Fear Poem

By Joy Harjo (emphasis mine)

I release you, my beautiful and terrible fear. I release you. You were my beloved and hated twin, but now, I don’t know you
as myself. I release you with all the
pain I would know at the death of
my children.

You are not my blood anymore.

I give you back to the white soldiers
who burned down my home, beheaded my children,
raped and sodomized my brothers and sisters.
I give you back to those who stole the
food from our plates when we were starving.

I release you, fear, because you hold
these scenes in front of me and I was born
with eyes that can never close.

I release you
I release you
I release you
I release you

I am not afraid to be angry.
I am not afraid to rejoice.
I am not afraid to be black.
I am not afraid to be white.
I am not afraid to be hungry.
I am not afraid to be full.
I am not afraid to be hated.
I am not afraid to be loved,

to be loved, to be loved, fear.

Oh, you have choked me, but I gave you the leash.
You have gutted me but I gave you the knife.
You have devoured me, but I laid myself across the fire.

I take myself back, fear.
You are not my shadow any longer.
I won’t take you in my hands.
You can’t live in my eye, my ears, my voice
my belly, or in my heart my heart
my heart my heart
But come here, fear
I am alive and you are so afraid
of dying.

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“Piñata”

I love poetry.  I always have.  In the last couple of years I was introduced to slam poetry.  Poetry where words are spoken against injustices with passion?  I’m in.  My love of poetry has deepened.  The one in the video below was performed during the semi-finals at the 2013 National Poetry Slam.  It moved me to tears.  This guy gets it.

The following poem was written after he heard a man on the bus say to a woman, “You are too ugly to be raped.”

(It is kind of hard to hear, you may need to turn your speakers up)

I Am More

I am more than the punchline to a bad joke
More than my baby making parts
More than a body
More than an incubator
More than a purity ring
I am more than a slut, a saint, or a prude
And I am more than a decoration
 
I am more
You cannot tell me who I am
Because I already know
I am a woman
 
I am strong and complex
I am not perfect
I make mistakes…often
But you do not define me
It is not your job to fix me
 
When you push me down
I will only rise, stronger
Shame and I are no longer lovers
No longer keeping company in the night
I am more than the guilt you put on me
 
I am more
 
And I am not ashamed
To be a woman
This is my strength
This is my power
 
I am more