Friday, January 27, 2017

Poems of Resistance, Power & Resilience – Anne Lusby-Denham

Close up image of a microphone on a stage. The audience that is facing the microphone is blurred, appearing as a myriad of colors (red, white, green, yellow, etc.)
As the incoming administration builds its agenda of attack on marginalized people, on freedom of speech, on the earth itself, poetry will continue to be an essential voice of resistance. Poets will speak out in solidarity, united against hatred, systemic oppression, and violence and for justice, beauty, and community.
In this spirit, Split This Rock is offering its blog as a Virtual Open Mic. For the rest of this frightening month, January of 2017, we invite you to send us poems of resistance, power, and resilience.

We will post every poem we receive unless it is offensive (containing language that is derogatory toward marginalized groups, that belittles, uses hurtful stereotypes, explicitly condones or implies a call for violence, etc.). After the Virtual Open Mic closes, we hope to print out and mail all of the poems to the White House.

For guidelines on how to submit poems for this call, visit the Call for Poems of Resistance, Power & Resilience blog post


Homage to the Goddess, Tlazoteotl, the Sin-Eater
by Anne Lusby-Denham

“Tlazoteotl was called “Goddess of Dirt”…Her dirt-eating symbolized the ingestion of sin and in doing so purified it…She had the function of creating harmony again in the community.”

                              Your heart is a fire
                              which burns away the dross
                              of our sins.
                              How we need you now
                              that we are in the midst
                              of the sixth wave of mass extinctions!
                              We have used the Earth
                              as our cesspool,
                              and this is the result.
                              Will you turn away from us
                              since our politicians
                              have ignored the signs:
                              the wildfires burning,
                              the storms that rage,
                              and species disappearing one by one?
                              As if this was not enough
                              for you to turn your back on us forever,
                              we have not acknowledged our past sins:
                              Wounded Knee, and all of the massacres
                              that came before.
                              We kill First Americans now
                              by environmental disasters, neglect,
                              or by militarized police.
                              Our second major sin,
                              slavery and ongoing racism,
                              is rearing its head now
                              in our streets and in the halls of Congress.
                              Our shadow side is showing up
                              in every direction we look.
                              We need you, Tlazoteotl,
                              dark goddess, sin-eater
                              with a heart of fire!
                              We need to turn to you
                              as a nation and plead your forgiveness.

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