Monday, May 23, 2016


I am.
I am here.
Brothers, sisters, lovers, hear me, for I am here, born of the year of the dragon of the month of the lion, Leo, the day of the atomic bomb in Japan.  You can hear me roaring, louder than they.
Roaring who said it was okay to bury a child in the sand?
She was a girl, like me.
They thought to silence her with dirt and soiled tradition,
But they are the people who walk like zombies in the absence of the light,
Since I,
And she,
Come back to haunt them in the dark sweat
Dark regret
Of the night.

Fresh meat,
Listen to me speak.
I will not listen
To the frail glass-edged voices of the women on T.V.
Whose only lines are to ask when are you coming to bed, I bet
You wish true women
Were as correct.

There are some who will say all men are monsters
While some will say all women are meek.
But I say whether the coffins in our backyards
Are pink or blue,
Murder is murder and silence
Is suffocation, and further
On--is death.
But death, you say,

Is more than okay.

Monday, January 18, 2016

March On

There will be days
when the tire blows
and the sky feels wet
and the baby is covered in milk

There will be days
when the money's gone
and the glass is broken
and the snow is a grayish thing

Hope is the feather still fine and soft
Floating out of the house fire
Hope is the line etched into your palm,
There since the day you were born
Hope is the star still in the sky
when day comes

March on.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Still Here

     Between losing my laptop and an awkward sleep schedule, it's been hard to get to my blog for the past few weeks, but I will start researching again starting tomorrow, if Allah wills.
     I'd like to mention Tahera Ahmad.  I can't imagine being on a plane on my own, in tears because people were being racist and cursing me out.  And I find it scary that no one stood up for her.  Was it because they didn't want to become the target of the people's hatred or was she surrounded by islamophobics?
     And then in a church in Charleston, ten people were shot and nine of those people died.  The terrorist who shot them wanted to start a race war.  I read his website.  On it, he put forth an analogy: white people are to men as black people are to dogs.  It's the same nightmare again and again for African Americans.  And not just us-- any group that has been oppressed because of people's ignorance.  We need to stop labeling people.  Muslim or not, it is NOT OKAY to terrorize a person. Black or not, it is NOT OKAY to murder a person.
    Racist people's humanity can only be seen through the fragmented stained glass of ignorance.  We have no power to make them see clearer.  The best we can do is show them the truth and hope that they will really see it.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Real Violence

"But even in the shadows of physical violence, the real 

battlefield is the realm of ideas. The real violence is committed

in the writing of history, the records of the legal system, the

reporting of news, through the manipulation of social contracts,

 and the control of information. The real violence is committed

 by each one of us when we choose promotions over justice and

 popularity over truth."

--Bryant McGill

Palestinians walk past a pool of blood and blocks of cement after an Israeli shelling killed eight
children, seven women, and three men in 2006

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Our Story

Hush.  Listen.  Beyond the lights of the city and the fresh concrete on the roads lives a people.  Beyond the skyscrapers and the factories lives a story.  Their story is my story and my story is your story, our story is one story that is as old as the waves of the sea and the rocks of the earth.  One story.
The flames cast shadows on Chief Yellow’s face.  His skin hangs loosely from his cheekbones.  He whispers into the night, and his tongue is the tongue of his fathers, and his father’s, and his father’s, and on.  The children chase each other around the fire with feathers and furs falling from their shoulders.  
The shadows dance across the wall.  We choose harmony, we choose peace, we choose the wind in the trees, we choose life.  Listen to the shadow’s whispers.  They haunt me every night.
But nay, it was not to be.  It.  Was not.  To be.
Quit your rambling and listen, fool.  There are children shrieking, but how would you know?  You’ve muffled their voices with so many tunes and advertisements, you probably forgot they existed.  But now I’m making you listen, I’m making you watch.  The boy shrieks, and that one shriek is enough to shatter seven skies.  It was not to be.  Gunshots.  The earth is suddenly thrown off its axis.  The boy feels it.  They all do.
The man yells at Chief Yellow, but Chief Yellow doesn’t understand.  More gunshots.  His skin withers away and becomes earth.  I feel the sadness sifting through my fingers when I’m gardening.  
My story, your story, ours, listen.  Listen to the beat of the drum, quick as dancer’s feet.  Quick feet, chocolate skin, and eyes dark like an oak tree in the night.  Young, old, everyone dancing.  The mango is tangy in their mouth.  
It was not to be, no, it was not to be.  Children and elders lie side by side exhaling the last breaths of life.  I smell death.  You smell perfume.
At Winona Plantation, you will sense the presence of a word.  It can be found in the ink on a page, in the beams of a moon, in the heart and soul of men.  Have they found it yet, have we?
The boy walks with a limp.  He’s supposed to be twelve years old, but he can hardly reach the button of the machine and does not speak.  It’s not enough.  It’s never enough.   The boy stubs his toe, trips and falls into the machine.  I will never forget his bones as I scan the aisles with my eyes.
You do not speak the language of the dead, I know this.  You wipe your feet on the doormat that is stained with the blood of-- “Oh, say can you see?”-- No, Sam, I see, I see.
You are a happy man.  But are you?  They say ignorance is bliss, but they forget.  These are your brothers and sisters, but you forget.  
Beyond the city lights and barbed-wire fence lives a people, a story.  It is your story too, and mine, and ours.
And the story goes on.
And on.
And on.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Letter to Eugenia

Dear Eugenia,
My best friend died in my arms yesterday.  I watched the light of life in his eyes flicker and extinguish.  My hands haven’t stopped shaking since.
As I walk over all this rubble and grime and blood, I can’t remember what it all was for.  I was twenty when I left you and joined the war.  Now I’m twenty-three.  Of course I was drafted, but I was excited for war.  But why?  I can’t seem to remember.
Why did they shoot him?  Prisoners of war are often used as leverage, they are usually kept alive.  But this man was killed like a dog as we rescued our soldiers and the receding Confederates took one final shot after executing many we could not rescue.  
He was a negro, you see.  I was suspicious at first, but now I see that he was a living being who deserved his right to life as much as the rest of us.
I have kitchen duty.  I scrub our dishes and clothes to the sound of screaming.  It is hard for the younger ones to keep moving.  That’s why most of us don’t go out to fight.  But I wanted to fight that day.  Why?  Every time I blink my eyes, I see the blood and the clay bursting from his chest.  I can’t sleep at night.
The Confederates won’t seem to give up.  They’re fighting for their country, their livelihood, their economy.  Even though we have the advantage of men, and supplies, they have the great advantage of will.  I wonder which will prove the strongest, in the end.  
It may be treasonous to say something like this, but sometimes I wonder if I’m fighting for the right side, or for the right reasons.  Word came in this morning that General Sherman has completed his March to the Sea.  He has torn a path of destruction from Atlanta to Savannah.  Even the churches were burnt down-- with people inside.  How will they survive?
As a man, I am expected to be brave and tough, and I am trying my hardest to keep that appearance.  I hope you do not think me a weak person, Eugenia, for I am trying so hard to be brave.
My best friend died in my arms yesterday.  He was killed like a dog.
And that’s why I go on.  Because I will never feel completely free until his mother and sisters and son are free as well.  That is why I fight.
I miss you.