Poem #1 Juarez
By Bobby LeFebre
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico has been named the most dangerous place in the world
outside of declared war zones.
They used to at least wait for moonlight
Now car bombs ignite
the morning sky like sunrise
The dust has no time
to settle between blasts.
Semi-automatic weapons sing in thunderclap
raining across the desert
Thousands of lost souls mask themselves as the wind whistling in tortured soul
rendering this border city a ghost town.
The Virgin Mary’s inbox is full
Missing person’s fliers wallpaper graffiti the metropolis’ skin
The local newspaper
is longest picture book obituary
you will read
Soldiers in camouflage fatigues fail to chameleon;
lining urban streets like robotic litter
Militarization lingers as heavy as fear does
College students don’t cross the border
for cheap tequila shots anymore
Local businesses are closed and boarded up unable to pay the fees of extortion;
tourist markets stand as graveyards do.
Help is a dead end road when the officials
are as crooked as the question marks at the end of the people’s
why’s and when’s.
Why is this happening?
When will it end?
Gone are the days
these killing fields harvested only young women.
In this drug turf war everyone is considered a cash crop.
Right now, somewhere in the shadows of La Santa Muerte’s protection,
the Sinaloan and Juarez cartels dance to Narco-Corridos glorifying their names.
These drug ballads play like gangster rap with accordions
The line between entertainment and reality
is as blurred as the one separating the drug lords territories
Ciudad Juarez is been held hostage
Social order has been bound and gagged,
civil liberties have been held for ransom,
believe it or not,
this is where I chose to ask my wife to marry me
Bent on one knee
like a local crippled by economic crisis
I asked her to spend forever with me
in a place tomorrow is never promised
I promise our story is more romantic than it seems
It is from these streets she came to me
Childhood memories flutter butterfly beautiful in her heart
She remembers the peace-
of her grandmothers hands
and the woman she’s become
Times she awoke to the rooster’s cry and not the people’s
When the streets were silent enough to whisper Hail Mary’s
with the curandera who coached her catechism,
back when people still prayed to god and not fear.
She remembers better times
When streetlights were an extension of sunrays
meaning more time to play, not a warning to run inside,
nightfall is a black hole that even the most innocent of stars get sucked into
She remembers better times
Like reciting the words of the pledge to the flag in elementary school
wearing a uniform like a badge of honor.
ser siempre fieles
a los principios de libertad y justicia
which makes our homeland, the independent, humane, and generous nation,
to which we dedicate our existence.
She remembers better times,
but times in her homeland have changed.
Now our visits are more house arrest than homecoming.
There is nothing generous about being confined in worry.
Nothing humane about children being comfortable with cadavers
and are not
as bad as they say you are.
I see your spirit in your children
whose steps are still too light
to grasp the gravity of their surroundings
I know there are flowers blooming underneath your rubble
The dust will settle eventually
and the devils responsible for your demise
will burn in hell.
Don’t let your chipped teeth stop you from smiling
Destruction is always the first step in rebuilding.
Good will is your bricks
love will be your mortar
whatever you do
never forget your heart’s chamber
is bigger than their gun’s.
There is no question about the immense effect that education has in our future, not only at a personal level but also at a societal one. One of the major issues about today’s educational system, though, is the very wide gap that exists between White and minorities—excluding Asians and Pacific Islanders. While in 2008 the high school drop out rate among Whites was 4.8 percent, it was over two times higher among Blacks, over three times higher among Native Americans, and over four times higher among Hispanics. Such disparities are not just a phenomenon of 2008, as they have been constant for over 30 years. This is simply not acceptable. But what makes this particularly alarming is that, according to the Census, by 2050 minorities will be close to ousting Whites as the new majority by making up over 47 percent of the US population. If no effective action is taken soon, the United States is risking to allow the total dropout rates to rise once again, as the number of more dropout-prone minorities increases. Needless to say, this would not be a positive prospect, particularly in an increasingly competitive world.
After an initial run of just 2,500 books – the Montgomery Story and King’s message has caught on like wildfire throughout the Middle East. Copies are available online, and are being actively distributed electronically by bloggers across the Internet.