Happy Poetry Month! One of the coolest things happening right now in poetry, in my opinion, is this crowd sourced epic poem that the U.S. Poet Laureate is compiling. Below are my submissions so far, and I’d encourage anyone who likes to write poetry to contribute a few words and be a part of history.
“La Familia (The Family) is an opportunity for you to contribute to an epic poem of all our voices and styles and experiences that will run the span of my Laureateship. By contributing to La Familia, you will be part of my family—and all our words will be seen and our voices be heard, throughout the nation and beyond.” – Juan Felipe Herrera, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2015
You can contribute your own here: http://www.loc.gov/poetry/casadecolores/familia/index.php
My La Familia Epic Poem Contributions
The roots of the global family tree run deep within our souls,
holding steady new generations of dreamers,
but we are merely seeds floating softly in the wind,
until we find a way to blossom together.
When I was six months old my mom and I
took the great trail in the sky
leaving her homeland of Germany
traversing the Atlantic Ocean
to start a brand new life
in this country called America
with my father, a soldier,
from a small Texas town.
Mensch!” flowed from my German mother’s lips,
Often in frustration, like “Aw, man!”
Or the coarser cowboy curses of my father.
To my Jewish ears these days,
Mensch is the highest of compliments,
Indeed a blessing, not a curse word at all.
Peace will come the day we forget how to drop the bombs or make the guns,
When we get along underneath the same old sun,
Singing songs in holy unison no matter where we’re from,
Yes, peace will come. Peace will come. Pray before the day is done.
I am a military brat turned pacifist,
Born into a family dedicated to service,
But prayers of peace are my dear wish.
My cousin Jeff gave the ultimate sacrifice.
In Arlington his heroic soul now lies.
The words “thank you” just don’t suffice.
Democracy means we all have a voice,
and we all have to make a choice,
but we have a responsibility
to choose what is right and good
Humankind wrapped in a hug,
hands joined in respect and love,
spread across this earth
to be filled with the spice of life,
kindness is the tortilla in this holy burrito,
and we are a rainbow cornucopia of unity.