Saturday, September 22, 2018


A story is a complicated thing
A book is nothing more than ink and page
But songs of freedom, we must help to sing

There are no words for this ancestral sting
this godless cruelty that stains our age

A story is a complicated thing:
a burning bush, a promised land, a king,
the truth of them is difficult to gauge
But songs of freedom, we must help to sing,
and help rewrite the lyrics, or else bring
a freedom made of genocide and plagues

A story is a complicated thing
to make the roar of guns sound like cha-ching
and endless war look like a higher stage
but songs of freedom we must help to sing
to make his story ours, to spread our wings,
and cover this whole land with truth and sage

A story is a complicated thing,
but songs of freedom, we must help to sing.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

This is the Year (5779)

“O sing unto the Lord a new song;
Sing unto the Lord, all the earth!

Let the skies be glad, let earth rejoice,
Let the sea and all within it thunder praise!”
- Psalm 96

This is the Year
after Martín Espada, and all visionaries

This is in fact the year that squatters evict landlords,
as we occupy all streets / all city halls /

This is the year that torture sites
are painted into Freedom Squares
Boards of Trade
are made Room & Board
Tent cities vanish into sanctuaries
& homeless humans
move to human homes

Let the prisoners be freed
Let the refugees return
Let the workers get some rest
Let the organizers sleep
Let the truth-speakers read novels
Let the poets write about rivers
Let the rivers fill with fish!!

Let the land and everything it holds exult!

& Praise you People / praise your Rage
come ye drummers / come ye sousaphones
come you hordes of righteous screamers
Bless this Music of your thirst
for Justice, your hunger for Love

This is the Year that Water Protectors on horseback
storm the White House & throw a powwow on the lawn,
& the youth of D.C. swarm around
to cover the building’s bloody whiteness over
with technicolor prophetic graffiti!

This is the year we throw barbecues in every park
to celebrate the fact that all the legal papers have been lost
& every blessed family seeking posada has found it

This is the year the only fears that students feel
walking into school are about whether
they’ll make friends / do well on oral reports
and pass their classes

This is the year the Kochs & Goldman-Sachses pay their taxes
Washing dishes / filling prisons with their fat cat class of fascists

This is the year a law is passed prohibiting cops from gathering
in groups larger than two / unless they trade their guns for hackey sacks

This is the year that Dred Scott resurrects from the Calvary Cemetery
to lead a seige of martyed ghosts upon the hosts of Capital

This is the year that Moses & the Old Testament prophets
go toe to toe with Israeli soldiers / turning bullets into olives

This is the year the war engineers
load their drones with seeds of fruit-bearing trees
& M16s are melted down to garden shovels

This is the year that churches have a shrine for every person
Buddha meditates beside a crucifix while Krishna plays

This is the year that makes a century
The year that trumps the sleepiness of history
The year that man & the likes of him are deported
to formerly colonized islands
where they are sentenced to liftetimes
of land & water reclamation service

This is the year we use their money to pay off each other’s debts
The year We the People forget to forget
The year we turn off the reality television show that governs us
& start to govern our own reality

This is the year Mount Rushmore erupts with native flora & fauna –
sweetgrass growing out of Teddy Roosevelt’s nose
magpies flocking across George Washington’s wig
& the moutain becomes wild & sacred again

This is the year that banners unravel
& barbed-wire fences crumble,
the year wage-slaves take over
as the stock   market        topples

                        so the last will be first
                                    and the first will be last

and we’ll give what we can
and take what we need…  

This is the year food & clean water are free
& gas is too expensive for everyone

In fact This is the year we remember
we cannot buy
or sell the Earth -- 

                                    (we are Her)

If Occupy began
as a Vision
of people having the debts that crippled them cleared,
then This is the year…

If #BlackLivesMatter began as a Vision
of people walking the streets without fear,
then This is the year…

If every Movement begins as a Vision
of People empowered in body & spirit
Then this is the year it is so.


Let all the trees of the forest sing for joy
                        before the Eternal…

Let the rivers clap their hands,
Let the mountains sing in chorus!

and if eyes are eyes,

… so may every silent mouth,
dry as thirsty dirt,


       with the music  
         of Justice.

The Song

“My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”

Come, let us go
to the house of all prayers,

where the thirsty are given clean water,
and the hungry are fed, and the air
is as fresh as the first morning light,

where nobody is right,
cause nobody is wrong,

where you walk through the door
and hear the sound of a song…

there’s a wall to the east
where all instruments hang –
there’s one waiting for you,
and for me, in the jam

in which rhythms and voices
and languages merge
into one universal hymn,
old as the earth

come, let’s go now
to that house of all people,
that place where we all can dance in our own way,

and pray, and give thanks
for the ones who kept living,
and whispering
the vision
of this home,

this day.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


Now they’re caging our babies and quoting the Bible
The same scriptures that slave-owners used to claim justifiable
Chaining and shipping human beings by the millions
In the bottoms of boats, ripping parents from children,

Familiar? Now our demons come back with a vengeance
Slavery never left / Check that 13th amendment /
While they preach about freedom and defeating the terrorists
Cops line up in riot gear to bulldoze grandparents

And they’re still sayin “We can reform it,” while nowadays
Oil execs say “If we kill you, no foul play”
And Michigan imprisons Reverends who expose it
While more bodies wash up in the river, like Moses,

Now they’re caging our babies and quoting the Bible
To our faces, while their agents terrorize kids with rifles,
As if Jesus would do that, as if we can’t see through that,
As if Love Thy Neighbor really means Act Genocidal

As if there were no decency left in the world
As if words have no meaning, as if They were eternal,
As if our faith’s as hollow as their broken treaties
As if we aren’t out marching, shouting our needs concretely:

“From Palestine to Mexico / Border Walls have got to go”
As if their walls can’t fall just like old Jericho,
As if God was their property, and the Kingdom of Heaven
Was a world at war and not a world of brethren.