Poems from the book Barefoot in the Sanctuary

California Poems, Poems from the book Barefoot in the Sanctuary

Participatory Budgeting Poem

PB Poem

This fine city of Vallejo
is giving us a choice in the way things go
with a budget that is of the people.

We get to choose where our taxes get spent,
making for more efficient government.

If you want to help our kids,
the art scene, and homeless folks, too,
fix the roads, improve our parks,
well, this is what you got to do!

The choice comes around every year.
Your voice is heard by city hall.
It’s absolutely your call!

If you’re at least fourteen,
living in Vallejo, step on up,
and participate in this scene.

Get out and vote,
then if you want to you can gloat,
shouting, “Hey, I helped make this happen!”

You can make a difference in person or online.
All it takes is a couple minutes of your time.

So cast your vote today,
and help forge a brand new way
for our beautiful city by the bay.



Go vote by April 30th!

The original version of this poem originally appears in the 2016 book Barefoot in the Sanctuary, and was a topic suggested by Matthew Finkelstein.

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Poems from the book Barefoot in the Sanctuary, Poetry

The Freedom to Love

I joined the Stonewall Democratic Club of Solano County, marching and dancing across Vallejo for the 4th of July parade. This is the poem it inspired.

The Freedom to Love

Dancing downtown,
amid a proud parade
of people and partisans,
arising in a righteous rainbow,
a revolution of love
filled these streets for the first time,
this Fourth of July,
declaring freedom from hatred
as bubbles floated in the air
alongside joyful songs,
cheering townsfolk,
and flags waving,
red white blue,
this year
a few more colors, too,
me and you,
feeling a bit more patriotic
when all are included
and free to be truly who
rings true soul deep
like bells of liberty,
stepping three miles closer
to that dream
in a milestone contingent
of ladies and gents
unafraid to love.
May we all be
unwavering in support,
and moving forward,
unafraid to love
each other and ourselves.




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Peace Poems, Poems from the book Barefoot in the Sanctuary, Poetry

Souls Aflame #wearorange

I joined a group of about 20 menschy folks from my synagogue as part of the #wearorange march across the Golden Gate Bridge, protesting against gun violence. This is the poem that it inspired.

D.L. Lang wearing orange

Souls Aflame

It is good to march.
To keep your spirit charged.
And so here we are.
We pursuers of peace
with our souls on fire
for the kinder world we desire.

A sea of orange drifting
across our Golden Gate
unified marching
against violence and hate.

A passionate parade of protesting people
gliding across the bay
galvanized against
the glorification of guns.

Chanting clad in electric orange
men, women and children
who fight and who mourn
for those lost too soon
to this culture of death.

We spring into action
in their memory.
We are the voices longing to be free
to live in a world of peace.

No longer shall we remain silent
when it comes to the tragedy
of gun violence.

Surrounded by moms and mensches,
igniting our souls,
raising our consciousness
towards holy goals.

Bicycles and tourists we dodge.
10,000 holy steps towards a good cause.
Returning the greetings of friendly cars
whose horns ring out as if to say,
“May your message go far
and may change come today.”

Five golden miles
across county lines
we flowed with peaceful smiles,
praying for change
with every step.

We march through the fog and cold,
declaring a single life is superior to all the gold
cashed in from all the guns ever sold.

The bridge is ignited
fluorescent by our collective light
urging our government to do what is right,
as we refuse to give up the fight
for a better world.

Marching towards that day
when a weapon is no longer what humanity needs
and we shall all live in peace.
Soon. God willing. Soon.

Until that day good hearts
must step up to lead
this nation to be sensible about guns
instead of giving in to fear and greed.

Barefoot in the Sanctuary

Barefoot in the Sanctuary

$9.99eBook: $2.99
Series: Poetry Paperbacks, Book 7
Genre: Poetry
Tag: Recommended Books
Format: Paperback
Length: 180 pages
ISBN: 9781536820263

Barefoot in the Sanctuary is a volume of poetry inspired by long hikes out in the wilderness, spiritual experiences with my synagogue community, and artistic absorption of the tumultuous times we live in. It is D.L. Lang's 7th poetry book.

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About the Book
Barefoot in the Sanctuary is a volume of poetry inspired by long hikes out in the wilderness, spiritual experiences with my synagogue community, and artistic absorption of the tumultuous times we live in. It is D.L. Lang’s 7th poetry book. You can read poems featured in this book on the poetry blog. Excerpt from the foreword:
These poems were written November 2015 – September 2016 with the exception of “Walking with the Sun Across the Gate” which was written in 2015 around the time of Look Ma! No Hands! and neglected to make it into that book. They are an amalgam of surreal exaggeration, reality, and outright fiction. Some are inspired by actual people and experiences, and some are a hybrid of many people, many experiences, or just my wild imagination set loose without judgment. A great majority of these poems were graciously rejected by prestigious literary journals and publishers, setting them free for me to publish them.
    Complete list of poems within this volume: Shalom Convert Shalom, Haver! Barefoot in the Sanctuary Here, it is Good Interconnected Becoming Never Asking Why Dreamer Be The Valley of the Moon The Wilderness of Humanity Chapel Park Out in the Canyon Sometimes Time Peace Times A Million It’s Time Divine Timing Musical Revolutions in Time Travel Buying Time red-headed lions Apples of the Earth Resist the Dark No Matter the Weather What Travelers See Walking with the Sun across the Gate Eating Clouds in Golden Gate Park Gazing West, Thinking East Magicians with Music Boxes Juggling 18 After Ancient Grounds, New Sounds Nocturnal Songsters When Joy Ride Injury and Recovery Planetary Treasures Remembering Perched on the Peaks of Awe The Feels Perforated Expecting Permission to Feel Meditation for Poets Hopeful Eyes Bear Valley What We Chase The Practicality of Fools Guilt Association, Inc. Happy Silverstein Jazz and Freedom Waffles Reconnect Freedom is Burning Gems of the Mind Mt. Tambourine Dream Chaser Reflections Opening Do You Long? Own Your Only Self All Right, All Right, Go Left, Go West Living in the Lines Anniversaries Falling Up A Door to Freedom A Minor Miracle New Haunt, Old Slang Bratwurst Starburst Universe Circles of Rhyme And Do I Dare? Don’t Forget to Live Symphony of Joy Genealogy is a Trip. Take It. Only Through Love Legacies of Thought Only Acting as Angels No Flowers Some Place Mountain Poet There is a Harshness Stacked The Ever Present Dark Essence Rewind When You Miss Someone Know Nothing 1989 8/11 Papers Souls Aflame Bernie in Sacramento Bernie on the Waterfront Because It’s Bernie Blackout PB Poem Enough Breathe The Freedom to Love Rebel, Know Thyself To Do List Widen the Tent What’ll Be Left, My Kin? No End Fear Lies, You Rise Humanity and History Repetition Mind Parachute Step Off the Wheel Election Day The Creep Holy Wars Awakened What’s It For? When the World has a Flat Unnatural Selection / Do you Feel a Draft? Bring the Heart Back Into the Heartland You Are Not Above Open the Blinds I’m Tired America
Hi! Enjoying what you’re reading? Please consider buying a book, or using the donation button on the sidebar. Poets aren’t always compensated for our performances and efforts, and doing so would help out greatly and ensure this website stays around for years to come.
All of my gigs have been cancelled until further notice. Please stay safe everyone. If you would like to support me at this time, please consider buying one of my books from your favorite online retailer.

About the Author
D.L. Lang

D.L. Lang is a contemporary American poet and spoken word artist. The author of over a dozen poetry books, Lang has been writing poetry for over 25 years. She has performed her poetry on stage hundreds of times at protest rallies, county fairs, literary festivals, open mics, poetry circles, bookstores, libraries, and live radio broadcasts.

From 2017 to 2019 she served as Vallejo, California's Poet Laureate. Her poems have been awarded with numerous county fair ribbons, transformed into songs, used as liturgy for prayer, and to advocate for peace, justice, and a better world.

The scribe of over 1,200 poems from haiku to free verse to masterful rhyme, covering a wide variety of topics, D.L. Lang has poetry that's sure to delight. Lang dabbles in both gritty realism and surrealistic wordplay, sorrowful elegy and uplifting affirmations. Her poetry is a mixture of topical political commentary, religious devotional meditations, and poetic autobiographical memoir. Her words take you on journeys deep into nature, memory, spirituality, and the whisperings of the heart.

She is the author of Tea & Sprockets, Abundant Sparks & Personal Archeology, Look Ma! No Hands!, Poet Loiterer, Id Biscuits, Barefoot in the Sanctuary, Armor Against The Dawn, Dragonfly Tomorrows & Dog-eared Yesterdays, Resting on My Laurels, The Cafe of Dreams, Midnight Strike, and This Festival of Dreams. She has also released a chapbook compilation entitled Wanderings, a Jewish poetry compilation entitled Paradise Collectors, and her debut spoken word album entitled Happy Accidents, and is the editor of Voices, Verses & Visions of Vallejo.

Her poetry has also been published in the Benicia Herald, Poets Are Heroes Magazine, ReformJudaism.org, Poetry Expressed, Frost Meadow Review, and the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles. Her poetry has been anthologized in A Poet’s Siddur (Ain’t Got No Press, 2017), Light & Shadow (Benicia Literary Arts, 2018), Marin Poetry Center Anthology, Vol. 21 (2018), and Verses, Voices & Visions of Vallejo (2019).

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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Poems from the book Barefoot in the Sanctuary, Poetry

Bernie on the Waterfront #BernieinVallejo


Bernie in Vallejo

Bernie on the Waterfront

It started as a whisper, a rumor, skepticism.
“Was he? Would he? Here? Really?”
And by evening it became a wild roar, a joyous cheer,
with excitement surging through the town, shouting,
“Bernie is coming! Bernie is coming here!”

Folks who don’t live here might miss the beauty
of our majestic little city.
We’re number one in diversity—
representatives of all humanity
fill up our rolling streets.

And they said nothing big ever happens in this old town,
ever since they shut the old navy base down,
since bankruptcy disrupted our downtown,
and acts of violence left folks wearing a frown.
Thank God for the artists, singers, and clowns,
spreading joy and community to everyone around.

Because if we’ve still got art,
then we’ve still got hope,
dreaming up creative ways to cope.

As this new world erupts with age old issues
and stories of struggle straight out of dog eared history books,
and the streets they ring with protest songs,
singing out the difference between right and wrong,
it’s the stuff of boundless imagination
that’s just what we need to build a better nation.

Helping one another is a way we can unite.
We’ll unite to turn this town around.

Whether working class families or artist folk,
let’s all work together. The solution is in sight.
People from the left, and people who know what’s right,
all are gonna come out to see Bernie this night.

The revolution has come to Vallejo.
The revolution is here on the waterfront,
with every beautiful color of the human rainbow,
standing together, young and old.

This revolution is an uprising of the heart.
Souls rising above the greed
to where compassion leads.
We need to build a better world,
and it’s up to us to start.

Bernie coming to Vallejo ain’t a joke—
“a future to believe in” is what he promotes.
Working for a better world depends upon your vote!

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Poems from the book Barefoot in the Sanctuary, Poetry


Bernie in Sacramento

Standing sunbaked for hours,
achy feet, people in the streets.
collecting buttons,
lazing in the grass, getting sunburned,
hiding cross legged in the shade of the masses,
waving signs about revolution and a better future.

I think I found the hippie vote.
The people who care if you and I can stay a float.
I’m in. Bring it.

Overheard in the crowd,
“The music here is so good.
The people are so nice.
The hippies are back.
All kumbaya.
Yeah, songs—that really makes us dangerous!”

That felt so much like home
that I almost want to say
it was a spiritual experience.

Gathered in a sea of thousands,
singing songs about peace and freedom,
lead by solo acoustic guitarists,
and one who used his violin pizzicato.

We are the troublemakers,
says one speaker,
a euphemism for leader,
igniting sparks.

Bernie enters the scene
soundtracked by Springsteen,
and waxes on about how to make our country a better place
for all people of all varieties,
with better treatment and opportunity for all,
and asks you to believe in the impossible and work towards it—
towards a more hopeful future,
keeping the dream alive.

In a world so corrupt,
doing the right thing seems revolutionary.
An honest politician,
consistently serving the people,
uniting across boundaries—
what a rarity!

Among the mass parking lot exodus onto starscaped highways,
I left, uplifted, inspired, and praying for a miracle,
for the hope of the first Jewish president.

I left, truly feeling the Bern.

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