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Transference Poetry

We would like to share some poetry from our transference here in the high New Mexican desert. As a group, students came up with twenty adjectives to describe their experience of the course so far.

They were:

transformative

humbling

inspiring

exciting

imperfect

bittersweet

heavy

profound

adventurous

experiential

uncomfortable

magical

peaceful

hard

radical

insightful

varied

cultural

dusty

windy

 

Next, students circled four pieces of paper and each wrote two lines of a poem, then folded the paper so only the last line was visible to the next person. Each of the four poems was guided by one of our course themes and the only condition was that they could not use any of the twenty words on the list! These are the results!

 

 

Water

Separating countries

providing fluidity to the border.

A force so wild is controlled,

someday human systems will fail.

Water is the only thing that will prevail

unless we make it all disappear.

Her power and majesty that has been held for generations

would be lost upon her people

without her powers of resilience and restoration,

she flows and ebbs and feeds her people,

slipping to her bold, swift ending.

Weeping.

And wishing so desperately for him to be a river,

flowing constantly away and taking all surrounding residue with him,

being used one last thousand times

before disappearing into infinity.

Having water is a privilege

but everyone needs it.

It is a commodity on our shelves

no matter how present on our planet.

We never have enough.

It is finite.

The world is 3/4 water

but only a fraction is kind towards us.

Drip or down

the river is shaped like a frown.

 

Personal Growth

Growth is often hard to quantify

you can’t count it on your fingers or toes.

It’s measured by smiles and tears,

sometimes you don’t even realize ’til it’s over

that in you sleeps dormant, strength and power,

waiting.

But alas…

expectations are challenged,

views will evolve.

We realize we are a part of the system

that people spend their lives trying to dissolve.

At what point is there nothing left

but primordial ooze

coursing through my veins

giving me life?

My mind expanded

and my soul was nourished

my neurons reconnected

my world suddenly larger

my mind was challenged

my perceptions changed.

My heart and mind will expand, expand, expand.

I will bring with me all that was taught.

 

The Border & Immigration

Whether a river or a wall

it is an artificial divide.

A one-way street

where people lose their lives trying to swim against the unforgiving tide.

For those who can follow the flow

the border is beautiful and takes you in with open arms.

The border divides us

and unites us.

People are treated like dogs on the other side

of an invisible fence,

a border that looks like and should be so easy to cross is almost as impossible as a wall.

Border patrol carries out the cruel treaties

handed down by the government.

The border like a serpent

it weaves where it wants to

real or imaginary

the consequences are impenetrable.

Humans are broken, money is made.

It will be changed with action, not only faith.

We have the power to change this absolute horror,

but only if we take the time to undo prejudice

and unwind its source

painfully thread by thread.

“Desde el momento en que te ví, yo sabia que eras tú.”

How many moments like this have been lost between the barbed wire?

 

Indigeneity & Colonization

Foreigners from far away

come to stay

stolen land is occupied

acting as thought it is our own.

The soil corrupted

and the hearts broken

no words of joy or love will be spoken

regaining the human soul should be our goal.

In the power we gain,

we return to the earth.

And in a way, the earth returns to us, too,

for the earth and I have more similarities than differences.

Working constantly in opposition,

invisible in plain sight.

Yet our whiteness will never be invisible,

no matter how many people make it their life’s work to see that it will be.

You can show your indigeneity through your appearance and actions

but you still need a card to prove it.

The indigenous identity remains in the white man’s terms,

although we were the ones that came to their part of this earth

we claim it as our own

with no regard for who it belongs to.

It’s eye opening the older I grow,

to learn about the privilege and power I have that so many others do not.