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Working on healing systemic illnesses – new poetry series

We’ve been meeting with a friend to talk about what can be done in the poetry community regarding some of the most crucial and poignant issues of our larger community, and how to involve the larger community into a dialogue to collaborate on a vision towards which we can effectively work.

From my perspective there have been several reasons that have highlighted a need to somehow address and work towards a healthier global community.

  • A march I participated in in East Cleveland. We carried pictures of people who had been killed by some police. The sadness of this was driven home to me by the presence of family members of someone who had been killed.
  • The death of Nick Christie in Florida. He was masked, tortured with pepper-sprayed and denied medication by some deputies in Florida.
  • The beatings and pepper-sprayings of young people demonstrating in the Occupy Movement. One of the incidents is alleged to have led to a woman having had a miscarriage.
  • A recent shooting death of a person in Cleveland by some police officers. I think I read he was shot in the back but I might be confusing this with a different case.
  • Issues of respect from the people who are police and towards the people who are police. How do we address people politely in order to coax beneficial change rather than tease and anger and humiliate? (Example: recently I saw a photo of a donut hung from a string and dangled tauntingly in front of a policeman.)

So the initial impetus for this on my part was a sense that somehow all of this is based on relationships and community, and that the violence has been some kind of systemic illness in our community.

Some people have said that people who are police are only about protecting the assets of the rich, and that’s probably true from the perspective of some wealthy people, but I think that when people initially sign up to become police officers they are more interested in helping the community by protecting it. Perhaps structural illness contributes to the corruption and/or hardening of some police officers but I don’t think they go into the profession thinking “I’m going to protect the assets of the wealthy.”

I think estrangement has been the root cause of wealth disparity and violence. People who have been hoarding wealth have been doing so because they have not felt enough connection with community. And some people who have been victimized by this systemic illness have also been hardened to the extent that they have difficulty seeing the humanity of anyone who is wealthy or part of the police.

I am wondering how we can all become less estranged, and more part of the community?

Our friend organizes the NIA Coffeehouse, and on March 27 at 6 PM smith, me (Lady K) and John Burroughs are featuring. The theme this evening is “Poems of Power, Words of Life Against Violence and Brutality: Come Choose Life that We May Live and Live More Abundantly.” We invite you to join us (there will be an open mic) at 2555 Euclid Heights Blvd. (at St. Alban Episcopal Church).

And at this reading we plan to talk a little bit about a new series of poetry and spoken word gatherings, “BEING AT PEACE IN OUR COMMUNITY.”


One Response to “Working on healing systemic illnesses – new poetry series”

  1. chris says:

    hope to be there to support and participate.. 🙂

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