Burgundy and Buttercup

Hurting, Neglecting and Abandoning Our Children in the Name of Religion

i so want
to take refuge
in the three jewels again
in something

but until this secret stain
is cleansed
i can’t

in good conscience post
photos of precious teachers
and the hypocrisy
of spiritual quotes

about wisdom
and non-harming
all day

i cried on retreat
so very many times
i can see their faces
and i can’t turn away
i wish i could

how can i seek absolution
and amrita from a
tradition that
harms small boys
and girls
with impunity
like i was
at its foundation?

we model him

the Buddha himself

left his baby
and wife alone
in their anguish and protest

this is
not compassion
nor ahimsa

small children are
taken from
their mother’s warm breast
and by social pressure
offered to


we have a rare
and privileged chance
the good fortune
of the pen’s potent power
and influence

to help these many
small children
both boys and girls
who suffer under
the secrecy of
our silent cloth

i love them all so

if we were abused
and neglected
by those we most trusted
when we were small

how can we exalt
and promote a
faux front religion that
similarly uses
vulnerable children
as fodder

and live with ourselves
self sanctified satisfied
every day?

if on our last breath
we knew that
they were harmed

our masked
fanged faith
of burgundy and buttercup
blessed falsity

friends who all
know but ignore
and e-exalt themselves
in Venerable glory

will we die
with a rested

you see…

IS complicity

and to not help them
we break all
real root vows

we could be there
for them
small ones we love
they need our help
our protection

i love them all so

we can quell
the traces of
our own dormant
empathized betrayal
that prompted us
to once seek this refuge

i wish tonight
that i could scoop
them up
each one
and hold them all
from danger

i know what this means
i understand the risks
but 100,000 small ones
in the dark
each day
and… night

this is not

it is rather
the essence of
the basest of human
dark degradation

ritual abuse

to protect them
is worth all
and any danger

if we can help
but one…

i love them all so

tiny faces
my vows
are to their safety

they are me.*

A child in a Buddhist community, neglected because her mom was too busy learning “compassion.” Her vivid story: https://uncoverage.simplecast.com/
Photo by Michael Morse from Pexels
*This will be my final plea here on this blog and will never mention it again here, having tried for years now with no success. But please know, I will never turn away from the hope for children’s safety in religious institutions and a dawning of real conscience and ethics from my friends and teachers that has not as of yet, arisen.

4 thoughts on “Burgundy and Buttercup

  1. Beautiful sorrow bleeds through your poem. I thought that you were writing about the Canadian Indigenous children that are being discovered buried in unmarked graves. However I realized not but was unsure where the connection was. I did not know this. I was crying by the end of your piece. And that letter broke my heart. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jay-lyn, it applies to the depth and breadth of how we have abused children in human society since time immemorial and exploited their vulnerability in trusted relationships. Since it’s so incredibly triggering and painful to talk about, we’d rather ignore it and that enables abuse to continue into generations. Child abuse, physical, sexual and through neglect, is humanity’s deepest buried secret and now is the well overdue time to unearth this darkness to co-heal. #kidstoo


  3. I absolutely agree. Children are our precious resources and voices need to be raised loudly and heard.



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