Peace, an elusive thing you are, I have known you in fleeting moments At best--- Would that I could see the whitest of doves, Feel the lightest, glancing touch of feathers, Hold the olive branch for a moment— Yet, how can I partake of such a luxury when— When children’s bellies bloat in hunger When those of one religion kill those of another When those of one skin hate and kill those of another When men rape, beat, kill women When children and women are bought and sold When humanity seeks dominance over all the earth At the cost of future generations? Yes, I want to see the white dove with the olive branch fly— To know the world is at peace To know my daughter lives in that peace To know all the children of world will grow knowing only good Then death could take my hand And I would willingly go In peace.
Dancing for a time
While arrogance grew.
We were better, best–
With nothing left to prove
Glorious above any others–
God’s chosen led by the chosen one,
Or so they claimed
While people died in the streets.
We turned our fingers orange with Cheeto dust,
Stuffing our mouths,
And didn’t care who died.
It was all for our entertainment, anyway.
We watched democracy die
With Lady Liberty and Justice
Beaten bloody in the streets.
But hey, Walmart had toilet paper and Doritos–
And that’s what really mattered.
We screamed about white, black, blue
Red, and all the rainbow colors
Until our screams and colors bled
Into midnight blackness
Then the lights went out
When God’s Grace got up and left.
Are the multitudes
Who still exist
Within the air
Of a past colliding
Upon your present.
Unpleasant for you,
I know, disruption
To the course of your
Day to day
Good morning harmony,
The dripping sugar whiteness
Of your “girl next door” hood.
You are not faceless.
You are not nameless.
Your language drips privileged
White pearls of empty empathy.
Turn your television off with white pride,
The faceless and the nameless
Will not apologize for the noose
You feel tightening around
Your Good Morning Positivity
As faced and named change comes
To Our Nation.
For visually challenged writers, the image shows a green horizon, beyond which the mist veils a hill topped with strange rock formations.
I knelt before God
as the earth was formed.
For ages I have been here,
spirit of stone unmoving,
waiting above the forest land.
I am the tonnage of stones,
living veiled behind swirling mists.
Yet, I am billions of stones,
existing beyond the veil.
I press the earth for meaning
when I hear the children of earth wail
of suffering through centuries.
I rise above the peace of forest land,
lifting the tonnage of anger I carry.
I am the billions of stones now,
moving beyond the veil.
I have risen, the world,
in the weight of stone,
the children of earth will not be moved.
Behind the veil, I am the tonnage of stones.
I will retreat there when this time is done.
We were silent,
Back in the day,
When death came
In white hoods, noose in hand
To hang our darker sisters and brothers.
We were silent
When death went
Across an ocean
With bent crosses, yellow stars, and gasses
for the Jew.
We were silent
Back in the day
When death came
For our gay brothers
Who pleaded with us–
Silence equals death.
A lesson we’ve not learned yet.
No words for all this
As we shake our heads
Our silence kills yet again
And another black man dies,
Crushed under authority.
Yes, silence equals death.
We cannot stay silent
If we believe a nation’s promise
Time for us to stand up
And find the words to say–
Should you do this
To our darker sisters and brothers
You do it to us all.
We are the burning flame
Burning away the old ways.
Although I am not white, I admit I enjoy white privilege because most people perceive me as white. My mother was Melungeon, a mix raced people of Appalachia, and my real father was of Hispanic heritage. Most people look at me and see white features and assume a Greek or Italian heritage. Yes, some ignorant people have said stupid, racist things to me because of their assumption of my whiteness. In light of recent events, the privilege given to me by my features and skin color demands that I stand up to help.
We sat silent, complacent too long
Our children safe.
Between threats to our black and brown
Sisters and brothers,
We must shield– intrepid, resolute,
taking spit, hits,
gas, lash, bricks
even death, should it come to that
So nothing touches them.
We must fulfill the promise of our nation—
All are equal
America, we never were a great nation.
Not with the genocide of native peoples, slave auctions
And slavery, Jim Crow, The Trail of Tears,
Japanese Internments, and the KKK.
No, we were never great.
We are always a nation of becoming.
A nation of ideals.
A nation great in flickering moments
Like old news reel footage:
When Harriet led her railroad,
When the suffragettes marched for the vote,
When Rosa would not be moved,
When Martin believed in the one day
Every child would have,
When Edie and Thea showed
Marriage should be defined by love,
Not biological gender.
We are a people of hope, of dreams,
Of knowing life would be better
When we made each other great.
Now, hate ripples from one sea
To another, and neither shines any longer
With Liberty because her torch
Grows dim with this reign of hate.
And there are many who want to forge once again
The chains to her ankles, shackling her in place,
Because they want to keep her,
But just for looks sake. Her mate, Justice, remains
On life support, having been beaten to a bloody pulp
By those who see color, who see gender,
Who see all the women who need
To be put in their place,
Who see a society where Justice serves only
The white Christian right, or rather, where Justice is made
Their slave. No, this is not a great nation.
This is not a great nation
When a leader can bully and spew hate
While the First Lady urges kids
“Be Best” in a limp campaign to not do the same
And few mention the irony.
This is not a great nation.
This is not a great nation
When a leader can urge violence
Against the media, immigrants, those who disagree
And so few carry an outcry.
This not a great nation
Where 18 trans women, 17 of them of color,
Can be murdered within less than a year
Yet our highest court must hear how
Laws do not apply to LGBTQ.
No, this is not a great nation
When so many must blame, exclude, and hate,
When so many must abase another to uplift themselves,
All the while professing Christianity.
Our founders gave us rules of law to make us better than this.
We are not a great nation
Until we realize the American Dream
Doesn’t see color or gender,
Doesn’t see race or religion,
Doesn’t see sexual identity,
Until none of us need to stand on the backs
Of others to feel better about ourselves—
Until we realize the American Dream is freedom and equality
And there is enough for all to go around,
We can not be a great nation.
But the greatness in our nation is this:
That we can be
If we recognize our humanity.
(A Tribute to Christine Blasey Ford)
We reject the mother
Born to subservience
of ripped rib bone.
No longer will we accept
Bloody beatings and brutality,
Rape and rage,
No longer do we accept this pain
As payment for the sin
Of seeking knowledge.
For millennia, we were lucky to live unbruised
As long as we were your possessions:
Your mothers, your daughters,
Your sisters, your wives.
As long as you owned us
And we did as we were told.
But through the ages,
The brave ones have shown us another way:
To seek the spirit of our true mother,
The one born in the same earth of equality.
So we find her voice and our own.
Though you would silence us
With vitriol and mockery,
The brave ones have taught us well;
We will never be silent again.
More delicate than our dying Earth,
The fragile blood of our children dries,
Blistering in a baking sun
While we watch
Our babies gasping
Like hooked fish.
Our humanity broken,
We are wooden pawns
In the game of masters,
Men who would be kings
Over plans known
By them alone
Made in black secret rooms,
Selling us all to Mephistopheles,
Trading on the fragility of our attention
With the lives of our children,
Who made us human.
Nothing is left to wonder at,
But if this is the day
A battle won,
Time now to rise,
Rise in the streets to remind
Of a time when
With a banging shoe
Our damnation tolled
As shouts and threats
Of our burial
Brought us to the brink.
We must rise,
Rise, take to the streets,
Stand beneath the feet of great ones
They plan to topple and disgrace,
To show we see the link
Smelted and forged in gold
With the man behind the curtain.
We once caused a wall to fall.
Let our numbers now rip down
A curtain made of gold.