by Rebecca Villarreal
You can listen to this poem here.
I sit giggling over Scotland’s raucous artistry
a Mariachi band
welcomes producer and pound-maker
soon I’ll be in the air again
grateful for the Artha:
yet puzzled by the muzzle
how did a poet of protest
inching down the corporate ladder
become bound by balance in a world
beaten by turbulence?
Afghanistan’s first female rapper
ten men draw blood
forced to flee, returns too late
to save her cousins, six and eleven
choosing escape by fire
over one more day
married to sex-to-generians
Snow mounts on the ghost of the Dakota pipeline
where victory is a creamsicle, sweet and temporary
for the knowing is in Terra Madre
our Mother marvels
at the billionaires scurrying to dig and dig
in the face of sun and wind
through the lobbies on that swampy hill
Our crops unrecognizable
bees buried in South Carolina sands
bottled water in Flint
your Thanksgiving green beans may come with contaminants
how now?, said the oncologist
Or was it Joseph Campbell’s axis mundi?
the immovable spot where we sit small enough to make room for the whole world?
Thoreau ate homemade cookies on Walden Pond
with Civil Disobedience pouring from his pen
the eyes and hearts of Gandhi, Mandela,
Martin Luther King, Jr.
poured over those declarations
written a mile and a half from home
What shall we do now?
Stay silent in the face of spittle flying from the three-ring?
Speak love into the stands.
Spill popcorn, get sticky with the pink of cotton candy.
This is the circus,
only we’re in it.
What’s the act?
Blindfolded and shot from a canon?
Or eyes wide open, these hands hold light
let us know the taste of victory
keep loving thy broken neighbors
choosing between medicine and mashed potatoes
phantom paychecks shrouded in hungry nightmares
that’s what made the rhetoric real
despite the tawdry truth buried in the green hills
buttressed by maples grade A and B
This time let’s skip the swipe
reach for a hand and see what’s underneath
a lost mother
a father broken by the bread not won
the child in every human
hoping for a moment to sit by the pond
one jewel in the web
reflecting all the others
for that will loosen the grip
of flapping lips
off with your shoes and socks
come sit beside me
dip your toes in the water
and find home in the palm of my hand.
Today is Human Rights day as well. Find out more here.
Healthy food and full bellies are a human right. Freedom to BE is a human right. If people are nourished and loved and treated as humans, we can attain peace.