Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Poems of Resistance, Power & Resilience – Edward D. Currelley

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


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I AMERICA
by Edward D. Currelley

America is my home
 This, is where I’m from
Generations past my ancestors
Were stolen from their home land
 Brought here in chains
Generations since
 We’ve worked hard to be Americans
This, without choice
 Because, for the most part, it’s all we know
We’ve been given reluctant invitation of assimilation
 Un-equal justice, after the fact
We are made to feel like occupying refugees
This state of reality wasn’t asked for
It was forced upon us
We remain the only race of people in these United States
 Not given the choice of coming to these shores of our own volition
There has never been an open armed welcome
 Benefits or opportunity un-earned
Give us your weak, poor etc, never applied
Though we’ve managed advancement, assimilation
 We as a people continue to struggle
 Within the structure of a nation in denial
 A nation of false promise, blinded by its own dark truths
A nation in fear of its own reflection
A nation unwilling to correct its misdeeds
Of challenging the truths of its origin
These are our American realities

James Baldwin wrote, “Not everything that is faced can be changed,
But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

1 comment:

Lorraine Currelley said...

Congratulations Edward D. Currelley! I America is a magnificent, well crafted and
powerful poem. We need your voice and the clarity and power of your words. Thanks!