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FOR LEONARD

FOR LEONARD
Photo Credit To Photo Credit: Taro Yamasaki, Getty Images

Photo Credit: Taro Yamasaki, Getty Images

April 19, 2014 marks the 38 year anniversary of the wrongful conviction of Leonard Peltier, political prisoner #89637-132 at USP Coleman I.

There it is, the little piece of place they have assigned me
I sit here I sleep here I read here I write here I cry here I die here
Every day I am reborn only to die in this place this tiny piece of place
Every day I am reborn into this mistake this misjudgment
This injustice system protects the guilty and keeps the sin-full
This is my breeding ground I am cultivating survival
This is my demonstration of persistent resistance
These are my living words channeling my spirit to the land of the living
Mark me a martyr for my people for my people I to some symbolize
Ones who generalize, idealize, fantasize and fail to recognize
500 years of genocide cannot be reconciled
vision quest does not come super-sized
Vision is my medicine my antidote to this oppression
Evolution making taking me away from this freedom obsession
Regressing from my arrested development
refreshing untold whole-story lessons
Some are second guessing the sentence this sentence my sentence will not be silent
These words wash me from this violence
Do not forget me in the morning when I am being reborn yet again
And again in the dying hour as the sun sets on 13,950 and counting days of illegal imprisonment
I am still here still sitting in this piece of place they have assigned me
I am still here paying this debt for some goony agent
Like Mumia, like Mandela, like so many who cause fear in those hearts of darkness
Like Black Panthers stalking citadels
Like A.I.M. armed for retrieval
Like indenture and abolition my mission has been to give them a reason to recognize
These people, my people we are not vanishing we are not assimilated into your assumption
We do not buy into your consumption
I am still here paying your debt with interest in this tiny piece of place
Every day I am reborn only to die in this tiny piece of place
Every day I am reborn and will always be known for my time in this place
Yes I too know why the caged bird sings and why the song is always blue
I too have worn a hole in those shoes
Those shoes walk another route another path in my pursuit of peace
While I continue to battle the burden of this beast
This time the jaws of time have swallowed my life in hungry gulps
And yet I am still here in this tiny piece of place this space
Surviving yet again

For more information on  Leonard Peltier, and what you can do, go to the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee

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About The Author

Jamaias DaCosta

Jamaias DaCosta is a writer, Spoken Word artist and performer, co-Host and Producer of The Vibe Collective radio show and is the Producer of Indigenous Waves Radio, both on CIUT 89.5FM. She sits on the Advisory Board for Mixed in Canada and is a member of the multidisciplinary artist group r3 collective. Jamaias facilitates educational workshops in grade schools, universities and at conferences such as the Allied Media Conference in Detroit and Toronto Truth and Reconciliation around stereotypes; Indigenous education and decolonial thought. Jamaias has worked with Caribbean Tales Film Festival, written for the CBC, and multiple publications. Jamaias is a mixed settler of Kanien’keha:ka, Cree, Irish and French, Jamaican (Colombian, African, Portuguese, Sephardic Jew) ancestry.

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