10 November 2011

notes from my summer gypsy travels & fall journeys

I've been deep in the throws of adjusting to a new place and new job... and at the same time, keeping up with all my other work... The summer was incredible... and the fall has been more hectic than usual, but I'm coming up for air and grounding...

I've been writing in my journal, but my musings, thoughts and ramblings haven't made it to the blog... and so now I play catch up with myself and my public writing sphere... Here are notes and the beginnings of poems from my travels this summer:

Moon Rise in Ayiti - July 2011

There is nothing else except this moon, this moment
She calls me with a wisp of wind
cooling my sun kissed skin

I am driving with a friend in Leogane
We are talking politics, the earth, and Ayiti
His home, his country, the place
that reaches underneath my skin

connected through my Caribbean-ness
through my homeland, The Bahamas,
my forging better, ethical relations
with the place, the people, our people

The road is a reflection of slow recovery
I look up after hearing the moon's call
the clouds clear a path for me to see her shine

She calls forth my light, beaconing me
for healing and embrace, her voice lingers in the night sky
glowing with dimensions of gold and yellow hues of white
beaming in her full glory, a reflection of us

I can see the world through her fullness
I can see just how small we are, how connected we are

There must be life out there on other stars
What could our world be if we took this moment
only to love and be loved

Mantra - healing for Ayiti - July 2011

flowing through us is light, goodness & love
we share blood, We share stories, We share histories

flowing through us is power, unity & resistance
we share in this growing
we share in this knowledge building
we share in community

we share, we build, we heal (with each other)
flowing through us many languages, peaceful voices, sharing light
we speak, we listen, we create

The more I (need) learn - Ayiti - July 2011

My tongue is held captive here in this place where I don't know
her language, I want to know,
but my mind is tired and failing at retention

I hear and read words from my Kreyol book, longing to keep them
in memory, but I feel at capacity... like nothing else can fit
the most difficulty part of this journey...   is language
the thing that separates... is the thing I love and inhabit

I am supposed to be good at this - the learning of new things
 - the study of language and words - Kreyol - so resilient,
filled with power of syncretic vision and survival, no matter what

How I long for your touch on my tongue, to dream in Kreyol,
to speak with ease, to overstand
I feel trapped in translation,
trusting others to relay messages and emotions
of solidarity and healing and plans for next time

Patience is cultivated as I wait and my tongue fumbles,
thirsty in my desert of knowing
I am making another promise under a breathtaking star-filled sky
this time in Sodo, a place of healing and celebration

The starts are dancing with possibility and knowing
I feel humbled once again to be here
I promised to speak and to listen
I promised to do something

and I am doing that something
yet I must have my tongue informed, ready for action
it is time and I must


* Poetics of Resistance Workshop  * Detroit, August 2011

I led a workshop for Detroit Summer and had the most amazing time building, learning, and sharing with a brilliant group of youth. One of the writing exercises I had the students do was to respond to an Audre Lorde quote. I picked quotes that offered insights and a reflection of all that Lorde was up to as a warrior Black lesbian poet and activist. I also wrote with the students.

"Our feelings are our most genuine paths to knowledge" - Audre Lorde

Knowledge is built through all of us
years of memories, remembering and re-writing,
re-telling and transforming through histories and herstories
we build stories and lives out of collective knowledge,
feelings and intuition from our ancestors
who share with us through dreams, in our spirits
and vision of the past and future

We feel the movements of our ancestors through genetic memory
they rustle through the wind and trees
and burst forth in the rain on a stormy day
they speak through thunder and snaps of lightening
through my third eye

I see feelings and touch them with a slight caress
just to remind myself that I am alive
and I am here with purpose
this is knowledge
this knowing this being and becoming self

Our paths become illuminated through exploration of feelings
They drive my vision and desires for change
to build a better and just world
to live and love freely as June Jordan says
to recognize, celebrate, and build across differences as Audre Lorde says
these two sparks offer an ocean of feelings


And then the Fall brought with her changing leaves, the largest social movement(s) of my lifetime... and since mid September... I've been wrapped in its grasp and promise... consensus building, democratic process unfolding and embraced, the work of resistance, and the sustained critique of capitalism...

Talkin bout a Revolution... or I Stay Woke... 
* New York, 26 Oct 2011

this new moon in october vibrates through the echos 
of change, we want now
i obsess over websites, occupy blogs, live streams, and democracy now!
in between my weekend visits to new york
i join the people of color working group at occupy wall street

diving right into the work and organizing of this
wondrous and complex movement
changing like fall leaves
we must be like the wind to keep up

and i ask how can we rise as a people (of color)?
long experienced in lack: marginalization, disenfranchisement, police/state brutality, deportation, criminalization, displacement, dehumanization, economic and social injustice... the lingering effects of slavery and colonialism... globalization and immigration policies... interlocking systems of oppression... we have long been occupied...

(Communities of color, the poor and working class, immigrant communities, formerly & currently incarcerated, trans people, undocumented workers, and others who are marginalized have long known what so many people are waking up to now... 
yeah, we know this shit ain't right...)

the revolution is here
the revolution is now
it is, more than possible
all over 
the world

rising, rising, rising 
out of the lies and false promises of capitalism
out of so-called free trade and free markets
out of corporate wutless'ness and greed
out of corporate controlled, puppet-like governments
out of the privatization of natural resources
out of environmental crisis and degradation
out of unemployment and debt
out of poverty
out of state violence
out of the prison industrial complex
out of gendered and trans violence
out of class exploitation
out of immigrant struggle
out of despair

out of hope
for something better
out of belief in each other
out of belief in community

our world torn and divided by so much
yet the complex unity of this 99%
experiencing various levels of inequity and injustice
lack of opportunities, seeing the hierarchies that bind us

raising our fists, hearts, and minds
together in a revolution hard to name
but one that was/is inevitable

talkin' bout a revolution 
sounds like a whisper...  
don't you know... 
one day we gonna rise up 
and take what's ours!

this is our time 
this is our world
this is the most important thing

rising up in solidarity 
to take back what is ours
to re-make our world

to re-create in our own image, thought, word
to re-invent, to re-start, to stay woke
people of color, yes! 
let us / stay woke #together


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