"Graduation" (Poem For the Ethnic Studies Graduating Class)
Every center bears its core,
The place where the tossed rock hits,
The bull's eye of the self tearing out of its womb,
The torn inside sack busting out from its wounds.
Every human being believes its self,
That steel core with the lead-filled pact.
Every Spirit feels it's more, and floods its bank,
And moves with the beat of ventricles, and acts.
And, here, at the base of mountains, in a moment
Before the flight, before love's witness and the fact
Of the mind's hard labor, that love-labor of the heart,
When truth and beauty prevail, especially truth,
In all its glory, Spirit stands its path
And opens the door, the portal when the future
And the mad past dance - that joining together
Of fact and act, an opening that keeps on opening.
Open the door. Let it in. Let
A thousand books flourish and a million
Sails of the intellect unfurl. Let justice ring
Out from your hands. May you open. May you prove.
Open the portal. And another. And another - for another.
Let the human family enter. Let the griotes
And the tlamatamini join in the heart of song.
Let magic happen along the shaman's woven path.
And, heal, together, the Sacred Hoop. The ancestors
Whisper, the old ones know, and tell, and yell
Out loud in dreams and visions. Light the smoke
Of your intent. See the vision through their eyes.
And try. And try. And try. Fly, open-
Winged and informed. Unfurled. Be the key
That opens your gate. Be the password that enters
The account - to account. Record. Re-Member. And never more
Relinquish the tools of freedom: the word
And the heart, the vision and the art of being
Human, of being whole, of being free.
And make freedom ring, be the mind that strikes
The chord. The core is in your hands;
The world, like a lover, in your embrace;
The earth, a fine book for you to study;
The community, comunidad, a hymn we sing together.
I sing, now, of you, the graduating class,
The pencils and the passwords, the mental
And the facile tests, the heart-won road
You've traveled, the sacrifices and the gratitude.
Go now, knowing; you've turned the target
Of your self into the bull's eye for the masses
To pass into, pass through, wherever they are,
Whomever they are, whatever histories yet to be written
Or uncovered from the past. With the blessed wings
Of ancestors, con los besos de la familia,
Con comunidád, with time to greeze,
The cornucopias under your names - fill and feed.
And, know. You are more than tomorrow.
You are the past. You are the sum. You are.
Know. Believe it. Spread it around as you
Spread your wings - águilas and phoenix.
You are. Know. Gracias.
Lorna Dee Cervantes
for the Class of 2007
May 10, 2007