On affection


What can they do

to you? Whatever they want.

They can set you up, they can

bust you, they can break

your fingers, they can

burn your brain with electricity,

blur you with drugs till you

can’t walk, can’t remember, they can

take your child, wall up

your lover. They can do anything

you can’t stop them

from doing. How can you stop

them? Alone, you can fight,

you can refuse, you can

take what revenge you can

but they roll over you.


But two people fighting

back to back can cut through

a mob, a snake-dancing file

can break a cordon, an army

can meet an army.


Two people can keep each other

sane, can give support, conviction,

love, massage, hope, sex.

Three people are a delegation,

a committee, a wedge. With four,

you can play bridge and star an organization. With six

you can rent a whole house,

eat pie for dinner with no

seconds, and hold a fund raising party.

A dozen make a demonstration.

A hundred fill a hall.

A thousand have solidarity and your own newsletter;

ten thousand, power and your own paper;

a hundred thousand, your own media;

ten million, your own country.


It goes on one at a time,

it starts when you care

to act, it starts when you do

it again after they said no,

it starts when you say We

and know who you mean, and each

day you mean one more.


Marge Piercy

The low road

On Fear


For the time being we won’t sing of love,

which has fled beyond all undergrounds.

We’ll sing of fear, which sterilizes all hugs.

We won’t sing of hatred, since it doesn’t exist,

only fear exists, our father and our companion,

the dread fear of hinterlands, oceans, deserts,

the fear of soldiers, fear of mothers, fear of churches,

we’ll sing of the fear of dictators, of democrats,

we’ll sing of the fear of death and what’s after death,

then we’ll die of fear,

and fearful yellow flowers will sprout on our tombs.


Carlos Drummond de Andrade

International Symposium on Fear

Translated from Portuguese by Richard Zenith.

a note from the universe

Dear all,

live with grace and style,

show kindness,

be grateful,

count your blessings,

bring joy to wherever your soul leads you to,

share love,

trust in your dreams,

stay true.