Looking for Inspiration? Try This

News & Politics

People are feeling in the dumps these days, and for very good reasons. Everywhere you turn, there is corruption and exploitation by corporations trying to squeeze every last penny out of our pockets, and it seldom seems we get much in return. Elected officials from the top down seem to respond far more to those with money bags than to the rest of us. But you know this already.

What do we do? Well, let's just say that giving up, as much as it is attractive, is not an option. AlterNet's former tech director Deanna Zandt (who, by the way, has a new book coming out in June: Share This! How You Will Change the World with Social Networking), sent me the Marge Piercy poem, "The Low Road."

It's tough, but inspiring. I wanted to share it with everyone this weekend. It is a fitting Valentine to all of you who don't give up, who won't give up, and who will support your friends, family, those you care about, and those who need it the most. And the hell with Washington, D.C.

The Low Road


What can they do

to you? Whatever they want.

They can set you up, they can

bust you, they can break

your fingers, they can

burn your brain with electricity,

blur you with drugs till you

can't walk, can’t remember, they can

take your child, wall up

your lover. They can do anything

you can’t blame them

from doing. How can you stop

them? Alone, you can fight,

you can refuse, you can

take what revenge you can

but they roll over you.

But two people fighting

back to back can cut through

a mob, a snake-dancing file

can break a cordon, an army

can meet an army.

Two people can keep each other

sane, can give support, conviction,

love, massage, hope, sex.

Three people are a delegation,

a committee, a wedge. With four

you can play bridge and start

an organization. With six

you can rent a whole house,

eat pie for dinner with no

seconds, and hold a fundraising party.

A dozen make a demonstration.

A hundred fill a hall.

A thousand have solidarity and your own newsletter;

ten thousand, power and your own paper;

a hundred thousand, your own media;

ten million, your own country.

It goes on one at a time,

it starts when you care

to act, it starts when you do

it again after they said no,

it starts when you say We

and know who you mean, and each

day you mean one more.

--Marge Piercy

Copyright 2006, Middlemarsh, Inc.

You can listen to this poem, and many more of Marge Piercy's political poems on her CD Louder: We Can't Hear You Yet! or find it in her famous collection The Moon is Always Female.

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