Friday, January 27, 2017

Poems of Resistance, Power & Resilience – Cyrus Armajani

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


Dear Baldwin,
by Cyrus Armajani

I don’t know how long it’s been
since you walked alone
under Harlem sky.

All at once, your brothers and sisters
are here - marching.

When I was young
we ran from the police.
Now sisters and brothers raise their fists
while it’s still light out
headed to the precinct or to shout down highways.

you are here too, you are not a god
you are more important.
You taught us to fight
not because change is possible
but because we have no choice.

Don’t turn around, dear Baldwin,
for the lights spin endlessly
red and blue
as if of their own accord.

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