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Every Day Acts of Peace

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cuba, NYC 1987: Brush Away Troubles With A Transformational Grin

Cuba New Year’s Eve 
a crammed outdoor sports stadium
gyrating dance, jazz, 
drinks, eats and smokes 
all along a river
sweating with coupled demonstrations 
of contact life and love.
Beach salsa parties 
tart with rum 
end in early morning
when bus stop vendors 
dispense espressos 
to wrinkled clothed insomniacs.

Sunshine lightens the load 
by exposing each day 
to what is concealed.
The dawn opens
energizing endurance 
into those who continue to live -
we who learned from those who passed, 
search for our legacy via human history.

Standing on the beach of Cuba 
looking backwards towards America, 
I see a mirage –
erroneous rubber rafts, 
elusive floating barges,
mythological people 
shipping out on a miracle
fueled by the reverie of a blessing –
from a creative force who loved humans, 
even before 
humans ever dreamed
of praising and loving 
the creativity within universe.

I witness sanctimonious ceremonies 
swimming the hallowed gulf,
life-savers of discontent snug around waist.
I watch the dolphins laugh 
at the competitive distance needing to be dogpaddled, 
and at what deathly pace,
in order to close the spiritual and material gap 
between the worlds.

The grave current knows 
where the boat floats to next.
I drift to New York City 
to the community of exiles 
who keep their culture alive,
in small backrooms, 
in a city on the edge 
of material and spiritual bankruptcy –
yet, rich enough for immigrants 
fresh from other worlds, 
so called developing.
No one shares with the new arrivals 
that this land is in the grips of a so-called recession,
so the immigrants celebrate 
feeling born again with privilege to make merriment – 
yet homesick they feel dead tired 
from scaling wealth upward towards class nobility.

In New York 
the clouds above the skyscrapers demand 
that this city share space 
with occasional rain falling, 
from far above the ground, 
down onto industrious faces.
Men sitting in parking lots control 
damp streets and moistened bodies.
They chair the meetings of the boards, 
the homeland turf needing defending
as Little Italy fights Chinatown 
from unplanned expansion.
These territory wars separate people 
from their dreams of liberty.

Adults could choose 
to live free 
and walk the neighborhood streets
eating pot stickers, shaved ice, and pizza 
instead of creating territorial boundaries,
instead of creating unsustainable wars over resources
instead of consuming fear.
Instead adults teach their children to fear, 
to be in terror and to terrorize.
Adults stage grudge matches 
which threaten the community’s youth
into becoming teenagers terrified of becoming teenagers in terror –
and we all know from human history lessons 
that teenagers in terror terrorize -
and that groups of people when they gather gang up, 
then they are charged up by the energy of the Sun 
and heated into living battles 
which scorch the earth dry 
from the fiery extremes of passion.

There is no middle ground under the Sun -

the hottest ball of energy in our system is solar,
creating solitary independence 
for each individual fused with atomic reaction.
We all know from human history 
that groups of peopled atoms 
when gathered into a protesting vibrating mass
uncontrollably spontaneously combust 
altering all past forms, 
reforming into renewed energies 
to create anew 
expanded uncertain futures.

The highest audience 

looking down upon Broadway claps thunder -
lightning toothpicks clean bright 
the lofty pearly whites of caretaker smiles -
smiles that flash 
the subways to lighten up the darkness 
of those living underground unconsciously.
Unlike clockwork 
the street cleaners and sanitation engineers 
periodically lift the concrete carpet 
to sweep under its under belly -
to hide away for a later time
all the dark unresolved human shame, grudge and grime.
This teeth-clenched city daily sanitizes its smirk, 
seemingly brushing away its nightly troubles, 
by wearing a bedazzling transformational grin.

~~ Other People's Fingerprints ~~
After 1940, Miguel Barnet wrote;
“Now that the syllables of my heart
are awake in my house
I spread my voice to all the cardinal points
With a marimba and a drum
I proclaim my love for this land.”