Friday, February 3, 2017

Poems of Resistance, Power & Resilience – Christi Kramer

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


Glory be to the shoes
by Christi Kramer

Attend to the story, as if it were a stone or a shoe.  Reach into the river.  Find what is rubbed 
smooth, polished.  What is the life of the shoe in the river, saturated and moving in  

Most stories of crossing are done in bare feet.  Most stories are crossings, risky, indeed. 

Throw a story, if you don’t have a shoe.  Throw a shoe, if the stories are smothered 
in mud in the river.  The story of a life written, on the bottom of a shoe. 

This for the widows, the orphans

The feet who’ve been pound with a stick tell a story.  The stick tells a story.  The story 
hides her face in her hands.  

Some lost, moving away in the river, grab on, hold tight, to a story.  
Some make of their story a boat or celebration.  
Some pray for the story of branch or stone. 

Just yesterday the doors opened, tumbled out the journalist imprisoned.  
They say he looked pale, al-Zeidi, in dark suit, tie and new beard.  

This story, that he is missing teeth but will not swallow humiliation. When the story is that the boot 
is lifted from the throats of the drowned, add ululation.  
Add kisses, sweets, satin.  Add praise. 

Attend to the dance.  Attentive: the story a fragile bright globe in the palm. 

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