Architects of a New Dawn

We’d like to show the side of the world you don’t normally see on television.

17 REASONS why?



Because the wind smells like jasmine
through the pools of dog shit
when people can't afford to feed;

Because you live another day though your dreams
are punctuated with the sounds of rusty shopping
cart wheels and destiny smells like frijoles con ajo;

Because freedom's just the change in your pocket
and the poor are rich but nobody feels this,
but a smile is the passport, buenas, the plane;

Because heaven lives on Harrison and school
children skip through the rituals on Valencia
and my mom is not afraid to walk alone under moonlight;

Because you are living in interesting times
in interesting ways as an interesting force and even
the pigeons acknowledge this, and are interested;

Because Destiny doesn't stop here anymore,
she took off with Mañana who then eloped
into Yesterday and Whatever, La Reina, reins;

Because the corner store will stock anything you want
and the produce is cheaper and better and comes from
a local garden where all the bugs have an understanding;

Because ColorChrome is still stored in someone's garage
and on the door of La Misión una Visión is overheard
while the people paint The Constitution into Acts of Art;

Because art isn't a fantasy on 24th Street
and the boleros and beat box intertwine and harmonize
despite themselves and teknopop parrots dance La Guacamaya;

Because busses chug a grime on the windows
which screens out the decay into a magical hope
for a sweet breath, sweet life, sweet remembrance;

Because charros murmur of horses en la madrugada
and a mother's hands grind into la masa
and many tongues huddle inside the mouth of the Mission;

Because food is the universal language
and everyone knows the cost, curanderos
on the corners sell lilies and cure cuando quiera;

Because even though the blanched walk through
the lives that seem strewn here, they come away
with the seeds in their cuffs, they eat their words;

Because La Palabra is the only currency
and the Super Mercado of the empty aisle or Lucky Alley
is where a treasury is founded on what others leave behind;

Because you leave behind, like a husk of dung
beetle coming anew, all those webs and pupae
puddlings, and everyone's an extinct butterfly, rediscovered;

Because you uncover the unknown self
you knew all along at your neighborhood dive
where every breath is one and the hips, El Mundo;

Because every head's a mundo, every eye, a
telescope, everyone sees what's coming down:
the change is going to come because it's already here.



Lorna Dee Cervantes
5/4/09


* Guacamaya: Mayan word for macaw

Views: 60

Replies to This Discussion

Great poem!
I loved your poem the fist time I read it, Lorna -- and I continue to return to it, rereading it to see better this place you know so well. We really do have to find the spark of hope and life we're given in our personal experience of the world. You show it so well, there is such vibrant energy in every stanza. If we can't trust our own lives, then we can't trust anything. The "is" so far outreaches good or bad, past or future. And that little glowing ember of light we protect and carry on with us may be our only mission -- like the father in Cormac McCarthy's The Road, who brings his son to the only remaining possibility of love left to human society. I like the struggle of it all, and I felt that in your poem. I could feel the asphalt, hear the voices, taste you mother's food. And I could sense myself walking with you. That was nice!
-- Lilly

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