i am

"Who could be so lucky? Who comes to a lake for water and sees the reflection of the moon." Rumi


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Let’s Be Fit (Pt.1)

This is the first half of one of my signature spoken word pieces.
I will post a video of me performing this in Jamaica when I finally access it.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
Diluting the way we live life,
Technology over powers our substantial beliefs:
Social feeds have transformed our egos;
Social needs are being ignored;
Self-absorbed; we care only for our selves.
Are we not our brother’s keeper?
Information flows through the internet
As situations take place,
And as we enter it, we watch in amazement.
And with a click of a button we go back to our lives,
Oblivious of what we witness,
Ignorant of why we should care,
With the audacity to say, “f*ck my life”,
We watch others in despair.
The East is raging in war.
The West is overflowing.
Our countries are slowly dying
While our leaders are ever growing.
And its mind blowing
How we live in these bubbles,
Pretending to know what we don’t-
To care for what we could care less for.
This ain’t no utopian world.
There’s no perfection in our social-political system.
NEWSFLASH:
There is no world peace.
We don’t live in “ideal socialism”.
There’s no such thing as inter-religious relationships.
Death and suffering is part of our existence.
 
But even though this is true,
Still I ask…
Why must we look the other way?
Why must we disregard the pain of others,
The struggle of many,
And the attempt at survival for some?
Let’s not get reeled into selfishness.
Bring back that substance that once existed in our hearts –
That truth we longed for.
Let our prayers be not of our wants and needs
But for our neighbors.
Let’s pray for that world peace.
We need to open our eyes,
Engage in society,
Protect our environment,
Live with integrity.
Physically, mentally, spiritually
Let’s Be Fit


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Basic human rights for all

Media outlets have failed to properly cover the terrorist attack on a Sikh Community in Milwaukee, Wisconsin some days ago. There isn’t enough coverage, yet its main purpose is to differentiate the Sikhs from Muslims, as if making a distinction between the two somehow made this massacre more atrocious than it would have been were the victims Muslim. I’ve read many posts about the irrelevancy of such differentiation, and I fully agree with the disgust expressed at such attempts. I’ve barely heard any coverage of this incident, but from the bit that I have heard, the media automatically makes mentions of what separates these two religions.

How about being concerned that White Supremacists, a.k.a terrorists, are free to lash out with hatred against innocent lives? How about focusing the attention on the real issues at hand? Issues being that White Supremacists have no hidden agendas and are not, by any means, scared of expressing their disdain through hate crimes because it seems to be acceptable in this country. The media only covers these cases ever so often, insinuating that these acts occur sparingly and for reasons other than hate. For reasons such as traumas, medication abuse, depression, lunacy, etc…

We live in a country that prides itself for its freedom of speech. When The Black Panthers were expressing their right of speech back in their day, they were killed, beaten or threatened for their views and actions. White supremacists have existed long before and are still going strong, with public displays of hatred through lyrics, vandalism of minority properties, acts of violence and verbal slander. Authorities and the Government see it as their right to practice freedom of speech, until, of course, a massacre takes place and the media covers it, and are then forced to speak out against them.

We live in a country that prides itself for its freedom of religion. Apparently for so many South Asian communities, it doesn’t seem to be the case. And these incidences haven’t been occurring only after 9/11, although they have been more frequently. We live in a place that anyone can practice the religion they choose or not practice at all. But how can society express acceptance of all religions if our own leaders disrespect and publicly abhor certain beliefs. For example, when Pres. Obama began running for office, he was attacked from all sides because they claimed him to be Muslim. Should it even matter? As an American Citizen, is it not his right to practice whatever religion he so desires? Middle Eastern religions who fit the characteristics of Muslims and Sikhs, among other religions, are disrespected and insulted for being who they are. They are perceived as inferior beings. They are automatically classified as terrorists, as being a hateful community who practices an evil religion.

American ignorance is repulsive. This country often speaks out against terrorism in other countries, predominantly in the Middle East, yet we have our own to eradicate, and nothing is being done. Terrorist acts in this country are seen as random acts of violence, not for what they truly are. And that is more repulsive than ignorance itself. There is tactic for that though. This country wants to be considered THE superior country by all means, and if it means that South Asian communities will continue to live in fear for being who they are because White Supremacists will never be classified as terrorists, then so be it. If it means that superficially, this country is protecting the rights of all people although in reality it is facilitating such hateful crimes through loopholes and turning a blind eye, then so be it.

Something ain’t right here. And until the real issues at hand are not properly addressed, these massacres will continue to happen. Justice and respect for all is overdue. We are all brothers and sister, citizens of this world. No one is superior or inferior to another. And until that is understood within the whole spectrum of beings will we truly reap the benefits of peace and love.

I leave you with this…

“Until the philosophy which hold one race superior
And another
Inferior
Is finally
And permanently
Discredited
And abandoned –
Everywhere is war –
Me say war.

That until there no longer
First class and second class citizens of any nation
Until the colour of a man’s skin
Is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes –
Me say war.

That until the basic human rights
Are equally guaranteed to all,
Without regard to race –
Dis a war…”


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“On the Pulse of the Morning”

 A Rock, A River, A Tree

Hosts to species long since departed,

Marked the mastodon.

The dinosaur, who left dry tokens

Of their sojourn here

On our planet floor,

Any broad alarm of their hastening doom

Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

 

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,

Come, you may stand upon my

Back and face your distant destiny,

But seek no haven in my shadow.

 

I will give you no more hiding place down here.

 

You, created only a little lower than

The angels, have crouched too long in

The bruising darkness,

Have lain too long

Face down in ignorance.

 

Your mouths spilling words

Armed for slaughter.

The Rock cries out today, you may stand on me,

But do not hide your face.

 

Across the wall of the world,

A River sings a beautiful song,

Come rest here by my side.

 

Each of you a bordered country,

Delicate and strangely made proud,

Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.

 

Your armed struggles for profit

Have left collars of waste upon

My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.

Yet, today I call you to my riverside,

If you will study war no more. Come,

 

Clad in peace and I will sing the songs

The Creator gave to me when I and the

Tree and the stone were one.

 

Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your

Brow and when you yet knew you still

Knew nothing.

 

The River sings and sings on.

 

There is a true yearning to respond to

The singing River and the wise Rock.

 

So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew

The African and Native American, the Sioux,

The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek

The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,

The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,

The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher.

They hear. They all hear

The speaking of the Tree.

 

Today, the first and last of every Tree

Speaks to humankind.

Come to me, here beside the River.

 

Plant yourself beside me, here beside the River.

 

Each of you, descendant of some passed

On traveller, has been paid for.

 

You, who gave me my first name, you

Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, you

Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, then

Forced on bloody feet, left me to the employment of

Other seekers–desperate for gain,

Starving for gold.

 

You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot …

You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, bought

Sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare

Praying for a dream.

 

Here, root yourselves beside me.

 

I am the Tree planted by the River,

Which will not be moved.

 

I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree

I am yours–your Passages have been paid.

 

Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need

For this bright morning dawning for you.

 

History, despite its wrenching pain,

Cannot be unlived, and if faced

With courage, need not be lived again.

 

Lift up your eyes upon

The day breaking for you.

 

Give birth again

To the dream.

 

Women, children, men,

Take it into the palms of your hands.

 

Mold it into the shape of your most

Private need. Sculpt it into

The image of your most public self.

Lift up your hearts

Each new hour holds new chances

For new beginnings.

 

Do not be wedded forever

To fear, yoked eternally

To brutishness.

 

The horizon leans forward,

Offering you space to place new steps of change.

Here, on the pulse of this fine day

You may have the courage

To look up and out upon me, the

Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.

 

No less to Midas than the mendicant.

 

No less to you now than the mastodon then.

 

Here on the pulse of this new day

You may have the grace to look up and out

And into your sister’s eyes, into

Your brother’s face, your country

And say simply

Very simply

With hope

Good morning.

-Maya Angelou

Video of Maya Angelou reciting her poem at Bill Clinton’s Presidential Inauguration in 1993: