Third World Souls

You blessed America more than other countries God, but something isn’t right.
We have everything and nothing. We are no longer blessed.

I was never able to totally understand it, then I read about our declining nation.
A writer said it is true we are a first world nation as far as consumer goods
and finance, but we are a third world nation spiritually.

That did it for me.
Now I can proudly say what I have always felt. We have nothing.

I wish a poet from the Mexican jungle would write that in America
they can’t see the jaguar’s eyes flash on a distant mountain because
there are too many lights and everyone is afraid to go outside.

I know there’s a Muslim woman walking with her husband,
each of them all covered, saying to one another,
Americans are lousy lovers. They let it all hang out.
There is no mystery to love there, no understanding
that your long wait for your lover is analogous to
your long wait for God. Your lust for your lover
is only OK if you lust for God.

We need to hear it God. There is no illumination here.

There was in the eighties and nineties when graffiti artists frightened us with their
bold vision, Our country is so ugly we redeem it to the best of our ability. What
are you doing to make yourself bold and illuminating?

We refuse to shine. Our third world souls get darker, uglier, less receptive each

We need more flashing eyes. Help mine to flash again, be a beacon in the night.
Give my nation a vision to turn off street lights, walk in darkness lusting over
stars, laughing when we bump into each other, talking until constellations change.

We are absolutely zilch. God: help us, and me, to step from the depths of our
poverty so our lust for you, ourselves and strangers tramples on our fear.

Copyright © 2023 by David Vaszko

Mt. Davidson

People wonder why I like Mt. Davidson, since I do not attend church.

San Francisco is about God: inspiring vistas, great churches, mystical

light, dreamy fog. It is natural to put a symbol of faith on a hill.

Mt. Davidson is a challenge for us to rise above ourselves. The

bridges are beautiful, but they are not intended to make us revere

God. Sutro Tower is imposing, but it does not represent God or

connecting with others. It symbolizes isolation, ugliness,


The cross on Mt. Davidson is not beautiful. From a distance

it is impressive. It is cumbersome up close, especially in fog.

If feels and looks ugly. There is not a sense of God’s

gracefulness and warmth.

Those who constructed the cross were not showing their

love for God, but imposing their ideal of God from afar.

They succeeded. The cross inpires me when I lust and

wonder over the hills and ocean.

The cross is not about commerce or commercial

communication. As we communicate more poorly

personally, the cross can inspire us to communicate with

God in our loneliness, to thank Him for the beauty of our

city and ask Him for courage to make our city a city of

beautiful, trusting, curious, spontaneous people.

The cross was raised to stand out from a distance. The

intention is similar to skyscrapers, which were

constructed to look good in a photograph, but were also

intentionally constructed to be ugly up close and feel

lousy to work in.

There is one Mt. Davidson, but many tall buildings.

We must ask ourselves if we want to keep distant

from each other as we do everything we can to make

a good impression on each other. If we don’t, we can

be inspired by the cross standing alone in the wind

and fog. Can we stand tall with our arms

outstretched as we are at a crossroads of our life?

Can we spread our arms, surrender ourselves to God,

accept who we are and who everyone else is?

Christianity was established to deal with the

isolation of a commercial and military world. Our

city embraces business. Our country embraces the

military. We need imagination and faith to admit we

need this cross as the world becomes more chaotic,

as our civilization faces a crossroad, as we realize

we live in a police state, as our jobs are not secure

and we will stand at a crossroad several times.

Business will create more isolation and

heartbreak. The military and police will be more


In the sleepy murky mystical avenues is the

cross that boldly says God can save us. Let us

thank God for Mt. Davidson and the religious

imagination. Let us rise from our fog,

dazzling and tremendous as the sun.

Copyright © 2023 by David Vaszko