Silenced No More: Women Find Voice in the Sands of History, Listening

Shouts blockades forbidden fruit of protest death is freedom life in Capitalism is blood sucker

Helen Keller, sweet sound of hands
the touch of alpha and beta waves on history’s surface –
“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision”

She takes steps into tide-pools, Rachel Carson
spelled the chemicals of tomorrow’s future in swirls of anemones —
“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction”

We are Consumopithecus, bred to self-imposed lock up
under the glow of screen, mouse-click, Rosa
Luxemburg smelled the shackles of capitalism a century ago –
“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains”

We need tribes, throwing flames to false flags
Emma Goldman read the lies and doublespeak
and psycho marketing on the wall — “Patriotism … is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit”

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn fought the censors and the feminist won
the play is dramatized over and over, but the law won
fighting the sheriff, no one wins – “History has a long-range perspective. It ultimately passes stern judgment on tyrants and vindicates those who fought, suffered, were imprisoned, and died for human freedom, against political oppression and economic slavery”

She was forgotten African-American woman, first running
not just for president but a soothsayer of time, visions of today
Shirley Chisolm beauty personified in her governance –
“When morality comes up against profit, it is seldom that profit loses”

Then there are walkabouts, vision quests, stars like embers
Aboriginal wise woman, universal truth —
“If you come only to help me, you can go back home. But if you consider my struggle as part of your struggle for survival, then maybe we can work together”

We bless the destruction, womb
weary, women see the ever-lasting light
of child hope, eyes blistered by sadness
the world is not an oyster
it has fallen, melted into disaster

these fallen heroines launch a thousand
revolutions, if only to see the light of day
today we smell money, count progeny
maximizing opportunities to fight aging
gracefully, the IRS bill is all we give birth to

You do not touch the soul of real fighters
not asking but demanding the overthrow
today we are snails with spines, slithering
into the wet dung world of buying, saving
trading lives for stocks, derivatives insured
by depleted uranium stealth

losing that title, land of the free, what
do we have, Helen Thomas asks . . .
activism is the rent I pay for living
on the planet
, Alice Walker exhorts

Lucy Parsons proclaimed a century
before Hillary-Obama-Trump
lunacy through money — “Never be deceived
that the rich will permit you to vote
away their wealth”

Exploitation, the capital venture, gunning
for the old folks, child, women,
stubborn monster, so stubborn
all nestlings ready for the flames
given the orders by Ivy League
Bravos in uniform

Better to die standing in your boots than living on your knees
Zapata or some Rosy the Riveter
Audre Lorde shouted to lubricate revolution –
“Your silence will not protect you”

Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.