Monday, December 15, 2014

Poem from Elizabeth Bruce and Michael Oliver's Workshop

Before I post Ed Schelb's poems for the Michael Brown contest, I thought I'd post a poem that I wrote at a recent Writers on the Green Line.  The facilitators (DC writers Elizabeth Bruce and Michael Oliver) gave us participants a list of quotes, mostly from Archbishop Desmond Tutu.  We were to pick one to respond to.  The one I chose was "There is something in us that refuses to be regarded as less than human.  We are created for freedom."

The picture above is of a street fair in Loisaida (the Lower East Side).  I chose it because it looks like people are having fun there.

“We are created for freedom.”
n      Archbishop Desmond Tutu

We are created for the city
where the police are
not the military.
Selling loose cigarettes
is neither a crime
nor an act of war.

We are created for the suburbs
where boys can walk
alone to the store for Skittles.
The police on the sidewalks
and the neighbors on the porches
are enough.

We are created for the country
where you can ask
the police for directions
when you are lost.
You can ask your neighbors.

We are created for freedom.

We are created for this world.

Let's go back to the 1980s to Johnny Clegg and Savuka's "Don't Walk Away":

As Johnny Carson noted on another YouTube video of this song, Johnny Clegg and Savuka were an interracial group that broke the laws in South Africa by performing together.

I think that A Tribe Called Quest's "I Left My Wallet in El Segundo" fits with this poem, too.