Voice: The Sunday Whirl – Wordle

When will the inhumanity end? When will social justice really begin? It’s not just color, it’s fear, greed, ignorance and more…

Each week The Sunday Whirl invites writers to write a poem or short prose using some or all of the “wordle’s” 12 words. This week it is:



I’ve heard that sweet talk jive about
a thousand points of light
a thousand times
just like you.

But nobody’s lighting no lights,
and the only fires that burn
are our souls burning

and those on the streets.

Sweet talk? Sweat talks.
Years of our sweat talking.
Whipped backs of toil.
Your talk?
Your talk snags us.
You hear me?
No, you don’t.
Let me say it again,
Like those thousand points of light,
Your talk snags us.

Look us in the eye.

I don’t want your Commissions,
your Investigations, your Justice
Departments, your high words of “We’ll look into it”.
Look at our eyes.

You can panic.
You can continue to fight us.

Or you can do what’s right.

It’s not Ferguson.
There are ten thousand thousand Fergusons.
It’s about not having a thousand points of entry,
a thousand jobs, a thousand decent homes,
a thousand wholesome meals,
It’s about a thousand jail cells waiting for us,
a thousand Blacks and Latinos languishing in prisons,
a thousand times of hearing we can’t help you,
a thousand doors closing,
a thousand shots fired as we walk our neighborhoods,
a thousand times being rousted out of a car,
a thousand times being rousted on our own streets,
a thousand times of being turned down for work,
a thousand times flipping burgers for $8.00 an hour, if we’re even that lucky,
a thousand times of not being able to rent that apartment,
buy that house, live in that neighborhood,
even walk in that neighborhood,
a thousand times of being called a derogatory name,
a thousand looks of disdain, and for what,
a thousand tastes of bile in our throats,
swallowing, trying not to wallow,
a thousand times of wanting to be somebody,
of breaking free,
breaking out,

wanting to see my brothers and sisters
break out, too.

I say,
No talk.
Time to perform.
Make the choices.
Make it right.

We are here.
See us.

Or will you do
like you always do,
shaking the bushes,
and talk about
those bullshit fucking thousand points of light.

Randy Mazie


16 thoughts on “Voice: The Sunday Whirl – Wordle

    • I think that your statement is untrue, and used as an argument against increasing assistance to the poor and oppressed (and now used to cut assistance) as well as it is currently being used as a wedge to cut the middle class. The current ill-ogic is: Why should anyone have to help pay for roads, water, libraries, hospitals, or any infrastructure – or for that matter, its people.

      Offer another vision, Bill. Don’t say what doesn’t work.Tell us what you think will, Bill. Because when it comes to society, the bell tolls for all of us. Randy

      • As a post script, I think our responses demonstrate so well, how we miss the central theme of this piece – to overlook the voice and objectify it – to make it a thing to be “worked” on, investigated, commissioned – to continue having an invisible (though quite concrete) barrier between us and them. There always has to be an us and them, eh? Not just an us, only an us, all of us. We’d better be in this together.

      • the problem is that it’s never sustainable when it comes out of debt, it has to come out of surplus. Sweden couldn’t sustain it, no nation can.

        I agree that the bell tolls for everyone, but isn’t it foolish to spend more on what isn’t working ? Is it politically incorrect to say, “This isn’t working, what we are buying is a permanent underclass” and that something needs to change ?

        I don’t have a solution, but more of what is going on now doesn’t seem right either.

        • Sorry Bill, but what I’m really talking about isn’t money. It’s people. It’s attitude. It’s desire, and willingness, and acceptance.

          But money has helped some people to some degree with food subsidies, meals at schools, pell grants at colleges, and so much more, but it isn’t enough. More is needed. We need to invest even more. It only comes from debt, Bill, when waste is enormous in our defense department. When screws cost $50.00. When corporations don’t have to pay their share – or our wealthiest citizens. When we aren’t taxing/tariffing companies which are moving outside the US, but still want to sell their products here and enjoy the perks of our airports, roadways, and resources. But not pay to use them.

          Our country needs to invest more in new start up companies here and employ our own kids at them, and grow our own businesses so that they can invest back into this country. We have debt, not because we don’t have money, but because the folks who make it are not paying. In the 1950’s millionaires paid a very high percentage of their income in taxes. Over the years, the wealthy have eroded what they have to pay. The beauty of this country is that you can make a million, and have half of it go back to make it better, so next year you can make 2 million. No other country is like that.

          And if you’re going to talk about waste. then build true oversight into the programs we offer. Not political oversight, but real oversight. And while we’re at it, let’s also have some real oversight on medicare fraud, and true tax audits on all people, and corporate oversight. Let’s put some money into seeing that these things, and similar items, are truly working as they should, and that the money is going into the coffers as proscribed by law.

          But I also think that acceptance needs to taught in our schools. Our communities need to be more involved with each other. Joint programs need to be provided to bring diverse groups of people to join in activities that will break down barriers of race and backgrounds. Laws need to be enforced equally. Opportunities provided equally. New social programs need to be created and tried. Some of our youngest (and oldest) best minds need to try to create social reform programs. How about forgiveness on student loans for creating programs and then working in them, programs that help urban kids get jobs, work programs to “clean” up inner city areas, more big brother and/or tutoring programs, trade training programs, and the like.

          I ask for creative answers…. but cutting and slashing only makes matters worse. Resentments are fired even greater. The divide worsens and resentments deepen. Cherry pick through what I’ve offered which is only a tiny sampling of the universe of ideas out there that are worth trying. No one thing will do. It has to be many things, multi-tiered, sustained, revised, re-edited , re-worked, and continued with commitment and fresh ideas. Ask the social workers, criminologists, psychologists, economists, ministers, dieticians, job placement counselors, businessmen, educators, doctors, urban planners, young students, inner city residents… formulate strategies and then go with a few. Change as needed. Adapt. Make the effort. Then invest more.

          • Why do people leave one country for another ? It’s pretty simple in my mind, because they dream of a better life for their children.

            That’s broken in the US right now.

            Lots of things need changed, I agree on that.

            Ultimately, a favorable business climate lifts people out of poverty. I know of no other method that is sustainable.

        • Happy holidays to you, Janet and the girls.

          Even though we differ, unlike Congress, we have to find middle grounds or trade offs – and move ahead. Stagnation , as I’m sure your conservative nature would agree with, is not good economically – and for me, it is not good spiritually.

          Again, all my best. I wish you everything I would wish for myself and more. Randy

  1. What a great poem…a fearless statement…it’s the hardest thing asking those who will never be made accountable to look ‘you’ in the eye…if they did they may have to reconnect with their own conscience…if they had one to begin with

  2. Thanks for the input and challenges. I appreciate it.

    Last thoughts – The definition of a “favorable” business climate is now being written by the wealthy, for the wealthy, and of the wealthy. People seem to forget these days that we threw the tea overboard because the taxes were going to the monarchy rather than the states. The “tea party” doesn’t mean no taxation. It means “no taxation without representation”, and that means representing the people. Not the wealthy or the “corporate” personhood (which the Supreme Court just created).

    A favorable business climate is where goods are bought and sold on the “open” market. It says nothing about paying taxes. If a corporation doesn’t want to pay taxes, let them sell someplace else. Some other company will fill the void. Buyers create demand and new companies will meet that demand if the non-American non-tax-paying corporations are stopped from selling here or tariffed when they do sell. I don’t want to be bullied by that corporate fear mongering sound bite.

    But again, race relations are not about financials. Or is money truly the reason why some races have to be bullied and kept down. Cheap labor supplies mean greater profits.


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