Have been coming back to this poem a few times, as I’ve had a few people tell me it’s disorienting and a few tell me they didn’t know I was racist!! So I’ve been reading it over and yes it might be disorienting, it’s content Is disorienting . . .. where I live we are no longer allowed to fly Southern flags off public posts and all reference to Stonewall and Lee is in an embarrassed aside undertone, (are we going to demolish their statues, tear down their houses, the university and hospital named after them next??) . .. like boy can we not bring those Traitors to the Union up again and just forget they existed, you know kind of like Wounded Knee and the concentration camps for the Japanese during the WW’s along with how the railroad got put in, heck there’s so many stories we’d like to just pretend never happened and they’re not even mine, but it’s an odd thing to want to do as from my perspective stories are meant to inform and edify, so that we don’t forget and do it over and over again!!
Mind you, I’m no Southern lass, heck I’m not even ‘from’ this country to begin with, but I am a citizen all the same, and sometimes an opinionated one, and I find it crass and utterly bogus along with insanely dangerous when there are Laws that mandate Expression, and that is Not the same as supporting slavery even if the Southern flag is viewed by some folks as a symbol of pro-slavism/racism/ism ism ism. It chaffes at my sense of autonomy, seeking to leash it; desecrates the holiness of Wholeness, and spits all over Kinship all in one breath. It doesn’t have to be all pretty, pretty, sweet, sweet, nice, and the SAME for there to Be Coexistence and Synergy, does it?!! Surely we can live our differences side by side, with warts and flags, without these enforcements?? A symbol is just that: a symbol, and to box it up and outlaw it is to empower it in ways that it didn’t have when it was just a piece of cloth that represented something to a small group of people who didn’t want to join the Union . . . as in it wasn’t all about slavery, that’s kind of become the point even though really it was about something else . . . like maybe avocados?
To me the illegalization-ism of the flight of the Southern flag in public spaces is representative of a crusade against (Southern) culture (though it could be Any culture/people that needs to be whitewashed, just fill in the blank as needed) in as indigenous a form as Southern culture can be, after all what’s indigenous anymore?? Here I am::: you could say I’m a Mama to 5 half-breeds depending on how you looked at it, but hello, we’re the new in-digenius . . . that flag is biscuits, sausage, gravy, fried chicken, bar-bee-Q, *and* Rosa Parks along with some absolutely AMAZing people I’ve gotten to know who are, if you want to see in skin tones and namings, black, white, and brown, rednecks, hillbillies, country folk, mountain men and women, cooks, artists, teachers, nurses, bear hunters, and more . .. . if you see with the naming glasses removed, why they’re just Light, light, and pure light with hearts of gold! So I get fired up by this form of backward racism that targets Southern flag fliers at its butt, the new minority, in order to whitewash out the past amongst other things. .. .and this country is SO incredibly expert at the practice of whitewashing and playing make believe (let’s all be ostriches yeah) even when it’s time to stop, as though If we collectively believe a Lie we can make it be Truth but really we’re all just hallucinating but at the same time hallucinogenic substances are illegal??!!?? To date this policy=ism is not 100% successful as there are people who still Remember, though they too become the targets of the Voice of the New Order of homogenous acceptance as seen by the popular new Squad, the Tolerance Police that’s not really tolerant, the irony just about kills me . . . though I’m still Here, like the dandelion, bitter`sweet.
And that is what this poem is about:::: the ludicrousness of popular morailty, which seeks on the one hand to celebrate diversity and freedom and multiculturalism and the environment, bees, trees, butterflies, water, air, and so on yet on the other hand it’ll mandate who can fly what and where, who people can marry, what human beings can do with their own bodies, how and where babies can be born, what parents must do with their kids, what they have to put into their kids bodies or be criminalized, what is being taught here?? and all the while there is Round up being sprayed on the roadsides and lawns being covered in concrete, food produced in multistory bee-less conditions, chemicals injected into water sources, the wildlife food sources being bulldozed over to put up more subdevelopments while perfectly livable houses go to ramshack, and on and on and on until it gets to the point where I’m stricken with colony collapse disorder myself ::: going do I laugh, cry, or both!!! What I DO is write, this disorienting poem and no, I don’t support slavery though just because the civil rights movement happened does NOT mean there aren’t still slaves in chains, and no, they’re not all black either nor are the chains all visible. Just saying.
Once upon a time, when we all spoke the same language, the oak said,
“Come, sit in my arms, and listen to the sands that glisten,
To the wind, to the stars, to the gulls, to the planet called mars,
To the the pretty girls dancing below
In frilly flowery skirts,
Their slender ankles have a song or two to show.
Lean back in my embrace and look
To the fern, to the fox, to the finches, to the brook
They all have a tail or two to share,
And while you rest
The bees and butterflies will sit on your chest
For you too have a thing or three for them to see.”
Once upon a time
We All spoke the same Language
Of glances, of dances, of gestures, and postures
Of twittering chittering beating vibrations,
We still do
Just some of us don’t Know what we’re saying anymore
When we’re not speaking in Words,
Though we’re speaking all the same
In our thoughts become deeds
Sending messages on vibratory frequencies
To the Oak, the Foxes, the Finches and Bees
They here us loud and clear
Screaming about Ourselves, our One Human Self Being
Hear Hear Hear,
Who doesn’t?! The Ones who have gone
Taking with them their song
Until the woods are silent, dark, and deep
With no diversity this world to keep
And miles and miles of yawning sleep
In a masquerade, a homogenized parade
Where’s that southern flag? Lynched on the bridge by a mob led by a hag
Gone with Stonewall and Lee, gone with all the men at the university
With Thurman Clark and his Southern drawl, with Sylvie and his ramp foraging crawl
The pirate, the gunslinger, the wild man in the woods
The herbwife, the witch with her bag full of goods,
Where’s the red man, the yellow man, the black man, the brown?
Gone to mocha, capuccino, been taken down
In the service of tolerance and acceptance and some pithy state of grace
Where there’s one form, one shape, one vessel, one face
What comes then when we’re All so One?
I dinno but the butterflies are laughing laughing till they fall apart
And it’s all good, until the gravy’s all gone . . .