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October 2, 2005

A poem: Las Tormentas (The Hurricanes)

-- by Thomas Leavitt

[When I saw this, I had to share it. The author is a personal friend, I met him while he and I were serving as chairperson and secretary of the National Lavender Greens Caucus. -Thomas]

Las Tormentas

I've wanted to write something
Tragic
Dramatic
A Terrible Adventure
Wrath of Mother Nature
Epic Betrayal
but the 10 o'clock news got to it first
but not before it got to them
poverty @ 160 miles per hour
blowing apart lives
uprooting communities
knocking down life lines
parishes perishing
lost precious days
that could have saved them
except no one really cared
no value, no economic importance
when you're
black/poor/white/southern/asian/undocumented/indigenous/old/latino/refugees
that refuse to return to refugee camps
or an astrodome ghetto
that refuse to give up what little they have
paid for in blood and history
written in floor boards
in Creole and Cajun
in halls frequented by Octoroon ghosts
where the third world isn't an intellectual exercise
but another name for the Gulf Coast
Rita/Katrina just cleverly named smokescreens
natural chances
for disenfranchisement
because this is no time for partisan politics
according to the Republicans/Democrats/Wealthy/Insured
the ones with the means to get out early

but the latest poll of a 1000 dead disagree
they say that the time for politics is now
or revolution
whatever will give meaning
to needless deaths
32 elders left in their beds
as water surrounded them
and they died from thirst
that's what happens
when a rescue is run like a horse show
and proper breeding determines who lives
and who gets put out to pasture
nothing I could have written
would have imagined India & Venezuela
offering aid to the world's most powerful nation
truth is stranger than fiction
and hurricanes never hit the land of make believe
children don't go missing
somewhere over the rainbow

this must be real

as the lost stare out from CNN and FOX
which declared that this isn't about race
while black faces continue to flash across the screen
missing, missing, missing
last seen praying for a meal
a glass of water
that the police where guarding
from looters taking survival
into their own hands
providers doing what they could
to make it one more day
one more chance to find their children
despite the best efforts of FEMA and the EPA
hoping that they'll have a home to return to
if the real looters
don't get to them first
Halliburton, Fluor, and Bechtel
finding heaven in the hell of the meek
who shall inherit nothing
while the rich find new ways to pass through a needle
with an eye of a storm
spinning incompetency
into a "heckuva job"
never mind that this could have been prevented
never mind that this was predicted
no time for finger pointing
no time for explanation
while the FBI
finds the time
for a political assassination
another Puerto Rican murdered
in the fight for liberation
what could be more perfect
than an act of God cover-up
to draw eyes away from Iraq
where poor brown people die
like poor black people die
thrown to their deaths
in the race/class divide
a shallow grave
filled by the sons and daughters of
black/poor/white/southern/asian/undocumented/indigenous/latino/refugees
all chasing the American dream
into Kabul and Baghdad
into Port-au-Prince and Sarajevo
into broken promises and disillusionment
into weeping mothers that need no convincing
that Sheehan is right
Kanye too
that in America dreams have been outsourced
and so have the futures of 1,000,000 displaced
or so they want us to believe
but 1000 dead disagree
say it's time for a grassroots solution
poor people in motion
because 1,000,000 is an army
a liberation brigade
that says we will not go back to the ghettos
we will not go back to full time jobs that pay for a part-time life
we will not go back because that has been washed away
and the wave is moving forward
moving towards something that I can write
a blow by blow account of a capitalist knock-out
a Republican dissolution
a Democrat implosion
cuz truth is stranger than fiction
but sometimes fiction is truth waiting to happen
and this time we are making the news
acknowledging the surety that racism didn't end with slavery
that the war is on the poor and not on poverty
that we've paid for this invasion and that catastrophe with tomorrows wages
promising our children nothing but deficit and inflation
passing on an insurmountable debt to future generations
that this is pure insanity

and it will stop

because a tsunami is coming
1000 dead agree
that when it hits the change will be beyond imagining

-W. Brandon Lacy Campos
-September 30, 2005
-Albuquerque, NM

From the author:

"I am going to be working on a chapbook in the near future, and I am planning on donating 5% of the proceeds to the Southern Partners Fund to help support the rebuilding of community organizing infrastructure in the Gulf Coast and another 5% to the GPUS earmarked for the LGC."

If you're interested in a chapbook of Brandon's work, you can write him at: camposvive@hotmail.com

Posted by Thomas Leavitt at October 2, 2005 5:45 PM

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