3rd World by Immortal Technique, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4gK5XJxAPQ (Warning: Explicit)
Frequently Asked Questions: 10
by Camille T. Dungy
Do you see current events differently because you were raised by a black father and are married to a black man?
I am surprised they haven’t left already —
things have gotten downright frosty, nearly unbearable.
A mob of them is apparently mouthing off outside
when I put down my newspaper and we all gather
to stand beside my daughter in the bay
of kitchen windows. Quiscalus quiscula:
this name sounds like a spell which, after its casting,
will make things crumble into a complement
of unanswerable questions. Though, if you need me
to tell you God’s honest truth, I know nothing
but their common name the morning we watch them attack
our feeder. I complain about the mess they leave. Hulls
I’ll have to sweep up or ignore. My father —
who I am thankful is still alive — says We could use
a different kind of seed. A simple solution. We want that
brown bird with the shock of red: the northern flicker.
We want western bluebirds, more of the skittish
finches. But mostly we get grackle grackle grackle
all day long. Can it be justifiable to revile these
harbingers? They scoff all we offer
and — being too close and too many — scare
other birds away. My husband says, Look
at all those crackles. I almost laugh at him,
but the winter air does look hurtful loud
around the black flock. Like static is loud when it sticks
sheets to sheets so they crackle when pulled
one from another. And sting. My father — who is older now
than his older brothers will ever be — promises
he will solve the problem of the grackles
and leaves the window to search for his keys.
The dawn sky — blue breaking into blackness —
is what I see feathering their bodies. The fence
is gray. The feeder is gray, the aspen bark. Gray
hulls litter the ground. But the grackles,
their passerine claws — three facing forward, one turned
back — around the roost bar of the feeder, are
so bright within their blackness, I pray they will stay.
Source: Poetry (October 2015).
For the oppressed and weary
Especially for #blacklivesmatter and
for the LGBTQIAP community.
For those affected by violence
for Chad and the suicide bombings that killed 27
for Thailand where ISIS has settled
for Syria and the many bombing campaigns
for the disproportionate level of domestic violence against women
for the earth struggling with unprecedented climate change
for the leaders at the climate summit in Paris
for the draft agreement to curb carbon emissions
for the rescue operation of those on the burning oil rig in the Caspian Sea
For the people of Liberia and Sierra Leone
For those who suffer, especially the homeless and sick
for those sleeping outside in the cold
for refugees around the world being locked out or locked in
for those we care for suffering from strokes, cancer, and illness
For those we love, those we hate and those we are indifferent to
For the transformation from ME to WE
*Note: I've added in the countries on the World Council of Churches cycle of prayer which rotate once weekly. This week it is Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Mass shooting resource: http://shootingtracker.com/wiki/Mass_Shootings_in_2015
Prayer cycle of the world's countries resource: http://www.oikoumene.org/en
Translation by Neil Douglas Klotz
O Birther! Father-Mother of the Cosmos,
Focus your light within us— make it useful:
Create your reign of unity now-
Your one desire then acts with ours,
as in all light, so in all forms.
Grant what we need each day in bread and insight.
Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,
as we release the strands we hold
of others’ guilt.
Don’t let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back.
From you is born all ruling will,
the power and the life to do,
the song that beautifies all,
from age to age it renews.
Truly— power to these statements—
may they be the ground from which all
my actions grow: Amen.
Go, now, to love and serve the world.