Monday, October 31, 2005

Poetry As Medicine, Motivation, Movement

On the heels of hearing TRTM poet, Ms. Tish's comment about "Why She Writes" (to heal, like medicine; to have her words motivate people; and to inspire action, a movement in society!) here is a poem that I was curious how she, YOU ALL might respond to...

It makes me giggle a bit. Then feel guilty.
I think about my dad. His overwhelming generosity. His affiliation, (membership?) with/in Corporate culture. I wonder if he would think it irresponsible of me to pass this poem on to young, impressionable minds...?

Consider the questions it surfaces:
$11.3 million, what does James Mellor of General Dynamics do with it?
Why so much in corporate pockets?

But what does our poetry do? How does it work in our world?

And: what does my faith ask me to do? What questions does my catholicism request that I pose, or surface myself?
How does it/LOVE request action from me in the name of social justice, equality?

Oh...I can feel tingly responses from folks, if this were only a blog...

Love, Peace and contemplation,
Melissa B.

Poem: "Money Medicine Poem" by Martin Steingesser, from Brothers of Morning. © A Deerbrook Edition, 2002. Reprinted with permission.

Money Medicine Poem

$11.3 million, what does James Mellor of General Dynamics do with it?
In how many beds does he sleep?
I want to know, how many breakfasts does he eat?
$11.3 million-that is every year, year after year.
What does he do with it?
James, how many copy machines do you have?
How many shredders?
Do you keep one in the bathroom?
How many suits do you own?
How many closets for the secrets money keeps?
Secrets? Does money keep secrets?
Year after year, 11.3 million.
Why so much in corporate pockets?
I need a chant to bring dollars back in my life.

Om Bram Brie Hasti Paté Yea Na Ma Om

I need a moon to draw the oceans of money back.
What does AT&T executive Bob Allen do with $9 million in stock options?
It's a great system we have.
Secrets? What secrets?
AT&T lays off 40,000 workers.
Robert Allen, you must feel like a god.
Robert Allen gets $9 million.
What are you building out of our conversations?
What is your phone number, anyway?
Will you answer a call?

Om Bram Brie Hasti Paté Yea Na Ma Om

How do we reach corporate dynamos to buy girl scout cookies?
How do we call when we want to rent a bus for the school picnic?
How do we call when the soup kitchen's out of soup?
How come big bucks stuff so few pockets?

It's a wonderful system we've got, all our money on the top floor,
corporate executives calling the truths we live.
Families of gods, like up on Mount Olympus, great scraperskies of CEOs.
One of them markets 100% water for juice,
another mainlines cigarettes,
another the medicines for smokers,
another pumps cancer into rivers and lakes, into oceans of air,
another lobbies for tax breaks to clean up the mess.
Great system we've got, billions stuffed in so few pockets.
I want a chant to bring the dollars back—

Om Bram Brie Hasti Paté Yea Na Ma Om

Give me those pants with money pockets,
closetfuls of pants, big bucks in the pockets.
Lean back, feet up, have a million dollar stogie,
Blow giant smoke rings over Broadway.
I want a chant, put the moon back in my pocket.

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