Monthly Archives: August 2012

in my country

from “In My Country”
 
This is not my country.
In my country, men
do not play at leaders
women do not play at men
there is no god
crucified to explain
the persistence of cruelty.
 
In my country
i don’t hesitate to sit
alone in the park, to go
to the corner store at night
for my child’s milk, to wear
anything that shows my breasts.
 
In my country
i do not stand for cutbacks,
layoffs, and pay union dues
companies do not close down
to open up again in far-off
places where eating is the
main objective
 
In my country
mend do not sleep with guns
beneath their pillows.  They
do not accept jobs building weapons.
They don’t lose their mortgages, pensions,
their faith or their dignity.
 
In my country
children are not abused
beaten into adulthood
left with sitters who resent them
for the meager salary a single parent
can afford.  They do not grow up
to repeat the pattern.
 
 
In my world, i breathe clean air.
i don’t anticipate nuclear war.
i speak all languages.  i don’t
negate aging, listen to myths
to explain my misery or create them.
 
In my world the poet sang loud
and clear and everyone heard
without recoiling.  It was sweet
as harvest, sharp as tin, strong
as the northern wind, and all had
a coat warm enough to bear it.

 -Ana Castillo, from My Father was a Toltec

Bring on Castillo’s world of poetic equality!

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impoverished, primal genius

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work

 
what is
 
this spell
this allegiance to lonely
cubicles & threatening offices
important duties     my important
duty is listening to the wind
chime & untangling the sad
confusion with my love that cleans arteries
& turns teeth to laughing
jewels
 

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Guantanamo : Strange Fruit

Guantanamo Detainees, Defense Lawyers Continually Gagged in Military Tribunals: Report | Common Dreams.

guantanamo
 
american flags from red wounds
blue bruises     shredded pulp
of human flesh
people torn from ancestral lands
for brown skin   blankets
of blood    bouquets
of ripped muscle
the human rose
beat to blood sap    stomped light
crushed back    broken bones
blown up
balloon hands
heads drowned     chained to cold
concrete     starved & suffocated    forced
to take drugs    american citizens safe
comfortable from the agony
& murder
of brown people
 

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big boss man, jimmy reed

 
 
jimmy reed that drummer with you tapping the beat of our hearts
jimmy reed how you make our eyes break with stormy joy
 
the way you slur your words so easy
and mama sings behind you reminding you of all you forgot
the way your throat hums
 
jimmy we love this talking down to the boss
because the man works us so hard
 
jimmy reed we love this talking down to the boss
because you were so thirsty and they wouldn’t let you stop
 
you are our hero     you are our rebel prince
kissing the harp so soft
letting us dance out of imprisonment
 
thank you for calling out the evil abuses us workers must suffer
in such a classy jam as this
thank you for letting us laugh at the boss who thinks a big man belittles his subordinates
we know the real big man has a huge heart like you jimmy reed
 
jimmy reed the way you sing slower than the stars
jimmy reed the way you sing slower than the cars
the way your lips are sweet fruits
and you kiss your harp so gently
and you brush the strings so lightly
 
jimmy reed they took your blues and gone
gave you no pay and stole your songs
left you dry with a jumping mind
left your body numb
but always in control      soul come out your teeth
 
of course you learned to play guitar in mississippi under the willow tree
after you were so tired from working the fields
 
gonna get myself a bossman, one who treats me right, work hard in the day time, rest easy at night, workers of the world are going to unite
 
jimmy    though you could not read or write
you are a genius of soul
you are
playing for us now
you can have our poems     you can have our skulls
to read with     our hands to write with
these we give to you as thanks
for all the blues you lived thru
you whisper through our veins
you teach us how to feel

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Stop The East-West Corridor Coalition

Stop The East-West Corridor Coalition

Act now to resist a 220-mile privately owned, toll highway / industrial corridor from Calais to Coburn Gore.

Please write a letter to Governor LePage asking that the feasibility study be stopped.

Learn what has so many Maine citizens concerned : http://stopthecorridor.org

“We the citizens of Maine love the place we call home.  Our sense of place is what defines us. When it’s gone, it’s gone forever.”

For more information: email sacredhomelands at gmail dot com

STEWCC Eastern Region Mtg

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drums, jim pepper

this righteous song from the phenemonal jim pepper album, pepper’s pow wow, refers to native american youth being stolen from their homes and put in boarding schools like carlisle where white priests, nuns, and teachers brutally tried to force the young kidnapped students to be non-indians

this abuse at residential schools has caused severe generational trauma & furthered cultural genocide amongst american indigenous people

“drums” is powerful in how it reclaims identity and pride, and calls out the futility of violence:

let me tell you mister teacher when you say you’ll make me right
in five hundred years of fighting not one indian turned white
 

this song is triumphant in its beat and its message.  colonizers have tried to wipe out indigenous people for hundreds of years, but haven’t succeeded.  native americans have perservered, luckily.

we can take cues from them on how to be respectful, intelligent, green, aware of interconnectedness, community based, greedless, and not destroying life for money.

 you may teach me this land’s history but we taught it to you first

native american ingenuity is responsible for domesticating 60% of crops now consumed worldwide, including the tomato, and for mapping most of the united states.

pepper’s chorus provides momentum of defiance and joy:

there are drums
around the mountain
indian drums
that you can hear
there are drums
beyond the mountain
and they’re getting mighty near
 

so much evil has been thrown at natives, but they are still here, themselves, not turned white.  the indian drums will always be the heartbeat of this continent…

thankfully, truth and reconciliation commissions in canada are addressing the harm inflicted against natives at the hands of residential schools and are seeking truth and healing.  and in the united states, maine has created the first state-tribal trc in the nation.

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