One Life

A light dusting of snow this morning, which is rapidly melting off. The sky is brightening now, but it is cold. For whatever reason, when the mercury hovers around 0C, I think of the really cold winters of central Europe or New York City. A glance through the Guardian Review alerted me to the centenary of Rosa Luxemburg’s death. Feminist, pacifist, anti-dictator regardless of political affiliation, she was incredibly prescient of totalitarianism in Communist Russia and the nationalism that would sweep Germany. I imagine what a meeting between her and Emma Goldman might have been like. They were certainly aware of each other, but I have not come across any reference of them meeting. I hope Luxemburg would have agreed with my favourite Goldman quotation. Today’s poem is a feminist revolutionary mash-up of sorts.

emma goldman dance revolution
One Life

What if...
Rosa Luxemburg
was the Sumatran butterfly beating its wings
who if
she had not been made extinct
in 1919
that if
her wings had been allowed

some anarchy and chaos to fly-
pacificism, politics in the plural,
the pragmatism of being both global and local -

that if
that soldier had disobeyed the order
to assasinate
to silence
to immobilise

oh, if
she had been able to dance that revolution
if only...

would we now be standing again
in clay clagged boots
knee deep in mired past
with more weapons of destruction
than people on this planet

what if
we seanced her spirit back
so she could teach us
how to raise our arms
and poise our wings
to unleash a balletic
chaos cascade
to save this one world
the only one we have
to save


Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

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2 thoughts on “One Life

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