For Mike Brown, Boycott Black Friday–Part 2

A Poem by Michael Wymbs

–because people of color are invisible to the powers that be, let’s boycott Black Friday. Even though our skin color is different, we need to let the power structure know we still understand the value and power of the color green.

How does police brutality impact on the dead?

Notice: the police officer never touches his face.

The lesson we must teach those who cannot learn:
this is a gun. this is not a gun.
this is a bag of peanuts. this is not a bag of peanuts.
The lack of capitalization in the above four sentences is not what this lesson is about.

Why: Tamir RiceMike Brown Wendall Allen

From an email I received: the subject line—
“I’m so hurt. What the f—is this about”

For Mike Brown, Boycott Black Friday

A Poem by Deborah Wymbs

Because of Mike Brown, Boycott Black Friday.
Because black men are invisible, boycott Black Friday.
Because black men are dispensable, boycott Black Friday.
Because black men need to be heard, boycott Black Friday.
Because racism needs to stop, because ignorance has to end,
Because the police need to know their job, and do it right,
Because the police need to understand who they are
Before they become police. Because we no longer
Can put up with bullies with guns. Because we are no longer safe.
Because black men no longer want to be under attack
Because America is not fair, because America is not color blind.
Because black America is not at war with white America.
Because of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Ezell Ford,
Dante Parker, Andrew Scott Gaynier, Dillon Taylor, Omar Abrego,
Diana Showman, Michelle Cusseaux, Joshua Paul, Maria Godinez,
Joseph Jennings, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Benjamin Martin—
Because they were black, they were murdered.
Because of Mike Brown, boycott Black Friday.

Because life

A Poem by A J Huffman

is monotonous and draining,
I am borrowing a cup of dreams
to give my nights wings. A dash
of possibilities rushes through my veins,
acts as instant sedative. Two shakes of wishes
waiting to be granted, and I am motivated
to sound, begin snoring, verberating zzz’s.
Drop in a fantasy moment of happily ever after,
and I just might be able to sleep, peacefully,
until dawn.

HUSH… In Memory of Wilma Piper… July 2008

A Poem by Stefanie Bennett

She died, and the micaceous almost summer winds
Dizzily scudded across Arizona
Via the Pacific Crest
Piercing Sacramento’s side.
Neither dust
Nor blind intervention
Rattled that topaz blue.

She left, with a casket of leaves embellishing
The motorcade, her wish
Homely attuned
As it lassoed the sweet aroma
Of ponderosa
And a spotted owl’s
Digital refrain.

This, the forest’s logbook accentuates
In incised resin
The colour of rain, while
‘Days of our lives’
Winged on cable, and
CNN’s disfigurement
The able.


A Poem by Stefanie Bennett]
Do I abdicate? My year’s breath
Shortens, and
Sight’s less detailed.
But I can still make sense of short-wave
Variations – it’s just
The pronunciation that’s altered.

Once -, aspiration’s reverence could
Be drawn from
The immense tautology
Of the bookshelf. Here; the logos!
There; the halcyon
Cloud… and I

A wistful intermediary mouthing
To the day-breaking moon.
Now, circuit-breakers can be found
Where molten
Brevity begins -

The reeded pool turned holograph,
Becomes a pale
Star-twinning theme:
“And age,” said Han-Shan, (off-side
Of life and time)
“Is comfortless.”

Black Shawl

A Poem by John Swain

Sun and hillside become
the same drought color
in the coastal morning.
Two snakes lie entwined,
one killed the other
as I awake to my purpose.
I try to find a stream of water
like your black shawl
flowing under the railing.
When I return
from below the omens
you left the essence
of lavender and sandalwood
as we diffuse.
A bird on your tongue
flew through the center
of your skull
into a summoning eye.


“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.”
- Nelson Mandela

What we choose to live for, risk for, give ourselves to, is the thing that gives our lives meaning. When it’s children, we create a family. And when it’s our fellow human beings, we create a much bigger family. Those threatened by Ebola are calling for our help. Do we swallow our fear and answer? In this moment, we choose. And by our choice, create the world we dream of, one where every one of us is a precious member of one people, one human family.


A Poem by Cory Adamson

The poet
strikes against paper
            like a sword.

Swings, sings out
and ends time for one.
            One movement.

One beauty,
A union of two
            strangers who

Looked but could
 not find each other.
            So one wrote.

And one found.
One movement ended
            The other’s

days. For swords
end lives and pens make ends
            for swordsmen.

The poet does both
and an end shall come
       swifter than any sword


A Poem by Stefanie Bennett

–after Monsanto & Dow Chemicals

Pick them up, the raw percentages
I’ve no longer any wish to carry.
These days I wrestle with the absolute.

Much is left over. The titan
Impersonating Zeus’ loss.
The white witch who sells

Found fortunes at the half hour.
The sack-clothed singer
With the cracked voice and sad accordion.

New league missionaries. Bionic bards.
Assurance satirists. I’d bagged
The lot in some begotten springtime.

It was the evening my brother
Returned from the war.
Quarter mooned – unlike himself

But with the sameness of quaint indolence.
Quieter than
Our mother’s grave. Speech therapy

Would put a fix to that. It never did.
Years viced his silence
… Lent me mine. I learned

Communication’s a game fit to kill,
Squander, maim – or
Tell untruths when amnesia wills.

Our sanatorium Sunday walks avoid
What it is that’s left over.
In the distance I see them

Impersonating posthumously those they’ll
Not become. Raw percentages
Crying still to be
Lifted up!