Such small lives we’ve led,
diffident, quiet, until
Remove our words,
we become steel
and sharp stone,
splitting the air,
who we are now.
“The Theory and Practice of Rebellion,” first appeared in Outcast Poetry, and was reprinted on Vox Populi. Many thanks to editor Sean Lynch for originally taking this piece, and for Michael Simms for reprinting this and other pieces. I am truly grateful for his support.
What diplomacy today can bring to the rescue mice fit to chew through plastic nooses carelessly left to wind around the bleeding necks and throats of sea elephants? You don’t hear that fable, now, do you? – Don Perkins
Banaabekwe, at her loom of seagrass
slowly, in dappled morning sun, weaves
stories for her little ones, to wear as necklace
until they are strong enough
to swim all the way out to sea.
There, the young manatees lay
their grass mantles upon a tide roller
a brave declaration of status attained
and pledge of love to salt water.
It is the gulls who act as midwives
to this epic surfing task; they cry
urging on the young ones, and send
their own youth to the challenge –
– Who can snatch a grass garland
from the crest of a wave, before
it breaks? Who dares leave it longest even…
I learned early this morning that my poem “Scarecrow Calls Out the Man” had been reprinted again, this time by CityWatch, a publication out of LA devoted to politics, perspectives and participation. I’m thrilled that Scarecrow’s voice is resonating…
I was delighted to see my poem “Scarecrow Calls Out the Man” reprinted on the progressive, non-profit journalism site Common Dreams and that the heading of the “Further” column, “The Smallness of You,” is extracted from the poem.
I’ve just found, and followed, David Meeker’s impressive blog, 20th Century Protest Poetry: Poems That Make a Difference. Scrolling down the home page, you’ll find relevant poems, including Carolyn Forche’s “The Colonel,” Roethke’s “The Geranium,” and Nazim Hikmet’s “Letters from a Man in Solitary,” preceded by brief introductory essays. I wish I’d found this sooner, but will make up for lost time.
Check out this poem sampler the editors of the Poetry Foundation have provided. Some of the usual suspects are there, of course, but look further to find Danez Smith’s “Tonight in Oakland,” Ilya Kaminsky’s “We Lived Happily During the War,” Heather McHugh’s “What He Thought,” and much more.