L I S T E N I N G: All We Want For [insert holy day here] is Peace (?)

Spoken Word. Written. //

Do we really think we’ve tried Listening?

I propose that if for a moment, our intention would actually be peace as it so often blatantly and subtly is purported to be, then peace would be.

A process, yes, but t r a j e c t o r y .

Reflect. The people in power, the ones we empower, as the little boy in the game of hide-and-seek in the middle of the kitchen, smiling with a hand over his eyes, “Heehee, no one can see me.”

You are seen.

We see the disparity between

The reported attempt and failure of peace,

And the actions to glean power and more power, stepping on peoples’ knees and then pointing in horror when they deploy machines to disassemble the mantle of you as king.

They will come for your crown by all means


You cannot step on people and not expect them to scream.

And how bad they look, and how innocent your face, when they mow down our Christmas and try to erase the empire we’ve built as a snear across the global face.

The universe calls for balance, eradicates what is so clearly “Good.” The goodness is not the point, the balance comes first.

If we overuse and overstep we will be cursed.

This is no threat, some crazy hex, a belief of the Christians the Muslims or Jews. It is more organic. It is more complex.

If it won’t work for everyone, it will lose.

Do we really think we’ve tried listening?

“I know you think we are your enemy and that we want to hurt you. It isn’t true. We are sorry for the pain we have caused. We want to listen to you.”

What then?

What would they do?

Demonizing has got us this far.

Us and them has lowered the bar

That is in our way.

Go around it and say,

I wish to see, hear, and know you

And understand the root of your pain.

And if I have I’ve got anything to do with it,

I will reflect on possible change.

Hey [My] Left wing- Do we really not understand a people almost wiped out with genocide?

Rejected on all shores and nowhere to hide, wanting a safe space where they can survive?

Do we not understand the cycle of post-trauma, horrifying fear that cannot be imagined becoming protective so that they might not be ravaged?


You need not agree, you can still point your fingers, but notice the three that point back from your trigger.

Do you know that the land we call Israel is the size of New Jersey?

Do you know that the land where we stand has left our hands dirty?

Do you know that we fund Israel to fight as a democratic army in the middle of oil, fighting who we call our enemy?

Listen. Listen to the root of it and not at what grows.

In the soil beneath us we’re equally sown. All people are innocent and equally seen. That’s how we nurture peace and abort all bad seeds.

In the earth they are clear, in the growing become distorted.

May our intention finally be that all beings be supported.

Winnie Mandela. Blood on her hands.

Do we really not understand?

A year and a half in solitary confinement.

Not as peaceful as her husband? Listen for a moment for the reason, you’ll find it.

What if there is no human inherently bad?

What if keeping them down is making them mad?

The oppressed become oppressors.

They are acting from fear, explosions too often landing on deaf ears.

We can either stand in righteousness and judge them for violence.

So easy to justify and play like the good guy.

But if we actually want change and the safety we claim,

We’ve got to change the way we’re being, see where our own guns aim.

Start reading the child killers’ suicide notes and deranged ones’ manifestos.

Hear the complaints named on terrorists’ videos.

They are clues to whose toes we’ve stepped on too long

And where the universe asks for more love to flow.

Here’s a tough part and not popular at all. I am so for indigenous rights, but that can’t be all.

If we give the land back to all original roamers, there are whole peoples left homeless, having no original borders. There are peoples without land, for humanity are not owners.

There is a forward motion that needs to be found, so that every two feet can be on safe ground.

It is not going to be easy

But it is this that must start.

The intention has to be peace

And we must play new parts.

No reenacting an old scene of revenge, justification,

And bullshit.

We all need to be seen

And have a safe space to sit.

I propose that if for a moment, our intention would actually be peace as it so often blatantly and subtly is purported to be, then peace would be. A process, yes, but t r a j e c t o r y .

Transition is tricky. Once you’ve oppressed others for so long, you know if they get into power, you’re gone. So we justify our staying on top. That justification is the thing that must stop. It’s time to peel back truth to its core to be cleft. Its time to repent, every nation, for theft.

- alice i frank, Christmas Day (2016)

( Artwork: Lord Huron, indie folk band, LA )

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