Archive for poetic breaks

8. Sprung!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 4, 2008 by alexis
by Jerry Currier

by Jerry Currier

“Above all else, our politics initially sprang from the shared belief that Black women are inherently valuable, that our liberation is a necessity not as an adjunct to somebody else’s but because of our need as human persons for autonomy.”
Complete the poem:


sprang             shared



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For example:   Alexis Charles who says she usually does NOT write poetry contributed this beautiful elaboration:

1. Not from ABOVE

But from within.

You gave life to words.

That gave me life.

Words that

SPRANG  from our  SHARED oppressions, fears, dreams and joys.

Calling for our LIBERATION.

Illuminating our NEED.

2. When I had lost faith in everything ABOVE.
What SPRANG from the depths of your hearts.
Let me know my pain was SHARED.
The not so quiet call for LIBERATION
Those words
“black women are inherently valuable”
Held me softly, tenderly, gently,
Quieted the dull aching NEED
Wrapped me in love and solidarity


Where do   exist?
Your words


iNto motion a well-spring of truth, knowledge and love gushing from the valleys of your thoughts,
G through the canyons of your silences, over the cliffs of your screams.

I SHARED my fears and dreams with you and I realized I’m not the only one


In moments of NEED you

Cynthia bringing the light!

Cynthia bringing the light!

Cynthia Oka, radical mama and feminist indigenous rights organizer in Vancouver wrote:

5:47 am

pungent is the aching flesh over hard bone

it is no luxury to choose


rising dawn

droplets of sun on my skin

stinging like ice

i must search again

build dig   tear from towers of tyranny


all that demands our breaking

a million footsteps marching on my chest

fear not fear not

the arms of my mothers

spears sprang against cannons

today so too do mine

that is my blood spilled shared

that is my life-giving love

that is my claim

on freedom

above this colonial landscape

i embalm my body

and choose to grace this day

with my presence

i am no finely cut diamond

i am the raw earth

on which your build your throne

i desire no queenhood

i am higher than price

stars breaking in sky

this is my spirit

cage me wage me

snap every joint

i rewrite the universe

through my undoing

we are our prophets

persistent as dew

fear not fear not

we are all we need


9. The Only Ones

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 4, 2008 by alexis

“We realize that the only people who care enough about us to work consistently for our liberation are us.  Our politics evolve from a healthy love for ourselves, our sisters and our community which allows us to continue our struggle and work.”

Write a poem for someone you love using at least 4 of the words in the above passage.

Post your poems as comments below or email us at!

For example radical anti-racist educator Tema Okun wrote the following poem for her students:

Tema Okun

Tema Okun

Combahee Love

We realize

that in America

the right to be uninformed

is holy ground.

This is a love letter to us, then,

the only people who struggle consistently

to be so careless with our love.

I am witness to how we revel in our lousy politics.

I wish for us instead

a healthy love,

one to usher in our liberation

from ourselves and

into community, into enough.

-Tema Okun November 2008

Aiden Riley Graham

Aiden Riley Graham

And radical archivist and trans-activist Aiden Riley Graham wrote this amazing poem for his comrade Noah Blose:

Why we’re so important to me…

When I feel unseen by the rest of the world, you see me

A mirror to find myself in

Walks toward liberation found in our talks

Simple-complex conversations

Grounding me in love and compassion,

Shaking me from everyday painful reactions

Learning to love myself, through loving you

Replacing individual failed expectations

With dreams of collective possibility,

Painful shared rememberings

Bring our communal struggle into relief

Standing “Eye to Eye” in the spirit of Audre

We’re everything we need to be

The only ones

And only one of many

A transformative justice we forge

Daily, weekly, monthly

They’re just phone conversations

And oh so much more

Aiden Graham to Noah Blose

24. Publishing: A Poetic Break

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 4, 2008 by alexis

“We feel that it is absolutely essential to demonstrate the reality of our politics of other Black women and believe that we can do this through writing and distributing our work. The fact that individual Black feminists are living in isolation all over the country, that our own numbers are small, and that we have some skills in writing, printing and publishing makes us want to carry out these kinds of projects as a means of organizing Black feminists as we continue to do political work in coalition with other groups.”

Complete the poem:

reality writing fact


carry continue

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