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.

A Fish Drifted Across the Seas by Kushal Poddar – Love Thy Neighboring Country Series

A Fish Drifted Across The Seas

“During a gunfight,” says the fishmonger
about a scar as long as this country’s map
flashing whenever he dips his head
or lets it upraise against the gloaming’s glory.

We’ve heard that story; ask for it nonetheless.
How a refugee can involve himself
in a skirmish with a cop who has not shot
any subject or any dream featuring his ex.

The fish he sells doesn’t smell fresh always.
We love to purchase from him nonetheless.


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

Un/Non Sellable Poem by Kushal Poddar – Love Thy Neighboring Country Series

Un/non sellable Poem

Let’s make children for
those detention centers,
one more, once more.

In the cells of vapor
a face becomes the other.
The other another.

All return, you know;
only you don’t know
what they look like 

A bird on your shower room
window sill stares at you
as if you’re its day’s grain or its genesis.


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

Wild Flower by Huda Tariq – Love Thy Neighboring Country Series

WILD FLOWER

by Huda Tariq

A wild yet beautiful creature i am
Beneath the sky lies the utmost beauty of mine
Cherished happily all around with dirt she wear so perfect 
Never or forever i shall remain as calm as air
I choose to love you in silence 
For in silence i find no rejection
I loved you will all my parts 
And this part right here is delicate 
For you it may intimate or complicate
I will always love you in my own way
Hurt me or break me i will burst into glitter 
By nature’s default i am wild with affection 
For whom this piece of nature is only delight
Never back down in love i believe 
For in love we all bleed till it satisfies 
With little dirt on me with little lit inside me
I will shine high with glowing shattered pieces preserved
No one can run from the nature’s plan
For we all will live single or in a clan
Let the it all in the dirt ,air and all love
None to clarify now with blindness fold we will survive


A Word From the Artist:

I believe we all are flowers and as innocent as flowers we are supposed to be protected and cherished. but the cruel world they pluck and hurt every single flower. Flowers are meant to be spread like the fragrance of love and affection so everyone should treat those flowers with care and nourished them to their fullest rather than cutting the beauty out of the world. we should grow more of them in order to make this world a beautiful yet peaceful place to be but when will we understand that poor us shedding the beauty with our own dirty hands…..