Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Womens rights’

As the wonderful Richard Söderberg said while he was on the Guldbagge awards, (Swedish Oscars) In order for women to take a step forward, men need to take a step back. It was a wonderful, true and very aware statement from one of Swedens coolest people. I thought about that statement, and about #metoo which he was, of course, referring too when I read this poem written by Syrian born Palestinian and now Stockholm resident poet Ghayath Almadhoun. It’s a beautiful poem of sadness and repentance for his part in the oppression of women everywhere, even in countries in which he has never set foot, in centuries long past and yet to come, for crimes against women he has never seen committed by men he has never met. If we are to grow past this oppression, men everywhere need to stand up and acknowledge their part in it, and take a step back so that women can take that so very important step forward.
 
Confession – Poem by Ghayath Almadhoun
 
You;
women who have trampled grapes
with bare feet
since the beginning of history
who were locked in chastity belts
in Europe
who were burnt to death
in the Middle Ages
who wrote novels
under male pseudonyms
in order to get published
who harvested tea
in Ceylon
who rebuilt Berlin
after the war
who grew the cotton
in Egypt
who covered your bodies with excrement
to avoid rape by French soldiers
in Algeria
virgins
in Cuba
who rolled cigars
on their naked thighs
members of the Black Diamond guerillas
in Liberia
samba dancers
in Brazil
women who have had faces destroyed
by acid
in Afghanistan
my mother …
 
Forgive me.
 
Translation from Swedish: James Blake
Ghayath Almadhoun

Read Full Post »

A beautiful poem by a new friend that puts the immigration issue into perspective, Please read!!

 

Source: We Can All Hear The Voices

Read Full Post »

I will see nothing
But the children of peace
Their hair spread against the wind
Like the wings of angels

I will hear nothing
From the tombs of your dead
But the voices from my own thoughts
Like the salve of the ages

I will not open my door
To you as a visitor
Bringing your unrepentant anger
To my thirsty soul

I will no longer dance
With you parents of war
Your darkness blots out
The light from my feet

I will not see your world
Nor read your newspaper
Not hear your symphony
I will not say your prayers
But those which I make myself
The words of empowerment
The songs of unison

I will not drink at your table
I will not eat of your meat
You have no nourishment
To offer such a one as I

The end of the world
As you know it
Will be our only salvation

I will not die
Until we, all of us,
Can die under peaceful skies
Our souls drifting quietly across the sunset
Like a shroud of the finest linen

Read Full Post »

There is no greater injustice than the continued gender based oppression of and violence against women across the world.

http://commondreams.org/news/2014/11/24/end-hunger-empower-women-study

Read Full Post »

With the thought of the awful attack on the Jerusalem synagogue, it is worth a reminder of our shared humanity. We are all Palestinian, we are all Israeli, we are all Iraqi and American, and Russian, and Rom, and Hopi.

I can definitely understand the sense of frustration coming from the muslims in east Jerusalem as the see their history  being evaporated as Israelis rename streets, overtake homes and even disallow prayer in Al Asqa Mosque, the third holiest site in the Muslim faith, this going against a long-established agreement between the ruling Israeli government and Muslims living in Jerusalem. All of this, of course, on top of everything else they have had to endure. However, there is never a justification for violence. I will always believe a peaceful settlement can be found but not until both sides are ready. I can say with all certainty that Netanyahu is far from ready. Sadly until the rest of the world, the US and Great Britain especially, stop their blind support for Israel things aren’t going to change much. But about the photos…..

These beautiful photos celebrate Palestinian music, sculpture, art and the human spirit. That part of us that no one can truly conquer. Not war, not racism, not apartheid, not poverty, not illiteracy, but rather our souls, our essence. In that sense at least, we are indeed all Palestinians. As I’ve said many times before and will repeat many times, No one is truly free until we are all free, no one is equal while another is oppressed.  I urge all of you to take in the photos, the text and the spirit.

 

 

In Pictures: ‘We are all Palestinians’ – In Pictures – Al Jazeera English.

Read Full Post »

Well all, it’s mid-term election night back in the good old USSA and it seems like I’m due to be disappointed in “my fellow Americans” one more time. According to CNN’s latest information, while election results are still being counted, (it is now 04:26 GMT +1 here in Stockholm)  it seems that the Tea Party Fascists are only two seats away from claiming control of the Senate for the first time in eight years and are in the process of boosting their control of the House of Representatives. Obama will continue to be frustrated by a congress that blatantly refuses to give him any respect he may or may not deserve. Nothing will be passed through congress which began in the White House and anything passed by the TP controlled congress will most likely be vetoed or fought bitterly before being forced to the President’s desk. This my friends is called a “stalemate”. In other words, the American voters once again fucked things up.  This is not even considering the state and local elections, a concept that I find, frankly to scary to even begin to think about thinking about.

While I’m one of the least likely to give a great deal of creedence or support to Obama, the idea of the Tea Party continuing to gain in  control of the congress scares me even more. Perhaps it’s the lesser of two very evil evils here. There was a wise man who once said, “Hey, WTF are you  doing?” I’m sure this question has arisen more than once in the erratic and oft confusing history of politics, and voting in America is certainly no exception. It saddens me greatly to think that American voters continue to get the proverbial wool pulled over their eyes and ignore what is so obvious to the rest of the world. When oh when will the great American conscience rising happen? Will the sleeping giant that is the American dream wake up before it’s too late? Will America ever get the hands of the GOP OUT of their wallet and OFF of their freedoms? Will the Bill of Rights ever be what they were intended to be? Will the USSA ever be the beacon of peace instead of the bacon of the GOP breakfast? My doubts continue to grow. I want to believe. I want to say I’m proud of my country, but I just can’t. It seems that in this world, in this lifetime, I never will.

Read Full Post »

Masha Shekarloo was a young, energetic pioneering passionate brilliant women’s rights activist in Iran, Just saying that should earn her respect, that she in a country so built on oppression, especially towards women,  would dare to stand up is admirable.  She was a pioneer but a woman, born in Tehran, educated in Chicago, who returned to Tehran and saw an oppurtunity to make a change.   Please read the article below and share it, share her passion, her belief in the possibilities and her work.

 

http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/10/10/remembering-mahsa-shekarloo-the-womens-rights-activist-and-internet-pioneer-born-in-iran/

 

Also, I highly recommend following the link to her online magazine, called badjens. It’s truly worth a follow!

http://www.badjens.com/

Read Full Post »

Ahhhh,, Allen G. It’s hard to think of a poet who had a bigger influence on me than you. Ezra, yes, tiger cage or not, Kenneth Rexroth and Kenneth Patchen both have opened my eyes to the beauty of taking on a social cause and of love, as has Neruda.

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,

dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,

angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night, “
 
I was one of those angel headed hipsters, I was one of the frustrated youth, busted without a reason, inclined towards the inevitable decline, ousted with nowhere to go and no way back in, climbing a ladder that I didn’t know didn’t exist, where are the fucking steps? Where am I going? Following a hollow leader, leading nowhere but up and ending up nowhere but down, tearing my clothes in a flagellants rage, whipping my back with all the insipid uninspired rules of the military, the crucifix burnt into my skull, he is risen he is risen, Dylan, no, not Thomas, Bobby, no not Kennedy, a poet for no one but words for all, stuck in my throat, gagging  like a cock at an orgy, a hero running the streets at dawn, now, here in Stockholm luring me into a storm of calmness, denying me my rage until i couldn’t hold it anymore shooting it out into the worlds great gloryhole, with no one on the receiving end,
 
Well, I digress. Allen was simply one of the great minds of our, or any, generation. It is a pleasure to read and share his work. I’ve been planning on writing something for my 60th birthday a few weeks ago and I still hope to do that soon. It would be massively incomplete if it didn’t include this magnificent fountain, this famously censored HOWL.

 

Howl by Allen Ginsberg : The Poetry Foundation.

Read Full Post »

I found this article this morning while surfing the dreaded but unavoidable Facebook and it struck a chord with me. I remember the nights  directly after Obama won his first term as President. I was in Stockholm and everywhere there was a sense of enormous relief. Not only did it mean the imminent departure of Bush and Cheney, but we all wanted to believe it would bring about changes the likes of which we hadn’t seen for some time. The types of changes that we had been longing for, the types of changes that people were fighting and dying for. A government,  with a considerable amount of power, might turn back  to diplomacy as the first course of action. A government that might actually keep its promises, closing gitmo, ending the illegal and immoral wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A government that finally would repair perhaps the biggest wrong in the 20th century, and force Israel to return to its 1967 borders, one that would force Israel to rethink the nakba and allow the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. A government that would free its political prisoners both those inside their own prisons and those illegally kept in prisons throughout europe. etc etc etc

 

Did we expect too much?   How much IS too much? What do we have the right to expect from our governments and from those who proclaim to be the world leaders?

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts after reading this article..

 

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/10/obama-europe-s-biggestdisappointment.html

 

 

Read Full Post »

cohen

 

 

 

Leonard Cohen, who in my humble opinion is one of the coolest and kindest people on the  planet, is also a gifted poet, as most people who have heard his music know from his wonderful lyrics and if you’ve read his poetry even more so.  I admire him greatly for his gifts his class, his style his poetry and his music,  but also for the sense that if we had somehow been alive together in the earlier part of the 20th century, we might have been freedom fighters, partisans, fighting with words perhaps, side by side. A nice fantasy perhaps.

Today  he celebrates his 80th birthday. In honor of his birthday, I’m posting both a poem he wrote called “Questions for Shomrim” about Gaza, and the lyrics to one of my absolute favorite songs ever. They both speak to me in many ways. The poem, because of it’s beauty, but also the fact that it was written by a Jew and is a strong condemnation of Israels policy of apartheid with regards to Gaza. The poem because of what I mentioned above. The song is called “The Partisan”.  Enjoy this wonderful genius!

“Questions for Shomrim”

And will my people build a new Dachau
And call it love,
Security,
Jewish culture
For dark-eyed children
Burning in the stars
Will all our songs screech
Like the maddened eagles of the night
Until Yiddish, Arabic, Hebrew, and Vietnamese
Are a thin thread of blood clawing up the side of
Unspeaking steel chambers
I know you, Chaverim
The lost young summer nights of our childhood
We spent on street corners looking for life
In our scanty drops of Marx and Borochov.
You taught me the Italian Symphony

And the New World
And gave a skit about blowing up Arab children.
You taught me many songs
But none so sad
As napalm falling slowly in the dark
You were our singing heroes in ’48
Do you dare ask yourselves what you are now
We, you and I, were lovers once
As only wild nights of wrestling in golden snow
Can make one love
We hiked by moonlight
And you asked me to lead the Internationale
And now my son must die
For he’s an Arab
And my mother, too, for she’s a Jew
And you and I
Can only cry and wonder
Must Jewish people
Build our Dachaus, too?

— Leonard Cohen, poem from 1970’s

 

“The Partisan”

When they poured across the border
I was cautioned to surrender,
this I could not do;
I took my gun and vanished.
I have changed my name so often,
I’ve lost my wife and children
but I have many friends,
and some of them are with me.

An old woman gave us shelter,
kept us hidden in the garret,
then the soldiers came;
she died without a whisper.

There were three of us this morning
I’m the only one this evening
but I must go on;
the frontiers are my prison.

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
through the graves the wind is blowing,
freedom soon will come;
then we’ll come from the shadows.

Les Allemands e’taient chez moi, (The Germans were at my home)
ils me dirent, “Signe toi,” (They said, “Sign yourself,”)
mais je n’ai pas peur; (But I am not afraid)
j’ai repris mon arme. (I have retaken my weapon.)

J’ai change’ cent fois de nom, (I have changed names a hundred times)
j’ai perdu femme et enfants (I have lost wife and children)
mais j’ai tant d’amis; (But I have so many friends)
j’ai la France entie`re. (I have all of France)

Un vieil homme dans un grenier (An old man, in an attic)
pour la nuit nous a cache’, (Hid us for the night)
les Allemands l’ont pris; (The Germans captured him)
il est mort sans surprise. (He died without surprise.)

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
through the graves the wind is blowing,
freedom soon will come;
then we’ll come from the shadows.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: