Thursday, February 11, 2010

The People Speak

Watch Amy Goodman's Farewell to Howard Zinn.

Who will speak up now?

A friend asked me to begin posting again, especially my recent sing-song scribblings, but I feel that the hastening of globally-interconnected suffering belies (my sense of) rhythm.

Surely, the everyday concerns of the People everywhere speak louder than I can.

The People on the reservations in South Dakota have been iced in and without power and water for weeks, and The People in Haiti are bracing themselves for a torrential rainy season with only leaky tents and tarps overhead. Many more, perhaps 1 million People, have merely the open sky.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that Haiti's debt history includes paying reparations to slave owners. Soon after Frederick Douglass had served as U.S. minister and consul general to Haiti (from 1889-1891), he spoke at the World’s Fair:
“We should not forget that the freedom you and I enjoy today is largely due to the brave stand taken by the black sons of Haiti ninety years ago … striking for their freedom, they struck for the freedom of every black man in the world.”
Here in California, where our so-called leaders employ the 15 billion dollar budget shortfall to legitimate the sacrifice of our most vulnerable residents without so much as a genteel, phlegmatic cough, who remembers, has been taught, and can speak enough of the People's History to see where California is headed?

As climate change heightens our responsibility to pursue social, political and economic change, who can learn the People's Present quickly enough to write?

But here's yesterday's crack at a poem.
--------------------------------
How does a people become Indigenous?
When do they know it is time
to sink right down
and just let your roots grow?

When will all of the rest of us
Slow down and consider the
Divine,
precisely Here?

Those who have been running
Around for centuries
Making civilizational Progress
and metaphysical pilgrimages
and calculating the consequences
from the Moon–

I mean, if I were made
Here.
Of mud and water!
Of fire and ice!
Of the wind spoken softly under the black sky
Punctuated by night stars!

I would feel like I belonged Somewhere.
I would feel like Somewhere belonged to me.
-------------------------

42 comments:

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