Asia Rainey 2015 for GSR Delegation to COP21
Too long we have existed in silence.
Bare toes rarely touch earth.
Even in giving birth, we seek numbness and detachment
And we wonder why it is hard to latch on
To what will keep us well and nourished.
Bodies bothered with disease and discontentment,
Popping pills to pacify symptoms or for the semblance of peace…
We seek relief and release from maladies we’ve come to believe now
Are hereditary or just inevitable
When living on blocks a stone’s throw from where chemicals flow freely.
We are as angry as Mother Earth,
Shaking and crumbling at our cores
Bracing our feet in man-made hurricanes.
We know the storms are coming,
But there is only so far we can run.
Rushing like tsunamis but drowning,
We are bound to this ground
Like twin siblings gasping for breath.
We and this earth are connected…
We forget that the healing begins with respect
Who will loosen the umbilical cord that has
Become the noose?
We have been waiting for someone to save us
For the revolution to come from some power
That decides it’s time we matter.
We use our intellect to dissect the reasons why
The lands erode and the air smells like fire
Water washes up death on shores…
We already know the blame of big business
And we grow weary of listening to the justifications
Of why they are allowed to continue,
But those who assume power will not
Provide the answers.
The answers are in you,
In the mouths that speak truth,
The gatekeepers that stand between
The causes and impact…
The activists that activate
The revolution that is waiting to take place.
The people are ready
They have been waiting to understand
Why 9 people on the same block
Got cancer in belly, head and chest,
Why ain’t no elders in the 9th Ward left
Because they thought the waters wouldn’t rise that high –
Not that time –
Why everything in his fishing line comes up belly up
Why these children got asthma and diabetes
Why can’t we see these trees no more
Why it’s so hot in October
Why it’s so much colder in a southern wintertime
Why is it not a crime that there are more questions than solutions…
Where is the divine in this place?
It is time
For us to find the words,
The words that will make the people rise like Suns
And bring back the warmth to this place…
We know the language.
It is written in our DNA
Heartbeats in sync with the earth’s core…
We just don’t listen anymore.
But if we stop to pay attention
We will hear the message
That what we do to Her, we do to ourselves,
That no power is greater than that
Which we already own.
This is not just a place we lease…
This is home.
Our roots run as deep as these trees
Stretching without permission
Without other people’s decision that it is time we survive.
It is beyond time we thrive as we were meant to.
We are as alive as the earth beneath our feet,
And we and this place must stay dedicated to our own protection.
And it is time to remember
To plant our feet
In the right direction.
We cannot afford to debate for too long
With this much wrong left for our children.
We are the fix.
We are the messengers.
We are the elixirs sent to heal and repair…
When we plant seeds at home
We bloom everywhere.
So we will take to the streets
We will sing solutions into this thickened air
We will be the fire that brings change and rebirth
And we will stand on the shores of this earth
Rising like the seas
Rising like the seas
The seas are rising
But so are we
So are we.
Not to be reproduced without permission from the author