage can cloud our vision of God.

It can destroy earth’s dreams of heaven.


* "Loss of The Ability to Self-Transcend"

in Wandering in The Wilderness





Economic Justice


What does true justice look like?

Moral justice reflects what we believe of God.

Some say that wealth points to God’s favor

that God will give us what we need

and pour out more besides

that God is on the side

of property and wealth.


Does God show love for us

by giving us our land?

Did Indian land revert to us

because God found us righteous?

We rich owe to the poor we have defrauded.

We robbed them of their land and silver.


The crown jewels of the British came from empire.

The economic wealth of Europe, from Bolivia.

The slaves from Africa built up America.


Our wealth has turned to excess and corruption.

The goods of earth are given us to share

rather than being placed in storage barns.




On Power


Society can be transformed from bottom up.

The church should not be heavy domination

but should give power to the excluded.

Church is not the sole way up God’s mountain.

We are church, and can all help others

in their climbing

empowering all

excluding no one.




Experience, Analyze, Judge, Decide


The Experience is that of:

small arms, weapons of mass destruction, dirty bombs

tanks, land mines, planes, nuclear arms

women with broken faces holding starving babies.


In Analyzing the data, we find:

children are being cheated out of education

people are deprived of health care

resources of our earth are mistreated.


In making Judgment, we declare:

ethical values are disregarded

legal walls are built around the poor

the common good is ignored by those in power.


In Deciding what to do

we can consult with small support communities.

Reform! Rebuild! Fulfill!




The Beloved Community


We pray to the God of space and time

who leads us on the upward climb.

We pray, Thy Kingdom come!

God’s Realm is not a material land

but is the place where good Spirit reigns.

Is this proposed community

a hopeful promise or a wild illusion?

Will it feed and house the poor

or expose them to a tyranny of leaders?

Will all those disenfranchised gain a vote?

Will all those disillusioned reach fulfillment?


We pray to the God of time and space

who enters our hearts with endless grace.

Now, if this realm is near at hand

where is the flood of wisdom and compassion

the rule of equity and justice

the place where dominance is gone

between the slave and free, the male and female

the common space where all of us

are children of the One Creator?


We pray for a Spirit-filled community

which will support us through time to Infinity.




God’s Realm


Past, Present, and Future

God’s Realm is near us all

surrounds us all

has been and ever will be with us.


In the Past

this living realm of love, our Faith

evolved with ancestors

was taught by prophets

came to us through Jesus’ word.


Love is God’s action in the Present

and comes to us through friends

through wisdom teachers

through God surprises.


Hope is what we dream of–

justice and compassion in the Future

a peaceful world where love resides.

Don’t be afraid to dream

of a world where wisdom reigns

and politicians do not hinder.





The God We Worship


Some say that each of us

creates the God we worship.

So be it!

I will make a God

the very best I can imagine

One who despises war

espouses justice with forgiveness

a God invisible

that is available

to every person’s need

a Spirit that accompanies

all substance

urging the material

onward and upward

from alpha to omega.





Humans as Sacred

Humans as Humble


The earth is sacred space.

The hands of all the people

are worthy tools to bless

the world and others

and to make of every place

a holy altar.


Come, people! Come!

Bless the earth and others!


True humility is respecting others

is using our voices to affirm

 that we believe in goodness of the other

is emphasizing that all life is sacred!

Thus we offer holy gifts on holy altars.





A Type of Creed


I believe in the creative spirit

that urged the universe into being.

I believe in Jesus as filled with such spirit.

I believe that this spirit was instilled in Jesus

through the words and deeds of his mother

who was also filled with this creative spirit.


I believe that all humans

can be filled with the sacred

that the whole earth is sacred space

that creation is a process

and that all the earth

participates in this process.


I believe that we are designed to be bread for each other

to encourage, to share, to forgive.

This can only take place

in a world where we are given choices.

I believe humankind was not created

for penance and punishment

but for prayer



and fulfillment.




Negotiating Peace*


Negotiating is angels whispering.

It requires sensitive listening.

The negotiator must be an empty vessel

willing to be filled with angel inspirations.


Peace throughout the earth

is an on-going process and action.

It is not the absence of discord.

Death is a good example

of the absence of discord.


One can negotiate the small, and also the large.

There should be peace in neighborhoods

but also face-to-face diplomacy

in great nations across the world.

Angels whisper in both slums and palaces.


Weapons are a hindrance at any negotiating table.

Sharp tongues can cut like knives.

Contestants must be able to absorb threats

and to accept religious and cultural differences.


It is necessary to hear the angel whisperings

from both sides of the peace table

and to understand both primary interests

and secondary interests.

The negotiator does not come on the scene

with a pre-stated agenda.

His job is to restate opinions politely.

He is to calm the fires of fear

to soothe distress

to smooth rough edges

to make evident the angel whisperings.


*from Think On These Things by Cora E. Cypser




Forgive Us, Loving Spirit


That we have rained down bombs

upon the innocent–

That our greed for prosperity

has deprived others of the necessities of life–

That we have failed to educate our children

in the principles of non-violence–

That our trading practices have impoverished

the poorer nations of the earth–

That we have consigned

our addicted and mentally ill to prison

instead of giving them concerned care

That our zeal for progress

has caused damage to our earth–

That we seek to punish

rather than forgive.





We are to encourage

the entrance of good spiritedness into ourselves

and to recognize such essence in all others.

In practice this can be done

by generating God-Energy within

by practicing forgiveness, justice, empathy, love

and kindness for all.




Sinners of Whom I Am The Chief*


We prison people

are a motley mixture.

We obey Golden Rules.

We comfort and forgive

but are we to believe

that Nero and Ghenghis Khan

and Hitler and oppressors

will enter

the portals of heaven

before us?


I shall feel so lonely

Forgiving Creator

to be the last

of all.



*from Wandering in The Wilderness by Cora E. Cypser






No Room for Forgiveness*


Prisons are kept in control by reasoning men

even by reasoning men in community

agreeing with each other on how things should be done.

But all their collective reasoning

doesn’t prevent Atticas and doesn’t reform prisoners

while it does seem to destroy their own personalities

and their ability to forgive.


Reason and order may be stable options.

You are safer in a boat if you don’t stand up and rock it.

As most people are inclined to take the self-preserving path

not too many get up to rock the boat.

In fact, those who rock the boat

are liable to be those too young to appreciate law and order.

They are those who think differently and reason flamboyantly.


Too many people in the boat may land someone in the water.

A lot of wildly raving extroverts each doing his own reasoning

would surely bring us to chaos.


If people use their own reason

they usually decide to build a boat with proven construction.

It’s wiser, safer, and more orderly to latch on

to a well established custom or culture.


Hence, we build prisons.


Prisons and slavery

have been in use for ages.

They do not encourage forgiveness.

To keep things orderly, we use barbed wire.

Barbed wire does not have much to say

about renewing the hearts of those imprisoned

or about forgiveness.


*from Think on These Things by Cora E. Cypser






Love Is Faster Than Light


The horse and rider move on rapidly.

The ship with billowing sails upon the sea

is slow beside the plane

that breaks the speed of sound.

Sound itself comes to our senses

when the rumbling thunder crashes

far behind the burst of light that flashes

across the darkness of the night.

The scientists have bent

particles of light back on themselves

and thus can magnify light’s speed!

What’s faster than light’s flight

across the universe and back?

What cuts the travel time

from light years down to seconds?


The answer is:– Thought from a human mind.

This thought can travel to the fringe of space

taking but nanoseconds for its course.

And then there’s thought

from the Creative Force

which might fly faster still.

Such thought might be comparable to Love.


Creative Love suffuses all, is instant everywhere

expands, contains, even where light is not.




The Good News Is Forgiveness


The Good News is not that Christ died for our sins.

To say he died for our sins is a cop-out.

It says it’s all done and we can sit back and enjoy.

It gives the wrong impression to say

that any sin or omission we commit is paid for.

We are not straight-out ransomed.

The ransoming takes place

only when our hearts beat as his.

We are given an example

of forgiveness and unconditional love

and told to be like the example.

We must perform forgiveness

or we will not be forgiven.

The diamond set in The Lord’s Prayer

is the message of responsibility to forgive.






Forgiving Others


Forgive us our trespasses, for in our haste and hatred

we have wounded the innocent.

In our grab for power, we have forgotten how to forgive.

The wise words clearly read

“Forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us.”


What have we done to those, our trespassers?

What do we do to militants and terrorists?

What did we do to rouse their anger?

How did we contribute to their sin?


What have we done to those who wounded or opposed us?

We send them bombs and bullets

execute them without trial

scatter land mines for their children

and their children’s children.

We put our own youth behind guns

before they’re old enough

to know the wisdom of forgiveness.

We use our youth as shields

for our grievous misperceptions.


This is the way that wars promote generational wars.

This is the reason violence leads to violence.

The wise words sharply show

the ways that we have chosen.

Our deeds are seen reflected in our children.

Those children who are punished severely

and who see elders condoning violence

will soon be doing violence to others.






For The Imprisoned*


The Good News is forgiveness.

The Good News is

that with God’s help

we can forgive others

the wrongs they do us.


The Good News is

we can forgive ourselves

because the Christ

takes on our human flesh

to ratify

the covenant of mercy.



*from Versings and Conversings by Cora E. Cypser







Fighting Terrorism

If we really wanted to fight terrorism

to make the world safe for democracy

to preserve our freedoms

and to exercise our responsibilities

we would give bread to the starving

instead of bombing them.

(No one likes to be bombed.

They usually try to bomb the attackers back.)

If we really wanted to alleviate terrorism

we would build health clinics and schools.

We would encourage farming practices

that did not depend on oil.

We would ensure safe water supplies.

We would share the resources of the world.

If we wanted to alleviate terrorism in all its forms

such as the counter-terrorism of war

we would  respect the United Nations and its decisions

and help to peacefully rid all nations of weapons.




How Could We!


How could we believe that the best way to fight terrorism

was to incite ethnic hatreds and imprison other people!

How could we follow a charismatic leader into a war

when his only reason was to topple another leader

whose power he resented and whose deeds he did not approve!

How could we  terrorize the innocent with our weaponry

destroying their property and driving them to looting!

How could we be blinded into believing our leader

was ordained by God to save the world from destruction

when he was calling for volunteers of our young people

to bomb and destroy another part of the world!

How could we believe that we were a chosen people

when, in reality, all people are the chosen people!

How could we believe that we justly deserved our land

and that we had more rights to the goods of all the earth!

How could we believe that it was more noble and just

to throttle and punish than to compassionately forgive!

How could we give the legacy of a broken, battered world

to our beloved children and to the children of the nations

when we could have been building the earth!

How could we let our greed for material power

deprive others of their rightful share of an abundant earth!

How could we order more bombs from munitions companies

 when we have already destroyed too much!

How could we believe that the end justifies the means

and use war and violence and retaliation

when we could have used mediation and understanding!

How could we not recognize

the difference between good and evil!

Forgive us, for we were blinded by our fears!

We did not recognize what we were doing!





















Swords to Plowshares

A Plan to Bless Weapons


Now that Phil Berrigan is not able to hammer the military

we should have a Berrigan memorial campaign

to change weapons into useful tools!

This plan will not make protesters at risk for prison

or set them up as targets of well-armed police.

We shall transform the weapons

from a distance by the power of prayer.


A blessing for tanks can be given to all tanks collectively.

We can pray that tanks and planes will not harm anyone

that pedestrians who are in the streets will not be harmed

that war machines will not damage property

that guns will not kill anyone and that bombs will not fall

that  machines will be changed into tools for peaceful usage

that tanks turned into tractors may make desert into farm land

and remove the debris of bombed out buildings

that planes will transport food and supplies to the needy.


We will bless the soldiers who guide tanks and planes

when we see them in reality or on TV.

The blessing will be that the soldiers may be safe

and that they will be productive and fulfilled persons

upholding human rights and rebuilding war-torn communities.

We will bless all soldiers of all nations

praying they will serve their countries and people faithfully

and be in readiness to serve all countries and all people.


We will bless government officials and those in authority

so that they will legislate responsibly and ethically

for the good of people rather than for the will of the wealthy.

We will bless land mines, small weapons and nuclear weapons!

We will bless all weapons out of existence!