Pen Bleeds

Music is a universal language that speaks when words of the heart whisper in muted tones. Open your ears and listen to the message that translates desires of dancing souls.’

The easiest and most effective way of reaching out to people and spreading a message is through the power of music: to create harmonious sound, to tell a story through lyrics and inspire new avenues of approaching life around us.  A great song has the ability to connect with you, taking you on a roller coaster of highs and lows, providing a glimpse into the artist thoughts and emotions.  But have you ever wondered about the writing process or how the lyrics to your favorite song came to life?

Every song has a back story that serves as an inciting cause of its creation. One song that captivates my curiosity about the story behind the lyrics is the summer hit Wake me up. This gem produced  by Swedish house newcomer Avicii, and written by the talented Aloe Blacc, who supply’s the tracks soulful vocals embraces a coming of  age. The melody inspired by country blue grass roots, takes you to a place of euphoric nostalgia, creating a sense of serenity and unadulterated freedom. I imagine when Aloe Blacc wrote the lyrics to Wake me up, he rescinded to a time in his life where he was lost in the wilderness, torn between adolescence and maturity.

Think about this… when we were children the greater responsibilities of life fell on our parent’s shoulders, leaving us to roam free without a care in the world. But as we grew up and transitioned into adulthood, we discovered that the world is a cold and lonely place where only the strong survive. Making that grand leap into adult hood is challenging and scary for every young person. So if you’re not sure about your journey, it’s quite all right don’t fret. Were all feeling our way through the darkness searching for the light.

In the spirit of poetry, I’ve written an expanded triolet poem that encapsulates the back story of Avicii’s Wake me up. This is my first attempt at writing a back poem to a song that inspires me, but I think I’ve captured the bitter sweet struggle between growing older and holding on to days of our youth.

Time of Remembrance

Wake me up when it’s all over

Parents lecturing, teenage mayhem

Fear of fantasies turning sober

Wake me up when it’s all over

Count the hours life grows colder

all these memories fade to black

Wake me up when it’s all over

Parents lecturing, teenage mayhem


Wish I could stay forever young

 Childlike innocence roaming free

Languishing in vivid dreams unsung

Wish I could stay forever young

Bliss is ignorance on the devils tongue

red or blue pill down the hatch

Wish I could stay forever young

Childlike innocence roaming free

© Seven Magazine

Songs From Our Hearts

We all have that special song that means a little more to us than other songs. This issue of Seven we want to share a little bit of or hearts with you and reveal one of those special songs to you.


“Frail” by Jars of Clay

Convinced of my deception
I’ve always been a fool I fear this love reaction Just like you said I would

A rose could never lie
About the love it brings
And I could never promise
To be any of those things


If I was not so weak
If I was not so cold
If I was not so scared of being broken
Growing old
I would be…
I would be…
I would be…

Blessed are the shallow
Depth they’ll never find
Seemed to be some comfort
In rooms I try to hide

Exposed beyond the shadows
You take the cup from me
Your dirt removes my blindness
Your pain becomes my peace




Frail by Jars of Clay is one of my biggest go to songs when I’m in a slump. When I’m feeling depressed or morose this song calms me and helps me get out of my mood. There’s something about the rhythm that is so soothing. The slow beat, the melodic and entrancing singing… it just does something for me. It brings home the point that I’m my own worst enemy and that I tend to stand in my own way. I absolutely love this song and have since I first heard it in my teens.

CotyPoynterartist: Volcano Choir
song: Alaskan

last time I saw you
you has me housed up on your red red rum
stranded in the housing
of our moving house and…

we were gonna hit every port
and every Cape Town
we were gonna give a full report, of sorts
to your mother up in Kano and her new cohort

can’t believe your father left his land
the creed
to cry;
rely, rely, rely, rely
behave, behave, behave, behave…
spend all of that time not wanting to

climbed up your carpet
there’s a car pit in our minds were in
shameless and humming
like a violent strumming

we were gonna hit every mark, in stark
but the sutra didn’t suit ya that long day in the park
I’m talking about it
talking real love
I wanna re-up
on that love

can’t believe you left me on the lam
to be seen
to be scribed
I’ll tell you now tha’you
rely, rely, rely, rely
behave, behave, behave, behave
spend all of that time not wanting to

rely, rely, rely, rely
behave, behave, behave, behave
decide, decide, decide, decide

repave, repave, repave, repave

(can’t believe you hardly understand)

inside, inside, inside,
the lathe, the lathe, the lathe

lover won’t you talk to me about the long red war


This song hits me for it’s flow and poetics. It’s idea of love an how we all want it in some form. How we can be abandoned by those who aren’t family, how love expires. It touches on many aspects of love, in opinion, which is why I’m fond of it lyrically. Listening to the song, it’s almost sickeningly beautiful. The end is very appropriate for the context of the song, which is a portion from an interview with Bukowski, when he read a poem about his first wife who died of cancer then weeps over her.

KimmyJaheim- Everywhere I Am

I hear you voice inside my head, everywhere Oh, yeah, clear  as day inside my head everywhere

It’s killing me softly with every heartbeat Thinking you  can’t see How your son’s living (Hey, Mama)

Is there an address up in heaven? I feel like dropping you  this letter But it will be ‘Return to sender’

How I wish I could bring you home Flowers on tombstones Lets me know it’s been too long Since I’ve been in those arms (Yours  Mama)

It’s getting colder every winter I can’t take the heat in  summer Can’t hardly deal with all this drama but

(Just when) I’m inches away from losing my mind (That’s  when) I swear sometimes

(I hear your voice inside my head) And it feels like  you’re (Everywhere) Everywhere (Everywhere I am)

Just when (Just when) The walls are closing in on my  world (That’s when) I see my favorite girl

(Clear as day inside my head) And it’s obvious you’re (Everywhere) Everywhere (Everywhere I am)

Was that you saying, just keep on praying You’ll see the  day when it’ll be worth the waiting (Hey, mama)

I think I’ve received your message Think how I’m receiving  blessings Finally got the platinum record

Did you see me on Soul Train? Dedicated the whole thing To your memory just hoping You’re out there and knowing (Yeah,  mama)

You were floating on stage with me Someone said they saw me  glistening Gotta let you know I’m listening to you

Just when (Just when) It’s the most important time of  my life (That’s when) That’s when I swear sometimes

(I hear your voice inside my head) And it feels like  you’re (Everywhere) You’re everywhere (Everywhere I am) Everywhere I am

(Just when) Just when the heavens open up on the world (That’s when) I see my favorite girl, Julie

(Clear as day inside my head) It’s so obvious you’re  everywhere You’re everywhere (Everywhere I am) Everywhere I am

If God is in the spirit world talking to my heart Then for  an angel I know it can’t be hard You are my guardian and I know You’re  still playing your part (I know you are)

Just on the other side but always in my life No need to  just believe, smile, I know you’re here with me And I’m reaching out my hand  and to the promise land To feel your presence when I need strength

Everywhere I am, everywhere I am (I know that you’re  watching) Everywhere I am, everywhere I am (I know that you’re watching  over us, yeah)

Everywhere I am, everywhere I am Everywhere I am (Mama,  I know, yeah, yeah)

Everywhere I am, everywhere I am (Where I am) (You’re  watching me) Everywhere I am, everywhere I am (Where I am) (I can  feel it in my soul)

Everywhere (Where I am) (Everywhere) Everywhere (Where I am) (Everywhere, yeah)

Everywhere that I am (Where I am) (I know you’re there,  yeah, yeah)

Just when (Just when I’m inches away from losing my  mind) That’s when (I hear your)

I hear a voice inside my head (I hear your voice) Everywhere, everywhere I am (Julie, Julie, Julie, Julie, Julie I love you,  Julie we miss you)

Just when (Julie we still got love for you, baby) That’s when (Just, just, just when I hear your voice)

Clear as day inside my head (I really don’t know what to  do) Everywhere (Sometimes I just put)

Everywhere I am (Oh, I put my hands up)

I’ll give it all up for ya mama Just when I go back to  church All your friends are talkin’ ’bout ya’ Talkin’ about how much I  look just like you


When my mother passed many years ago, the hardest part for me was accepting that she wouldn’t be present to celebrate the many milestones I would accomplish throughout my adult life. For anyone who has lost a loved one, the challenge in dealing with the loss is constructively processing the emotions associated with it. Listening to music happens to be a form of therapy for me; it helps to relieve the symptoms associated with the aches and pangs of life. During those melancholy moments of sadness when I feel the need to be close to my mother, I’ll turn on my cd player and tune in to Jaheim’s Everywhere I Am. It’s a beautiful song that reminds me that no matter where I am in the world, I know my guardian angel is always with me.

What songs mean the absolute world to you and reach you in a way that no other song does?

© Seven Magazine

A Meeting In A Cyber Cafe

    Ruut: Interview and Album Review

ruut_1One of four daughters to classical musician parents, Ruut was born in Finland, and wrote her first song when she learned to play the piano at age 7. Ruut grew up living and traveling in Europe, until moving to the States at age 16.

Her various musical influences (including classical, gospel, jazz, Broadway, songwriters such as Carole King, Paul Simon, Elton John, and Tori Amos) shaped her piano-based story-telling approach to her own artistry.

Q: When did you know music is what you wanted to have in your life?

A: It sort of chose me. I started writing songs when I learned to play the piano at age 7, and I never stopped. But I made the decision to pursue it as a career in my early twenties, when I got offered a record deal.

Q: I see. Well it’s no surprise you were offered one. Your newest album, “Glimpse,” is very powerful. Rich and heartfelt, sometimes you can even sense a bit of pain within the lyrics. What was the inspiration behind it, if you don’t mind me asking?

A: Some big life changes prompted me to dig deeper than I ever had as a songwriter. We had just watched my Mother-in-law lose her battle against cancer, and soon after that I gave birth to my second daughter. I had also been away from the music scene for a few years, so Glimpse was the accumulation of every song I hadn’t written in that time.

Q: So you’ve been through a good bit from last album until now. Would you say you’ve embrace the events, good or bad, that happen in life?

A:Yes, for sure, though I feel like I have to keep relearning this lesson. When shit hits the fan, I don’t exactly say, “Awesome! Can’t wait to feel the pain and write another great song!” but it does seem that the good ones come out of the really dark times. I’ve paid a price for my best songs.

Q: So tell me, how was the journey to now for you? How has it shaped your musical style?

A: I’ve gone through many transformations as an artist in that time, from being signed to a Christian label, making a couple pop and dance albums and finally settling into being the songwriter I am today. I have no regrets in trying my hand in different projects. If anything, I got an education in the music industry. But when I have moments of self-doubt, I listen to Glimpse, my new album, from beginning to end. Its rawness, honesty, and simplicity center me every time and always provide the inspiration for me to move forward. This is something I’ve never been able to say about my own music. And that’s so much more than simply finding my own musical style. It feels like a new beginning.

Q: It’s certainly a amazing start to this new beginning. I have to ask, what, in your opinion, sets you apart from the rest?

A: That’s an excellent question I often ponder myself. It’s impossible not to feel intimidated by the sea of musicians out there – every minute someone writes a new song. So, I try to be great and really push myself to make the songs better. I edit my writing, and practice a lot. Also, the life I’ve lived and where I’ve been all makes me the artist I am, with a unique story and point of view. But, most importantly, I strive to be relevant and timeless as a songwriter, meaning, there will always be a need for songs that inspire, challenge, and unite us. I really believe that when we graduate from just sorting out our own lives to inspiring others, we start to stand out as artists. That’s when we begin to make our mark.

Q: That was beautifully true. Nobody ever knows when that it going to happen, but when it does, you just know. Thank you for that. So to wrap things up, what would be your advice to other singer/songwriters trying to make it?

A: Everyone’s journey is so unique, but I’ve found that the songs that I’ve written from the deepest place are always the ones people resonate with the most.

So I guess my advice would be to be honest, don’t pay attention to what everyone else is doing, and your originality and emotional depth will set you apart from the rest.

Album review:

ruut glimpse

This is my first album review I have written, but I assure you, regardless of what justice or injustice I do the album through my words, you will not be disappointed with Ruut’s newest ‘Glimpse.’ I am a rookie writing for a seeming veteran in the music industry. Such talent I have to the honor to meet. It’s a funny sort of thing. You take a trip with some friends to the local reservoir and you never know who exactly you’re going to meet. Such is the story when the first time I met Ruut. A beautifully sweet woman who has passion burning in her eyes. We exchanged names, as strangers do, then parted ways. I approached her later down the road to see if she would be interested in doing an interview, for at the time an August issue, of Seven and she agreed. The August issue was passed by. She
continued to keep in touch with me despite the let down. Instead of disappointment, she was enthusiastic at the opinion of me personally writing a review for her, so here I am. My first album review on such a spectacular album. I feel honored.

The album, Glimpse, starts with her song aptly titled ‘Glimpse.’ It carries a richness in the harmonies and a tenderness in the vocals. The song evokes a lucidity within the listener that makes you just want to lean back and close your eyes to recall the memories of the times you almost had something good. It is a song with heart, with pain, with passion. Relatable, powerful, it’s the appropriate opener. This one will hook you and drag you along for the ride. At the same time, this is one of the standouts on the album for its lyrics and its tone that the instrumental portion sets. This song encompasses what the rest of the album is about in its own way.

The album continues its very lyrically heavy trend throughout, but Ruut doesn’t sacrifice her ability as a musician during the album. She makes pleasant exchanges between songs, jumping from the dreamscape of “Glimpse” to the popish “Make It Good” then leading it to a gentle piano accompaniment of “Unbeatable.” Another powerhouse of a song. It doesn’t give you the same emotion as in “Glimpse,” but it shows off Ruut’s maturity as an artist. She admits that there are rough patches, there is pain when growing, but even if things seem too hard, stay the course.

With the beautiful richness that comes with this album, it is hard to deny the fact that a mother of two has created this. Although she has had albums in the past, this is the one to put her one the map. This is a stunning, powerful, tear-jerking tale of her time off from music; of her struggles. It was created for her husband, for her children, for her mother-in-law, for those who are unsure of their futures. The motherly lyrics comfort and show through in the most subtle of ways. Ruut has surpassed, in my opinion, many mainstream female artist who are producing music today with her truthfulness, with her rawness, with her punch-in-the-guts lyrics. She touches base on the human condition, both our flaws and our excellencies, in a way that is seen rarely few and between. If you have yet to listen to ‘Glimpse’ then you are sorely missing out, my friend.

For more information about this artist and her latest album, check out

© Seven Magazine

Power to the People

Rick-RossMusic has always been used as a means of expression. It inspires and motivates. Yet with lists such as this one named 20 Most Controversial Songs of All Time we see that music can also be crude and offensive.

Recently in the rap music world there was an uproar on lyrics that were said to be offensive. This song happened to be Rick Ross’ verse in Rocko’s U.O.E.N.O. The verse in question is “Put Molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it. I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it.” Lyrics like this clearly depicting rape sparked raged a huge back lash for one of today’s most popular rappers. That being said, music has always been a source of controversy. I do not at all condone Ross’ lyrics but when music is constantly used to criticize culture, demean women, glorify crime- among other things, when is the line drawn and how far is too far?

The thing is that I don’t know that there is a right or wrong answer to this question. While for some a song may be entirely offensive, it could be poetic or relatable to another. Sort of in the way that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are songs like Killing In the Name by Rage Against The Machine and Fuck The Police by N.W.A. that take a look at our government, our flaws and expose them to the world. Songs that are the cause of controversy and despite how crude some songs can be, they tend to be effective in their execution. These songs are songs that are infamous for their meaning- Killing In the Name was written in retaliation to the Rodney King beating and Fuck the Police an expression of racial profiling and racism. Messages, that as controversial as they may be have been, have captured the voice of the times.


We do not share the same beliefs or cultures or opinions. Therefore we won’t all agree on when music takes things too far. In truth I believe that we need to protest the things that we don’t agree with. Continuing my example of Rick Ross, the line highlighted above was the cause of so much backlash that Ross was forced to apologize for the line. Not all artists have the same motivations for creating controversial songs. Some do it because they believe in their message and others for the sake of publicity. After all, in such industries it is said that no publicity is bad publicity. However, regardless of any notions or messages we, the public and the fans, can make or break a musicians career. We are the ones who buy the albums, request them on the radio and attend the concerts. We are their bread and butter and if we choose to stand against them because of the message they are portraying in their music, as do our friends and family, it is the ultimate backlash. One lost fan in the scope of things is pretty insignificant but a lost fan who has something to say about an artist and makes their message be heard can be a devastating blow.

Music is a means of expression- It inspires and motivates. Yet music can also be crude and offensive. Ultimately we as individuals must decide when music goes too far. We must decide what are boundaries are and ensure that we do not condone or promote those artists/songs that we consider disrespectful. We must take a stand as a society and draw our own lines because we have the power to stand up for what we believe in and the power to make a difference.

The Pen Bleeds

Welcome to The Pen Bleeds where poetry is more than rhyme, more than reason, more than words flowing with rhythm; it’s a combination of jagged thoughts, feelings, actions, and a unique language opening minds to see the world from a different perspective.


This Month’s Featured Poet: Sean Burton

It’s a pleasure featuring Sean Burton, a poet who delves into those caliginous places; the eerie ones where hell equates to being overtaken by a succubus while the body is at rest. His writing demonstrates a side of poetry that is more than love sonnets dressed in niceties making the heart flutter. Instead, it exhibits an intense and chaotic shadowy side, which intentionally preys on the fears of the living. Do you dare to embrace the darkness in all those dreadful crevices? We posed seven questions to better familiarize our readers with his creative vision and intellect.

Q&A with Sean Burton

Seven: What is your favorite genre of literature to write about?

Sean Burton: I really get into the darker side of writing. The macabre, taboo, and sins. That sort of thing.

Seven:  What inspires you to write?

Sean Burton: My poetry is usually associated directly with whatever mental state I am in. If I have a feeling of heartache, fear, lust or anxiety I write. I find this better because the words literally just flow and there’s no thought process to it until it comes to editing/proof reading.

Seven: Who is your favorite author and how do they inspire you?

Sean Burton: I’m a huge Lovecraft fan. He is undoubtedly a linguistic genius. He has this way with words that just drives my imagination to insanity and when I read it, it just becomes sudden inspiration.

Seven: Are your writings primarily nonfiction, fiction, or a mixture of both?

Sean Burton: Both actually. The nightmare pieces are nonfiction. The poetry comes roughly half and half but a real life experience rooted them.

Seven: Do you have any advice for writers who want to improve their craft?

Sean Burton: Always keep something to write with nearby. I can’t tell you how much I hate being struck with inspiration and I don’t write anything. It never comes out nearly as good. The reader can feel your inspiration and passion through your words and as always, keep writing. Never stop.

Seven: Can you write on command about any topic or is writing more spiritual for you?

Sean Burton: Both. I write for a few fitness magazines locally so I’m often asked to write on a timeline and I blog about both fitness and my personal writings. Needless to say, I get a lot of practice.

Seven:  What are your views on freedom of speech and why do you feel “The Great American Boy” is a prime example of standing up for ones beliefs?

Sean Burton: Freedom of speech is something I feel everyone cherishes, yet very few take advantage of due to repercussion or criticism. Imagine not having it for a second. It’s the essence of where we are as a nation and men and women have died for it. He who possesses the will to stand against the masses for a belief they cherish, and let it be known, has the same will our founding fathers possessed.

Sean Burton is a resident of San Antonio, Texas, who is a freelance self employed personal trainer, poet, writer, blogger, and jack of all trades. He staunchly opposes mediocrity and conformity; he has a unique style all his own. Everything he does is fueled by passion, fortified by knowledge and carried by faith.

For more information on Sean Burton please visit:


Instagram: SeanIsIt



Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us. 

-Justice William O. Douglas

Freedom of expression is the single most important right all humans should be privy to. Unfortunately, not all governments allow this right and even in the United States it is limited.

A true democratic society supports an environment where its citizens are free to voice their opinions and ideas openly without prejudice or punishment. I believe in fostering a populace of brave free thinking people; people who not only embrace dissenting viewpoints, but also challenge any system of beliefs, government, or set of actions that may clash with their own.

Only the brave or free thinking are willing to go against the status quo, being willing to speak up and take action on behalf of the community and the world. These individuals raise the bar and lead by example. One of the greatest proponents of free speech was free-thinker, essayist, scholar and social activist W.E.B Dubois. He challenged his peers ( Booker. T. Washington and Marcus Garvey) and incessantly went against the grain to confront injustice in those oppressive and dreary places. Dubois made it his mission to fight for social and economic equality for blacks; demanding access to proper education and equivalent defense under the law. Even when the government scrutinized Dubois for his political views he never wavered in his beliefs. He remained steadfast in his fight to end racial issues and worked tirelessly towards world peace. That’s a bit of a history lesson on one of my favorite outspoken free thinkers.

Now, from my own observation of America in the twenty-first century, I can easily say a large majority of us are severely handicapped. We place ourselves at a great disadvantage by not taking advantage of certain privileges bestowed upon us from birth. People in other countries are sacrificing their lives and fighting for such rights. We’ve allowed ourselves to be “dumb down” by mainstream culture; we’ve become lazy and dependent on our government to think and act for us. By placing emphasis on the unnecessary, rather than what is needed in order for our country to thrive, America has become weak. We are no longer the respected power house we once were many years ago. The United States isn’t the blue print of an idealistic democratic progressive society. You may say that statement is un-American, but it’s true. You may not agree, but I embrace dissenting view points of others. In fact, I dare you to challenge that statement. In the words of  W.E.B. Dubois “If there is anybody in this land who thoroughly believes the meek shall inherit the earth, they have not often let their presence be known.”  Make your voice equivalent to the sound of a sonic boom; sending shock waves throughout all who become affected by its presence.

This month’s theme is all about the first amendment, free thought, and freedom of speech. We’ve selected a few poems from artist whose poetry embraces the spirit of the first amendment and the right to peaceably assemble. First up is our featured poet Sean Burton who submitted The Great American Boy, an ode to Mohammad Ali when he refused to go to war in Vietnam. Next is Wake Up a poem by K.S. Pratt dedicated to America and my frustration with the current state of affairs. Last but not least we introduce you to author, social activist, and founder of Activist Poet Round Table Steve Bloom. We selected Warriors a tribute to the strikers of Stella D’oro Bakery, and Statement of Context a short verse on the inhumane treatment of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.



The Great American Boy

The stage was set for a man to take his solemn duty within his hands and make his way to far away lands. Yet today this boy became that man. Not the man wanting to venture unwillingly to far away lands. Nor the man to take the wishes of others’ ignorance into his own hands … but the man to keep to his morals … to make his stand. But as his higher power served greatly , admired by few yet hated by many. For the man he is now has been labeled a criminal. A coward of will. His legal duty duped by his moral appeal, he stands before the masses chanting in tongues giving lashes. The camera turns on and the lights heat up as it’s his time to confide his thoughts to the world in rhyme.

” You know who I am, yet you seem surprised lately. Am I still not the one to dance all night? Am I not the man that came to fight? No, I will not fight … not for the own selfish ignorance’s of those who can only experience what pain is like from the side, despite their own desires and virtues, they send the poor and hide in fright.

I am not a puppet of the man who thinks because I obey the law set that I will follow my brothers blindly into that darkened hell to gamble my being and talent simply for your will. No, I am not that pawn. I will not be pressured nor convinced ; I will go on! Do what you will with my name.

Take my titles and destroy my fame, but you will never break my spirit and you cannot throw me off my game. I will come back stronger and I will be back fast. I’m bigger than this and I will take this moment and throw it in my past. For I am the greatest, and nothing can stop me. I’ll still float gracefully across that canvas mat, and I will sting harder than ever when I get back. Send me to jail, there’s light at the end. For what’s broken can always mend”

The boy has now become a man of the hour, the solid statue of standing firm for belief and value. An endless figure sealed within our history in stone,

forever remembered

never alone.

by Sean Burton

Wake up!

How long will you be
Content with fine cars and
fancy homes and think that you are free?
Wake up!

Your freedom cannot be measured in material things.
How long will you look at what you have and
Think that you are free?
Wake up!

The slave drums of the past beat for you.
The forests through which you run are the concrete jungles
Streets of the city.
Can you hear the rhythmic drums beating?
Can you hear our ancestors calling out for us to wake up?

Oh my people!
Listen to the drums and know that you’ve been lulled.
You cannot be free because you are blind.
And so you’ll never know
That the jungle drums beat for you.
And so they cry out
“Wake up, Wake up.”

Open your eyes and see!
While you blindly sing and dance,
The chains of oppression have been tightened.
Tightened by the past.
Tightened by the present.
Tightened by the future.

How could you let freedom escape you?
How could you allow generations yet unborn
To suffer the untold misery of the chains?
It is time for us to wake up!

You’ve let the concrete jungle
Lure you into a state of complacency.
It is time to stop the music!
Dance no more!
My people! My People!
Wake up! Wake up!

by K.S. Pratt





You dwarf the words of the poet: you,
the warriors of Stella D’Oro.
For the best I might ever do
is recount this story which your deeds
have already written.

The end, it seems, was composed by others—
who have more power but less humanity.
A toast, therefore, to all still holding
heads high, proud of their humanity.
For this is the common cause any poet
might share with those who fight
for justice.

Each one of you will always have
your humanity: the many-thousand acts,
small and large, of sacrifice and sharing,
the comradeship, the sheer magnitude of what
you have achieved.

Not one crossed the picket line. No,
not one.

For these things can never be taken away
no matter how much equipment
is dismantled, moved to another state—
just as the poet will always
have the written word, even if
our world might not be ready yet
to listen.

It seems you spoke too soon, you
the warriors of Stella D’Oro,
before our world was ready to listen.
Still, I refuse to lose heart, assert
that one day the bosses and billionaires
will spend a little time of their own
on the unemployment line—after
the working people of New York City
have taken control.

And then we will turn that old building
in the Bronx (you know, the one that used to be
the Stella D’Oro bakery) into a must-see
destination, marked on every
tourist map, a shrine which pilgrims
can visit in their millions to learn,
remember, offer a tribute
to your struggle—writing, thereby,
an alternative ending to the story
of Stella D’Oro.

And the poem that you have composed for us
during this strike year of 2008/2009 will touch
their hearts as each one listens to its words—
overflowing with your humanity, the many-thousand
acts of sacrifice and sharing, the comradeship,
the sheer magnitude of what one,
work-place was able to achieve
and finally understand.

Yes, each one of them will,

by Steve Bloom

Statement of Context

“Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter

has said the Palestinian people

trapped in Gaza are being treated

‘like animals.'”

He is wrong, of course.

If you treated your animals this way

someone would come

to put you in jail.

by Steve Bloom

© 2013 Seven Magazine