Crush

A Poem by Stefanie Bennett

“After Monsanto & Dow Chemical”

You have to step out of it, the pain
Of being too concerned
With who devastated reason
And the cause
Of why nightingales elude.

You have to

Shake off the fear –,
The by-products
On how later will count
Glowing its true colours.

You have to

Commence worshipping –,
If worship you must…
Names shot down while
Practicing an ideal.

You have to

Recognise that monuments
Are mountains –, and
Storm drains –, and
Loves that flew away

Recurring again as ‘the wild
Card’ in
The hand
Of ‘show’ poker…’

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Let’s Not Rake Our Leaves

A Poem by Donal Mahoney

There has to be a reason why
we rake our leaves
rather than allow them to

decompose beneath the snow
and feed our winter lawns
until spring comes back.

There has to be a reason why
we buy fertilizer from Monsanto
when its cauldron gave us

Agent Orange to spread
in Vietnam, where victims still
decompose and die today.

Let’s not rake our leaves.
Let’s not buy from Monsanto.
Let the leaves feed our lawns instead.

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Arms Dislocated

A Poem by Tim Staley

I’ve read enough women poets to know
they bleed for life
and men bleed against it.
I buried the soldier in me
like a placenta that still
pulses underground.
Lynn Strongin says,
tough-minded poetry
will necessarily
be the most triumphant
in the end.

A mind isn’t tough at all,
it’s blown to shreds in a second.

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Trump told China’s president that building concentration camps for millions of Uighur Muslims was ‘exactly the right thing to do,’ former adviser says.

https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-china-detention-camp-xinjiang-2020-6

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/trump-s-move-against-china-its-uighur-oppression-makes-him-ncna1231624

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This is not a snake

Art by Cannupa Hanska Luger

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January 13, 1943 

A Poem by Herschel Zynoberg

The darkness still hung over the surroundings
The sad sky still hung over the ghetto
A small wind flew with the storm
And left further without any rush or fuss 

The evening left us and went on its way
A frosty early morning came in replacement
An unusual fog announced a problem
A day of pain, suffering, theft and murder

A dead stillness awaited the Malech Hamavos
The heart stopped, the blood boiling
A voice pleaded Shma Israel
That the enemy’s footsteps be destroyed 

Suddenly a scratching noise was heard
A boot was moving in the frosty snow
The father bit his lip
The mother cried out in pain

An old person sighed bitterly
A young fist bent with fury
For a third time the terrible times made us tremble
And that froze with fright

And once again the white snow turned red
And the brown heart’s face blazed
Victorious they faced death
Crying out triumphant

Not seizing the morning
Not how a day has started
Because the devil was choking me
And hurting me 

Yiskor! Today I remember all that I suffered
I see souls in silk clothes and there
With the righteous in Gan Eiedn
Our dear ancient Yiddishkeit

2 As the specific date of Herschel’s deportation from the ghetto to Auschwitz is unknown, it is uncertain as to whether he wrote the poem in the ghetto or from his memory of the ghetto during his internment at Auschwitz. However, given the implicit reference to resistance and the dating, it is likely that he wrote the poem while still in the ghetto, in the midst of the preparations for resistance.

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Harvest of Hate

A Poem by Wole Soyinka (stanzas 0ne and two)

So now the sun moves to die at mid-morning
And laughter wilts on the lips of wine
The fronds of palm are savaged to bristle
And rashes break on kernelled oil

The hearth is pocked with furnacing of teeth
The air is heavy with rise of incense
For wings womb-moist from the sanctuary of nests
Fall, unfledged to the tribute of fire

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Vietnam 1972

A Poem by Shirley Skufca Hickman

We cannot see the red blood
pouring from the wounds
on black and white TV.
The commentator’s voice
drowns death sounds
from our Asian war.

We sit at tables full of
ham and peas, and bread
and glance at war
between each bite of food.

We’re reassured that only ten
were killed, and more of
theirs were killed than ours,

That man we see is
not an actor on a TV screen
who spits out fake blood
in a show of death.
His terror and his pain are real.

But when that haggard face
looks like someone we know
or makes us feel or flinch,
we switch the channel
to some other show where
we won’t be involved, or care.

And while we watch the
latest football game
with feet propped up
and cool Budweiser in our hands,
that young face that we saw before,
lies covered by a sheet.

But still the war goes on,
and on
and on,
and every night at six o’clock
we watch it,
for a little while.

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THIS IS THE IMPACT OF RACISM

Black woman protecting another from police standoff goes viral: ‘Power of Black sisterhood’

“How you doing, sis? You OK? What’s up? Can I sit with you?” Phoenix Robles, the 36-year-old activist, photographer and social worker can be heard asking as she films the situation and walks toward the peaceful protestor, identified in photos as Dorcas Monari. “We’re having a mental health crisis,” she tells officers, pleading with them not to make any decisions in haste. “I want to talk to her.” When Robles asks Monari why she is sitting in the road not far from the police station — in Brooklyn Center, Minn., where Daunte Wright was fatally shot during a traffic stop earlier this month and just miles away from where Derek Chauvin’s trial in the shooting death of George Floyd was underway — Monari simply says, “For George Floyd.” 

“I recognized she was in a state of distress [and] I knew why she was in a state of distress immediately, so I just, in that moment, wanted to focus on her,” Robles, who has degrees in human service and social work, tells Yahoo Life. “In my head, when I got out of that car, I knew I was either going to get them [to go] away, or one of us was going to die today. … I knew that they potentially were going to give me a hard time [and] that was going to be one of their options.”

Go to the link below, scroll down and you can view the entire video.

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/black-woman-protecting-another-from-police-standoff-goes-viral-power-of-black-sisterhood-174904227.html

And this is why people of color are getting more and more angry–more and more stressed–more and more realizing that the only way to change things may have to be through peaceful confrontation because the powers to be, the powers that control too much, are so full of racism, they cannot see their way clear.

GOP Governor Candidate Amanda Chase Says Derek Chauvin Conviction ‘Makes Me Sick’

https://www.yahoo.com/huffpost/amanda-chase-derek-chauvin-conviction-095458319.html

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Ex Gratia

A Poem by Jon Freeland

For Michael H. Brownstein

“Monsanto”

I was not there – chances are, neither were you.
Chances are, those who were are here no longer.
“Ah, but also no shorter!” is the hastily
copy-pasted reply, a wry attempt
to monger good will to
the shrunken few.

“Prove the poison.
Mete the motive.
Devote to duty.”

Da Nang.

A human right is second-class,
a head full of fiction.
Money grows not on trees
but the gaseous breeze whither
thrice they lay their defense
against ruined beds
of men, women,
children, rice

Animals and Earth.

“Prove the poison.
Mete the motive.
Devote to duty.
Sustainable worth.”

Maharashtra

You hail from lands which
consequentially exist beyond
the fondest local dream,
a reality seam from the Jetsons
or some other promising stetson lie:
“Surely, Indians do not die
for proprietary seed.”
Well, they are no less angry
than their cousins in the west.

“Prove the poison.
Mete the motive.
Devote to duty.
Sustainable worth.
We did no wrong,

Technically.”

Misoury

Oh, brother John…
I wonder how you would react
to find such word murder commited
in your wife’s maiden name.
Perhaps you would be enraged, having first done no harm.
Maybe you would frown at your legacy…
or be proud that your descendants
can talk their way in and out of an ethical game?

“Technically, they signed the contract.
Technically, children must work there.
Technically, we underestimated the difference in culture,
because that changes the definition of misrepresented fact.”

You dealt death out of obligation, not defense.
You gave aid out of reputation, not benevolence.
You, who boast advancement, have still not learned:
When we Do Our Worst, we will always get burned.

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