Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

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from a personal poetical exploration of
thich nhat hanh's 14 precepts

eighth precept: harmony in the community

Do not utter words that can create dischord and cause the community to break. Make every effort to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.

 visited some marxist friends reunion
an old time swarthmore radical
i'd known for many years
in from the labour circuit
as my way, I fished from him a detailed lowdown
bare hints of boldnesses
in the righteous struggle
important as secrets
as my way, they worried the information would be
too widely disseminated
twice I assured them of my intention to preserve their privacy

left early
on my way past the window
I heard former compadres speaking stridently
it goes straight from that notebook onto the net
he's gonna tell the world
no, my friend interjected, he assured me not.
yeah, well, he's got a page where he calls us his commie roomies.
that and
he's got sexually explicit materials up about his ex-girlfriend
I had to laugh
scorn, they heard
it hurt my sides
maybe I'd shown them.

it hurt to be mistrusted
by friends no less
I was steeling my will
I was noble publisher
of truth
they were fearful of falsehood
but a friend ned small coached me
his phrase was bad blood
damn his words were so decent
so true
"don't let there be bad blood between you"
and it was clear to me at once -
years of friendship and support
realized history and future
to stand on words, a trite phrasing
was to deny so many precepts
especially the eighth
I did not want my words to "create dischord"
and break our community
these were my campaneros, I
must "make every effort to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small."

so I changed the phrase,
to something more subtle
as I apologized for not accepting their preference
it felt good,
no bad blood.

seventh | interbeing | ninth