Venice would be perfect – Jim Smith
Belle Lettres – Rebecca LaRue
Ode to Aung San Suu Kyi – Vessy Mink
•  Today – Honeybee Henderson
• I Would – Karl Abrams
• In the Name of God (the Murder of Dr. Tiller) – David Rovics
the city itself
– Stuart Perkoff
• Just Outside Ralph’s Grocery On Lincoln Boulevard – – krista schwimmer
The Fall of Empires – Mark Schulman

———–

Venice would be perfect

By Jim Smith

If we had a Banyan tree
to dream under

If we treated the homeless
as the holy men and women they are

If we all conquered our addictions
and lived in the naked now

If we all came arunnin’
when someone was in trouble

If we all had the nerve
to stand up for cityhood

If we turned the streets of old Venice
into parks, canals and bike paths

If we built statues to our dead heroes, poets
and artists, so we could talk with them

If we all added what is missing
to this poem

————

Belle Lettres

By Rebecca LaRue

The Belle scripted a letter to the ball-
Hear ye, Hear ye, come one come all.
Arrive in your fashions and with your academics.
We have a systematic design to acquire here this evening.
It dawned on the fair lady…
to give a bash, a gala, unlike any other.
To crash, to smash or holler…
just as long as the walls come falling down.
Just so long as the land hears the sound-
of Renewal, Revival, Upheaval, SURVIVAL.

————-
Ode to Aung San Suu Kyi

By Vessy Mink

When you imprison a person whose mission and purpose is peace, you imprison the whole of existence under a false pretense of righteousness.
Not until all the peaceful prisoners of war are set free, shall we as a whole,
Humanity…be free. Just let Aung San Suu Kyi, be. She is not a murderer, she is not a thief, she is not a rapist, she is not an… Read More abuser of the peace…she is simply a human being who deserves to be treated fairly and with respect, just like everyone else does in this world. Just like you and me.
Leave her be. And while you’re at it, why don’t you free all the innocent people that you have locked up in darkness and shame, just as your love and compassion is locked up in darkness and blame, which is guarded by demons that represent your own wrong doing in this life. Do the right thing, and be a true leader that is fearless,
Just as Aung San Suu Kyi is.

————

Today

By Honeybee Henderson

today the birds are chirping.
today the sky is grey.
today my heart is open.
today i hear screaming from inside.
today i fluctuate between perfection and not enough
today i remember that i am love.
today my dog chaes her tail
today i need my friends for support
today i stand in my truth
today i am whole
today i feel like i am falling to pieces
today i am happy then sad, all in a moment
today the bluebird sings
today is a busy today
today i am quiet
today the range of feelings come through
today i own and love all these things
today you can tooVenice would be perfect

————

I Would
By Karl Abrams
I would kiss you now
as before
with the same kiss that made you
back when time was sweet and unmoving
as a breath held in space.
And I would lay myself down beside you
and gently wrap the moon and stars
all around you…
But I will leave you here at your request,
your emerald eyes
crystallized outside of time,
your parting lips closed,
warm only in memory,
ungiven and mostly untaken.
And so, I must walk away,
Broken but still standing.
There’s no moon tonight.
I’ll just have to see
by the light
of my soul.
In the Name of God
(the Murder of Dr. Tiller)
By David Rovics
I woke up this morning
And I turned on the news
It was a Sunday morning
They were sitting in the pews
The doctor’s wife was in the choir
She was about to sing
She saw it all in front of her
And she heard that awful ring
In the name of God he held his pistol
Pointed at the doctor’s head
In the name of God he pulled the trigger
Now the doctor’s lying dead
Dr. Tiller had a family
Three daughters and a son
Two girls were both doctors
Who were proud of what he’d done
They knew someone had to do something
Before they left this world behind
If it wasn’t them then who would serve
The cause of womankind
In the name of God…
This is not Afghanistan
It’s the Heartland USA
Where a girl has to wonder
If she’ll get acid in her face
Where they bomb the women’s clinics
Because the preacher told them to
Where the man there on the TV
Tells them that’s what they should do
In the name of God…
I Would
By Karl Abrams
I would kiss you now
as before
with the same kiss that made you
back when time was sweet and unmoving
as a breath held in space.
And I would lay myself down beside you
and gently wrap the moon and stars
all around you…
But I will leave you here at your request,
your emerald eyes
crystallized outside of time,
your parting lips closed,
warm only in memory,
ungiven and mostly untaken.
And so, I must walk away,
Broken but still standing.
There’s no moon tonight.
I’ll just have to see
by the light
of my soul.
————
In the Name of God
(the Murder of Dr. Tiller)
By David Rovics
I woke up this morning
And I turned on the news
It was a Sunday morning
They were sitting in the pews
The doctor’s wife was in the choir
She was about to sing
She saw it all in front of her
And she heard that awful ring
In the name of God he held his pistol
Pointed at the doctor’s head
In the name of God he pulled the trigger
Now the doctor’s lying dead
Dr. Tiller had a family
Three daughters and a son
Two girls were both doctors
Who were proud of what he’d done
They knew someone had to do something
Before they left this world behind
If it wasn’t them then who would serve
The cause of womankind
In the name of God…
This is not Afghanistan
It’s the Heartland USA
Where a girl has to wonder
If she’ll get acid in her face
Where they bomb the women’s clinics
Because the preacher told them to
Where the man there on the TV
Tells them that’s what they should do
In the name of God…
I Would
————-
the city itself, what it
is, a
city of walking at nite
city of old & ugly houses
city of real pain & real children
city of open sores & open eyes
city of doom and terror
city of ocean & animal lust
city of dying & strubble
city of Venice, my city, city within a city I do not know or love
wondrous city, city of birth
city of water & air
city of fire & earth
city of Venice, my city, doomed city, living city
city of magic, of stairs and ladders, of
roads.
–Stuart Perkoff
—————
Just Outside Ralph’s Grocery
On Lincoln Boulevard
It is wednesday afternoon
the day of the week
i was born on
& i am trying to fit
all my groceries in my wicker basket
when i see an old woman
coming out with one bag herself.
Too busy with the problem of space & food,
i only notice her age & cane.
Suddenly, a huge black bird
cries out, passing with wings wide
right above my bowed head.
“That’s a raven,” says the woman
close to me now. “He follows me everywhere.”
i stop my work, knowing
the uncanny has crossed my path.
i watch the woman cane across
the parking lot, bright with cars and midday light,
the raven following her to land
in a nearby tree while she pauses & checks her bag.
She is dressed in the garments
of just another old woman
but in a different time & world
people would have recognized her for who she is —
the Washer at the Ford —
goddess who commands ravens and wars —
& who passes by me
as i stand beside my rusty bicycle
ready to follow her
at her slightest command.
– krista schwimmer
————-
The Fall of Empires
By Mark Schulman
Let us sit upon the ground and tell
Sad stories of the fall of empires
The cowardly attempts by fools
To control the world entire.
Tell of evil contraptions that thresh
Indiscriminately through human flesh;
Of misguided warriors who bear
Naught but destruction from land, sea and air.
Listen to their mendacious bunk –
The minions who shuck and jive
Dispensing their useless junk
To the tattered people who survive.
Material abundance, days or nights
Just don’t ask for human rights.
Self-deluded masters never comprehend
That victory is an illusion in the end.
We who you occupy will not submit;
Will not dine upon your lies;
Will not believe a word of it!
Saying it a thousand times will not make it true.
We can suffer far, far more than you.
We who have nothing have nothing to lose.
Our blood will splatter on your faces, hands and shoes;
Our bones will jam the clockwork gears of your machines;
Pictures of our corpses will be seared upon your screens
Till death, and death alone, inhabits all your dreams.
Your hearts will grow colder, your souls will die.
If you continue, drop by drop we will bleed you dry!

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