For Water Fighters in Flint

Life and death teetering between
Cardboard flats of plastic bottles—
A tattooed pale arm of the law
Bending between strangulation and breath
Mirroring money worshipping madmen
Profaning blue gold, black soil, clean air,
With price tags

‘Managers’ money-worshipping away our illusions of power
With ungodly greed recalling flashbacks of our darkest hour:
Syphilitic pirates spiriting us from our water and ancient well
Chaining us to sulfur-belching streams of this capitalist hell
Tearing us from waters flowing across Mother Africa’s face
Killing us as waterless ones poisoned by the master ‘race’—
Another nightmarish episode in the epic Amerikkkan Dream
Where the accumulation of capital is a “Love Supreme!”

Resist vultures tearing away at our spirits, our flesh and bones
For more coltan and hours of empty gossip on slave-phones
Stand shoulder-to-shoulder, strike back hard and strike bold
Defy commands of thugs, “Go home and do as you’re told!”
Fight side-by-side, win back black soil, clean air, blue gold
From the ghouls declaring water must be bought and sold—
Down with deadly skin games and retarded capitalist greed…
From each according to ability—to each according to need!

Former forklift driver/warehouse worker/janitor, Raymond Nat Turner is a NYC poet; BAR's Poet-in-Residence; and founder/co-leader of the jazz-poetry ensemble UpSurge!NYC. Read other articles by Raymond Nat, or visit Raymond Nat's website.