At dVerse Lisa is hosting Prosery (144 words) with an invitation to respond to a line from a poem ‘Notes On Uvalde’ from Girl Du Jour. To read that full poem follow the link below. The line offered is “These are the things they don’t tell us”
“This is the ultimate weakness of violence: It multiplies evil and violence in the world. It doesn’t solve any problems.” Martin Luther King Jr
I grew up torn by love, when the world was bruised by war and violence I was in pain, and I still am. When people are marginalised, hated and discriminated against I hurt too. Sometimes my anger boils in frustration. Why? Why can’t women determine their bodies? Who decides someones sexuality? Why Poverty? Why war? Why guns? Grief can be overwhelming even when it is vicarious. But we’re all in it together, it affects all.
The real pain of it all is the pain that comes from love, compassion and empathy. The alternative is to stoop into that gutter I am calling out. There is a cost to positive, non-violent action, to standing with the underdog, to protest, to speak out. Sometimes the cost is loneliness, sometimes it is wrangling with the impotence to effect change. These are the things they don’t tell us.
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)
“Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” Carl Jung
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.
“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
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.
“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)
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.