In the Grassroots Begin (Reprise)

I ask now: What is activism’s
Most important goal?
Be it perhaps to liberate
Each person to be whole

In any way that person feel
The need their whole to be
Manifest individ’ually
Truly completely free?

I think it is.

The question, then,
Is whether I might qualify
The title for, or whether by
Disability it belie

For I am hardly strong enough
To protests and to marches go
It would add so severely
To the pain that I already know

Nor may I close peruse the news
And still expect to be
Appropriately focused
As poets are, eternally

I can’t make an appointment
And dependably be there
When and as committed
For I might not be anywhere

Laboring under such fatigue
As most folk know not e’en to dread
Might be confined that afternoon
To my perspiring bed

I guess I should just give it up
This notion that I also be
Any kind of partner In
Activism’s activity

Except, perhaps…

… those times when I
Am out on errands run
And with folks on the bus with me
Get up a little fun

You meet all kinds there, dark and light
Laborers, gangstas, young and old
The helpless, th’upwardly mobile
Inexpensive briefcase hold

Homeless huddling with their carts
Ex cons in a daze
Folks from every different place
Walking a hundred different ways

Now, if I clown around with one
Or maybe two or three
Intending to show each soul how
Acceptable it be
In my eyes and the eyes of God
Might that qualify me?

If I make sure my lips and eyes
Gently smiling be
When I walk past those many
Who’re despised by our society
The brown skinned and dimin’uative
Kids trying to be free

The service counter personnel
And cleaning faculty
The aged, halt and those poor souls
Skittering furtively

Convinced that never in this life
They will forgiven feel
For whatever it is they did
Which their self hatred seal

If I look straight into the eyes
Of every single one of these
Would by so doing I succeed
Activism’s tail to seize?

If when I do the single thing
I am still qualified to do
That’s sit up when the pain recedes
And write these words to you

I polish every single one
For maximum impact
Grounding any illusion filled
Reader in unsullied fact

Speaking for those invisible
Scared into hiding, dispossessed
Will’t leave me of the title
Of an activist possessed?

Well —

Now that I have thoroughly
Investigated the
Question that we started with
I think I start to see

Something that I’ve been noticing
Activist friends about:
The best ones do not really care
If anybody finds them out

They work behind the scenery
They march one in a crowd
They exercise each little bit
Of freedom they’re allowed

If called, they’ll get up in the front
And from all watchers take the heat
But it’s ordinary people
Like the ones right down your street

Just doing what each one can do
Each ordinary moment in
Will see organic uprising
In the grassroots begin

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