• Jane Engleman


Updated: Sep 11, 2020

If you are lost in the tonnage of a collapse, what good is a voice if you do not develop the intensity of creativity to get your voice to the surface? To save yourself? To save the people lost with you? The planet groans with exhaustion. Marching in protest only seems to incite more violence and confusion.

But we can join the march, the performance, the ride, the battle, or the journey. We can be part of the Play! No single poet is going to sandbag the intensity of the raging pouring through. We must work with artists, videographers, musicians, business executives and teachers, using our talents to do what we can. We vote, we march, we feed, we shower, we nurse the trauma survivors as we have found solace to nurse ourselves. How can the murmur of the healing we find for ourselves press salve into wounds, stop armies in their tracks, keep the suicidal alive, and stay the knives of killers?

The Poet Talker Band is a dream, a loose collaboration of poets who must find a way to survive and full contribution. Shelley once said that poets are the legislators of the world. We do not really have that much power, but we do have some say in how our world comes together to celebrate the fact that we have lived. Poets such as Maya Angelou, Seamus Heaney, Black Elk, Emily Dickinson, Jimmy Santiago Baca and Pablo Neruda were activists whose words ignited change. We find our hope in their reflections created during the most terrible struggle. And we find gradients of happiness in the chaos.

Our world cracks and heaves in a break between eras. What a brilliant, adventurous time for us to be surviving! If we live one day or the next seventy years, whether the physical planet collapses from the strain, or whether we find a way to become strong, we live in our verses, our moments, our haiku, our cries strung together into plays, visual arts and movies. We create new spoken art forms to assist our chosen leaders, our nurses and doctors, our compassionate warriors and our mothers.

What is the alternative? Hiding? Dying? Wailing on the street? We only have the bubbles we influence, focused on the thin blue line of our existence. And yet, our words are sometimes heard. War and slavery are moved to jazz, to temporary moments of independence, and to everlasting understanding in poetry, myth and religion.

#poetry #Los Angeles Art #artshare #peer supporters #The Poet Talker Band

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