By Alice Walker
You ask me why I smile when you tell me
you intend in coming national elections
to hold your nose and vote for the lesser of two evils.
There are more than two evils out there, is one reason I smile
Another, is that our old buddy Nostradamus comes to mind
With his fearful 400 yr old prophecy that our world
And theirs too, our enemies, lots of kids included there
Will end by nuclear Nachbah?, by holocaust, in our life time
Which makes the idea of elections
and the billions of dollars wasted on them somewhat fatuous
A southerner of color, my people held the vote very dear
While others for centuries merely appeared to play with it
One thing I can assure you of, is this,
I will never betray such pure hearts by voting for evil,
even if it were microscopic,
which as you can see in any newscast, no matter the slant, it is not.
I want something else – a different system entirely
One not seen on this earth for thousands of years, if ever
Notice how this word has “man” right in the middle of it
That’s one reason I like it.
He is right there front and center, but he is surrounded.
I want to vote and work for a way of life that honors the feminine
A way that acknowledges the theft of the wisdom female and dark mother leadership may have provided our spaceship all along
I am not thinking of a talking-head kind of gal—
happy to be mixing it up with the badest bad boys on the planet
Her eyes a slit; her mouth a zipper
No, I am speaking of true regime change
Where women rise to take their place unmasked
At the helm of earth’s frail and failing ship
Where each thousand years of our silence is examined with regret
And the cruel manner in which our values of compassion and kindness
Have been ridiculed and suppressed, brought to bear on the disaster of the present time
The past must be examined closely, I believe, before we can leave it there.
I am thinking of Democratic, and perhaps socialist, Womanism.
For who else knows so deeply how to share but mothers and grandmothers,
big sisters and aunts, to love and adore both female and male,
not to mention those in between
To work at keeping the entire community educated, fed, and safe
Democratic Womanism, Democratic Socialist Womanism
Would have as its icons such fierce warriors for good as
Vandana Shiva, Aung San Suu Kyi,Wangari Maathai, Harriett Tubman, Yoko Ono, Frida Kahlo, Angela Davis and Barbara Lee
With new ones rising wherever you look
You are also on this list,
but it is so long, Isis would appear midway, that I must stop or be unable to finish the poem
So just know that I stood you in a circle
that includes Marian Wright Edelman, Amy Goodman, Sojourner Truth, Gloria Steinem, and Mary McCleod Bethune,
John Brown, Frederick Douglass, John Lennon, and Howard Zinn
are there, happy to be surrounded.
There is no system now in place that can change the disastrous course the Earth is on.
Who can doubt this
The male leaders of Earth appear to have abandoned their very senses
Though most appear to live now entirely in their heads
They murder humans and other animals, forests and rivers and mountains everyday they are in office and never seem to notice it.
They eat and drink devastation.
Women of the world, women of the world, is this devastation us?
Would we kill whole continents for oil or anything else rather than limit the number of consumer offspring we produce and learn how to make our own fire?
Democratic womanism, democratic socialist womanism
A system of governance we can dream and imagine and build together
One that recognizes at least six thousand years of brutally forced complicity
And the assassination of Mother Earth but foresees six thousand years
Ahead of us when we will not submit
What will we need? – a hundred years, at least, to plan
Five hundred will be handed us gladly, when the planet is scared enough
In which circles of women meet, organize ourselves, and elide with men brave enough to stand with women.
Nurture our planet to a degree of health, and without apology, impossible to make a bigger mess than has been made already,
Devote ourselves heedless of opposition to tirelessly serving and resuscitating our mother ship
And with gratitude for her care of us worshipfully commit to rehabilitating it.