Protest

You turn my blood the color of my skin

I’m made of mud, like you, my kin

We breathe the air made from the trees

We drink the water from stormy seas

We laugh without ever being taught

We’ve all done things that we oughtn’t

I object to your hasty dismissal

which, my friend, is abysmal

I deprecate you right to your face

I am far from being your idea of disgrace

I am human, just like you

Deny it all you’d like, we both know it’s true.

Blind to racism?

The cake is a lie. Liberty is not justice. We are not free.

The cake is a lie. Liberty is not justice. We are not free.

I attended a screening of American Denial. Although we were unable to complete the film because of DVD issues and a computer that suddenly needed 30 updates before it would operate, what I did get to see raised questions that I couldn’t answer. I want to share what I need to ask.

Are you looking at the evils granted by the color of your birth, as an oppressive blind man?

Are you buying your humanity, your right to exist, with the color of your education?

Are you willing to deny your blood, to embrace the hangman’s rope, in the name of love?

If you deny the demands of your father’s beliefs, are you also murdering the heart of the mother’s whom weep?

Did racism have to become, as opposed to the 1950’s and 60’s when it was “okay” to throw coke bottles at a little girl walking to the store with some change she’d saved jingling in her pocket, ironically, an underground railroad of hatred?

Does racism use the same tools of oppression as misogyny does or are they different? How are they similar?

When is impatience for things to change given over to frustrated tolerance that bubbles lava-like under the surface of civility? How long do we have to be patient before things actually change? What needs to happen before real change takes place? Isn’t 60 years long enough to think people would grow up already and see each other as humans? Or is it 160? 260? 560? How long is enough before it’s too much?

The 46 and 1,600

Face Palm

Face Palm

Did you hear my brothers and sisters crying?

Why didn’t you help them when they were dying?

Why did you hand your loyalty to the master?

Why did you close your eyes so much faster?

You are saddened by the forty-six which I get,

But 1,600, abused by power, doesn’t bother you yet?

You carry a weapon, a gun to protect and serve,

I respect that, understand that it’s life you try to preserve.

I do not hate you. I do not wish that misconstrued.

I’m not even angry with you when you don your black and blue.

Did you hear your brothers and sisters crying?

Can you turn your back on unarmed humans dying?

Are you still willing to obey that Master?

Or are you awaiting orders during confrontational disasters?

I am saddened by the forty-six deaths legit,

But I’m more disturbed that 1,600 doesn’t bother you yet.

You carry a weapon, to protect your brothers in blue

I thought it was to protect civilians, people like me, too.

I respect the courage it takes to head out into the streets

Never knowing if your loved ones again you’ll ever meet.

I do not hate you. I do not wish this misconstrued.

I just wish you’d seen my human siblings, like your brothers in the blue.

The Public Execution of Walter Scott

April 4th, 2015 North Charleston, South Carolina
Weather forecast called for weather in the mid to upper 70’s,
But a new low front was ushered in under guise of hate

I checked the forecast but it said nothing of despair.
It said nothing of the wrenching guts or the tearing of the hair.
It didn’t think to warn, on the balmy day in spring,
Just how much that father would be sacrificing
Because he bought a brand new car, a Mercedes, shiny clean
But like a beacon to the racist rants it attended glaring screams
A cell phone captured video of the systematic lies
Told by Walter Scott’s murderer that watched that human die.
No remorse, no regret, just a planted Taser laid near blood
Deny what crime your hands committed, deny the hateful flood
But truth is not as fickle as the weather we predict
The rules are far less flexible, in fact, they’re rather fixed.
When will you foolish humans learn, LOVE ALWAYS WINS, not hate.
April 4th, in Memphis on a balcony, 1968

NaPoWriMo

NaPoWriMo

We Stand United

We Stand (this link will take you to SoundCloud) is a song written by Laura Davis. I wrote the lyrics for it while she did all the hard stuff with the music and performing.

When we came up with the idea, we’d just attended the protest for #blacklivesmatter It was truly inspirational and empowering.

Love Thy Neighbor No Exceptions

She approached me after I wrote a poem and asked if I’d be interested in collaborating. Sure, I thought, why not. I asked what she wanted the lyrics to include and she was adamant about them declaring unity in the name of love. Done deals. And so, with pen in hand, I stared out the window, drank a LOT of coffee, and 15 minutes later, I had the first two verses set up. She pushed and verse three with the chorus came flooding through. I didn’t hear back from her for a while, maybe a month or so. After church a couple weeks ago, she asked if I wanted to hear our baby. DUH!

We went into the sanctuary, opened the grand piano, and she began to play. I admit freely that I stood there crying as if I were hearing angels singing the song of love for all my brothers and sisters in the heart of equality. We hugged like new parents cooing over our newborn anthem.

I recorded it this week in that same sanctuary using my phone, of all things, and my computer. But none caught better sound (no mics, mixing boards, autotune, or anything like that) than one particular video which, with my limited home studio, I brought this out to show you.

We Stand is performed by Laura Davis

Music is written by Laura Davis

Lyrics by Mare Martell

2014, THIS IS OURS!

The Can’t Cant

I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.
I cant. I cant. I cant.
I am afraid to say breathe. I’m afraid to reach out. I’m afraid for my friends. I’m afraid for my people. I’m afraid for my tribe. I’m afraid of the police.
I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.
I cant. I cant. I cant.
I’m pulling on my leggings. I’m pulling on my hoodie. I’m pulling on my black clothing. I’m draping on my colorful cape. I’m standing up with you.
I can. I can. I can.
I am. I am. I am.
Black lives matter.

Hands up! Don’t shoot!

Black lives matter!

I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!

Black lives matter!

My brothers! My sisters!
‪#‎blacklivesmatter‬

The reign of blood

Stop the Hate

Stop the Hate

I ride with my brothers and sisters of all races and creeds;

To rear up their own steeds in unified protest;

To ride the momentum of waves of grief

Heeding the cries of mothers for their stricken children

Comforting tears of fathers for their lost legacy

We beg our inheritance returned from the barrels

Of the guns, drugs, and forced disintegration of segregation

Of caged familial relationships in the name of

Law enforcement in a police state.

Oh, Lady Justice! Raise your blindfold!

We beckon you to turn your marble eyes

Towards those who insult your intention!

We call out in solidarity for your scales

To balance the inequality that takes our skin

And uses it against our fellow Americans;

Our future! Our could-have-beens:

Strong leaders, bold teachers, smart cookies, fast learners,

Good parents, good people, good workers, good earners

Had they not been vilified by unjust practices

My blood, as theirs, is caught in the web of deception

Colored every nuance of brown, every color of tarnished brass.

You’ve stolen my generation’s heirlooms

Away from the breathing world

Crammed them into the darkest days of greatest sin,

The murder of my brethren; their only “crime” is having more melanin.