by Rebecca Villarreal
You can listen to this poem here.

Orange is the new tweet

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:

prosperity, paperwork

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

in peace

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

fanning fire

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 Terra Madre Day. Check out the origins through the Slow Food movement here. Sign the manifesto here.

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.

2 thoughts on “Bound

  1. Rebecca, I hope you submit that poem to the New Yorker and other publications. If you don’t have time to look up where to send it, I can do that for you this weekend. Let me know. It is special, as is the author.

    • Thank you so much, Morie. I feel it’s the best poem I’ve ever written. What a great idea to submit it. I looked up their guidelines but they do not accept a poem which has already been shared. I’m going to keep it in mind for the future. I’m glad I shared the love and light in this one. I couldn’t hold it in.

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