Friday, March 5, 2010

Dont' Forget Haiti

Mud Mothers
the children of haiti
are not mythological
we are starving
or eating salty cakes
made of clay
because in 1804 we felled
our former slave captors
the graceless losers sunk
vindictive yellow
teeth into our forests
what was green is now
dust & everyone knows
trees unleash oxygen
(another humble word
for life)
they took off
with our torn branches
beheaded our future
stuck our breath up on pikes
for all the world to see
we are a living dead example
of what happens to warriors who―
in lieu of fighting for white men’s countries―
dare to fight
for their own lives
during carnival
we could care less
about our bloated empty bellies
where there are voices
we are dancing
where there is vodou
we are horses
where there are drums
we are possessed
with joy & stubborn jamboree
but when the makeshift
trumpet player
runs out of rhythmic breath
the only sound left is guts
& we sigh
to remember
that food
& freedom
are not free
is haiti really free
if our babies die starving?
if we cannot write our names
read our rights keep
our leaders in their seats?
can we be free
really? if our mothers are mud? if dead
columbus keeps cursing us
& nothing changes
when we curse back
we are a proud resilient people
though we return to dust daily
salt gray clay with hot black tears
savor snot cakes
over suicide
we are hungry
creative people
sip bits of laughter
when we are thirsty
dance despite
this asthma
called debt
legendarily liberated
- Lenelle Moïse
Lenelle Moïse hailed “a masterful performer” by, is an award-winning “culturally hyphenated pomosexual” poet, playwright and performance artist. She creates jazz-infused, hip-hop bred, politicized texts about Haitian-American identity and the intersection of race, class, gender, sexuality, spirituality and resistance. In addition to featured performances in venues as diverse as the Louisiana Superdome, the United Nations General Assembly Hall and a number of theatres, bookstores, cafes and activist conferences, Lenelle regularly performs her acclaimed autobiographical one-woman show WOMB-WORDS, THIRSTING at colleges across the United States.
Moïse will be featured at Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness, March 10-13, 2010, in Washington, DC. The festival will present readings, workshops, panel discussions, youth programming, film, activism – four days of creative transformation as we imagine a way forward, hone our community and activist skills, and celebrate the many ways that poetry can act as an agent for social change. For more information:
Please feel free to forward Split This Rock Poem-of-the-Week widely. We just ask you to include all of the information in this email, including this request. Thanks!
This poem is reprinted from Split This Rock’s blog–where you can find other great poems and poetry news <>

Copied from Like a Whisper. Pass it forward.

No comments:

Post a Comment