Performing at Vallejo’s Unity Day.
Peace Poems,  Poems from the book Resting on my Laurels,  Poetry

Unity Day Poems

I was asked to write poetry that celebrates the diversity of Vallejo for Unity Day. One poem is to honor the past and the contributions of our ancestors, and one is a vision of the future. It was an honor to be able to perform them both at the 2017 Unity Day “One Love” celebration! Watch the video.

Ancestral Honor

We come together in unity,
as one big community,
finding commonality in our shared humanity,
dancing and singing the traditional songs
that once lit the fires of our ancestors’ dreams,
as we spark our own shining out hope.

Our elders carried dreams
deep within their hearts,
perhaps, left unrealized in their time.

They worked to pave the way
that we might know a better life.
They risked their lives and livelihoods
so that we might know tastes of paradise.

We carry with us this dream
of a brighter future
for our families,
of a world where all peoples
may live in peace.

That lives filled with hardship
may be one day transformed
into a society based on love,
purpose, and progress.

No matter our origins,
our parents and grandparents
all passed down wisdom and traditions
gleaned from holy texts and personal experience.

For it is our rituals and holidays that connect our peoples,
and the values we learn from those that came before us
that form the foundations of our identities
upon which we can build an understanding of the world
and in what ways we can change it for the better.

Millennium Vision

Our city leads the nation in diversity.
Members of every faith
and of all ethnicities
reside within her streets
and are here today.

We joyously honor
the many cultures that formed us
while coming to an understanding of one another.

We work together,
make art together,
dance together,
dine together,
laugh together,
and live together.

We can show the world
what it means to come together!

Our kindness towards one another
is the blueprint
upon which a better world is built.

May love and respect reverberate,
changing the hearts of all who choose hate,
across every nation and every state.

May the words and actions of our daily lives
help every adult and child to thrive,
for love, unity, and peace is our fate!

D.L. Lang is the current Poet Laureate of Vallejo, California. She is the author of ten books, and one spoken word album. Her poems have been published in the Benicia Herald, Jewish Journal, Poets Are Heroes Magazine, the Benicia First Tuesday Poets anthology Light & Shadow, and in A Poet’s Siddur: Friday Evening Liturgy through the Eyes of Poets. Lang has been a featured act at several events including the Vallejo Man March, Unity Day, Solidarity with Charlottesville, and International Peace Day. She is also a regular at Poetry by the Bay and leads the Poetry in Notion poetry circle. She has won ribbons and rosettes at the Alameda, Marin, San Mateo, and Solano County Fairs. Her poems have been transformed into songs, liturgy, and used as a means to advocate for causes.

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