You tell me this filthy choking air is progress, that your steel and glass boxes are better than each tree, happy, green, full of life

Poem for May 16th by James A. StansberryIMG_20171019_075935.jpg

From the many tribes singing in my blood
I come and I say, you are the same people
who brought trinkets, worthless then, less now
to bargain, we would have simply welcomed you
to our land, but, you could not hear it
singing then, cannot hear it crying now
and you took it all, greedy then, greedier now
and you tell me

me  with Cherokee, Blackfoot, African and Haitian

dancing in my blood, you tell me this filthy choking air
is progress, that your steel and glass boxes are better
than each tree, happy, green, full of life
arms full of Mother Sky, you tell me

again

a lie

you, who only hear dollars whispering
coin’s empty tarnished hurdy-gurdy

you tell me

a neighborhood is this mad destructive dance
and I say, with my red blood, my African blood, my Haitian blood
you are wrong, you are lying, again, and this time
I reject your trinkets, because this time I see you
for the broken trickster you really are and I say
not one more tree, not one more house, not one
more family on the street, this stops here.

 

James A. Stansberry is an author, nature activist, shaman and resident of the U District. I had the pleasure of meeting James while protesting the U District upzones in 2016. The U District was the first neighborhood upzoned under former Mayor Ed Murray’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA).

More than two dozen community groups, including Seattle Fair Growth, have joined together to take legal action against the City stating it has not adequately studied the negative impacts of the proposed upzones. To learn more about the appeal and to make a donation to help cover legal costs, click here.

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