April 10, 2013

Poem of the Month: Democratic Womanism


Alice Walker

You ask me why I smile
 when you tell me you intend
 in the coming national elections
 to hold your nose
 and vote for the lesser of two evils.
 There are more than two evils out there,
 is one reason I smile.
 Another is that our old buddy Nostradamus
 comes to mind, with his fearful
 400 year old prophecy: that our world
 and theirs too
 (our "enemies" – lots of kids included there)
 will end (by nuclear nakba or holocaust)
 in our lifetime. Which makes the idea of elections
 and the billions of dollars wasted on them
 somewhat fatuous.
 A Southerner of Color,
 my people held the vote
 very dear
 while others, for centuries,
 merely appeared to play
 with it.
 One thing I can assure
 you of is this:
 I will never betray such pure hearts
 by voting for evil
 even if it were microscopic
 which, as you can see in any newscast
 no matter the slant,
 it is not.
 I want something else;
 a different system
 One not seen
 on this earth
 for thousands of years. If ever.
 Democratic Womanism.
 Notice how this word has "man" right in the middle of it?
 That’s one reason I like it. He is right there, front and center. But he is surrounded.
 I want to vote and work for a way of life
 that honors the feminine;
 a way that acknowledges
 the theft of the wisdom
 female and dark Mother leadership
 might have provided our spaceship
 all along.
 I am not thinking
 of a talking head
 kind of gal:
 happy to be mixing
 it up
 with the baddest
 bad boys
 on the planet
 her eyes a slit
 her mouth a zipper.
 No, I am speaking of true
 regime change.
 Where women rise
 to take their place
 en masse
 at the helm
 of earth’s frail and failing ship;
 where each thousand years
 of our silence
 is examined
 with regret,
 and the cruel manner in which our values
 of compassion and kindness
 have been ridiculed
 and suppressed
 brought to bear on the disaster
 of the present time.
 The past must be examined closely, I believe, before we can leave
 it there.
 I am thinking of Democratic, and, perhaps
 Socialist, Womanism.
 For who else knows so deeply
 how to share but Mothers
 and Grandmothers? Big sisters
 and Aunts?
 To love
 and adore
 both female and male?
 Not to mention those in between.
 To work at keeping
 the entire community
 fed, educated
 and safe?
 Democratic womanism,
 Democratic Socialist
 would have as its icons
 such fierce warriors
 for good as
 Vandana Shiva
 Aung San Suu Kyi,
 Wangari Maathai
 Harriet Tubman
 Yoko Ono
 Frida Kahlo
 Angela Davis
 & Barbara Lee:
 With new ones always rising, wherever you look.

[This pretty much speaks for itself. Thanks to Meizhu Lui for submitting it.]

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