Sunday, July 6, 2014

Thoughts on the view from across an ocean.

I live in luxury unearned in an unjust world.
born to a priviledge not grounded in any merit.
but the shade of my skin and the shape of my nose.
Born in a body no better or worse in reality
but born in an alternate universe of ages of oppression
anger and aggression.
where the paleness of my ancestors
entitles me to have more than I need
built on the blood and backs of black and brown.
where are those lines?
my skin is tanned intentionally.
my sister lays baking under lamps
while my brown auntie bleaches her beautiful bronze away.
both believing lies.
How did we come to this?
Sweet, shy, smart, beautifully browned children
living in love, struggling for the most basic of needs.
Spoiled children pale from the glow of technology
their confines of finery
buried in more toys, food, THINGS...
more house than they could ever need.
and yet in poverty of love.

Lap of Luxury, Lack of Love.
Lack of Luxury, Laps of Love.

Is it better to while a life away, a world away in light priviledge?
A culture full to the brim with apathy, empty as it may be
of empathy, raw emotion, well placed devotion
concentrated energy. tapas burning for anything that Matters?
or far better to be barefoot and brown as the skin of the earth herself?
smiling despite the desperation of simply existing day to day.
Despite the decay, raw sewage, strays,
rice and more rice every meal of the day.
I am overwhelmed with shame.
I have done nothing but walk along with the culture I was born to
same as you... so why my shame?
Do I help or hurt by riding in the side car of your bicycle
while you pedal away.
Serve away.
Slave away?
for the same pesos I spent on a sweet iced tea?
Do I help or hurt your people by buying
the clothes made by your hard working
mother's hands 
hour after long hour?
you claim to be glad for the work...
The strength of culture is astounding,
the strength of faith.
of triumph over heartache.
the will and determination of human spirit.
I cringe to think of the excess and waste I exist within
participate in, in my own way.

Do you look at my cute white euro nose?
my wavy Caucasian hair.
My light eyes with no hint of almond shaping?
my successful culture as something to emulate,
to aspire to, to envy?
I look back in immense admiration at your humility
humbled by a people so much stronger than they know.
deserving of all of the blessings of the universe
more integrity in your dark pinky than
in most of a nation of success.
spoiled spawn of lightness.
If hard work, strength of spirit, love for life
determined success and status in this world.
the Filipinos would inherit the earth.


Pointed Nose, Clumsy tounge

Am I the face of the oppressor?
an aggressor?
You look at me as an alien in your midst...
do you see me with fear?
Apathy, Curiousity? Or do you think
me a fool, for all of the facts of your world
that I cannot hide my ignorance of...
I cannot hide my face.
My features.
My facade.
 I do not belong, and that is clear,
despite my confusion.
My ears hear so much,
but the sounds make no sense.
I struggle to understand in this land
where all man is other than me.
My tounge clumsy as my feet.
Don't know where to place either.
Communication stutters...
sputters... Stalls.
Unfamiliar your family.
Feeling a head taller, and twice as wide
in this crowd of wide eyes and
staring faces.
Lost in another galaxy
away from all I know.
Ten Thousand Miles.
Is so much futher
than I ever thought.


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