Monday, March 26, 2018

Speak Out with Priscilla Baca y Candelaria

photo © Mark Butkus 2018
You can never be too young to speak out.

Give them voice
Child's song, poetry
Value their pearls.
Read, regurgitate
Read, question
Read, write
Voice rights

Poetas politically persecuted
By powering factions
Because we dare have voice
    Floating, dancing
    From pen to paper
Script whispering caresses of love
Shouting orgasmic lust
Spouting political rhetoric of one's soul
Maestro teaching voice

Amendments silenced,
Contoured, masked
Ridiculed
Waves of poetas speak
    Shout out
    With ink and pen
We need no more martyred sons
Ancient shores claim far too many
Warring acts of destruction
    Always leaving fathers asking
    For children to be brought home
Voice spoken
    Voice heard
        Speak.


— Priscilla Baca y Candelaria


Speak Out by Priscilla Baca y Candelaria is one of those poems written for another time that speaks to our times — it is a timeless poem. In the wake of the March for Our Lives rallies held nationwide this past weekend — organized by the youth of this country — we can find solace and strength in voices spoken, voices heard, and encourage others to continue to speak.

Speak Out is from a 2006 anthology of poems entitled Maple Leaf Rag III (Portals Press). "This anthology presents a handful of the 10,000-plus poems read at The Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans from 1979 to 2006."

Priscilla Baca y Candelaria is the author of two volumes of poetry: Sones de Amor: Love Poems (2003) and Duende (2004).