Archives for April 2017

On attending an Art Response to Japanese Internment:

cranes on branch
The dancing, the poems carried the message,
Viscerally.
In our muscles, our bones.

Words,
letters from the interned.
A connection –
tenuous but important
to those left behind.

A thousand tiny red origami cranes
moving with the hands of the dancers,
forming shapes,
a heart.

The presence of people
black, brown, white
so warm and right.
All one
together.

Japanese Internment.
Immigrant Detention.
Incarceration of minor drug offenders.
Genocide of Jews, of Armenians,
Indigenous Peoples,
Africans on slave ships.
Apartheid.
Segregation.

The pain of separation
one group from the rest
is a ripping pain,
ripping
our Selves
apart.
No longer whole.

For the oppressed side
immediate,
horrendous
pain,
their very lives threatened.

The oppressors
hide,
numb themselves
to the pain
eating them
from the inside out,
killing them, too,
soul dead.

We cannot be whole without all of us present.
When I left the Art Response I carried with me a desire to never again be in a gathering without everyone there, every race, religion, culture, age, gender.

All the living and non-living things in the Universe are One Being emerging from one singularity. All pain belongs to all of us. When we hide ourselves from the ugliness of the pain we have caused, deny the pain, it becomes a disease eating us from the inside.

We are oblivious to it and it will destroy us all.

Never again.  Never again.  NEVER AGAIN!

 

FIRE ROARS IN ME

firebird

Insights from an InterPlay Class

“Play with fire,” she said.

I wanted to dance
about an elder who leaves home,
who goes wandering.

Not fire.

I craved the wandering,
the letting go,
the peace.

But I was supposed to dance with fire.

I moved.
I spun.
Empty mind
spinning.
Letting go.
Peace…

Images came.
Words came.
Filling the void.
Understanding
the wish
to leave
because…

THERE IS A FIRE ROARING IN ME

A fire tamped down
again and again.
Sometimes discharging
a small flame of
carefully controlled passion
in words on the page.

But still it growls
in my chest,
in my belly,
wanting to be released.

I have been water
flowing down the easiest slope.

Not a pounding wave
or a flood.
Just a stream flowing.

Water is good.
Without pure water
no people
no species
no life.

Water helps things to mix
forming new things.

I’ve been the flow
that lets people mix
recognizing,
celebrating their cultural differences.
Forming new cultures.
World fusion!

I have been air
reaching into atmospheric intellect.
In rare moments of outrage
I am wind,
but never hurricane.

And yes, I have been nurturing earth
helping my students
my friends
my family to grow
(and sometimes
just being the ground beneath their feet)

BUT NOW FIRE ROARS IN ME
wiping out the tangling undergrowth.
Wind howls a path through the thickets of my mind.
Deluge pounds the dry hard earth beneath my feet,
tenderizing the soil,
making a place for the seeds of change to grow.

Let it be so.