No Justice on Stolen Land

Along Victoria Inner Harbour
Behind the granite wall
Next to Capt. James Cook’s effigy in bronze
Next to bold bronze plaques of white-worlders-
Come-by-water
Across from The Empress
In front of the Assembly of Other Nations
Under an iron bench
Scratched in concrete—
No justice on stolen land.

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Included in Make A list: How a Simple Practice Can Change Our Lives and Open Our Hearts by Marilyn McEntyre: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publihing Co., 2018. A lovely book.

We Will Survive

Take away the sun above
And burn the air we breathe.
Take away the moon and stars
And everything believed.

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Take away the green of life—
The blue-green seas below.
And take the glow that lives in them
And everything unknown.

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Take the candle. Take the verse.
Take art. And take the artist’s words.
Take each thing— its form, its name.
Take everything. What’s left but blame?

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One thing’s for sure— We will survive
We have gone on and left this song behind.

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WAR

WAR is NOT a spiritual preference (except to the insane)
WAR is NOT a spiritual orientation (except to the Merchant of Chaos)
WAR is NOT a spiritual experience (except to those who die)

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open our eyes together and we will dream
open our fists today and we will build
open our doors tonight and we will sing
open our eyes/fists/doors

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(close your eyes and never mind
(close your fists and build collateral damage
(close your doors and scream

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oh no
open our eyes/fists/doors

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send our prayers to the front lines
send our light to the front lines
send our truth to the front lines
send us

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and we will build for beauty
and for freedom
and for love

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send us

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Members of the Jury—

It was a drive-by versing
A poem invasion
An act of irrepressible aesthetics
Unmitigated form and passion
Premeditated meter
Alliteration
Aggravated by both rhythm
And rhyme

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It was a drive-by versing
A poem incursion
A wilding of fact and fantasy

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By all accounts
A Declaration of Words

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When my home town made it illegal for singers and performers to freely work the streets there was a protest rally. I read this poem from the courthouse steps with bullhorn in hand.

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THE NEW APARTHEID

Yes, segregate.
Create a slum for me.
Build walls.
Render us apart.
Hide.

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The New Apartheid appears in full in Walling In and Walling Out: Why Are We Building New Barriers to Divide Us? by Laura McAtackney (Editor), Randall H. McGuire (Editor), as the epigraph for, Chapter 11, Conclusion. Available on Amazon. The Introduction’s epigraph is a quote from Mending Wall (from which a line provides the book title), a poem by Robert Frost. Randall McGuire wrote, “I want to thank you for capturing in 13 words what we struggled to say in 100s of pages of academic prose.”

Joy of Acknowledgement

Spoons
c-d-lick-k-k

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pots/pans
b-bang-ng-ng
bowng b boawng
Hey!

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-ey!
lids
CRSH-INGGG

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Hey ng ng-ng b-ba-wnng Hey!

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Hey!
HeyboangHecd-ba-b-yonnHey!
HeyowngHeyboangdeclick (SHiNGHey!)
Heyang-b-bang-c-dlick bongHey!
c-Hey-c-baowngSHINGGbonng-nging-Hey!

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For all those who’ve helped: Pots, pans, lids & spoons on balconies around the world.

starwells

slep in starwells
slep undr carnivaltrucks
gonwitout
slep in parkinlots cornr
darkgreengarbagebags

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8 month old ry bred
dogfood wetdry
insecs bigmacs

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worblankets
nbredbags

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spare a dime
show me yr change
all show u mine

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A poem I wrote a VERY long time ago about what it was like being homeless in the ’70s.

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Peace

Peace
Is not withdrawal
Peace is the surge
The urge
Peace is arising
Swelling
It’s an overflowing
Swing of
Upturning
Turned-up rhythm
Peace is resurgence
Peace is expression
In and of
Common Purpose
Cresting waves
Of purpose
Aligned
Upon a new dynamic line
Peace is
Not withdrawal from life
Peace is not placid
Not flaccid
Peace is active
Busy
Peace is believed
Conceived
Crafted
Peace is for
And not against
Peace just is
See?
And you are its source
And I am its source
And we are its source
Reaching
Reaching from and for and to
Every searching soul
Peace is strength
Of integrity
Peace is faith
Is living anyway

Peace is yours
Mine
Ours
Peace is ready now

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