"Our Ezekiel 25:17"
“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.”
Mamma, all around me I witness those who hate,
They say we're black, they say we're brown, they call us filthy names.
I see and hear how callously they rule for their self-gain,
And how they treasure for themselves the good things that we make...
“Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children.”
I’ve seen the ones that teach and guide us killed in the pouring rain,
Their path cut down, their house in ruins, their life now filled with pain,
I’ve seen the ones that seek redemption shackled and chained
To filthy walls, in iron cages, what sins have they to pay...
“And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers.”
I know, mamma, the time is coming, the day is near
For our suffering to end,
And justice from the highest sphere will
Fall like rocks from heaven upon these evil men,
I know, mamma, they’ll get their share,
Every measure, counted well
And we will smile, and we will have
A new story to tell...
“And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee."
Where I live there are no ice cream parlours,
no snack bars on the beach,
no fast food on the harbours.
Where I live the food is nasty, hard to eat,
the water tastes like piss,
the fruits smell like sewer rats
that before you bear their teeth.
Where I sleep the air is not conditioned cool,
or warmer during frozen days.
My mattress is a cardboard box,
I'm up as soon as I feel the first of that yellow ball's rays.
My breakfast, in the dumpster on Eighth Avenue and Fifty Seventh Street,
If I can find anything after all my neighbours eat,
'cause they're bigger and they're meaner and they never let me pass,
I guess when I turn ten or twelve I'll get something at last.
Yes, I'm from right here, Manhattan, Midtown,
but I was born in the Bronx,
and when I was just a baby my mother crossed the river
and New York's been my home.
Lying in an alley, just west of Ninth and Forty Second Street.
She's been there for a whole day,
can't rouse her from that sleep.
But I don't care, I never knew her well,
she brought me to this island city
where the devil seems to dwell.
I was remembering a song by the Beatles, that Paul wrote and sang that started like this: “Ah, look at all the lonely people, where do they all come from? Where do they all belong?” The song, “Eleanor Rigby”, was released as a double A-side single with “Yellow Submarine,” in August of 1966. Both are from the album Revolver.
The song is about two lonely people, Eleanor, an old woman who exists in a world of her own, population one. Her main purpose in life is nothingness. She “picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been.” The other is the priest, Father McKenzie, who preaches in an empty church and whose sermons “no one will hear.” Eleanor dies and he buries the old woman. To her funeral, nobody came, just him, seemingly caring little for the lonely people, “he walks from the grave.”
“No one was saved, all the lonely people, where do they all come from, all the lonely people, where do they all belong.” The cycle of life and death among the “lonely people” simply begins again…
What do you think? As an artist, I encourage all others engaged in the creative arts, or not, to get involved. This is our world, this is our problem. I have been focusing on two very serious conditions found in the world today, mainly poverty and the plight of immigrants. I think that if we all do our part, we can begin to change things, even if we have to do it helping only one person at a time. That is one less. It’s worth the effort.
If you agree, please share, comment and hit that like button. Let’s discuss these topics. Whoever said that topics such as politics and religion…or others also considered polemic…should not be discussed was lying. Such topics should be the source of discussions and conversations perpetually on everyone’s agenda. Of course, only through civilised discussions, no fights, no argumentum ad hominem, let us argue only the facts.
You can see my artwork…like the one above…drawings and paintings, on my Instagram, @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and my online galleries, featuring my 2019 collection, “JaZzArt en Valencia” at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155 (you can browse, you need not purchase anything)
Draw a map upon the sand
that shapes the Earth,
place oceans, lakes, rivers and land
the places of our birth.
Carefully shape mountains and valleys,
glaciers and bays,
perhaps the city streets and alleys,
and places where we'll stay.
There are no lines or borders
on the planet we all share,
there should not be an order
that keeps us far from where
a new life, new beginning
for those who seek to make
an honest way of living and
nothing else to take.
I wanted to express my concern for the recent anti-immigrant words pronounced by the current president of the United States and many, many others. Immigrants have always existed. Throughout the ages people have migrated. From Europe they went to the Americas. From Asia they came to Europe. From Africa they were stolen and taken to the United States and many islands in the Caribbean and some countries in South and Central America. In the end, this earth of ours, all the countries that have been established, all have grown with immigrants and the family of man has been enriched with that constant flow of people, like the blood in our veins.
Ronald Reagan said in his last speech that if the United States should ever close its doors to immigrants it would cease to be a great country. During these times, the current administration is precisely seeking to do such a thing. And not only that, the current government is persecuting immigrants that live and work, and have lived and worked in US cities for decades. Two days ago, repressive forces from what they call ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) have raided factories in Mississippi and have arrested three hundred men and women whom they have classified as “illegals.” They were taken to detention centres while their children were left alone without their parents, many not even aware of what occurred to their parents or where they may be.
However, the most terrible thing that such hatred can provoke and inspire are mass killings like the one in El Paso, Texas, where a young “white” male, 21 years old, took an assault rifle (another atrocity which should not be allowed in a civilised society) and walked into a department store and started shooting, killing twenty (two more later died in hospital) and injuring 26 more. He declared to the police that he wanted to stop the invasion of immigrants into “his” country by killing Mexicans. Six of the dead were Mexican citizens, all the others were citizens of the United States. The president of the United States has also said, on many occasions, that the country is being “invaded” by immigrants, mostly from Mexico and Central America.
Hatred results from intolerance and intolerance breeds hatred. And when those who are perceived as leaders…or who actually are…tell people that the country is being invaded by immigrants, terrible things can occur. Immigrants are not the problem of the ills that abound in many countries. Perhaps the governments of such countries should look at their educational system instead of blaming those who simply come to work and to search for a better life for themselves and their families. The earth does not belong to a particular “race” or nationality. The earth belongs to all.
As an artist, I believe I, along with all other artists, poets, writers, filmmakers, dramatists et al, should involve ourselves in speaking out against injustices and other social ills. You can follow my art work in my Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and you can see my 2019 collection, “JaZzArt en Valencia” by visiting…you don’t have to buy…my online galleries at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155