WORDS, INCARNATED. Philadelphia

buttonpoetry:

Ken Arkind - “David” (CUPSI 2014)

"Not a day goes by without people leaving messages, poems or pictures on his wall the way one would leave flowers at a gravesite. I often find myself sending messages to his inbox, prayers meant only for his ears, things I never expect to be answered."

Performing during the Penmanship Books showcase at the 2014 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational.

Most of us are not raised to actively encounter our destiny. We may not know that we have one. As children, we are seldom told we have a place in life that is uniquely ours alone. Instead, we are encouraged to believe that our life should somehow fulfill the expectations of others, that we will (or should) find our satisfactions as they have found theirs. Rather than being taugh to ask ourselves who we are, we are schooled to ask others. We are, in effect, trained to listen to others’ versions of ourselves. We are brought up in our life as told to us by someone else! When we survey our lives, seeking to fulfill our creativity, we often see we had a dream that went glimmering because we believed, and those around us believed, that the dream was beyond our reach. Many of us would have been, or at least might have been, done, tried something, if…If we had known who we really were.
Julia Cameron (via observando)
But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?
Mark Twain

(Source: the-bitchextraordinaire, via gypsysprings)

After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.

Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
Did this.

I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?

The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—
She stopped crying.

She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,

Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her—Southwest.

She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.

Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.

Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.

She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering
Questions.

She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.

To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.

And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers—
Non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.

And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,

With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.

And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.

Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped
—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.

They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.

Not everything is lost.

Naomi Shihab Nye (b. 1952), “Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal.” I think this poem may be making the rounds, this week, but that’s as it should be.  (via oliviacirce)

When I lose hope in the world, I remember this poem.

(via bookoisseur)

I’m really glad I read that.

(via selfesteampunk)

(via zavocado)

We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.
J.K. Rowling (via observando)

Never forget
When your classmates wrinkled their noses at the scent of your lunch still lingering on your clothes,
Even though their ancestors had conquered half the world in search of the spices you ate.

Never forget
How they jeered at your mother’s bindi, making crude jokes about how ridiculous it looked on her,
And after ten years, how they all wore the exact same ornament on their own foreheads to keep up with the current trends.

Never forget
When they repeatedly stumbled over the sharp letters which formed your name, forcing you to repeat yourself several times before giving up;
Only to have those very letters tattooed on their own flesh, in a language they do not comprehend.

Always remember
Your culture belongs to you,
Not to them.

Muneeb Hasan [08.10.14] (via muneebb)

(via yayasmeen)

Claiming there is no other life in the universe is like scooping up some water, looking at the cup and claiming there are no whales in the ocean.
Neil deGrasse Tyson in response to “Aliens can’t exist because we haven’t found them yet” (via we-are-star-stuff)

(Source: unusual-entities, via radatouille)

I have an entire forest living inside of me and you have carved your initials on every tree.
Pavana पवन (via maza-dohta)

(via gogh-wilde)

If you don’t know where you’re going, any road’ll take you there.
George Harrison (via observando)

"My response to the “I am not a feminist” internet phenomenon….

First of all, it’s clear you don’t know what feminism is. But I’m not going to explain it to you. You can google it. To quote an old friend, “I’m not the feminist babysitter.”

But here is what I think you should know.

You’re insulting every woman who was forcibly restrained in a jail cell with a feeding tube down her throat for your right to vote, less than 100 years ago.

You’re degrading every woman who has accessed a rape crisis center, which wouldn’t exist without the feminist movement.

You’re undermining every woman who fought to make marital rape a crime (it was legal until 1993).

You’re spitting on the legacy of every woman who fought for women to be allowed to own property (1848). For the abolition of slavery and the rise of the labor union. For the right to divorce. For women to be allowed to have access to birth control (Comstock laws). For middle and upper class women to be allowed to work outside the home (poor women have always worked outside the home). To make domestic violence a crime in the US (It is very much legal in many parts of the world). To make workplace sexual harassment a crime.

In short, you know not what you speak of. You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutsey sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.

In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.”

Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.
George Addair  (via thymoss)

(Source: psych-facts, via gypsysprings)

I’m guilty of giving people more chances than they deserve but when I’m done, I’m done.
Turcois Ominek (via onlinecounsellingcollege)

(via kingisthetitle)

// What if you slept?//

observando:

What if you slept
And what if
In your sleep
You dreamed
And what if
In your dream
You went to heaven
And there plucked a strange and beautiful flower
And what if
When you awoke
You had that flower in you hand
Ah, what then?”

― Samuel Taylor Coleridge

A truth should exist,
it should not be used
like this. If I love you

is that a fact or a weapon?

Margaret Atwood (via observando)
Don’t think about what can happen in a month. Don’t think about what can happen in a year. Just focus on the 24 hours in front of you and do what you can to get closer to where you want to be.
Eric Thomas  (via melaniesanta)

(Source: natural-lifters, via gypsysprings)

Sometimes, words are the most concrete things of all