Monday, December 16, 2013

I watch as men burn for their sins on earth
Just to again burn for their sins on earth
I watch those who judge
And think their selves just
Then thank their selves for how just they are
In burning the men whose hands steal
I watch “him” burn along with this man
For how he stole me away with his flames,
Burned me from inside out
I watch how men like him burn for things
They steal with their eyes
And burn for things the steal with by mouth
I watch how greed consumes them like flames do a match
I watch how they burn in their fat
From things that they steal to consume
I watch them choke on the flames like
Choking back on tears
I watch soot faced and stubborn
The men that burn for their Justness
          -Paul Francois

          When I was growing up, my elders will always say, “when you point one finger at someone there are four pointing back at you.” I bring this up because this poem reflects on the unjustness of human kind and the cyclical blame game we play. The poem is a response to a story I wrote where men are burnt to death for stealing. Young girls are sexually abused and have no choice but to pretend like nothing ever happened. The story was a reflection on things I saw growing up in Nigeria. Although it is fictional I feel that it address issues that need to be dealt with. This poem highlights the main points of the story. There is a collective “burning” going on among the human race. And it is up to us to stand up and fight for each other. 
– Eta Oyarijivbie 

From Tombstone as a Lonely Charm (part 3)
D.A. Levy

if you want a revolution
return to your childhood
and kick out the bottom
dont mistake changing
headlines for changes
if you want freedom
dont mistake circles
for revolutionsoki
think in terms of living
and know
you are dying
& wonder why
if you want a revolution
learn to grow in spirals
always being able to return
to your child
and kick out the bottom
This is what ive been
trying to say––if you
attack the structure––
the system––the establishment
you attack yourself
& attack if you must
challenge yourself externally
but if you want a revolution
return to your childhood
& kick out the bottom
be able to change
yr own internal chemistry
walk down the street
& flash lights in yr head
at children
this is not a game
your childhood
is the foundation
of the system
walk down the street
flash lights in yr head
at children but be wary
of anyone old enough to kill
learn how to disappear
before they can find you
(that is, if you want to
stay alive)
if you want a revolution
do it “together”
but dont get trapped in
words or systems
people are people
no matter what politics
color or words they use
& they all have children
buried in their head
if you want a revolution
grow a new mind
& do it quietly
if you can
return to your childhood
and kick out the bottom
then become a being
not dependent on words
for seeing
whenever you get bored
change headlines
colors politics words
change women
but if you really want
a revolution
learn how to change
your internal chemistry
then go beyond that
walk down the streets
& flash light at

D.A. Levy was a lesser-known poet and publisher of the sixties. His promising poetic output was tragically silenced when he committed suicide in 1968. I chose this poem for our protest segment because this poem reminds me that sometimes the most radical thing we can truly change is ourselves.

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