If you live in California, please take the time to sign this online petition to save public libraries in Salinas (and throughout California.) Code Pink is also going to be part of a very cool 2 day Read-In in Salinas April 2nd-3rd; I wish I could be there. It makes my heart sick to think of libraries shutting down; libraries are such treasure troves, such life lines. If a community loses its library, it loses part of its soul.
Speaking of communities and souls, I took part in an anti death penalty rally today; it always does my heart good to connect with people who are working to bring about justice. I shared a poem I wrote about my meditation on the term "culture of life". It's not my greatest poem by any stretch--I dashed it out in a few minutes this morning--but I'll share it here because of its timeliness.
Cultures of Life
We hear a lot of talk about a "culture of life" these days.
On this spring day, I feel life all around me—the trees bursting
with blossoms, the rash of butterflies stirring the air.
The culture of life that our administration promotes
pollutes the true culture of life.
How can a culture of life support the death penalty?
How can a culture of life start an unjust war?
This administration supports a culture of power, not a culture of life—
power over women's bodies, power over the natural world,
the Third World, the entire world.
This administration doesn't celebrate life; it subjugates life.
A culture of life would value freedom of expression,
a culture of life would ensure we had clean water, fresh air,
a culture of life would ensure health care for all.
A culture of life would not be so quick to drill for oil
in our most pristine places,
a culture of life would not be so quick to send people off to their death,
whether in our military or our prisons,
a culture of life would support education, not incarceration,
a culture of life would do what it could to eradicate poverty.
Our administration fosters a culture of lies, not a culture of life.
I ask all of us to listen to our own beating hearts, not the talking heads,
I ask all of us to pay attention to the way life blooms forth in the natural world,
to cultivate our own living culture, a culture that honors
not just those of us who can further our political agenda,
but all of us who breathe this same air, who walk this same earth.