Heavy Swimmers -for Ebony Wilkerson

“…some days we just cannot

we cannot live here

we cannot give our babies

to this world that eats our bones

like centuries of salt.”

-from Heavy Swimmers for Ebony Wilkerson who tried to drive herself and her children into the Atlantic Ocean, saying she was taking them all to a better place.

On the Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines episode of the Laura Flanders Show.


We Slay/We Stay: Revolutionary Mothering as Science Fiction

13581899_10102510401856352_6943246821039640244_oThis past Thursday I was blessed to spend a morning with the brilliant young activists at North Carolina’s Youth Organizing Institute Freedom School.   In the wake of horrifying violence by police against unarmed black people broadcasted on video we write about Revolutionary Mothering, the act of keeping each other alive.

We wrote about the ways that young people keep each other alive as peers and engaging in revolutionary mothering acts of sustenance and love for each other on a daily basis.

Some days being able to keep each other alive feels like Science Fiction.

Some of these poems, which we generated through an activity where the participants listened to stories about who they had been and what they had done they had been in the dreams of people who loved them, expressed the urgency of love in philosophical terms.  Some expressed the urgency of love in zombie apocalypse terms and in direct confrontation of the violence of the moment.   Here are some of the poems (curated into we stay/we slay by yours truly).


We Stay

ocean brings us life

power lives in your bones

markings lead us to freedom

Abuela calls on

the daughters of Oshun

to tell us to breath

sometimes you can feel

not through the phone, but inside

your heart, what is real.

time and space will not

make strangers of us again

i won’t give you up

she is your best friend

wanting to be together

never letting go

dreams and ambitions

goals to make it together

be lit forever

soaring through the sky

our happiness blocks all the hate

our love is a bond*

*bond: spiritual link made by love and can’t broken (definition from the poet)

We Slay

The zombies burst in

Samaiyah and Sajdah are

Ready to kick ass!

The purge has started

Jasper and Courtnei run out

2 hours later they have blood on their hands

Mafia lightning

Striking scars against yellow

The cats deadly glare

Lane just hit the gas.

Panicked, frightened, with much stress.

His friend shot his head.

The most beautiful things can

Be the most deadly

The ocean is very beautiful

And soothing but

It killed Nathalia and Joana

We freeze our zombies

You and me are wolves-always

Oh, Rahssan Rahssan

P.S. If you are looking for a place to write through the complexity of staying/slaying in this moment, check out this Thursday’s online workshop Nobody Mean More to Me Than You.