Saturday, April 17, 2010

Three Poems For the Earthquake

Death Themes

Double your leisure
Double your death
Double the bodies
That died in the berths

Double the trouble
Of toil and rumble
Double the slaves
The meek and the humble

All the world's a death
Waiting to happen
All this death's a life
Hoping to remain

All of life asleep
In the supper
All of death alive
In the slumber

We walk through the shadow
Of the Valley of Oz
We are all behind the curtain
We are all because

Double your pleasure
Double your fun
Forget the bodies
In the body of one

All the world's a taste,
A refreshment; a waste
When Liberty's left alone 
In a mirrored case

Lorna Dee Cervantes

For Haiti

3 million stories fall
an apocalypse away
the concrete structures fail
the palaces, the guard houses
the poverty pockets buckle
and strap
               3 million stories
fall silent and silence the tongues
of those who stay — 3 million voices
rise singing in a dusty song of survival
a hymn to the Orishas, a single
story in a last breath — the people still
their hearts — the people open closed
hearts — the people need to speak
their stories, their ragged endings

the wings of will arise

Lorna Dee Cervantes


      "The greatest earthquake is poverty."
        ~ Miguel Robles, survivor of the Mexico City earthquake

The typical American man
doesn't care about Haiti.
The typical American man
doesn't care if Jerico
falls down on Chile.
The typical American paycheck
doesn't allow for donations 
of the heart, doesn't count the fallen
or the blood drops of crushed
children or the buzz of the saw
on limbs or the long long wait.
The typical American fellow
wouldn't give water 
to a mother and babe. The babe
on the arm of the typical American
male is a sight to behold, to hold,
but might not stop to care.
The usual type in America
texts ten dollars to fill a page
and the paychecks of the admin
while snorting up the rest.
The typical American man will not
be found alone in a jungle digging
out the dead and living dead.
He will not be found hauling
rails to drive the washed-out chasms.
He will not be discovered
with food, with water, with
water, with water, with water
so that a whole pueblo survives.
The normal man will not stand 
and hold the shunt, the stent,
the IV to a new way of life.
Another world is possible.
When the rubble is cleaned
and the clearing of the dead
hearts and minds begins.
The typical American man
doesn't know we are
all American.

Lorna Dee Cervantes

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Blogger David Macaulay said...

very thought provoking and, let's face it, there have been a lot of earthquakes recently.

17/4/10 09:24  
Blogger Miriam Sagan said...

Good post, enjoyed reading thepoems...I thought you might enjoy Ana Consuelo Matiella's serilaized novel in progress Ruth & Lupe at Miriam's Well (

28/4/10 13:30  
Blogger Diana Marie Delgado said...

Hi Lorna, beautiful poems, as always.

1/6/10 10:43  

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