Tag Archive: social action


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Political Conventions 2012

       Republican

I saw a desert

Like the sands of Arizona

Driven by the winds

The winds of talk radio

Middle aged white folks

Driven by the winds of hatred

Against an American of color

       Democrat

I saw a quilt

A quilt of color

I saw tears

Tears to create an oasis

Young and old

Expressing the joy of compassion

A rainbow of acceptance

I saw America

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Praying Presidents

Photo: pieter pastoor

Praying Presidents

I guess certain prayers do work

Today only born again candidates want to be president.

Many have actually talked with you.

Tell me god,

Did you whisper in their ears to forget the homeless.

Did you send a heavenly email to call real sinners gay.

Did they get a note “from the desk of god” to ignore the poor.

Why are you sleeping with the rich, didn’t your son despise them?

Oh I see – its for the cause   –    cause ya love us.

                   †

Names

Names

Give them names

The hungry, the homeless, the beaten

Give them names

The dissenters, migrants and war weary mothers

Josh

Mohammed

Jessica

Jose

Yolanda

Give them names

The jobless, the jailed, the fanatics

Give them names

The orphans, the dying, the poor

Carol

Mark

Yusuf

Susanne

Teresa

Give them support

a home, dignity, work

Give them a reason

Share your humanity, your voice, your talents

Jesse

Rebecca

Hans

Nora

Dominic

Give them your vote

Your activism, your government

Give them peace

Oppose wars, discrimination and greed

Mia

Elijah

Leah

Jake

Samantha

Give them a name

==

Disarray

Disarray

The judge sentenced him

Like a wolf in a storm he stood alone

Now knowing he was the hunted

While in school

He navigated the dismay

In buildings that manifest the disarray

The community center’s padlocks

Expose a broken pledge

Yet the wolf knew where to play

Broken families manifest the disarray

He enters prison, modern and new

Guards salaries twice teachers’ pay

His prison family accepts him as prey

Society now stands in front of the judge

While leader packs look away

Feeding on those with green in their claws

And prisons manifest the disarray

*******

The Grill

The Grill

 

I’m grilling tonight, the essence, so sweet.

Gently blowing the scent to my neighbors.

 

I wonder if she smells those puffs of dragon air.

I wonder if she cares.

 

Sometimes my other neighbors grill.

I smell the aroma in the air.

Instantly hungry, almost like a bear.

 

Tonight I wonder why none of us share.

Victor Jara

Untittled by Lilly Fenichel

Victor Jara

Positioned in front of an abstract.

An empty museum full of artists.

The treasure  before me has a story.

The abstract lines ask me,

ask me, for interpretation.

Soiled yellow covers the canvas.

Lines and spatters of black.

Gobs of paint still sit where the artist placed them.

Rifts of red like flashing lights of lunacy.

Disturbing wretchedness gallops at me.

 

The young man who created this is gone.

Now I stand where he stood.

I am in the place where he held a brush and made a touch.

In a past decade, these oils developed a declaration.

Abstract forms are revealing a struggle.

I sense tears dripping on the painters palette.

Fear jerks my hand, I want to escape.

 

The decade of the 60’s was not all love and not all free.

That decade gave us 10 years of

– war, a senseless one.

10 years of

– American leaders gunned  down.

10 years of

– so many deaths of our own black kin.

10 years of

– cities burning with bomb shelters to hide from our own man made sins.

 

How can abstract lines relay thought, struggle and pain?

I am aware of the artist’s arousing aversion.

It was just those emotions that guided his brush.

The yellow of war

The black of death and despair

The red, a call for all to react.

 

The canvas now shows a torso – mutilated by minds of madness.

Reminding us of  Victor Jara

Singing his song with shattered hands and splintered ribs.

Murdered by his own government, let me add, all supported by the CIA.

His death now in full display through other onus hands holding a brush

This colorful canvas coaxes us to continue.

 

Broken guitar strings make an appearance.

Twisted and curled incapable of producing sound.

Phil Ochs, like other troubadours, also silenced, his songs no longer sought to be sung.

Prophets of the present world show deeds that are a nations weeds.

 

Yes this display is a declaration of danger,

in company with other conceptions of art.

If you stand up for your conscience then beware.

Entire governments may be mobilized.

Your body and mind broken beyond repair

 

I touch the painting trembling as I sense the past

The rough rope reeks around my neck – this is how the artist left his spot in life.

My feet sense the floor but that painting has no door.

I understand why his tears wet my soul.

He was trapped in his term of truth.

Artists today exude similar emotions.

Emotions we all live with in our moment in time. 1

Trenches of Truth

Trenches of truth

Moonlight softens my face

Reflecting in a puddle of tears

Touching trembling trees

I ramble, not alone, in a forest, now ravaged.

Searching for a trench of truth

Where are the scouts to lead us

The rivers of righteousness are lost

The Potomac is poisoned

Once it nurtured a great forest

Now moonlight exposes greed, destruction and despair.

Occupy the forests, stake your tents, replace the stewards of our trees

Cleanse the Potomac

Let it once again baptize.

.

Starbucks and Me

Starbucks and Me.

 

I fancy Starbucks.

Such an enchanted place,

full of civil people.

Cooperative staff act as butlers.

A grande skinny cappuccino with 1/2 pack of raw sugar and a light sprinkle of chocolate powder doesn’t raise an eye brow.

 

The coffee is good.

Not great – but good.

 

Starbucks informs me of hunger in Africa

I like to buy coffee there because it’s helps those people.

Starbucks is green.

Every cup is made from some thing recycled.

Every cup asks me to recycle.

 

Clientele cradle their cups while debating in delicate dialog.

Laptops glow with enlightenment to the wi fi set.

Yes, I order my brew while mingling with intellectuals.

 

You walk away feeling honorable.

A good potion,

guiltless deeds

and all the while sustaining the earth.

I do derive pleasure from Starbucks.

 

And then,

then I go on with life,

gratified I saved the earth.

Gratified I helped the hungry.

Yet, no one notices

the beggar at the curb.

Why not recycle his life with gentle words and deeds?

Yes, Starbucks is an honorable experience,

but the beggar begs to differ.

 

Don’t be fooled.

Starbucks caters to the ME in us, not the WE in us.

 

Action

Action

There will be a time when all will end

That’s far away, how bout your friend?

Care for him do what you can

Aids is his companion

Now is the instance

what will you do

Will you touch?

Do you

Know

My parents, Pieter and Ada Pastoor 1939

The Choice of a Nazi

 

My parents were Dutch,

now that by itself, doesn’t mean much.

They lived in Holland miles from the strand.

During the war, like many, they took a stand.

 

My parents hid Jews in that little house,

Jews that ate and were quiet as a mouse.

Nazis searching for Jews under all sorts of covers,

even hunted for those Jew lovers.

 

Can you imaging the fright by all,

as the Nazis marched by so tall.

Complete power and authority,

to put you out of misery

 

The Nazis knocked on their door one day,

took my father in a brutal way.

Mother and grandmother cried at the door,

one soldier said “go back to your whores”.

 

That one Nazi gave me a life.

Without his deed I would not have this strife.

This happened a year before I was born,

so now you understand why I’m so torn.

 

Is this this devil’s one kind deed,

or simply another horrible weed.

I ponder this young man’s thinking,

does he look from above winking.

 

Oh, that young soldier was not an idol,

my guess is he became suicidal.

The real heroes of that hour,

those two women who changed the act of power.

 

I’m not sure what they cried or did yell,

but whatever, it rung like a bell.

Maybe it was said with their eyes,

yes, it made one soldier see the lies.