Jan 17, 2021 • 4M


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a bi-weekly reading of a beloved poem or excerpt from my bedside table, accompanied by a few stray thoughts and, on occasion, work in progress.
Episode details
Text on a page reading: Sometimes my insides rain from the inside out and then I know I am alive I am  alive I am alive
Affirmation by Eve L. Ewing

My god, these days are wild and demand imagination.

Here’s one place to start: Illinois has become the first state of our fractured, bleeding union to end cash bail.

It’s a step—an important one—in a direction that can lead to extraordinary possibility. I long to see that path.

So of course, I turn to poems.

Here are two, in conversation. May we all find so much faith.

Assata Shakur

I believe in living.
I believe in the spectrum
of Beta days and Gamma people.
I believe in sunshine.
In windmills and waterfalls,
tricycles and rocking chairs.
And i believe that seeds grow into sprouts.
And sprouts grow into trees.
I believe in the magic of the hands.
And in the wisdom of the eyes.
I believe in rain and tears.
And in the blood of infinity.

I believe in life.
And i have seen the death parade
march through the torso of the earth,
sculpting mud bodies in its path.
I have seen the destruction of the daylight,
and seen bloodthirsty maggots
prayed to and saluted.

I have seen the kind become the blind
and the blind become the bind
in one easy lesson.
I have walked on cut glass.
I have eaten crow and blunder bread
and breathed the stench of indifference.

I have been locked by the lawless.
Handcuffed by the haters.
Gagged by the greedy.
And, if i know any thing at all,
it’s that a wall is just a wall
and nothing more at all.
It can be broken down.

I believe in living.
I believe in birth.
I believe in the sweat of love
and in the fire of truth.

And i believe that a lost ship,
steered by tired, seasick sailors,
can still be guided home
to port.

Eve L. Ewing

to youth living in prison
after Assata Shakur

Speak this to yourself
until you know it is true.
I believe that I woke up today
and my lungs were working,
my voice can sing and murmur and ask,
My hands may shake, but they can hold
me, or another.
My blood still carries the gifts of the air
from my heart to my brain,
Put a finger to my wrist or my temple
And feel it: I am magic. Life
and all its good and bad and ugly things
scary things which I would like to forget
beautiful things which I would like to remember
-- the whole messy lovely true story of myself
pulses within me.
I believe that the sun shines
if not here, then somewhere.
Somewhere it rains,
and things will grow green and wonderful.
Somewhere inside me, too, it rains,
and things will grow green and wonderful.
Sometimes my insides rain from the inside out.
And then I know
I am alive
I am alive
I am alive

“Hope is a discipline.” - Mariame Kaba

(In case you needed to hear it.)