We Didn’t Care

Image courtesy of VectorStock

Dreams came,

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.

The Promise We Must Be

Image courtesy of Sue Vincent
https://scvincent.com/2020/07/23/thursday-photo-prompt-darkness-writephoto/

Darkness gathers upon the horizon of our land:

A land we have loved with the lives of our sons and daughters,

A land we have bled for,

A land we have built upon golden ideals,

Shining as a beacon to other nations

 

But the darkness gathers upon the horizon of our land:

For which we have done things of shame and sin,

For we have killed our sisters and brothers

Of all different colors,

For we have kept others in chains of injustice

Because we saw others as less than.

 

And now the darkness gathers in our cities,

Creeping along the horizon of our land.                                                          

 

Now. Now is the time to carry that torch

Lifted above the water of a harbor

And see its light spread across our land.

We must be the promise

For which our daughters and sons died.

Driving out the darkness,

We must all be the promise of the dream—

Liberty and justice for all.

For White Pearls

Image courtesy of http://www.thepearlsource.com

Faceless, nameless

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.

 

Silent No More

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.

https://onewomansquest.org/2020/06/01/vjs-weekly-challenge-98-no-words/

We, Intrepid Shield

6th and Jefferson in Louisville. This is a line of white people forming a barrier between Black protestors and the police. This is love. This is what you do with your privilege. #NoJusticeNoPeace #SayHerName #BreonnaTaylor
Photo credit: Tim Druck

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

 

https://sammiscribbles.wordpress.com/2020/05/30/weekend-writing-prompt-159-intrepid/

 

Lilith’s Mantle

from Pinterest

We reject the second mother
you would give us,
reject subjugation
of ripped rib bone,
accept not the pain
from seeking knowledge.

We have borne brutality for the ages,
Silent always,
In churches,
In governments,
In streets,
And in our homes.
Our mouths learned silence,
keeping us, at least, alive.

Oh, we were worthy of protection
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,
We lived, perhaps, unbruised.

But the brave have shown us
Through the ages and now again
They show us another way.
We find our voice,
Too strident for your ears,
But even our whispers
Are too strident for you.

You will mock us,
Vilify us, this we know.
Proudly we wear the mantle
Of the first mother,
Lilith, the one you deemed
An enemy long ago and banished.
Her spirit moves us to speak
Against the men who take
Even our bodies from us.
You may beat us, kill us,
Force us into marriage and childbearing,
Rape us, place weapons into the hands
Of the children we bear,
Weld the chains of slavery upon us,
And laughingly say we asked for it
Should we complain.

Yet after all that and more,
Our submission you will not have.
We will rise like an ocean wave
Wakened by a great quake
Beneath the sea and drown you
With the devastation of your hate.

Soon some of Lilith’s daughters
Will march. Some will wait across
The Earth.

But Lilith’s mantle
Covers us all.
The quake is coming.
The wave will free us all.

American Dream

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.

RATS INFEST

Beware us rats,
You know,
We may have been complacent
With the history of 44.
But now we will rise
With the hate spewing from 45.

We have scurried in fear
Of what this hate might inspire.
But no more.
Rats could feast on the hearts of slumlords.
Rats could floss with the sinew of fearmongers.
But we will not.
Rats have a better way to fight.

Remember, we rats are brave
Because we know the true
Meaning of red, white, and blue.
We’ve shown our bravery before,
Remember your history.
We will brave the dogs.
We will brave the hoses.
We will brave the guns.
And we know
you will send haters
in the dark to kill us too,
But we will survive to outlast you.

You see,
Rats will
Rally
Against
Tyranny.

Orchestra of Children

untitled

An orchestra of children
Provides a symphony.

The violin of a two-year-old
Sings the plaintive cries,
“Daddy, Daddy!”

The lone flute of a three-year-old
Soars above the din,
A painful wail,
“Mommy, Mommy.”

Then the scratchy oboe
Of perhaps a four-year-old,
Keening for an aunt to be allowed to come
And take him to her home to stay.

Next all the whimpers,
Sobbing, moans
Squalls, and laments
Of trumpets, tubas,
Violas, bass and all the rest
Join the cacophonous clamor
Of such a discordant melody,
Harmonious to the hardened of heart
Who give ear to this orchestra,
Deserving of nothing but the pain
Contained within the symphony
The progeny play,
As less than they.

Our Children

Innocence, a fairytale idea,
Sacrificed along with safety
Burned as sweet, bloody incense
On an altar to the Second
Unrestrained, unrestricted
The true worship contained
In this strange amalgam of green and gold,
Gunpowder, lead, and power
Causing some confusion
In steel tongues touting
The sanctity of life
And rights to any guns
in prayers.

Our children born in a skin of fear
Do what we have not
Stand up
And say no more.