Like most ideological statements it begs all questions.Used to watch the lightning crack down when it stormed.
The revolution composed itself in the delicate hand of a child.
The revolution organized itself as notes from the conscience of a brave woman.
The revolution offered itself to you with the blood and sinew of disciplined non-violence.
Brought to light what happens in the dark.
Used to imagine the hands that built the brick wall and chain link fence.
Those summer ladders.
The revolution re-imagines itself step by step on the ground of certain absolutes.
Dignity. Justice. Freedom. Freedom! Truth.
Used to play battlefields in the tall grass backyards.
Took half an afternoon.
Read about the trans-Atlantic slave trade, 1526 to 1870.
It too grew from the barrel of a gun.
One day those millions of murdered souls rise from the oceans and the prairies.
They ask are you now, or have you ever, been a member.
The revolution measures out its betrayal in gun barrels.
The world measures out its own indignity.
The revolution measures out its worth in martyrdom.
The world measures out its injustice.
The revolution has set its horizon far beyond the reach of any ballistic.
That world of freedom is coming to be. Will be.
Read about the Napoleonic Wars, World War I, World War II.
Wars of Religion and the Hundred Years’ War. Cold war.
Used to weigh out those feather light pages with a child’s fingers.
Summer ladders and a hard-won human voice.
The revolution is neither the last word nor only the first.
It’s the poetry, the philosophy, and the life fit to be made by all.
Being the warrior without becoming the war.
Being the revolution.
(for Hamza al-Khatib and Razan Zaitounah, and all the warriors)
we shared a Paradise
like we shared a whisper
held the rags and bones of dream
between us once upon a time
some thousand years
some thousand years set free
now we manage with a tent
a bag of rice with foreign letters
stamped across and matches
for the fire we throw the newspapers
into fix our bellies with our
own burning lives
we’ve done it for you
we’ve died beneath the barrel bombs
gently falling snow cut with chlorine
our dying mothers cry
we hold them tight until their last
quick fall into nothing
they disappear into memories
of the few of you who notice
and we wonder do you care
or was it just imagined
in our fasting
ten thousand marching smiling
proud again to be human
in the world we’d made from dust
ten thousand years
ten thousand years set free
we’re met with truncheons
shot down in the tens and then
met with propaganda words
hypocrisy and silence
cold as death
now we’ve ended here at last
your only friends if only known
the Christmas star atop this thing
you’ve raised to worship on
that’s mostly just a fiery lie to tell
our broken bones in ruin
dream of ancient beaches
washed beneath gold vaulted sky
the brown skin melts with earth
tall trees thin arms and legs
made for wind and water
cook smoke in the hills