Robin Howson

Occupy Poetry - Poem by Robin Howson

I woke up
Not from slumber
Not from rest
But from a life I lived
With eyes half-closed,
Content with gardens at my feet
And blind to all the rest

It took the wilting of a flower
followed by another three
For me to raise my eyes and say-
Where are the branches of that tree?
Where have all the flowers gone,
The bees they buzz more quietly
Than I and all my recollections can remember

I woke up
Not from slumber
Not from peaceful rest
But from a life I lived with one eye open
Seeing some and blind to all the rest

It took the gathering of hundreds
In a New York City Park
for me to lay with both eyes open
Asking questions at the sky gone dark

Now I walk a broken garden
Of educated fears
and a few flowers-
All remaining life grows from my tears

I finally feel confident to speak:
To stand my ground and calmly say
I know my garden's broken
but I will not run away

I woke up
Not from slumber
Not from peaceful rest
But from a life I lived with one ear listening
Hearing some, not hearing all the rest

They say there isn’t violence
as the air is filled with sirens-
I can see the whites of eyes
in the flashing lights of red and blue
I can see a body that is bruised
I am here- and where are ‘they’
Who say it isn’t true

In the dark she whispers
“why are there more cops
than children gathered here? ”

Because this isn’t just my garden,
It’s a country it’s a body it’s a town
And while these roots they cry for water
Other gardens are overgrown

And so I stand with those who say
“I want to fix this garden
And show my kids some day”

So get your kids
and get your guns
We’ll empty all our bullets at their feet
but we need faith and numbers
and we need to not retreat-

To raise our fists with thumbs enclosed
To raise two fingers at the gathering police

 Instead of one

so many bodies slumber
so many bodies sleep
politicians they raise millions
and we raise signs
And sleep out on the streets

We woke up

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, December 22, 2011

Poem Edited: Thursday, December 22, 2011

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