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Sunday, April 8, 2012

April 8th poem: [If not] For my Mother

[If not] For My Mother

If it weren’t for my mother
Where and what would I be
Who would have taught me
How to stand strong fight back
How to think freely.

What kind of wimp would I be
Without her example
Without her ferocious story
She walked across a country
For my sisters and me

What kind of citizen
What kind of activist would I be
If she hadn’t taught me
To challenge everyone
To question everything?

I wouldn’t be
Painting paintings
Writing poetry/ would not love science
Wouldn’t have all these degrees
Wouldn’t eat organic
Drive an old (gas-saving) car
Rock thrift sore fashion
Wouldn’t recognize animals
As people
Trees as family
Wouldn’t notice beauty
In everything

If not for my mother
It scares me to think
How I might have turned out
Who I would have become
If not for my mother.

April 7th poem (posted late)

April 7th poem [the goddess]

A Goddess walked into
The coffee exchange today
While I was busy
Reading idiot midterms

Did she come to save us
Could she start with me?

She had the kind of
Beauty that blinds
And renders dumb
Those who behold her

Thus was I afflicted.

April 6th poem (posting late)

A birch tree bleeds out my window
Ragged Cut dismembered
For the crime of displaying
An unsightly disease

April 5th poem (posting late)

April 5th poem

I am writing a book about it
But I don't like to talk about it
Isn't that silly?

How long have you been meditating?
Oh I don’t know
Who keeps track of such things…

We talk of vortices and spiritual centers
Places and people and times
None of it matters

Who have we become
In this moment?
What, if anything, does this human offer the world?

Spiritual practice is just practice
What, oh what, is my Soul manifesting

Thursday, April 5, 2012

April 4th Poem (On the anniversary of King's death)

We went after the laws
We still do
It’s what we do

The NAACP taught us long ago
How to file briefs
How to make arguments
against racism
We memorized the Bill of Rights

We marched
We’ve boycotted
Been civilly disobedient
We sometimes appeal to your conscience
Seek compassion
Used moral suasion when we could

But above all
We have always gone after the law

Because what did King say?
“It may be true that
the law cannot make a man love me,
but it can stop him from lynching me,
and I think that's pretty important.”

Yeah, King I think that’s pretty important too.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Poem A Day Challenge: April 3rd poem (I've Seen, part I)

I’ve seen eagles mate
Make babies
Build enormous nests

To dangle over freeways

As if
All those cars, spiraling exhaust
Those loud and noisy humans

Hardly mattered

Poem A Day Challenge: April 2nd poem (For Trayvon)

April 2nd poem

Maybe it means too much to me
What happened to Trayvon
Because of what happened to me

I cannot read enough
News stories cannot
Learn enough facts

About this black boy
(because in the final analysis that is ALL
he was allowed to be)
About the murdering watchman
(Who and what was he watching for exactly?)

Maybe it means too much to me
Because of Oscar Grant
Because of Emmett Till
Because of Rodney King

Because of what happened to me
Which wasn’t in comparison
So bad really
I recovered (kind of)/I’m not dead
My family doesn’t have to grieve

But I can’t stop thinking of him
This innocent manchild
Looking “suspicious”
Hoodied tall and lanky
With such big big eyes

Carrying candy
In the rain