What are your daily revolutions? What urges you to action? Kiev is burning, and so is Caracas. It seems impossible, in our land of slippery amendments and choices, to enact real change, but we do, every day, in our own ways. Lots of times, just reading or liking something on facebook seems like a stand, because of the moments it takes away from our cookie-cutter routines. But it isn’t enough. I look at these images:
Such terrifying beauty, and bravery, and desperation. And today, after teaching my last class before my mini-break, after teaching In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez, I asked my class to raise their hands if they thought they would ever be part of resistance. About half the class did. Then I asked them to mindstream on the board all the things they disliked about the US. Bigotry, Racism, Anti-gay policies, Anti-choice policies, the NSA, wiretapping, income inequality, inequality period, a government run by people who don’t look like them, environmental disengagement, these are all the things they put on the board. How I love them, my young butterflies. I swear I keep my politics out of the classroom. Except on my face. They came up with this on their own. And then I asked them to raise their hands again, who would be a revolutionary, and all but one did. The one who didn’t said she wouldn’t risk her kids. She is sixteen, and doesn’t have any yet. But, it brought us to a good discussion about risk, and comfort, and rule.
Good, good stuff. I feel better about my job today than I have all week.
But after such soul food, I’m left wondering, like Ani Defranco, what it will take for my country to rise.
This comes from that. My big love to the people daring change.
An unending moral chorus wearing worn emblems,
take arms to hold us.
Interred virtues and ragged garrotes
dapple the knots of knowing
how to hold the dearest ones.
Ours is an attainable wanting.
The margins of crumbling paper hold dull skulls and honor paper verses,
enchanting simple ideals.
This We was born with gates to unlock and entire winds to hear.
A state ship
of pliant submission and flashing crowns talk of a god well oblivious.
Time flashes the assembly,
and suddenly words rattle weak plaintiffs and strong victims,
altogether with abandoned languages.
Where is that equal portion of joy?
Don’t fade adversity to the common background,
but risk death’s sweet meet in the status.
Talk windows and walk bridges, impaling every judgement
of person companies.
Ready to talk in occupying blossoms, buckling up against collision,
we are nearly ready to stand,
for the very thought of Us.
So, a small revolution of ideas. When we can’t take to the streets because we are too comfortable in our jobs, what do we do? I write a small poem. It isn’t enough. Not by far. I’m working on my revolutionary spirit. Happy Thursday, Poemfighters. Love you. anna