- Music Video: I Do by Musiq Soulchild
- Music Video: I Do by Jessie James Decker
- Poem: Do Not! By Stevie Smith
Do not despair of man, and do not scold him,Who are you that you should so lightly hold him?Are you not also a man, and in your heartAre there not warlike thoughts and fear and smart?Are you not also afraid and in fear cruel,Do you not think of yourself as usual,Faint for ambition, desire to be loved,Prick at a virtuous thought by beauty moved?You love your wife, you hold your children dear,Then say not that Man is vile, but say they are.But they are not. So is your judgement shownPresumptuous, false, quite vain, merely your ownSadness for failed ambition set outside,Made a philosophy of, prinked, beautifiedIn noble dress and into the world sent outTo run with the ill it most pretends to rout.Oh know your own heart, that heart’s not wholly evil,And from the particular judge the general,If judge you must, but with compassion see life,Or else, of yourself despairing, flee strife.
- Poem: Bread By W. S. Merwin
for Wendell BerryEach face in the street is a slice of breadwandering onsearchingsomewhere in the light the true hungerappears to be passing them bythey clutchhave they forgotten the pale cavesthey dreamed of hiding intheir own cavesfull of the waiting of their footprintshung with the hollow marks of their gropingfull of their sleep and their hidinghave they forgotten the ragged tunnelsthey dreamed of following in out of the lightto hear step after stepthe heart of breadto be sustained by its dark breathand emergeto find themselves alonebefore a wheat fieldraising its radiance to the moon
- Poem: My Cup by Robert Friend
They tell me I am going to die
Why don’t I seem to care?
My cup is full. Let it spill.
- Poem: [Let Us Gather in a Flourishing Way] By Juan Felipe Herrera
Let us gather in a flourishing waywith sunluz grains abriendo los cantosque cargamos cada díaen el young pasto nuestro cuerpopara regalar y dar feliz perlas pearlsof corn flowing árboles de vida en las cuatro esquinaslet us gather in a flourishing waycontentos llenos de fuerza to vidagiving nacimientos to fragrant ríosdulces frescos verdes turquoise strongcarne de nuestros hijos rainbowslet us gather in a flourishing wayen la luz y en la carne of our heart to toiltranquilos in fields of blossomsjuntos to stretch los brazostranquilos with the rain en la mañanatemprana estrella on our foreheadcielo de calor and wisdom to meet uswhere we toil siemprein the garden of our struggle and joylet us offer our hearts a saludar our águila risingfreedoma celebrar woven brazos branches ramaspiedras nopales plumas piercing burstingfigs and aguacatesripe mariposa fields and mares clarosof our faceto breathe todos en el camino blessingseeds to give to grow maiztlánen las manos de nuestro amor
- Poem: I Sing the Body Electric 6. by Walt Whitman
The male is not less the soul nor more, he too is in his place,He too is all qualities, he is action and power,The flush of the known universe is in him,Scorn becomes him well, and appetite and defiance become him well,The wildest largest passions, bliss that is utmost, sorrow that is utmost become him well, pride is for him,The full-spread pride of man is calming and excellent to the soul,Knowledge becomes him, he likes it always, he brings every thing to the test of himself,Whatever the survey, whatever the sea and the sail he strikes soundings at last only here,(Where else does he strike soundings except here?)The man’s body is sacred and the woman’s body is sacred,No matter who it is, it is sacred—is it the meanest one in the laborers’ gang?Is it one of the dull-faced immigrants just landed on the wharf?Each belongs here or anywhere just as much as the well-off, just as much as you,Each has his or her place in the procession.(All is a procession,The universe is a procession with measured and perfect motion.)Do you know so much yourself that you call the meanest ignorant?Do you suppose you have a right to a good sight, and he or she has no right to a sight?Do you think matter has cohered together from its diffuse float, and the soil is on the surface, and water runs and vegetation sprouts,For you only, and not for him and her?
- Audio file: National Park by Fady Joudah
- Music Video: As We Enter by Nas & Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley
- Poem: Enter the Void By Juan Felipe Herrera
I enter the void,it has the shape of a viola:Israel, Jenin, West Bank, Nablus—a rubble boyshifts his scapula as if it was his continent, undergroundGazaground, I want to say—his only bone,the rubble boy is a girl, I think,her hair tossed, knotted and torn underthe green shank of fibers, tubes and shells.She digs for her rubble father, I say rubblebecause it is indistinguishable from ice, fire, dust,clay, flesh, tears, concrete, bread, lungs, pubis, god,say rubble, say water—the rubble girl digs for her rubble mother,occupation—disinheritance—once again,I had written this somewhere, in a workshop, I think,yes, it was an afternoon of dark poets with leaves, coffeeand music in the liquor light room.A rock, perhaps it’s a rock, juts out, two rocksembrace each other, the shapes come to me easily,an old poetic reflex—memoria, a nation underground,that is it, the nation under-ground,that is why the rocks cover it.I forget to mention the blasts, so many things flying,light, existence, the house in tins, a mother in rags.It is too cold to expose her tiny legs,the fish-shaped back—you must take these notes for me.Before you go. See thisundulateextendbeyondthe pools of blood.I ride the night, past the Yukon, pastSouth Laredo, past Odessa, past the Ukraine,old Jaffa, Haifa and Istanbul, across clouds,hesitant and porous, listen—they are porous so we can glideinto them, this underbelly, this underground:wound-mothers and sobbing fathers, theyleave, in their ribboned flesh, shores lispagainst nothingness, open—toward you,they dissolve again into my shoes—Hear the dust gong:gendarme passports,cloned maize men in C-130’s, with tearsbubbling on their hands, pebblesen route—we are all en routeto the rubblelands.I want to chant a bliss mantra—Prajnaparamitacan you hear me?I want to call for the dragon-slayer omchild.I am on my knees again.On the West Bank countthe waves of skull debris—a Hebrew letterfor “love” refuses me,an Arabic letter for “boundary”acknowledges me.Sit on an embankment,a dust fleece, there is a tidal wave ahead of me.It will never reach me. I live underground, under the Dead Sea,under the benevolent rocks and forearms andmortar shells and slender naked red greentorsos, black,so much black.En route:this could be a train, listen:it derails into a cloud.
- News Blog: Pakistani Pashtun Poets Restore Their Craft Amidst Massive Migration
- Poem: Consolation By Robert Louis Stevenson
Though he, that ever kind and true,Kept stoutly step by step with you,Your whole long, gusty lifetime through,Be gone a while before,Be now a moment gone before,Yet, doubt not, soon the seasons shall restoreYour friend to you.He has but turned the corner — stillHe pushes on with right good will,Through mire and marsh, by heugh and hill,That self-same arduous way —That self-same upland, hopeful way,That you and he through many a doubtful dayAttempted still.He is not dead, this friend — not dead,But in the path we mortals treadGot some few, trifling steps aheadAnd nearer to the end;So that you too, once past the bend,Shall meet again, as face to face, this friendYou fancy dead.Push gaily on, strong heart! The whileYou travel forward mile by mile,He loiters with a backward smileTill you can overtake,And strains his eyes to search his wake,Or whistling, as he sees you through the brake,Waits on a stile.
- Music Video: Revive’s Blink
We have cried often when we have given them the little victualling we
had to give them; we had to shake them, and they have fallen to sleep
with the victuals in their mouths many a time.
(parent of children working at a textile mill, to an
1832 Parliamentary inquiry into child employment)1.They cry for children too tired to cry for themselves,daughters twelve, eleven, eight—eyesshutting down as a grate’s banked coals shut downat midnight, in the rising damp called ‘home.’Too tired to eat after eighteen hours feedinglooms whose steel teeth grind insatiably,the girls will be offered up again at dawn.Yet they are the lucky ones, to work where skylightshold swatches of the unaffordable blue.Imagine these girls’ mine-trapped cousins, haulingblack rocks on sledges up tunnels of black air:half-undressed, belted, harnessed, saturatedwith the oil-blackened water they crawl throughpumping ‘the lifeblood of British industry.’Flogged for talking, Margaret Comeley, agednine, can sometimes close her mouth arounda piece of muffin—if she managesto keep it from the rats, ‘so ravenousthey eat the corks out of our oil-flasks.’Sarah Gooder fills her mouth with song‘when I’ve light, but not in the dark; I dare not then.’2.Here is a working girl so filled with lightshe is pure song: her sun-bright bodice shinesin counterpoint with her blue overskirt,and, from her forehead’s crescent of white linen,tapering light blazes a white pathdown arms and wrists to folds of spread blue cloth,like moonlight piloting the tide’s refrains.A Dutch milkmaid, Tanneke Everpoel,lucky enough to live in the Delft housewhere Vermeer’s eye and brush could catch the spillof morning light as her brief peacefulnessbrimmed over, serves here as a celebrant—bread heaped up on the altar-like table,wine transubstantiated into milkwhose brilliance seems the source of the room’s lightshe pours forever from the earthenware’sblack core. His pose; yet—all hers—underneath it(and signalled in her fixed eyes’ unconcernfor the beholder) such complete immersionin what she does, that she is all she doesand it is she, this offering-up of day.And he? When he was forty, the Sun Kinginvaded Holland. No one wanted art.In debt to his baker for three years’ worth of bread,Vermeer, according to his widow, falling‘into a frenzy,’ passed ‘from being healthy’in ‘a day or a day and a half … to being dead,’‘the very great burden of his children … so taken to heart.’3.Knowing the earth is closer to the sunin winter won’t revive the street personsleeping towards cold death in a bus shelter.Bread in a painting won’t cure stomach ache.So Margaret dragged her great burden of coalwhile Sarah sat terrified in the dark,and neither knew Vermeer’s poised working girl,broke bread with her, shared her breaking light.The painting stood by, helpless to save themor him, and looking at it now cannothelp anyone. Yet, it can cry for them,as parents take their children’s grief to heart:the beads of salt, shimmering on the breadlike diamonds, can be tears the two girls sheddown where no light sang their preciousness.The cradled pitcher’s brim can be their hearth,since it (and not the sky’s cold mine of stars)pours out what cannot shelter us, but feedsa hunger no daily bread can fill: for light—light that, like coal, comes from our earth; hungerthat, unlike grief, is inexhaustible.
- Music Video: Skillet – The Resistance // Suicide Squad // Music Video
- Poem: Comings and Goings By Glenna Luschei
In Tucsonwhen a university studentgoes homeshe might leave her deskand a chair, a bookcase outside her cavewith a sign, “Take me.”And who could resistheat radiating over furniturelike a mirage? You hoistan old Victrola into your pickupand ratchet up a new song.You start that life in the West,invent a past, and when that tunewinds down, it’s okay to put out,“Take me.”What do we have in lifebut comings and goings?