“We Are All Human”

I’ve been thinking about New Zealand along with the rest of us since Friday morning.

Yesterday evening I was sitting in a coffee shop that is a frequent meeting place for a group of Somali men. I go there often enough to recognize their faces and exchange pleasantries. Last night was different. They along with a community of their family, friends, colleagues had to endure the tragedy of a mass shooting in New Zealand where 50 (current count) people of Muslim faith where gunned down in senseless violence by a white terrorist. The killer carried with him a manifesto that attributed the influence of our current POTUS and his remarks toward the Muslim faith. The dead are sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, co-workers, colleagues, neighbors, grandparents, elders, friends … the list goes on and ought to sound familiar to everyone. They are people, like you and me.

I am a high school English teacher. Earlier in the day, my students watched a Ted Talk by Suzanne Barakat titled Islamophobia which spoke to the loss of her brother, his wife and their friend in a senseless shooting in North Carolina in 2015. Same situation, different white terrorist, a hate crime against the Muslim faith. Looking at her Facebook page today, I discovered her brother and his wife and friend were killed four years ago on February 10th, 2015. Just over a month ago, and her comment on her page last night after the news of the New Zealand tragedy was very brief, “I can’t. I just can’t.” I have to wonder how frightened or angry or defeated she feels today.

As I left the coffee shop last night, I looked at the men in conversation together and felt compelled to approach them. I told them they were all in my heart, and they thanked me and nodded their heads in understanding. One man looked at me and said, ‘We are all human,” and I shook his hand and he said it again.

We are all just human beings. Is there any other explanation to give people of the Muslim faith, or people of color, or people that are different than ourselves a reason to be respected? One of the messages from Suzanne Barakat is to speak to your neighbors. Even if it feels like a small gesture , she said it will have miles of impact. It is a start, and today, the healing needs to begin.

We are all simply human beings.

Please practice love today.

 


 

Islamophobia – Suzanne Barakat

Advertisements

When Walking in the Wood

I noticed tonight,

a deeper darkness

filling the mysterious quiet

of the wood, a forest of our mind.

 

We choose now today to be afraid,

we could walk freely

when in the stone castles

a moat our greatest fear.

 

Oh certain there were evil

lurking inside the shallows,

yet vulnerable as we might

have been, then it was so rare.

 

Today, and every day now,

it is not simply the forest life

watching our every move,

yet it is a jungle of lost humanity.

 

Such is a definitive cry of woe

to know our lives in a technical

brainwash of social embrace,

we forget a silent walk when alone.

 

Oh to know that forest of old

a place whereby our lives so bold.

Silent Moment

When just a glance

offers no chance.

 

When a quiet remember

ignites angry ember

 

While offering some solution

quickly dies our absolution

 

With every offered ideal

there seems a ready deal

 

I walked inside a mirage the other day,

I thought i had sort of found my way

yet I was schooled

nobody fooled

there was still some recompense

to help me certain not make any sense

of the world around me

the choices astound when we

 

lose our way

step away

 

for the light of some distant thoroughfare

would shadow reality if their own fare

were an ultimatum that offered choice

an opportunity to personally rejoice

while the other, the saboteur seems an outlier

quickly thought to be just that suggested crier.

 

While in truth the merits of one

would that we were never done.

On Positive Outcome

We have these moments

we, the human beings

where emotions begin our day,

end our nights,

decide our way.

 

We sometimes cannot move a muscle

our bodies so strong, resilient

frozen to the ground,

the nature of a piece of soft furniture

becomes the bastion

covet our ill.

 

Today, nature’s frozen ground

sure to take some lives,

those of human beings

lost inside a vortex of instantaneous

decision making ice

 

We need to look for answer

instead of accepting defeat,

our bodies human yet frail,

we cannot allow the remedy of loss

become our only outcome.

 

Sweet is the human condition,

ready and willing

weep and cry, laugh in hysterics

the emotional roller-coaster

whom we become, come to be.

 

Find solace in the truth,

know honesty

recognize the power of an ill

realize the beauty of real,

stay safe, stay warm, stay in love.

 

No matter that the world has other plans,

let your own be the finality carry on a glow.

A Life Led

Watching movies all of our lives,

imagined scenarios,

romantic interludes

with coveted designs

all created within the scope

of such sweet select yearn

we celebrate a constant envy.

 

While the world reminds

us of simple routine,

a Thanksgiving Day parade

the Macy’s celebration,

streets lined with normalcy,

our world in a capsule

filled with smiles and reason.

 

Watching a stranger now,

who did once lead a life,

a sort of mechanical failure

brought him to his knees

standing outside

a warmth and peace inside.

 

We choose our lives.

Would we that gather an

idyllic scenario

now that terms are met

could we ever disregard

the notion of our lives

to be the

sweet remembrance of why.

 

In lasting conversations with friends

as memory suggests, pretend.

Finding A Rhythm

I use music,

depends upon the day,

usually something

upbeat, jazzy, message driven,

something to soothe

my soul,

it is the motive of a rhythm

to move the body,

let the mind follow,

let the whole of ourselves

become transfixed,

designed with the heart in sight.

 

We like to travel,

I

like to travel

go places well beyond

the space I am in,

rather than the physical nature

getting away,

I’d like rather to know

right here, right now,

I can go there, you might come here

in the span of a moment,

in the quiet serenade

of a bluesy melody.

 

‘Talk to me some more

you don’t have to go.’ – Phoebe Snow

 

Something to be said,

without having to find

the answer,

just a listen

follow the beat

listen to intention,

find some meaning

moves beyond the moment,

let’s you settle inside a memory,

perhaps a dream,

a fantasy,

let it take you somewhere

tonight.