It Wasn’t Supposed to Be Like This

As National Poetry Month Continues at Politics for the People.

A poem by Mary Fridley

A poem I just wrote. The first line is something that my mom said to me when I first visited her after she went into a nursing home.”

 

It Wasn’t Supposed to Be Like This

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
Said simply
No lament of pity
Though many tears
An indictment of life?
A grasp for honesty
by a now blurry mind?
A tribute to dreams once dreamed
or futures never imagined?
It wasn’t supposed to be like this
Perhaps a realization created
as much by an ever-shifting present
than a past regretted
Necessary to say aloud
Preparing for what’s ahead
To live as she can.

Mary Fridley serves as the coordinator of special programs for the East Side Institute.  She is an activist with the NYC Independence Club and lives in Brooklyn.

 

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A poem by Peter White

I wrote this some years ago but it’s still relevant!”

 

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WHY I OCCUPY

Why I occupy
Let me tell you why
I am moved to really try
By a love force I cannot deny!

Every day I’m glad to be here
To see all the beauty and cheer
Unfortunately I can also see clear
And know that the End Game is near.

The Occupy movement gives me hope
That We the People will stop being a dope!
Humane change is possible if we cope
With politicians who are as slippery as soap.

The two Parties are a corrupt duopoly
They help the rich control their plutocracy
We cannot have a democracy
If more people are into a jockocracy!

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer
They get higher and mightier as we go lower.
Most elected Democrats and Republicans cower
To the ruling elite who have economic power.

We can teach the world to sing
In imperfect but loving harmony
With peace on earth being our symphony
Helping our neighbors in our community.

We each have a role to play
We have the freedom to have our say
We can live in the light and lead the way
To occupy our government and overcome some day!

Peter White is a long time activist in NH and a member of NH Independent Voters.

 

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National Poetry Month 

At Politics for the People Continues

Do you have a favorite political poem that you would like to share? Is there an original poem you’ve written?  Please email me at cathy.stewart5@gmail.com with your suggestions for consideration.

A Poem by Dr. Fields

Today’s poem was written by Dr. Jessie Fields:

This is a poem I wrote in 2013 and was inspired to dedicate to a friend, Mary Fridley, who had just led a workshop on Love and Creativity.”

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Mary Fridley and Dr. Jessie Fields

Love and Friendship

Top notes sing, lift high and upright the fallen star

Of love and friendship wide, no meek prelude to hot embrace.

Romance praise of rhyme over rhyme far

Forever unceasing has not and never slackened the pace

Of violence, war and hate everywhere unwound.

Begin again, give what human life requires

To thrive in soul, health and beauty together bound

Workers, a community of people re-creating, a new becoming inspires.

Take down the old books, here is a muse to make

A new world. High history and love in the mad descending hours

Search and create all the ways a hard hand to shake

A cold eye to shine. Teach this love, it is ours.

Jump we humans quick to hate and no peace find

We forget our real preference is kind.

 

For Mary Fridley

July 13, 2013

 

~Dr. Jessie Fields is a physician practising in Harlem, a leader in the New York City Independence Clubs, and a board member of the All Stars Project and Open Primaries.

 

***

National Poetry Month 

At Politics for the People

Continues

Do you have a favorite political poem that you would like to share? Is there an original poem you’ve written?  Please email me at cathy.stewart5@gmail.com with your suggestions for consideration.

Beijing by Jan Wootten

 

 

 

I wrote this poem in Feb. 2008, after the NY Philharmonic’s historic concert at the newly opened Performing Arts Center in Beijing. The musician’s bus travelled through Tiananmen Square, past Mao’s tomb.

Tour bus hums through the empty square
shrouded in shadows
Mao’s crypt sits forlornly in the night.
Motionless among the delirious eruptions of Capital that criss-cross the skyline
he silently bears witness to a surreal mix of the forbidden city and equity markets.

(A sadness grips me knowing he lies alone.
I wonder if he turns over, shakes off his red cover,
if his rouged cheeks blush harder with the confusion and absurdity of the moment.)

By day, peasants from across the land wrap round and round his resting place
a simple people, hard working and humble
toiling for little, investing everything for a better future
they mingle in the mall with tourists from Omaha and Waco.

Tonight the people crowd into the tiny concert hall
a titanium space ship landed on Tiananmen
a beautiful, alien cultural machine settling in, beckoning with free tickets for all

Quiet men in sweaters and zippered jackets clap politely, then warming to the music, smile broadly;
small children wave at the stage,
the timpani’s energetic wands signal back a western hello.

later, bundled onto their tour bus, oboists, strings and percussion wind through cavernous, empty streets;
a young thin man in uniform presses against his epaulets, standing watch under a red star

And Mr. Mao, I imagine,
strains to the sounds of Ravel and Brahms
tapping out the syncopated rhythms of this strange leap forward.

Photo on 11-19-16 at 2.39 PM
Janet Wootten, a proud independent since 1972 — and a Fulani foot soldier since 1988, helping to advance the independent cause.

Rakeen Dow-A Tale of Two Cities

Rakeen Dow is an activist with the All Stars Project’s Committee for Independent Community Action. He is also a co-founder of Live Poet’s Society NYC performance ensemble.  

A Tale of Two Cities is a poem that Rakeen wrote in response to the regressive Next Gen plan for New York City’s public housing.

 

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A Tale of Two Cities

This is the tale of two cites,

One where you know,

The rich get richer,

And richer,

The poor get poorer and poorer

And consistently screwed!

De Blasio’s political platform,

When running for the Mayor ship

Was that he didn’t want

New York City,

To turn into

A tale of two cites

All the while

Gentrification was the master plan

To be implemented

Sort of like it was

When the true Native Americans

Where run off the land!

So here comes NYCHA

With their Next Generation/Infill plan,

A plan built to deceive

And is as stealth as a Trojan horse!

They’re gonna build

These luxury condo buildings

On the public housing’s under-utilized land?

They say don’t worry

Thirty percent of the apartments

Are earmarked for affordable housing usage

For those with a minimum income

Of forty thousand dollars.

Meanwhile the median income

Of the families who live

In NYCHA housing complexes is

Twenty-five thousand dollars.

So I ask,

Affordable for whom?

Not my sister Deborah,

Not my uncle Buddy and

Not my best friend Boo

Who I grew up with

They all still reside there

What are they gonna do?

It’s a damn shame!

People being forced out their homes!

Meanwhile where is our political leadership?

Last I heard

In some backroom

Cutting deals with

The Developers!

What has this world come to?

Again

It’s a damn shame!

When basic human needs,

Such as housing and shelter

Have become obsolete

Due to the love of money

Politicians’ and developers

Greed!

So remember, the next time

You pass by A Next Generation/Infill site,

Behind it is,

A Tale of Two Cites!

 

***

Politics for the People Conference Call

With Matthew Desmond

Sunday, October 23rd at 7 pm EST

Call In Number: 641 715-3605

Access code 767775#

Independents are Here to Stay

We have had a wonderful celebration of poetry throughout April, both chosen and written by P4P members.  Our poetry celebration continues with an original poem written by NH Independent Voters’ leader, Peter White.

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INDEPENDENT VOTERS ARE HERE TO STAY!

Hello everyone we’ve come to say

Independent Voters are here to stay!

Get up off your couches and join our way

And together for our Nation we will save the day!

 

We’re sick of the baloney the two Parties feed us

While their bosses on Wall Street are stealing with no fuss!

Our government is corrupt and a real mess

It is putting our democracy to the test.

 

We the People must rise up and start to lead

To demand what is right and what we really need:

Representatives that work for us instead of corporate greed

Who refuse PAC money, have integrity, and know how to read!

 

The US Constitution is what they should know

And the Bill of Rights is what makes our Country glow.

Open primaries are needed so our movement will grow

Until the PEOPLE SHALL RULE instead of the dough!

The Discovery of the Sao Jose Paquete Africa

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Dr. Jessie Fields sends us a poem she wrote last year, inspired by the discovery of the sunken Portugese slave ship, the Sao Jose Paquete Africa in 2015 off the coast of South Africa. The ship sunk in 1794 with over 400 slaves aboard.

Jessie shares with us:

In 1794, Mozambique Island was the capital of Portuguese East Africa.

Carved onto the wall of the former French Consulate on Mozambique Island an inscription in Portuguese reads:

“Remembering the thousands of slaves that were torn from the Mozambique Island and from our continent so we can battle poverty, sickness, H.I.V., AIDS, malaria, famine and corruption.”

A poem dedicated to the millions and millions of enslaved people whose toil, blood and tears build America and Europe and to those who carry the mantle of leadership forward.”

 

The Discovery of the Sao Jose Paquete Africa

 

Below a mountain top, off the Cape of Good Hope dive.

To the ocean’s multitudinous bottom sink.

In the dark in a slave ship hold there lie.

 

The ship too close along the rocky brink

a storm splits. Two hundred and twelve people drowned

And two hundred survived still to be sold into slavery.

The inquest records in his own words found

The Portuguese captain survived to testify.

 

Retrieve the sea preserved shackles of trade in African people.

The old blocks and cooper buckles, the iron ballasts weighed against

human bodies, now to a different use double, every people

Of a world revive. Ascend to the air with manifest of centuries past.

Lift the discovery a searing beam from far, in hands black and white

These artifacts hold, remains for all who remain to fight.

  Jessie Fields, December 2015

sanjose_slavewreck_dive

Underwater archaeology researchers on the site of the Sao Jose slave ship wreck near the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.  Photo courtesy Iziko Museums.

 

To learn more, you can watch a video about the discovery of the Sao Jose Paquete Africa.

From the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

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Our celebration of National Poetry month continues with poems chosen or written by P4P members.  

A Song from Joe Pickering Jr.

Joe Pickering, an independent activist from Maine is also a songwriter. He sent us a song for our National Poetry Month celebration.  Enjoy.

 

Bangor public library< October 2013

Gwen Mandell and Jacqueline Salit from IndependentVoting.org; Barbara McDade, Director, Bangor Public Library and Joe Pickering. October 2013

 
AWAKE !

CHORUS

BORN IN A FLAME IN THE OLD NORTH STEEPLE
I WARNED THE BRITISH ARE COMING MY PEOPLE
YOU ROSE UP! I BECAME THE LAND OF THE FREE
AWAKE ! I’M THE LAND WHO CRIES FOR THEE
AWAkE ! I’M THE LAND WHO CRIES FOR THEE

DON’T WAIT FOR THE NEW I-PHONES TO APPEAR
AWAKE ! INSIDE INVADERS ARE HERE
POLITICAL PARTIES ARE SEIZING ME
OUR TROOPS CAN’T FIGHT THEM LEGALLY

AWAKE !! HORDES OF CANDIDATES ATTACK
MEDIA KNIVES SLASH FRONT AND BACK
ROUND THE CLOCK, PROMISES AND BABBLE
SUPER PACS FROM NEW YORK TO SEATTLE

REPEAT CHORUS

CANDIDATES WAGE CAMPAIGN ATTACK
THEY SHOUT I’LL TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK !
I’M RIGHT HERE ! I HAVEN’T GONE AWAY
DON’T ABUSE ME ! YOU’LL KILL ME SOMEDAY !

POL PLATFORMS OF WAR AND FEAR
WON’T SAVE YOU! AWAKE! LISTEN! HEAR !
MY PEOPLE WIN BACK YOUR LIBERTY !
YOUR CIVIL LIBERTIES ARE ME YES, ME !

REPEAT CHORUS

BRIDGE

YOU MY PEOPLE HAVE THE LEGAL RIGHT
RIGHT PARTY WRONG USE YOUR MIGHT

OPEN ELECTIONS ARE THE WAY TO ELECT !
PARTISAN ELECTIONS DO NOT PROTECT
FREEDOMS THE FOREFATHERS FIRST WON
AWAKE! AWAKE ! OR, I AM DONE !!

FADE WITH LAST LINE IN LAST VERSE SIX TIMES

Joe Pickering Jr. Songwriter Harry King Artist and Producer King of the Road Music: Music Publisher C 2015

 

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Our celebration of National Poetry month continues throughout April with poems chosen or written by P4P members.  

Grassroots Nation by Catana Barnes

Today we continue our celebration of National Poetry Month with an original poem written by Catana Barnes from Nevada.

 

GRASSROOTS NATION

This great experiment referred to as Democracy

seized at dawn’s early light by patriots of hypocrisy

party lines drawn in the sand

choose a side or take a stand

grassroots nation seeking reform

survival relies on new ways to perform.

 

New_Catana_2a - Copy (2)Catana Barnes is the founder and President of Independent Voters of Nevada.

 

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Our celebration of National Poetry month continues

throughout April with poems chosen or written by P4P members.  

Ciudad de México by Jerry Everett

Our next poem was written by Jerry Everett.  Jerry lives in Florida.

Jerry Everett

Jerry Everett, Mexico 2015

 

Ciudad de México

 

Broad stones contain

Templo Tenochtitlan

Cathedral and Sagrario

The incompasing of mountains

 

There you steped to count the skulls

Laid out on racks in shining rooms

And so assecc the worthy men

Who hide from our lady of Tepeyac

 

Los Indio’s of careless art

Who pick up images wherever given

Who sell the flowers of the sun

And persist

 

The zero’s after their ones

Leave and walk the streets you left

Taking with them tomorrows roses

To redden a frosted dawn

 

In the one narrow path

North, out of the valley

Walk in peace

Away from the angry city

 

Red with stones in opposition

 

GRE – 2008

 

Re: The poem, some years ago Deborah Green was going down to Mexico City on business. I had gone down to Mexico and Belize with a friend back in 1972 and we had picked up a couple of students from the University of Mexico, in the DF, and they told us about the massacre of 300 students of the University of Mexico in 1968, by the military police. Just before the Olympics. The massacre did not take place in the central historic zocolo of Mexico City, but a smaller zocolo near the University. It changed my view of Mexico. The people there are so nice and decent on average you think they can’t have the problems that the news tells you they do. Still I could not see the stones of a zocolo (every Mexican town has one), but that I would think of the blood of all those people, on those stones. So when Deborah said she was going down to the DF for business, I told her to be careful. I went home and I was thinking of her job as someone who helped to make business negotiations, and of the central square in Mexico city and the giant stones it is made up of from Aztec times, and of Our lady of Guadalupe and the Indians, and the miracle of the roses, and the Spanish cathedral and the chapel there. It was all a bit of a swirl, but on the way home I saw a guy in a light coat in the freezing weather and he had the facial features I know are Mayan. So when I got home I put all that in a poem. What Mexico did poorly it kept, what it did beautifully it sent to us. Those who try to change those things are killed.”

Our celebration of National Poetry month continues throughout April with poems chosen or written by P4P members.  

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