Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Public Protest

Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. 
Get up, stand up, Don't give up the fight.

Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy;
it is absolutely essential to it.
― Howard Zinn

Wider shot by Stuart Franklin showing the rest of the tank column.[1]
Part of Chinese Democracy Movement in 1989:
Type 59 tanks on Tiananmen Square.   "Tank Man
is visible in the lower left blocking the entire army. 
(Photo by Stuart Franklin, via Wikipedia, Fair Use.)

TODAY is the sad 25th anniversary of the final confrontation 
of the Chinese Democracy Movement  on June 4th 1989.

Midweek Motif ~ Public Protest

Have you ever been moved to stand up to power?  Have you ever wielded the power that is protested?   I like it best when protest leads to positive negotiations.  Protest groups unite when negotiations failed and they are compelled to protest and strike.  Non-violent public protest has power to create change.  

Your challenge:  Either present an historical protest in an epic poem or create a lyric poem from inside a protest, or combine both, interlacing epic and lyric.

Anti-nuclear Power Plant Rally on 19 September 2011 at Meiji Shrine complex in Tokyo.
Sixty thousand people marched chanting "Sayonara nuclear power" and waving banners to call on Japan's government to abandon nuclear power, following the 
Fukushima nuclear disaster.[1][2]

Inspiration from a three Poems:
“The conquest is not sustainable . . .”
                                  —Winona LaDuke
thanks for bringing that
to our attention
she said the first time
to my response to a history text
about a famous painting
of the Battle of Quebec
that never mentioned the French
and only mentioned Indians twice,
once as nuisances, once
as the noble savage
kneeling by the dying
English general . . . .  
(See the rest of this poem at The Poetry Foundation)

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness . . . .
(See the rest of this poem at The Poetry Foundation) 

(On the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963)
“Mother dear, may I go downtown
Instead of out to play,
And march the streets of Birmingham
In a Freedom March today?”

“No, baby, no, you may not go,
For the dogs are fierce and wild,
And clubs and hoses, guns and jails
Aren't good for a little child.”

“But, mother, I won’t be alone.
Other children will go with me,
And march the streets of Birmingham
To make our country free.”

“No, baby, no, you may not go,
For I fear those guns will fire.
But you may go to church instead
And sing in the children’s choir.”
. . . . 
(See the rest of this poem at The Poetry Foundation.)

1.      Post your public protest poem  on your site, and then link it here.
2.      Share only original and new work written for this challenge. 
3.      Leave a comment here.
4.      Honor our community by visiting and commenting on others' poems.

(Next week's Midweek Motif is  the number 13.)
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  1. Waking up to the sound of the old B-52 bombers made me sick to my stomach this morning. I actually had to throw up.
    Sorry but this entire world is/was/ and ever will be it seems, in a grisly state, and now it is back over my head again with all the implications and memories of before.
    Couldn't find a Linky yet. Well, my post is not uplifting and probably feebly and in no way accounts for what I feel and did feel ten years ago for Iraq and 25 years ago for China and so many times before or since.

    1. This comment is a poem itself. Where are you, Jo-hanna? I look forward to you protest poem.

    2. I'm were I always am these days: hiding from the real world in my Rilke corner :-)

    3. Rilke can sooth the savage breast ...

    4. ...and stir the placid one...

  2. I guess the link isn't up yet. I wrote mine especially for the people I care about in Crimea that place that is no longer in the news because it was swallowed up by mother Russia.

    1. Mother Russia has quite a hunger. And who, who owns the media? Looking forward to seeing your poem.

  3. i just wrote one but there's no 'linky' as Jo-hanna stated

  4. Sorry!!!
    Mr. Linky and I are not friends! But he is here now, and I am intrigued by your messages and look forward to your poems. I have not written mine yet. I've been visiting folks all week, and now find that I still need time, time, time. I could turn that into a protest, but have something else in mind. Welcome POETS UNITED!

  5. i think when you repeat something three times it could be either a mantra or a protest depending on the attitude. gracias mi amiga for getting Mr. Linky going, Susan

    1. I like that. Indeed, I used it in the sort-of poem I just posted. Thanks for checking back, Marcoantonio!

  6. Susan,

    I hope my poem can be acceptable to the prompt this week. The subject is too silent, in the cruelty which is taking place in India, in particular. No public heart, nor protest. Sad that acceptance might still have the upper hand, at present. This story dominated my thinking for today.


  7. Dear Susan
    Striking Motif very finely selected and presented.Gives a chance to explore history people human rights freedom and sacrifice. Thank you once again Hope my contribution suits the design.

    1. Indeed it does, Anjum. It's so good to read more of your creation.

  8. Chin up, all! We must enter tomorrow!

    1. . . . and enthusiastically, too. Thank you for joining in, Humbird.

  9. Took a little softer tack, hope you enjoy it :-)

    1. Very much. I felt the protest in the sit-in, I felt it like a teen whose parents were calling, but I protest and stay ...

  10. For my piece, I took inspiration from Pop star Christina Aguilera's "Let There Be Love" song. It was so much fun and energy that I decided to write a public protest poem inspired by it. Have a great Thursday everyone!!!

  11. What a week! Powerful writing. I hope next week won't disappoint when I turn to the number 13 as a motif! We have a Friday the 13th coming up, but that has nothing to do with it (grin). Please post poems you wrote that you love in tomorrow's PU pantry, new or old.


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