Written one night between Trans Pride and Pride 2013 in
the wake of the news about Pussy Riot and oppression of
LGBT Q people in Russia. T his poem does not specifically
refer to Pussy Riot ( another does)but was inspired by their
courage in standing up for human dignity.
I wrote this poem in my basement flat after a lovely night home and walk home feeling so HAPPY to be me and free, then faced with the stark contrast in the early hours on checking my mail.
The piece is really a "call to arms" aimed at everyone who
is complacent but especially politicians, sponsors and
supporters of the Sochi Winter Olympics because I felt and
Feel now that relocating them , withdrawing valuable
sponsorship, boycotting them or, as a last resort refusing to
attend them is the single most effective avenue available to
communicate the civilised world's abhorrence to Putin and to
the Russian people.
There is a bitter irony
In this gallant country
Where a valiant wars
Were fought and won
For freedom, apparently,
To see what now is going on.
How our brothers and sisters
Citizens and visitors
Are treated as criminals
Worse even than animals
In the streets they are beaten
For being a lesbian
Or even”looking like”one
For daring to say
“Some are born gay,” For confessing, in innocence, Love for another Sister for sister. Brother to brother
Or expressing openly
Variance in gender identity.
This despised authority
Denies civil rights and liberty
Prises children, crying, from families
No pretence of humanity
Merely to flatter
One man's cruel vanity.
Ask yourself this:
“How much would I risk
For the touch of a loved-one's kiss
As we greet? To hold hands?
And should I stand by
While such good people lie, In streets bleeding,
Or die secreted
In soviet prisons?
“Have I no shame
Celebrating these games
And will the stain of complicity
Forever cling to me,
When the spirit of sharing
The joy of competing
With equals and comrades
In rivalry and fairness
Has been stripped of all meaning?”
Or is it
“I just could not care less” ?
from RE:connection - Pussy Riot Project
released December 15, 2013
I am a woman, a parent, ex psychiatric nurse poet and (
more recently) spoken word performer who is much moved
by the persecution of minorities in Russia( among other
countries) which coalesced with the show trial, debasement
and imprisonment of Nadezhda and Masha for
courageously protesting against Women's and LGBT Q
persecution by the Putin regime.
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