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We Are Rising, and It Feels Good

5 December 2011 One Comment

Patricia Smith Melton

In WOMEN, POWER, and PEACE … at play, the theater piece Patricia Smith Melton created for our 2011 Women, Power, and Peace Awards, many voices swirl and weave together in an organic dialogue. Our audience will see the faces and hear the words of the three 2011 Nobel Peace Prize awardees, several of our own past and current award winners, and other magnificent women of peace, both famous and relatively unknown. What follows is selected from just one of the voices―the collective woman-voice we might call The Poet.

We are the deepest heartbeat on our planet.
We have roots like great trees, reaching into the earth.
We have the vision of the hawks, seeing small gems near and far.
We have the arms of nature’s vines, holding everything around us.
Our strength and nourishment travel far, like mighty rivers.
In our hands small treasures are held, large works are created.
We heal our families and communities.
In our minds and hearts, we see the future.
In our lives, we create it.

We are commanded in our deepest nature to love.
It cannot be analyzed.
We are commanded in our deepest consciousness
to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
We are in allegiance with Mother Nature,
the archetypal goddesses, the life force in seeds, the Divine Energy Source.
Love loses nothing when it takes on another’s pain.
Helping someone else is love cycling out and back in.
Infinite re-cycling, ultimate sustainability.

More important than how you go through life is how life goes through you.

Women know where everything is in the house —
socks, can opener, homework, the telephone tree for school;
where everything is in the community —
bribery, power struggles, quiet heroes;
the needs of our world — ferocious love, gentle courage, forgiveness,
informed minds, connections, less shock and awe.

There is a battle between love and fear, inclusion and exclusion,
generosity and greed, power with and power over,
and it needs to be named as such.
It is where we live.
We are all “others” — women and children and poor
and men and needy and rich,
the ill, the blessed, the deprived.
All languages are one language.
All hearts are one heart.
We are in each other’s hands.

A piece by Huong, an artist featured in the play


Women find their safety in going towards the stranger:
“Are you hungry?  Can I feed you?”
“Do you have children? Oh, how nice, we both have children.”
THAT is what should be launched from missiles!

If peace work waited to be done perfectly, it would never get done.
Creating peace is messy:
It stands up to big powers, false notions, extreme emotions,
and the cold selfishness
of those who cannot look themselves in the mirror
for what they have done to others.

Between 9 and 10 in the morning I can hold the children,
fight for freedom, give strength to the men,
fix a casserole,
and have compassion for strangers
even when they are scary.

We are in the care of each other.
We know it in our bones and hearts
as a rose knows to bloom,
as birds fly their migratory paths,
and seasons come and go.

We are the mirror holders, the people who speak up.
We occupy and boycott.
We choose NOT to go numb.
We clean up damage and stand up to injustice.
We are the power of nonviolence.

The wounds across us are symphonies of scars, concerts of losses.
Our wounds express us, make us art.
We are burnished like used silver and well-trodden floors,
etched like chopping blocks and knobs on ancient doors.
Repressed through millennia,
we are remembering who we are.
We are rising, and it feels good.

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One Comments to “We Are Rising, and It Feels Good”
  1. Onni Milne says:

    Thank you for this beautiful, powerful poem. It is amazing how powerful the words and ideas become when they are set in poem format.

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