Jeffery Martin

I face the new year 

eyes open pencil sharpened 
and unpromising baggage discarded

 

I won't stop fighting 

but will change strategies 

if it looks as though 

yesterday is repeating itself

 

I will speak to the heavens 

more 

walk amongst the trees 

and flowers more 

give salutations to the 

ancestors more 

be a replica of perfection 

more 

rub my dark brown skin 

more 

and be unapologetic 

for where this skin 

is taking me

 

this new year 

the first without my 

mother 

will supplant all voids

with a soul music 

on the frequency of the 

gods 

I shall not fear 

I shall not belabor 

I shall not lie down 

but rather 

walk in the  aura of promise 

knowing what I know 

and learning what I do not 

pouring libations to 

the collective hands 

guiding me 

I will not forget 

the blood that nourishes 

my garden 

and the tears that 

sometimes stunt it

 

I will keep my body 

strong 

my spirit in tune 

and mind sharp 

I will not beg or 

cower or wait 

for justice 

either it will be 

mine or I shall 

join the ancestors 

in its pursuit

 

I shall study 

war and peace and love 

and hate 

to their extremes 

and when dumbfounded 

I shall talk 

to the wind 

shake hands with the 

eucalyptus 

sit in company with 

the rose

 

This new year 

shall find me 

more of 

all things relevant 

and less of the 

things which oppose 

my need to smile

 

(c)2015

Note @ California

What have we become

when we scream about borders

and whisper about children

in little cages

called necessary

 

We are that horror movie

finding its reality

that makes one cover

eyes and cringe

no longer is it

necessary

to look beneath beds

or in closets

for our greatest

fears

it walks amongst us

in plain sight

 

wearing suits and badges

and skirts

and middle class

aspirations

 

Its breath is bad

but it talks too

much

to notice

the toxicity

polluting every blade

of grass east of here

west of there

north of this

south of that

 

It made no sense

when it was black

skin

 

it made no sense

when it was red

skin

it made no sense

when it was

brown skin

it made no sense

when it was a

woman’s

skin

it made no sense

when it was a christian

a muslim

   a buddhist

an atheist

a communist

a revolutionary

it never made any

sense

 

it was unthinkable

ungodly, despicable

and divisive

it was us at our

lowest

we thought

but now we surprise

even the wicked

for what have we

become

when we turn our

vileness

towards the children

how do we sleep

comfortably

knowing babies sleep

in pint-sized cages

put there by adults

who are doing

 

their mutha fucking job

 

What have we become

when we close doors

on small dreamers

because they are viewed

as a threat

to someone, somehow

somewhere

 

Do tyrants ever really

see their victims?

Do monsters feel the

fear of their prey?

we can now answer

these questions

because we have become

that horrific

entity

 

lurking in the shadows

waiting to pounce

not only on the

unaware

but also on the seeds

the blades of green

which are supposed to

bring new growth

and vibrancy

but find themselves

hemmed in by what

we’ve become

 

Aren’t we supposed

to love our children

your children

all children

what have we become

when the young

 

have been turned

into statistics

into uncomfortable

alliances

to our greed

and selfishness

unwanted by purveyors

of half truths

and whole lies

 

Have all of us

gone mad

or have too many

of us

grown silent

in the face of evil

cowering in its

presence

numbed by its

 

language

and hypnotized

by its face

 

Since when do children

become threats

to national security

and recipients of so

much scorn

what law was passed

separating us

from the empathy

that in the past

was seen as a

bridge to progress

and advancement

who signed the papers

incriminating us all

in this slaying of spirits

 

at borders created

by men who had no

business

drawing lines in

sand

that was never peacefully

handed over

to them

 

What have we become

when we turn

architects of the future

into monsters of our

imaginations

 

If we will not fight

for children

what is left to fight

for

 

what excuse can

we give

and what excuse

is acceptable     

 

 

(c)2015

 

What Have We Become
(for the refugee children)

Jeffery Martin is an amazing Poet and Activist. His selfless actions lend him to helping so many groups throughout Los Angeles. He serves the homeless community of Skid Row by offering Poetry and Art. He works with children that work through learning difficulties, and he is an Ambassador of Humanity! 

 

Jeffrey hosts Open Mic each 2nd and 4th Friday at Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural - open to all creative genres! www.tiachucha.org 

 

Come to know more about Jeffery through our LAPS Member Spotlight, 

An Interview with Jeffery Martin.

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