Category Archives: Racism

Shucker’s Delight – prose by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Lisa is hosting Prosery, a piece of prose of 144 words, inviting us to use a line from a poem by Zora Neale Hurston which comes from her work ‘How Does it Feel to be Coloured Me’ in ‘World Tomorrow’ (1928)

dVerse Poets – Prosery – Finding Ms. Zora Neale Thurston

Photo: found at thegoodtrade.com

“Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” Carl Jung

Shucker’s Delight

No, I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife. I find it occupies me best of all. I’m a shucker from way back and I have my own rhythm and movement, a time honoured practice of holding, inserting, twisting and opening. So simple, every action economical, a form of meditation, I love the concentration, one slip and I might lose a finger – I have wounds to show for every lapse. Wounds where I surrender focus to the searing hurts of humanity. This is no escape, just a respite, a regathering from the morass of pain felt in tones of colour, known in cries for justice, that which bleeds from the despair of prison gates. If I didn’t sharpen this oyster knife I fear the world would possess my emotions and blunt my innocent dance of freedom against power.

Copyright 2021 ©Paul Vincent Cannon

All Rights Reserved ®

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Filed under awareness, Fiction, life, prose, Racism

The Theft Of Truth – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo” A statue of Captain James Cook stands in Sydney’s Hyde Park on August 25, 2017, as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull labelled calls to change colonial-era monuments and the date of Australia Day, in attempts to better reflect the country’s indigenous past, as a ‘Stalinist’ exercise in re-writing history. A cultural debate intensified this week when prominent indigenous commentator Stan Grant dubbed the inscription “Discovered this territory 1770”, on a Sydney statue of 18th century British explorer Capitan James Cook, a “damaging myth”. / AFP PHOTO / WILLIAM WEST

“But the fear and contempt for Aboriginal people and culture, which perpetuated the lie of “Terra Nullius” for more than two centuries, is deeply institutionalised and far from quashed.” Sharon Collins

The Theft Of Truth 

His brass visage looked out to the 
east without emotion or recognition,
his eyes were dead much like his 
vision of a world his own,
a sparrows nest of lies and 
make-believe, all self-possessed,
like a smug little advert offering
heaven for a pfennig on a Sunday,
wild claims of the miraculous
wrapped in manure and given to 
a king as proof of something not
his to give or own and denying life
as it was, overlooking history before
him and claiming it was all his for 
the taking, denying breath and blood
despite the very rich history of 
plus 40,000 years of occupation
by the very real and first among us
in Gondwana, you thief of life
and meaning and all who have 
worshipped at your feet, be
damned.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Note: Captain James Cook on an expedition navigated Australia’s east coast in 1770 which paved the way for British occupation. In 1776, January 26th Captain Arthur Phillip claimed sovereignty by the British crown over Australia. January 26th continues to be celebrated as “Australia Day” which remains a lie that denies the existence of Australia’s First Nations people. The High Court has ruled Terra Nullius” is indeed an obvious lie, but the process of undoing two centuries of entrenched racism is proving to be very difficult. While Cook contributed much to our understanding of the geography of the world, he also played his part in denying First Nation peoples their rightful place. Terra Nullius is Latin meaning “land belonging to no one.” Hence the lie.

Video: Midnight Oil feat. Jessica Mauboy and Tasman Keith “First Nation”

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Filed under Free Verse, history, identity, Indigenous, injustice, life, Native Title, poem, quote, Racism, Stolen Generation

Dear Leaders – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Grace at dVerse is hosting Meeting the Bar, and the theme we are invited to write about is Protest. dVerse Poets – Meeting the Bar – Protest Poetry

Photo: ocjndaily.com Ocean City, New Jersey, a protest in response to the murder of George Floyd.

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” Elie Wiesel

Dear Leaders

There is no life in you,
you who are nothing more
than a husk blowing in the 
winds of rebellion,
I see your guns and gas
uniformed in fear of decency as
you sneer at the sensitivities of
ordinary people concerned for
some semblance of democracy
midst the pious, honeyed corruption
you pedal to steal the dreams of
our children as you piss in our waters
and foul our fields with your 
poisonous rhetoric so religiously
flavoured as to make God vomit,
while you continue to kill your 
own as if blood stains down your
highways is some note of triumph
for the totems you bend to in your 
spineless dereliction of humanity.
You can kill my body but you will
never kill my enduring spirit that
is me, we, together naming your
legacy of fetid lies and murder,
and we will make a road of integrity
to pass right over you without 
memorial or reward save for some
flowers to mark the hollow graves
that you are.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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Filed under community, Economics, Free Verse, injustice, justice, life, philosophy, poem, politics, poverty, protest, quote, Racism

Yet You Are Blind – poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: http://www.pedestrian.tv Photo shows indigenous Australians as prisoners, shackled at Roebourn gaol, 1896. Today the rate of indigenous incarceration is high at %29 of the total prison population. There is little sign of that changing, not any change in the underlying and predisposing issue of poverty and inequality.

“Racism is a disease in society. We’re all equal. I don’t care what their colour is, or religion. Just as long as they’re human beings they’re my buddies.” Mandawy Yunupingu

Yet You Are Blind

You can see clearly
yet you are blind to
the plight of your neighbour,
stealing their humanity for the
price of their lives which paid for 
the privilege of your wilful ignorance,
paved in the blood of their dignity,
bargained for the murderous dogma
prosecuted in the name of your right
to smile on suffering and misery
as you squash their lives for the turn 
of a dollar and smug satisfaction of
the exercise of your power.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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Filed under community, identity, Indigenous, life, poem, quote, Racism

Rising – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJs Weekly Challenge – Pace

Photo: theguardian.com The statue of the slave trader Edward Colston (1636 – 1721) comes down, his company was responsible for the capture, transport and sale of 100,000 slaves in the Caribbean and the Americas. Colston made his fortune from slave trading, and, not-with-standing that he later became a philanthropist, his wealth and life flourished by the misery of others. I my view, people who profit from the misery of others do not deserve any public recognition or honour.

“I know the removal of the Colston statue will divide opinion, as the statue itself has done for many years. However it’s important to listen to those who found the statue an affront to humanity.” Marvin Rees (Mayor of Bristol)

Rising

The statues of subjugation crash
to the ground of the past,
we're loving a new now,
the beginning of future dreams,
free-ranged, unwrapped,
letting go Aquarius' aged darkness,
rising to unison of heart,
pace the whispers of worm tongues
who would hold oppression lightly,
but whose account is well due.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Note: I have used pace in preposition form, expressing disagreement with worm tongues with those who support enslavement of any kind.

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Filed under challenge, Free Verse, history, injustice, life, poem, quote, Racism

It Begins With Me – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Word of the Day – Begin

Photo: abc.net.au BLM protest in Adelaide, June 6.

“Racism is a refuge for the ignorant. It seeks to divide and to destroy. It is the enemy of freedom ….” Pierre Berton

It Begins With Me

We know the system is malignant,
a menancing metastases whose
symptoms are poverty and despair
matched to a greyscale of colour,
imprisoned in anger that rails
agasinst the enormity of the evil
that presses in on every side,
and yet, the scaqle of it all
is not beyond us,
just a shift in thinking,
a step forward,
a word said right,
it begins with me.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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Filed under Free Verse, injustice, life, poem, politics, quote, Racism

To Breathe – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: George Floyd – New York Times

dVerse Poets – Open Link Night

Grace at dVerse is hosting Open Link Night where we post a poem of our own choice. My choice has been influenced by the poems Grace posted as a reflection on the protests and Floyd’s death. So, I’m reblogging an earlier OLN poem about George Floyd that I wrote in the moment of grief having watched the video of his murder. Still can’t get it out of my mind, can’t erase the anger I feel of the injustice to him, and sadly, for so many.

"I can't breathe." George Floyd

To Breathe

The tissue of life is delicately thin,
especially when the protectors grin,
arraigned with a knee and
pinned to the ground,
he couldn't breathe;
no judge, no jury,
they refused his cry,
the man needed air,
he was guilty without sin, 
they murdered George Floyd
with a dirty white lie, and
since the moment he stopped,
I have struggled to breathe.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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Filed under death, Free Verse, grief, life, poem, quote, Racism

Whiteousness – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJs Weekly challenge – Privilege

Photo: Professor Steve Locke detained on the street because he looked like someone the police wanted in relation to an attempted break-in. Steve Locke – “I Fit The Description”

“The police make me as a white woman feel safe, while my black friends, family and neighbours feel the opposite.” Natalie Portman.

Whiteousness 

Blue and red like a vapour 
flashes off the windows
all around me,
siren squeals a warning and
I pull over to the side,
my routine, rehearsed so often,
plays out in tension real,
window down,
no sudden moves,
papers and cards out,
both hands on the wheel so
he can see there's no threat,
sweating now, anxious,
is my misdemeanour worth my life,
will I bleed for colour today
to make this man feel righteous?
Do I fit the profile,
do I look like someone he
needs, wants, to shoot?
Don't stare,
sound soft, polite,
don't be black,
ingratiate,
just make it easy on his ego,
right or wrong,
his mood determines my future,
Right or wrong,
his privilege is my death.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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Filed under Free Verse, injustice, life, poem, quote, Racism

The Art Of Bludgeoning – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: forbes.com A seventy-five year old man was shoved to the ground, causing serious injury, the two officers have been stood down pending investigation. This must end.

RDP Friday – Protest

"We're not anti-police ... we're anti-police brutality."  Al Sharpton

The Art Of Bludgeoning 

We can't have peace,
take an oath,
take a badge,
now go,
be brave,
bludgeon that 
man,
woman,
child,
until their blood
redeems the views
of the marionette's
twisted predations,
laid bare on the 
altar of lies,
such is the denial
of protest.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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Filed under Free Verse, life, poem, quote, Racism, Uncategorized

I have No Words – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: gettyimages.com

https://onewomansquest.org/2020/06/01/vjs-weekly-challenge-98- no-words/

"Racism is all over the world but justice is nowhere."  Areena Nadeem

I Have No Words

Decades of days have passed
whose shadows have lenghtened
like a pall on a coffin
in a dimly lit chapel
awaiting a prayer of light
to reveal the edifice collapsed,
the facade of politeness exposed
in every corner of a smug world,
where power is bound in abstraction,
whose currency is hatred,
whose anthems divide,
whose flags are merely shrouds
of deadly propaganda
laying waste to minds,
what has happened to humanity?
It is impossible to speak of it,
I have no words.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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Filed under Free Verse, life, poem, Racism, Uncategorized