Sunday, July 30, 2006

rant and rave

Last night was the third annual Rant and Rave, a spoken-word and art event created to celebrate free speech, raise consciousness on our current world situation, and raise funds to support the Poetix Arts in Education Program which takes local poets into the juvenile detention facility to teach kids writing, performing, and marketing skills so they can have the opportunity to rehabilitate and be heard through their art. It's great.

So the theme this year was Unify and I was honored to once again be asked to participate. I would like to share one of the poems I performed, even though I feel my poetry loses a lot in the translation to page. I am definitely a performance poet.

Let's break life down to some basic elements:
Earth, Sun, Wind, Rain
from which comes forth
Man, Woman
from which comes forth
Religion, Government, Art, Technology
from which comes forth
Civilization, Culture, Morality, Lifestyle
War or Peace
Famine or Feast.

We are living our lives, eating food, loving each other, watching tv, driving cars, going to church, working jobs, sleeping in beds
Precariously balanced on a precipice
that our ancestors and our contemporaries and we have
hastily slapped together.
We are going to fall-
All of us
We work together.

To avoid disintegration
We need to work together
to meticulously dismantle this unstable structure
on which every planetary life currently
T E E T E R S and T O T T E R S.
Take it apart. Build it from the ground up.
Consciously pick up every scattered component out of place and
Put it back where it belongs.

This is simple, kids.
Like a nursery floor covered in
lincoln logs, legos and blocks
just one piece at a time
Pick it up and Put it where it belongs.

Renewable Resources?
Pick it up and Put it where it belongs.
Religious Tolerance?
Pick it up and Put it where it belongs.
Non-polluting Solutions?
Pick it up and Put it where it belongs.

But we can't even start this clean up project if
Dick is still pulling Jane's hair.

To save ourselves from Annihilation
from the total Dis-integration of our current situation
will require our Cooperation
which grows from Communication and
leads to our Salvation.

Building from the bottom up starts at Home.
If we can't get along with our Brother and Sisters,
with our Lovers and Partners,
with our Neighbors and Friends and Communities
How are we going to get along as
Religious Congregations,
States and Nations,
Governments and Financial Agencies
with big agendas in mind?

Simple equations:
Man + Woman = ?
Black + White = ?
Christian + Muslim = ?
You create the answers and you create the world we live in.
The sum total of our existence is in our hands.

You think Feminism is an antiquated theory?
You think Racism is a thing of the past?
You think an ethos of Tolerance, Compassion and Forgiveness is too gentle for
these violent times?
Every concerned member of our Movement needs to take a look in the mirror.
We cannot love each other until we love ourselves and
We cannot love ourselves until we examine and unlearn society's lessons
that tell us we are:
Unattractive, Unsuccessful, Unfulfilled and Unworthy.


Everyone that ever hurt anybody anywhere was hurt by someone else themself first.
Forgive your Mother and father, and Forgive the ones before them.
Forgive your clergy, Forgive your elected officials.
Forgive Yourself and Move Forward.
Pick up a piece and Put it where it belongs.

Man + Woman = Love
Black + White = Understanding
Christian + Muslim = Tolerance
Rich + Poor = Compassion
Then suddenly we live in a culture that sustains on a planet that survives.

Let's keep it simple, kids.
Let's start our project with six simple words,
take them home and say them out loud,
Believe them and Know them all the time:
There Is No Us and Them
There Is No Us and Them
There Is No Us and Them

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