DaRell Pittman – LTNC Series

The American Family

Like bamboo shoots

after the storm,

they are resilient, undefeated

and persistent, growing ever stronger.

Their roots run deep

to support aspirations soaring high.

          This is the song of Leuane and Chanty,

          the Mukdahanhs … refugees of Laos.

Two young lovers facing the unknown,

straddling cultures.

They are fearless, without hesitancy.

They stand hand in hand,

hands holding children,

fleeing the land of ten thousand elephants,

seeking refuge in a land of ten thousand lakes.

From rain forests to blizzards

they hold on to their dream

like they hold on to their children

and their … love.

Standing hand in hand

in this new land,

they continue to … dream … the American Dream.

A dream that promises, freedom and prosperity

through hard work and sacrifice.

They had come to America

embracing hope and offering respect

to neighbor and stranger alike.

Leuane and Chanty arrived dreaming …

the American Dream,

where hope springs eternal.

But it had become “Winter in America.”

And too many of our people had become cold

and could not recall the birth of their own dreams.

So, seeing themselves superior,

these uber-americans,

these super-americans

built an economic and social fortress

of solitude

to isolate the immigrants.

But the Mukdahanhs had been forged in the land

of Suriyothai queens and kings,

farmers and builders, philosophers and scholars.

They came from generations of a people

who tamed the jungles to build temples

and foster beliefs of love, peace and enlightenment.

The Mukdahanhs were not afraid

of adversity nor obstacles.

So, they held on to one another

and continued to seek their dream

of a better life for their progeny,

and a place to live out their love.

So they worked.

They worked hard.

Educated their seed.

Lived their lives honest and true,

withstood tempests and maelstroms,

bigotry and misfortune.

All the while remaining a family … an American family.

Then without fanfare nor opulence

they did more than simply find

the American Dream …

they became the American Dream:

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses

  yearning to breathe free”

because they are the chosen ones.

They built this country

and are still building our country.

Let us never forget

that the global immigrant

is the well spring of our nation’s wealth.

The American Dream

is a dream of immigrants

and it always has been.

Let us celebrate

the two young Lao lovers

who crossed jungles and rivers,

faced soldiers and camps,

fought poverty and racism,

all for a chance to … love,

raise their children

and grow old … together.

This is the song of

Leuane and Chanty Mukdahanh …

an American family.


Artist and About the Piece:

DaRell Pittman: “The poem is a testament to the love, persistence and faith of my in-laws. They overcame tremendous obstacles to simply stay alive in Laos and Thailand. Then once here in the United States, they were forced to continue to have to stand against injustice. My father-in-law, Leuane Mukdahanh is one of my heroes and I wanted to pay tribute to “The Mukdahanh story.”

Hanalena Fennel – LTNC Series

Tall Tales

When I was a child

America was full giants

Of a huge man with an axe

That left footprints as lakes in his wake

Ate through logging towns

Felled entire forests with a single swipe 

Worked better alone

But always had his Babe 

The cowboy was never filmed with cows in the same shot 

That was left for offscreen vaqueros 

American Cowboys got stars and big guns 

Never missed

Never left the shoot out to find those clapboard houses offer no protection for the family cowering inside

The child in the gingham dress is still corpse no matter which gang shot her

The Hammerman we loved for his size

He’s “too dumb to quit” even as it killed him 

Nobody worried about the teaching his big black hands a skill

We just cheered on from bandstands in the desert as America sacrificial gladiator fought the machines were meant to save him 

As a child the only thing I learned of giants is 

           they kill everything they love 

          die alone 

Sleep giants. 

Rest on the earth as mountains.

You were never really here

 And our gingham dressed daughters have someplace to go.


Upbringing: A found poem of quotes from Donald and Ivanka Trump

Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Justice 

If being complicit means…1 

Locker room banter 2 

You have to treat ‘em like shit 3 

And when you’re a star 4 

Grab them by the pussy 5  

Perhaps I would be dating her 6 

Quality for me is key 7 

My father values talent 8  

Low I.Q. crazy 9 

A special place in hell for… 10 

You are a pussy 11 

Hard to be a ten 12 

Gosh, I sound like my father 13  

That’s part of the fun 14  

1 Trump, Ivanka. Television Interview with Gayle King. ​CBS This Morning​. CBS. April 5, 2017  

2 Trump, Donald. ​Campaign Statement​. Donald Trump Presidential Campaign. October 06, 2016  

3 Trump, Donald. ​Told to friend Philip Johnson according to ​New York Magazine​. 1992 

4 Trump, Donald. Video Recording with Billy Bush. ​Access Hollywood​. NBC. 2005 

5 Trump, Donald. Video Recording with Billy Bush. ​Access Hollywood​. NBC. 2005 

6 Trump, Donald. Television Interview. ​The View​. ABC. ​March 6, 2006 

7 Trump, Ivanka. Online Interview with Andrew Bevan. TeenVogue. March 28, 2012 

8 Trump, Ivanka. Listed as Headliner. 2016 Republican Convention. July 21, 2016 

9 Trump, Donald. Tweet. Twitter. June 29,2017 

10 Trump, Ivanka. Interview with unnamed reporter from Associated Press. ​Ivanka Trump says child tax credit ‘not a pet project’ by Catherine Lucey​. Associated Press November 15, 2017 

11 Trump, Donald. Video Recording with Billy Bush. ​Access Hollywood​. NBC. 2005  

12 Trump, Donald. Radio Interview with Howard Stern. ​The Howard Stern Show. ​WXRK. September 2005 

13 Trump, Ivanka. ​The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life.​ Touchstone. April 20, 2010 

14 Trump, Ivanka. Interview with Rachel Gillett. ​Ivanka Trump describes her life as the daughter of a potential US president, running the Trump empire, and building her own brand​. Yahoo Finance. March 17, 2016 


About the Artist:

HanaLena Fennel is a Jewish-Hawaiian American poet. She has writtten a book, Letters to the Leader, published by Moon Tide Press in response to the numerous executive orders issued during Trump’s term in office.

Follow This Artist:

instagram.com/hanalena.fennel.poetry

Kushal Poddar – LTNC Series

African Myths And Lore

I mislay my book of African Myths & Lore,

vaguely recall one most burrowing that makes me sore –

about a civilian Government and nakedness,

albeit I may make a mistake; this recalling process

is like the body of a refugee swept ashore.

In the milieu drums the sea.

Our eyes smile in white.

Gulls’ aerobics loop a muss.

Where else can I misplace a book but on the shelf of conscience? 


Artist Bio:

Authored ‘The Circus Came To My Island’, ‘A Place For Your Ghost AnimalsUnderstanding The Neighborhood’, ‘Scratches Within’, ‘Kleptomaniac’s Book of Unoriginal Poems’, ‘Eternity Restoration Project- Selected and New Poems’ and now ‘Herding My Thoughts To The Slaughterhouse-A Prequel’ (Alien Buddha Press)

To Follow This Artist:

Author Page – amazon.com/author/kushalpoddar_thepoet

Twitter- https://twitter.com/Kushalpoe

Love Thy Neighboring Country (LTNC) – Continuing Series

In September I had started a series, Love Thy Neighboring Country.

I am so excited that this month I am able to continue that series and share it with you all for the month of November!
Wonderful artists have put together heartfelt work to shine their light into darkness.

Their pieces are in efforts to promote the celebration of all countries, to humanize cultures who have been dehumanized, and to show support of those suffering due to racism. It is also a peaceful protest against the inhumane treatment of immigrants and refugees happening in the U.S.

This is not about politics, but about making humanity the priority.

Join us in spreading these arts of love by liking, commenting, and sharing these upcoming beautiful pieces.

Tank Warfare by HanaLena Fennel – Love Thy Neighboring Country Series

Tank Warfare

A poem adapted from the first hand account of Tom Wintringham, a veteran of the International Brigade during the Spanish Civil War

Roughly as follows: 

Your body is a glass jam jar. 

Fill with petrol. 

This history in a wick in stasis of 

a heavy curtain, half a blanket, or some other heavy material. 

Wrap this over the mouth,

tie it round the neck with string, 

leave the ends of the material hanging free. 

When you want be used have somebody standing by with a light 

    Ignition

Put a corner of the past down in front of you, 

turn your bottle body over 

so that petrol soaks out round your mouth 

and drips onto this corner of flammable time

Turn your carcass right way up again, 

hold out your right hand, 

most of the mythology bunched beneath you

with your left hand take the ago that is wetted with petrol. 

Wait for your tank. 

When near enough

your pal 

[or comrade-in-arms]

lights the petrol soaked corner of memory

Throw yourself as soon as this corner is flaring. 

(You cannot throw it far.) 

See that it drops in front of the tank. 

All this weighted life should catch in the tracks 

or in a cog-wheel, 

or wind itself round an axle. 

Your body will smash, 

but the petrol should soak the past well enough to make a really healthy fire which will burn the rubber wheels on which the tank track runs, set fire to the carburetor or frizzle the crew. 

Do not play with these things. 

They are highly dangerous.


About the Artist:

HanaLena Fennel is a Jewish-Hawaiian American poet. She has writtten a book, Letters to the Leader, published by Moon Tide in response to the numerous executive orders issued during Trump’s term in office. 

Infatuation by Guna Moran/Translated by Bibekanada Choudhury – Love Thy Neighboring Country

INFATUATION

Original : Assamese : Guna Moran

Translation : Bibekananda Choudhury

Bought from the market

A heavily laden stock of joy

Than sorrow

For you

Life

But I did not know

Your intimate relationship with sorrow

If it was sorrow that had been your favourite

Would have never sought joy for you

For what grief did you get infatuated by sorrow

Life

There had not been any obligation on your part

To keep joy at bay as such

Why do you need all the sorrow

If sorrow does not feel grief on seeing the plight of joy

If joy is so sidelined

Your beloved sorrow would not remain intact

Knowing fully well

Learning the consequences

Why did you befriend sorrow

I could understand at all

Life!


About the Artist:

  Guna Moran is an Assamese poet & critic. His poems are being translated into Italian and France language and have been published in various national and international magazines, journals, websites, newspapers such as The Tuck magazine, Spillword, The Merak magazine, The Setu magazine, Story Mirror, The Poem Hunter, The Sentinal, The Hills Times, Best Poetry and so on.

About The Translator:

Bibekananda Choudhury, an electrical engineer by profession working with the State Government of Assam has completed his Masters from BITS-Pilani. He has also earned a diploma in French language from Gauhati University. He has got published works (both original and translated) in Assamese, Bengali & English in popular periodicals and newspapers. His translated poems have been published in ‘Indian Literature’, the bi-monthly journal of sahitya akademy. ‘Suryakatha’, the Bengali adaptation done by him of the is being taught in the undergraduate Courses of Banglore University and Post graduate Courses of Gauhati University. A collection of 101 folk tales from the foothills of Patkai translated by him has also been taken up by publication by Gauhati University. He is presently the editor-in-chief of Dimorian Review a multidisciplinary web journal.

Eternal by Guna Moran/Translated by Bibekanada Choudhury – Love Thy Neighboring Country

ETERNAL

Original : Assamese : Guna Moran

Translation : Bibekananda Choudhury

Who planted the Sun in the sky

The world keep revolving around him

Who taught us to love light

We keep seeking light in darkness

Who sermoned us to be a decent fellow always

We constantly effort to be so the entire life

Who did plant the sapling of love

So many branches of love sprout in the heart

Who blended beauty in the air

Life is not bearable if beauty is not inhaled

Who advised to be benevolent to be happy

Try to be happy being benevolent

Who did smear colour of shyness all over the body

Fell so ashamed at all those unsocial activities


About the Artist:

            Guna Moran is an Assamese poet & critic. His poems are being translated into Italian and France language and have been published in various national and international magazines, journals, websites, newspapers such as The Tuck magazine, Spillword, The Merak magazine, The Setu magazine, Story Mirror, The Poem Hunter, The Sentinal, The Hills Times, Best Poetry and so on.

About The Translator:

Bibekananda Choudhury, an electrical engineer by profession working with the State Government of Assam has completed his Masters from BITS-Pilani. He has also earned a diploma in French language from Gauhati University. He has got published works (both original and translated) in Assamese, Bengali & English in popular periodicals and newspapers. His translated poems have been published in ‘Indian Literature’, the bi-monthly journal of sahitya akademy. ‘Suryakatha’, the Bengali adaptation done by him of the is being taught in the undergraduate Courses of Banglore University and Post graduate Courses of Gauhati University. A collection of 101 folk tales from the foothills of Patkai translated by him has also been taken up by publication by Gauhati University. He is presently the editor-in-chief of Dimorian Review a multidisciplinary web journal.