In Memory of MOVE
For Linda Waters, rest in peace
MEDITATION ROW* (revised)
By Philadelphia Poets
Today is May 18. 1985.
is May Eighteen, 1985.
To! day! is May Eighteen. 1985.
is May Eighteen, 1985
may be May
May 18, 1985 and Aschak is singing
It is near 2:30 pm and the sun darts and fades
The wind is slowing
stops and starts
Stops, never to blow this clear again
I was never so glad to see Aschak.
I was never so glad to see Aschak as today.
not having heard from him in a week. It is not a
good time to wear dreads in Philly.
Dreads inspire dread.
E le venper sons dead.
and no one knows who said.
Drop the bomb! Drop the bomb! Drop the
bomb! Drop the bomb!
Thinking about other lives than the one I
inhabit. Like those of the MOVE dead.
or those shattered by flame
and not saved by the flood
those lives shattered by flame, shat tered by flames, shat
tered by this unetemal flame
and not saved, no, not saved by the flood
The victims of the dumbest idea in the universe, presented
on Osage Avenue, right here in Philly, one night only! $2.00 if
you buy now, $3.00 at the burning door.
Shall we talk then—
of the newfad of urban bombing!
This did happen and
Murder was the plan!!
Does the work pacification fit In here?
How about powerlessness?
Can we use the word hope?
No, I didn’t think so. You buy the dream, the middle-class
scheme, the white amerikan scene and believe it will be.
No, we can’t go home again ’cause it’s been destroyed
I strive tofind words for all occasions
No longer admitting of places
where words can’t go
where words won’t go
where words don’t go
Where are the words
and what words do we wear?
and what words do we dare?
We dare! all words!
We wear! all! words!
I think my words can go here
But I will have to search veryfarfor them
in all the un used places
seek not the usualfaces
go where there are traces
of lives/still/to be lived
I must not be afraid to search
or of my search
or in my search
or of the reasons for my search
Or I must
As I learned in other days
in other ways
be scared as hell
and scared of hell
but go back to the alley where the knife happened
go back to the valley
where the end of life happened
Go back Go back Go back Go back
Kill! Kill! Kill Kill!
Now is the time tofind yesterday
to de fine yesterday
to de sign yesterday
Now is the time to search for today
so we don’t destroy tomorrow
for the children,for the children,for the children,
for the children
Too young to know of hate
Now is the time to look into the mirror for tomorrow
and see whatfaces scream out at us
Do we see a future
or when you roll the window down. is there truly only dust?
or are all thesefuturefaces illusion?
Just a painting, not a Steptoe photo of real life?
This version of Mediation Row, for three voices,
(there were many versions and many voices, who were participants
in Popular Neurotics.)
was included in Concerned Poets on the MOVE
In The Tradition Press
Edited by Sharon Leonard Goodman, 1986