Poetry / Thirdworld / World speaking out

Littlebits from poems about strongliving

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

Injustice / Poetry / Racism / World speaking out

“White men who think their flat cold spiky words make the only reality.”

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

Poetry / Racism / Thirdworld / World speaking out

Christmas was the ‘gift’ brought by the invasion to Latin America

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

Environment / Injustice / Poetry / Thirdworld / World speaking out

The poet killed by Shell

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

Poetry / Racism / World speaking out

Children were sold

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

Poetry / World speaking out

Until It Isn’t – Poem by Remi Kanazi

death becomes exciting tolls, pictures, videos tweeting carnage instagramming collapse hearts racing to break 24-hour entertainment every glimpse, splinter and particle of pain jammed into torsos and cheekbones loved ones want to sit for a minute and cry quietly no words, no poetry before Internet and dialed-up emotions before black and white ideologies before a … Continue reading