Love Letter to the TL

the poet throws her head back in laughter
Elise Youssoufian
with Casa Giap & resident artists

I don’t know what I want to say…
Something Significant. Something with Presence.
Something that touches people, touches me.
Something that makes change and shakes us to the core,
Wakes us up from the death-drive nightmares
Of capitalism and greed poisoning the waters of our only world.
Something that opens our eyes and our hearts,
That makes visible the threads of our lives
Weaving us together and shining all around us.

As I walk the streets, sometimes our threads gleam
With the almost blinding light of reflection
Bouncing off gold teeth and broken glass
And the shattered dreams glittering the sidewalk.

On the streets, the threads of our lives catch
On every unkind word and all the hugs and sirens and smiles,
On social justice street art and new police badges and old wheelchairs,
On invisible poets without shelter and the howls of cacophonous cat calls,
On school kids laughing and drug deals making life terribly bearable,
And on my sewing needles and visions of marigolds and Peace Poles,
Uplifting an army of us Fools, walking in time
With the thrum of the streets
That dances a duel with our beating hearts.

A pole with four languages planted next to a tree that says May Peace Prevail On Earth
Our Peace Pole at Faithful Fools

Now and then our intertwining threads are lit by the sun,
Through the tiny window at noontime when its warming rays
Reach the streets, frozen for a few moments,
Caught between temples of concrete and glass.
Stifled by the silence of steel beams and starless skies,
Where can I breathe? Where can we seek refuge?
Into the streets I go, again and again,
Walking and asking…
So, what do I want to say? Something with Presence,
That allows me to witness and be witnessed.
Something that helps me remember
Not all the beauty is revealed at once.
I step into the streets,
And everything changes…

— from Elise Youssoufian, San Francisco, 9/19/19 (published in Fools Fables: Streets, 2019)

Elise is a life-long learner, therapeutic world folk musician, arts activist, & a Fool. In sharing the beauty & the hurt felt & witnessed in our world, her highest aspiration is to awaken our common humanity for the benefit of all beings.

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