Archive | June 2016

Snail

 

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There are times I want

To pull tight into myself

Like a small garden snail

Knowing the ground before me

Is covered in salt

Which will suck me dry

If I am not careful

 

The gardener watches

He does not like me

He will crush my shell if he can

Ripping it open

With his hoe.

 

But in the forest

Among the damp leaves

And the tall trees

I can simply glide along

Leaving my shell behind.

What a world there is

Waiting to be explored.

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Traumatic Stress #Orlando

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People understand post-traumatic stress syndrome a little better these days, primarily I think because so many of our combat veterans suffer from it.

It is one thing, however, to fall to the ground when you hear a car backfire, your body reacting as if it is still in a war zone, and it is quite another to have those feelings while you really are still trying to survive a war.

Many women and some men were triggered by the Stanford rapist story.  1 in 3 women have suffered a sexual assault.  They know it can happen to them again.  They know the perpetrator will likely go free.  They are living in a war zone.

People of color are triggered when the police shoot yet another unarmed youth.  They live with that violence everyday of their lives, knowing it can happen at any time to them or to their children.  They know the perpetrator will likely go free.  They live in a war zone.

There are so many terrorists who are out to do harm to some group or culture they have decided is not worthy of life, of freedom, of love.

Some terrorists allege they are Muslim, but terrorists, people whose acts terrorize whole communities, come in many forms.

The Santa Barbara shooter wanted to kill women.  He, like every single rapist, was a convert of radical patriarchy.

And what of the white Christian terrorist who murdered people at prayer in a black church in Charleston?  What of the white Christian terrorist who killed the people at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, or the one who murdered George Tiller while he attended church services?

What of Dan White who assassinated Harvey Milk and George Moscone in their city hall offices in 1978?  (The memory of that day came to my mind this week, as did the fact that White only served 5 years for the crime.  Clean-cut white Christian men, almost always get a pass no matter what they do.)

What of the white racist terrorist who killed his Muslim neighbors?

And now Orlando, yet another trauma, yet another massacre committed in a sanctuary.

Terrorists strike a lot of places these days: movie theaters, schools, shopping malls, marathons, and even army bases.  These traumatize almost everyone.  But those of us who live on the margins, who are not straight white cis-gender Christian men, suffer a deeper trauma.  We are specific targets and we know it.  And we know that some will cheer when we die.

There are ways to survive in war zones.  The answer is not more guns.  The answer is more love.  I am going to keep reaching for love.

And I am going to remember Harvey’s words and keep fighting to burst down the doors of racism, sexism, ableism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, and any attitude or philosophy that defines any human being as somehow less worthy of life, of freedom, of love.  Blessings on all of us, who know, deep down in our gut, as Audre Lorde said so well, “We were never meant to survive.”

Grief #Orlando

 

 

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Where will our grief go

If our tears should ever dry?

Where will our fear go

If our heartbeats ever slow down again?

Where will our rage go

If our bodies ever stop their shaking?

 

Our lives, our loves, are a river

Try to damn it though they do

Kill us with bullets and Bibles

Ban us from bathrooms

And let the white rapists go free.

 

Hearts breaking,

Bodies shaking

Still we flow

On forever on

Until we finally swim free

In that warm sea

Filled by our tears.

 

On Glass Ceilings and Rape

 

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The ceiling may have shattered

But we still need to climb

Up through the broken shards

Hand over bloody hand

Before we can really see the sky

Before we can finally breathe free

And safely.

 

From the ground below

We glimpse a diamond of hope

Reflected by the sun

Still we know

There are more tears to fall.

With joy in our hearts

We watch her victory dance

As we fear the battles yet to come.

 

During the dance

A young white rapist smiles

His crime close to forgiven

Because of his race and class

And of course his gender.

Let us not forget gender

Ever again.

 

Such joy,

Such anger,

Such hope,

And such rage.

There is power

In these emotions.

Bless us all as  women

Begin again our rise.

 

A World, A Prayer

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I do not long for a brand new world

Or some golden age

In a mythical past.

I am no longer a revolutionary

Wanting to smash the state.

I hope I will never be

On the side of those

Who resist all change.

I simply want

To love this world

Just as it is

With all the mess

And chaos of imperfection.

May I always feel compassion

For those who suffer

From war and hate and want.

May I always work for justice and for peace.

May I always love this world

Just as it is.