sunset on the train home

here i am at the united way of delaware’s annual meeting. they invited me to come perform for them yesterday in wilmington, de to help re-inspire their board members and supporters.

i’m sorta giving the “did you take the picture yet” face in this one. oh well.
i had a great time and everyone loved my poems. i will paste my live united poem at the end of this post.
here i am on stage in front of the blue brick background where i was performing. not sure if this is a better pic or not.

i had a lot of fun and made some great contacts. the event was held right on the river at the delaware theatre company, right next to the train station. on my ride home to dc there was the most beautiful sunset. i would look up from my book occasionally to catch a glimpse of the most serene scenes on the water or in the trees as we whizzed by on the rails.

i finished a book my friend gave me, and learned an important lesson about lending books. you gotta tell someone if the book is going to make them react in ways that they might not want to in public. fortunate son by walter mosely is a fantastic novel, but it is super sad. so here i was at this conference, or in my hotel, or on the train, getting super depressed and crying while reading the heart-wrenching story of lucky and his brother eric. not cool. i don’t mind crying, but it was really weird to be doing it in public while everyone around me was all happy and excited.

i look forward to returning to delaware. i grew up in maryland, but have never really spent much time in our neighboring tax-free state.

here is one of the poems that i did for the great united way peoples.

live united

the challenge is in front of us

speaking loudly on a cross-town bus
heart beats go-go percussion, she

dance away from any discussion involving school work

the two words she most loathes

grades aren’t as important as gossip and clothes

she knows life is not fair

this student from Southeast Anytown, Anywhere cannot spell HOPE

she cannot read

the Army recruiter’s poster

but she bleeds red, white, and you-don’t-know-how-hard-it-is

to ask for help

when all your life your pride has taught you that you should be able to do it yourself

overcome

add versity and unity, you get university

subtract the city, and the universe is yours

always expanding, life demanding

a United Way to overcome adversity

multiply history and herstory

you get OURstory

with all its misery and pain

all our pride and our shame

all of our progress and change

take this story and use it to believe, my friend

tell it to your kids and use these example to prove that you too can and will achieve again

working as a team

with diverse partnerships that will help us raise graduation rates up to 80% by 2018

this is not a dream

this is a measurable outcome from working with teens

an attainable goal even though far it seems

for long is the arc, but it bends toward justice

and for too long students like her were treated as just kids

not whole people

lacking rights and respect

there’s nothing equal about capitalism, classism, adultism, racism, sexism

it’s all about power

don’t be scared to call it what it is

change is not made by cowards

it’s brought about by risk-takers and movement-makers

putting in over 19 million volunteer hours

it comes incrementally and shared

so her change is ours

and we he dares to speak up

we can hear bars breaking down and

new opportunities opening up like flowers reaching for the sky

and you’re the water

helping this wilted guy grow no matter what soil he comes from

no matter what adversity

you will overcome son

and become one engaged in the community

get down on one knee, say “I do” and marry this movement

it’s a new campaign and we’re making it real

not just raising money, we’re raising a spirit you can feel

and it’s a must

that we raise our voices to face this challenge

and shake off the dust

so that we can work together

and live united

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