Poems
                         Occupy Wall Stree
 
I worry about you, children
Risking your lives on the streets of the cities.
Do you not know how dangerous they are?
 
They give you license to gather and sit
Say your piece, sing your song,
And they watch. Everything you do they watch.
 
Do you think you are more powerful than they?
Understand: they have more to lose
You have already lost it all
 
And they will not give up.
They will stomp you like refuse on the road.
 
The earth will cry out and the stars will weep
But they will not listen.
 
I worry about you children,
Risking your lives on city streets.
Open targets of brutality.
 
Be careful.
Please. 
 
                          -Shauna L. Smith
 
 
                        Shock
 
I am in a cold shock locked on the news
The earthquaked, Tsunamied faces, limbs, bodies,
Of women, men, children, 
The maimed, freezing, dead, flood the screen.
And here it is - a time bomb in numerals.
Fukushimi Daiichi reactors 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 – 6
Smoldering plumes, radioactive waters,
About to seep into every anguish of the night.
 
Hard to know what to obsess over.
Bombing the Libyan people to save them -
There they are waving their arms to invite us in
Fools sitting on mountains of oil -
When have we ever cared for human rights
Why you can shoot them off like tin cans
– easier than ducks in a row. 
 
Or should we watch the stripping of the poor
The 90% of people (thank god not me or mine) 
Whose few remaining resources are on the way
     up the ladder,
Even if they can’t make the climb. 
 
Don’t listen; don’t watch – limit your time, the experts say 
It will just get you down.
Don’t forget to exercise, eat three healthy meals a day, 
Get eight hours of sleep a night and reassure your children
You’ll protect them from harm.
 
Remember to meditate;  follow a spiritual leader
In your church or on a mountain top, either one will do.
 
“I can’t stop crying when I read the news,” writes a friend.
 
Why suffer with the suffering
When you can ignore them
After all, it’s not your way of life being taken down.
 
Let’s talk about Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy.
We’re all children anyway.
 
--- Shauna L Smith
 
      
                Moon Sliver
 
Not Moon River.
You’re not romantic
And don’t deliver.
Your tides are wild
And don’t provide comfort.
More futile than fertile,
Where is the buffer?
 
Not Moon Giver.
You’re on the take,
Living’s not easy
And you raise the stake.
More taking
than giving -
Unleashing your pride.
No justice, no mercy –
Not one can abide.
 
Not Moon Quiver.
Not like you’d want
Less than desirous
More like a taunt.
Your mysteries aren’t hiding;
They’re shrouding all room.
Delirious and deluged,
Too swollen to bloom.
 
So ante up, Crescent,
Give us our due.
We’re tired and aching
And hurting from you.
 
We’re done with the silence,
The waxing and waning.
We need some kind of sign
For those weary from waiting.
 
O’ tide-changer,
Hear our cry for relief,
We beckon your pull
to restore our belief.
 
  --Lisa Bertaccini
   
What Frightens Me
 
Just when you think 
you have experienced everything possible under the sun,
Along comes another tidal wave
and its aftermath, the undertow.
 
I've stopped pretending 
I can keep track.
I've stopped pretending 
I can breathe into each exquisitely agonizing piece of pain 
     and breathe out relief.
 
Everyone seems so angry.
Everyone seems to determined to win.
Everyone seems so inpatient and entitled, 
    blind to each other's humanity.
Not even seeing the danger
     in a world view skewed 
     to ensure that someone always does without.
Not even seeing the danger
     in deliberate distortion of fact.
 
How can I get back to the belief in one-ness?
How can I return to that place of absolute certainty in the subsurface unity of all?
 
What frightens me 
is my glossing over the horror.
What frightens me 
is not taking the time to be outraged.
What frightens me 
is not taking the mental space 
     to create a lived in sanctuary
     that can only be had 
     by allowing myself to experience the pain 
     each and every time.
 
What frightens me 
is not knowing 
when I can count on myself.
 
                       --Lisa Bertaccini
 
 
 
 
Why We Must
 
Because someone once told me
the stars in our sky
burned out long ago
and if one had decided 
to turn in early
who knows
i might not have had light
to write this poem tonight
 
So you never know
how much depends
on your bus ride to the march
or what cafe poets
learn from my piece on Menchu
or how many kids will live
off your vote to hunger strike   
or who my toddler nephew tells
of how we demonstrate downtown
or how far into the future
your voice over bullhorns
will carry
 
But even if you keep on
just to keep me
keeping on
so i can keep my friend
with three babies and rent due
to keep them keeping on
or if my grandfather knows
that in board rooms and on picket lines
we'll keep him keeping on
 
It will be worth the heart
that jumps out of your chest
when you instruct the business man to
step aside
for the young momma on the bus
it will be worth burning oil
over poster board and paint
it will be worth the arrests
nervous breakdowns
weary eyes
 
And if a fizzled star can shine
for a million years or more
then i know we must keep on
because the people will survive
wars on the Middle East
and when all the madness dies
and you look down on the world
from the place where starlight flickers
someone
will bask in your glow
and after night passes
she will rise with the dawn
and keep on
 
                         -- By Felicia Martinez