“Coal mining is the most dangerous work in our land today
With plenty of dirty slaving work, and very little pay.
Coal miner, won’t you wake up, and open your eyes and see
What the dirty capitalist system is doing to you and me.”
Back in many a day gone by, with shovels and picks in hand
The men went down into the dark below to mine for coal all day.
They knew the risk was high and there was very little reward.
But a dollar was a dollar and they needed some way to feed and clothe their babes.
As they descended down deep into the earth
They brought with them a pet to safeguard their work
The yellow canary, a sentinel creature singing merrily along
Unknowing of the danger to which she might befall.
When the canary sings the air is safe
These sensitive little birds know better than we
When the air grows toxic and death stands at the door.
So you’d do well to listen for when they sing no more.
I am a canary did you hear my song?
I sang to you with an open heart
Eyes wide at a world so fresh and new.
My lungs full and my voice strong.
Then you took me into the darkness
And bade me still to sing.
I told you that each note burned inside my throat
You told me I was too sensitive, that the air was clear and good
Even now as the smoke and dust fill my lungs you still say that all is well
The culture is concerned with only that which is “on fleek”.
Fear and suspicion lurk around every bend
Power, privilege, piety, and prejudice surround on all sides, the gods we now praise.
I can no longer sing (cough), I can hardly speak (cough)
We are, all of us dying. Even if you can’t see it, it is no less real.
Hope lives on the next horizon, if only you listen to hear our truth.
Open your eyes, though they bleed. For they can be washed and healed.
Just like the canary whose song was silenced, a sacrifice for the lives of men
There will come those into your life who challenge what you know to be true
Have courage and be kind, knowing that they mean you no harm.
In fact, they may be dying to give you a chance to live.
Racism, bigotry, sexism, xenophobia, islamophobia, and every other inequality
Strangles the future, puts our children in bonds too heavy for the soul to bear.
Mother Earth cries out in pain, her tears are hurricanes and her heart is a famine where once there was a lush green paradise.
Listen to the sensitive ones, they warn of the danger you cannot yet feel.
Open your hearts and lay down your arms
Take a seat around the table, share your stories and fill up your cup
Live to fight another day, but do it side by side
Know the enemy is fear and ignorance, not your common man.
I am a canary; can you hear my song?
My my newest poem. Hope you like it and that it speaks to you.