Poetic Permission: News Now

Lately, I’ve been deeply moved by so many stories of oppression and persecution in the news. It seems as if women and men all over the world now refuse to be kept down and the tide of freedom is gaining momentum. All of these strong emotions inspire me to write. What else is there to do when faced with so much horror so far outside the span of our control?

Western Saharah

While watching a Democracy Now! news report about the brave women of Western Sahara and their fight for self-directed governance, that little snarky voice in the back of my brain said,  “Ha! And men use the word pussy to call out a coward.”

news now

Now, she’s telling the story of the indigenous peoples of Morocco in Western Sahara.
Genocide and oppression cloaks the earth; no race is safe, no religion blameless.
The women are out on the front lines.
They go out into the streets and demonstrate publicly.
Police and military beat and arrest them.

The women are draped in brightly colored robes
with complicated patterns,
intricate designs bringing to mind
all the lush blossoming places on the planet.  
Sahrawi women speak for Sahrawi peoples.

Sky and blood and life.
The colors of their robes reveal the pulse of the people,
even as same coverings hide lost hair and gained scars.
She is strong. Look how strong,
how sane she seems.
Yet, the men will still say
the police are cowards for beating women.
Scum of the earth pussies.

-billie marie


Poetic Permission: We are Vultures

we are vultures

Bush 1 died last week. The presidents were all there in the front row with their wives. It’s crazy to see it. In that one snapshot you’ve got it all –  the old ways and new, conservative and liberal, black and white, those who come from money and those who came from love. I wonder, could every member of this nation look to one of them up there and feel represented? Probably not. We’re a country of mutts and mongrels, mixed and bi and trans and poly. We’re all hyphenated and made of the stuff of LOOK AT WHO THE FUCK i AM!

But, there was something comforting about seeing all of them on display like that …presidential ducks in a row … having to do this thing that, more than likely, none of them wanted to do. Cuz, who wants to go to a funeral? Even worse, having to do it in front of all of us, their constituents, their citizens, fans, critics, supporters, haters …their nation. To be set up for viewing like a product line, with their liquid insides churning and gurgling, and forced to smile and fix their faces to look pleased as punch to be there. For some reason, that put me right at ease.

We are vultures.
We are fools
We don’t love
We love too much

God bless this nation
bless us all
blessings seem to have run out
flood worn down to an anemic trickle
blessings are flecks of gold rush scattered along wagon trails
blessings can’t make bail
blessing are paving the road to a great migration
blessings can’t come when you got no idea how that rope came to be tied ’round your neck
blessings can’t unbury themselves
blessings been shot in the back by a Chicago cop
blessings been rotting away in a torture cell on the west side
come on over here, step right up and get your blessings
I got 40 acres and a tax break with your name on it.

-Billie Marie Moore