A Poem in Favor of Humanity

2017 – it’s 2017
Who would think that in 2017
I would feel the need to have you read
a poem in favor of humanity?

I look out at my students
what do I see?

I see wires from teenage ears
red, yellow, black pods in and around their ears
talking to them
mesmerizing them
hypnotizing them

I see the omnipresent ChromeBook
on their desks – their laptop computer instructors
And on tables as stand alones
I see the Boxes standing tall –
They are Black
They are Powerful
They are Teaching my kids

And I am complicit….

Whoooaaa
What did I just say?
The black plastic and metal square heads
Are everywhere… scrambling
the brains of my students
teaching them to be compliant
malleable
common
ordinary
all the same
as
each
other

But my kids are the outliers on the scattergrams –
my rebels
my questioners
my thinkers
my doers
the next generation’s movers and the shakers

At least they used to be

……

They used to be when we treated them as humans
not data
not profitable
not little red, yellow, and green bars on Excel data sheets
not as inhuman commodities
not as a dollar sign
not as a deficit
not as the invisibles
the unwanted
the disposable
the shame of the school
the student who brings down my VAM

So – where is the humanity in 2017?

The little rectangular plastic and glass slab that sits in our pockets
I won’t even begin to go where that slab has pulled our children

a place where our children hide out
a place where our children hide from reality
a place where a child is no longer human

Why do our kids want to get lost in the Screen instead of in the woods?
Why do our kids want to get lost in the Internet instead of in a good book?
Why do our kids want to live inside a box instead of in the real world?

I cry out for a return to humanity
for a return to nature
for a return to that which makes us human
and unique and real and immortal.

I cry out for a 21st Century Transcendental Movement.

Who will join me in the fight to transcend
the data
the algorithms
the pie charts
the Excel Spread sheets that try to
define our students?

Let us together form a new world
for our children and grand children –
a world that celebrates the child in each of us
a world that loves nature
a world that believes we are more than just flesh and blood –
certainly more than a data point –
a world that believes we can transcend the rational
a world that reaches for the stars.

Courageous Dependence

hands_img.jpg
A child sits alone
in her bedroom and waits
for someone to come to her.

She is hungry and cold
and her nose is running
and she sniffles.

She hears a key’s metallic
sound as it whispers to
her heart.

And then they come in –
her parents – from a long
day at their offices.

She runs to them for
a hug and is greeted
with a hurried grimace.

She is given a frozen dinner
and told to eat it in the
living room – alone.

She eats.
She shivers.
She sniffles.
She waits.

She hears raised voices
in the other bedroom.
She pounds on the door.
She screams for attention.

She is ignored
because the fighting has
begun….again.

But this fight is different.

The yelling pierces the silence.
The hitting vibrates through the floor.
They are killing themselves this time.
Her heart knows this is the end.

She sits alone in her bedroom
crying for help,
crying to the only One
who can hear her now.

She cries out loud,
“My Father who art in heaven
holy is Your Name.
Your Kingdom come NOW
She needs His Kingdom to come now.

She moves to the kitchen
and asks for the Father’s will to be done.

She sees the cell phone
on the counter and she
prays one more time,

“Deliver me from evil.”

She dials 911
and asks for help
and waits for the police
to come.

She tells them all
and is taken away
from the loneliness,
and the fighting,
and the evil that hurt
her heart every day.

This is courage.

To depend on our Father
and to obey Him when He
directs our path.

©Copyright 2006 Poetic Justice
Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the LORD: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street. – Lamentations 2:19