The following three poems are hard and liberating. Read them out loud and with one fist clenched. Laura Passin is a writer and scholar specialising in contemporary US poetry and gender studies. I am not old - by Samantha Reynolds I am not old, she said I am rare I am the standing ovation at... Continue Reading →
Olka Baldeh dedicated this poem to Orange Face. She's calling her series of poems "Love Letters to Donald Trump".
There's something super intimate - politically intimate- about watching people speak their own poems, seeing the face and feelings that go with the piece of soul and struggle contained in the words. Beck Cooper - Alone in a Bathroom Vernell Bristow - Kalgo Tree Jenesis Fonseca - "The Way to a Woman's Heart"
"We're not people, we're brands. And I don't know how that happened."
The first night They approach And pick a flower from our garden And we don’t say anything. The second night, No longer hiding, they Stomp on the flowers, kill our dog, And we don’t say anything. Until one day The weakest of them Enters our house alone Robs us of light, and, Knowing our fear,... Continue Reading →
It's good to write for money, It's the only way to go, Forget starving in the attic. Who can afford attic anyhow? Let me prostitute my talents -be a martyr for the arts - 'Cause without the lovely greenbacks I'll just be another tart … Hawking rhythm up at King's Cross, Flogging poems and rhymes... Continue Reading →
Past sick sadistic tyrants made each victim dig their grave, Mowed them down without mercy, in wave after wave. But now heat is the trigger set for the many by the few Will you be ready when the climate comes for you? In Karachi they’ll be ready when the tide of death rolls in When... Continue Reading →
This is for the fat girls This is for the little brothers This is for the schoolyard wimps and the childhood bullies that tormented them For the former prom queen and for the milk crate ball players For the nighttime cereal eaters And for the retired elderly Walmart store front door greeters Shake the dust... Continue Reading →
little singing birds are diving into the fire the smell of burning bird of suicided song is mistaken for a dark day in Australia overcast skies, the weather reader reports (Hodan Yasin and Omid Masoumali, young refugees from Somalia and Iran and detained by Australia, set themselves on fire within a week of each other)... Continue Reading →
From the just published collection of poems Ina Kwana, by Uma Samari
This is one of Brenna Twohy's shorter poems, honest and confronting and for basic female dignity, as always. I, too have loved men who named my mouth ashtray, mistook me for a place to leave burning things when they were done.
The Joys of Motherhood - FreeQuency "...who will see criminal before child... I can't take it for granted that they won't kill my son... there's something about being Black in America that has made motherhood sound like mourning ..." Used - Shelby Birch "He called me a queen and I blushed, but it wasn't because... Continue Reading →
Sometimes minds come together and make new things in a conversation. Sometimes different people's poems and stories meet, shake hands, and unseen magic lingers among the warmth... Here are some excerpts from the poems of a mate and a luchadora, from her books No God but Ghosts and Monsters and other Silent Creatures ... April in... Continue Reading →
Languages on their own can be tools of power or resistance... Shailja Patel's "Dreaming in Gujarati": (excerpts) I am six in a playground of white children Darkie, sing us an Indian song! Eight in a roomful of elders all mock my broken Gujarati English girl! Through the years I watch Gujarati swell the swaggering egos of... Continue Reading →
Some Palestinians take grenades and use them as flower pots or for seedlings. Sudanese torture survivors have become councilors for other survivors. How do we recover from suffering? We name it and transform it into its opposite: We fill the craters left by the bombs And once again we sing And once again we sow... Continue Reading →
Langston Hughes wrote this poem about Christmas 85 years ago, and it still matters. A U.S. based African-American activist and one of the innovators of Jazz Poetry, he promoted racial awareness, wrote novels, stories, poems and more. Merry Christmas, China From the gun-boats in the river, Ten-inch shells for Christmas gifts, And peace on earth... Continue Reading →
By Australian activist and health care worker, Susan Austin: Veteran The sunken couch cradles him. He grips the remote (friend). The baby, the pot plant, her gloss lipstick all study him. Doctors riddle him with diagnoses but it is war that goes on interviewing him each night. He asks alcohol to counsel him but all each... Continue Reading →
... in unreachable corners and it feels like the conservatives run the world (because they do) and life is reduced to a constant struggle to keep your head above the water and not drown...there's poems like this that don't solve it all by any means but do help you step back a bit, and breathe:... Continue Reading →
Ken Saro-Wiwa was an activist, writer, and member of the Ogoni people, whose homeland in the Niger Delta has been used for crude oil extraction since the 1950s. The land has suffered extreme environmental damagefrom decades of petroleum waste dumping and leaks and spills, and the people have been tortured, abused, and murdered. Saro-Wiwa was... Continue Reading →
Frances Harper (1825-1911), who campaigned against slavery and helped escaped slaves, wrote this poem. She also often read her poetry at public meetings - seeing creativity intricately linked into real life and struggles. The Slave Auction The sale began - young girls were there, Defenceless in their wretchedness, Whose stifled sobs of deep despair Revealed... Continue Reading →