Green Flame: Poetry Celebration

Green Flame: Poetry Celebration

In this final Green Flame episode of 2020, we listen to a discussion between Jennifer Murnan and Trinity La Fey about the love and support of women, resistance, writing, reminders of beauty, performance and people. We are blessed with Trinity’s performances of poetry. Their discussion is woven into a chorus of other poets.

With a recital from Aimee, we celebrate Shahidah Janjua by listening to a poem from her book Dimensions. We also share poems from Max, Jennifer, Ross, Ben, and Salonika, and revisit the poems of Dominique Christina which were part of our December 2019 Radical Feminism episode.

This wonderful new year celebration episode concludes with a medley of music from prior episodes including the lyrical “Shchedryk” by Beth Quist. Thank you all, thank you for listening and Happy New Year.

Special thanks to our editor for this episode, Iona.

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About The Green Flame

The Green Flame is a Deep Green Resistance podcast offering revolutionary analysis, skill sharing, and inspiration for the movement to save the planet by any means necessary. Our hosts are Max Wilbert and Jennifer Murnan.

Silence and Darkness

Silence and Darkness

I lay in my bed
Waiting for the soft lull of sleep to embrace me
To take me to the land where dreams come by
I know it won’t come soon
I know she faces the blockades
Obstacles block her way

I wake up to the low drum of the machine
I sleep to the blaring of the neighbor’s TV
Every moment in between is as loud as the other
The horns of vehicles speeding by
The excavators in their pursuit of development
Violence on my brothers and sisters
The rape of the natural world
Does it pierce my ears alone
Or is it my heart that suffers more?

If sleep finds her way through these
Could she also pass the bright night?
The flood light glowing outside my window
Keeps everyone safe, they say.
What dangerous world do we live in?
To keep one safe, ones must die:
The bugs, the plants, the birds, the frogs.
Don’t they know lights kill these all?

Moonlight and fireflies don’t bother me much
Neither does the beetles’ mating calls
I bet I could learn to sleep through
The mosquitoes buzzing around me
I long for the day when these are the only voices
That pierce the silence and darkness of night.

Salonika is an organizer at DGR South Asia and is based in Nepal. She believes that the needs of the natural world should trump the needs of the industrial civilization.



In this poem taken from her book Dimensions, Shahidah writes about her experience of women; birth, choice of sisters, womankind. Shahidah brings her early life in Pakistan to life for the reader.


by Shahidah Janjua

I was birthed into an intimate space

Shared by two other women.

Into the long view

Telescoping back through the years

Of many severed moments,

Dislocations of time and meaning

From there to here.

I see our intimacy

Was only a matter of geography.

Tropics and contours fixing us on a line

Bordered by nation, clan and family.


From large peasant beginnings

In sprawling fields, chasing clouds

Through the broad village maze,

To the dung laced alleyways

The origins of people dash

In downtown ghetto quarters of Lahore,

We were moulded in the same

Rich warm odour of cowpat mixture

Straw-manure – for nourishment and fire.

Welded together for breath

A sweat and labour.


Falling loose from the nipple too soon

I did not know

The meaning of my hunger

‘Til there was too much loneliness

In the world

Sitting outside the fraternities

Of feasting, drinking revelling

We were never meant to gel

Only in the sisterhood of servitude

Our time together mediated

By the father’s wants, the brother’s needs

The husband’s will, the suitor’s gaze.


I came this far with sisters who

Were not the gene connection.

Sometimes without a word link

Women small and tall,

Broad and slender, masked and unmasked.

I chose from amongst them

Companions for the journeying way

But I carry them all with me.

The razored leg, the high heeled foot

The stubbled chin,

Choosing my family

Keeping the rest of womankind in view.

Shahidah Janjua (1949 – 2020) was a poet, writer and DGR member in Ireland Europe. This poem was originally published in her book Dimensions in 2014 and is reprinted here with the kind permission of her family.

You can find out more about Shahidah’s books, writing and activism here: 


Thank You Mother Earth

Thank You Mother Earth

Jack D. Forbes (Powhatan-Renapé and Lenape) was the author of  Columbus and Other Cannibals, one of the most important books ever written. In this writing Jack Forbes offers thanks to those living with awareness of the interconnectedness of all life. 

Thank you mother earth, for holding me on your breast.

You always love me no matter how old I get.

This is closely related to having a ‘face.’ Being good is, traditionally, not merely an admonition, but instead, an active principle bringing together good intentions, good actions, and harmony with the universe.

On the whole, the history of the world (prior to the conquest of the cannibal civilization) reveals a land where most human groups followed, or tried to follow, the ‘pollen path’ (as the Navajo people call it) or the ‘good, red road’ (as the Lakota call it). The pollen path and the red road lead to living life in a sacred manner with continual awareness of the inter-relationships of all forms of life.

For some, the good red road includes the necessity of suffering, or of the sacrifice of something which really belongs to us alone such as our very flesh, or, for others, our lives as they are lived in service to others.

Life is an adventure and we should try to be worthy of the gifts bestowed upon us. When death touches, a new path will open up for us, a path faced by most traditional peoples with confidence and beautiful thoughts, as illustrated in this old Wintu song by Jim Thomas:

Above shall go / the spirits of people / swaying rhythmically / swaying with dandelion puffs in their hands.

Jack D. Forbes (January 7, 1934 – February 23, 2011) was an Powhatan-Renapé and Lenape indigenous writer, scholar and political activist, who specialized in Native American issues. He is best known for his role in establishing one of the first Native American Studies programs (at University of California Davis). His book Columbus and Other Cannibals (1978) is foundational to the anti-civilization movement. Forbes analysis of civilization enabled readers, listeners and learners across decades to understand the systems that enable terrorism, genocide, and ecocide.

Featured image: Milada Vigerova via Unsplash

The Day We Locked Ourselves In

The Day We Locked Ourselves In

Originally published at Medium.

The coronavirus is a disaster for many. As usual in this morally-backward global empire, the poorest and most vulnerable among us suffer the most. In the midst of this tragedy there are lessons worth learning. This poem from Kim Hill invites us to consider what society and our communities may learn from CoViD-19.

By Kim Hill/The Medium

When we locked ourselves in to the world we’d constructed

And trembled in panic at impending collapse

We began to wonder, if maybe, perhaps,

This latest disaster in long lines of attacks

Was not a disaster at all.

But, instead, a revelation.


Revealing the truth that the stories we tell

Of progress, business, empire and growth

Have locked us inside our own twisted dreams

And the time has come to awaken.


To the world here beneath us, within us, around us

Who is calling us all to come home.

To let go of the lies, that income and goods

Stock markets, mining, jobs, machines

All make our lives better than ever.


Release these myths. And listen.


To breath. To blood. To wind and rain.

To ancestors and those yet to be.


The massacres and death camps

Factories and clearfells

Plastics and toxics

Choking our lungs, our rivers, our blood, our skies

Are not worth saving, by hiding ourselves inside.


Millions of years of talking with trees

With birds, with clouds, with spirit beings

All lost to the past, or locked away

Replaced with shiny screens.


And now the screens say stay indoors

Far from the beautiful world

They tell us to fear the life outside

And hide in the zombie machine.


Yet even in here, at the height of our fear

Life will not be locked in

It erupts from our soul, our body, our breath

In dances and stories, in primal screams

In song and art, in beauty and pain

In love and care, and ferocious rage

To break the prison down.


To break free our minds from mechanical grind

Of existence encoded as data for sale

To smash mental cages of money and lack

That lock down our essence like jail.


Tear down the wires, the pipelines, the rails

The dams, the ships, the mines

Make sense with our senses, our knowing and feeling

Release the mental blinds.


Burn down the speeding extinction machine

That traps us all inside

While converting vast jungles to money and trash

And selling us on the great ride.


Now return to the forests, the seas, the soils

Who form our breath and bones

And nourish our bodies from the womb of the Earth

And let life carry us home.


Wild beings are speaking: come home to your kind

Yet we slay them to feed our fears

Not feeling or hearing their horror and pain

Or their wisdom of infinite years.


Listen. They are speaking. We are speaking. Hear us.


Your cities don’t serve you, with their concrete and cars

Instead they use you as a tool

They drown out your longings in waves of disease

And madness, repression and school.


If all the world’s beauty can’t be heard

In thousands of years of yearning

Then maybe it takes

The tiniest being,

a microbe, to say

Come home.

This culture is based on a false assumption that humans as superior to and separate from the natural world. This, in turn, is used to justify violence and hatred towards the natural world. Crises like these remind us that, in fact, humans are an integral part of the natural community, not separate from it.

“From birth on—and probably from conception, but I’m not sure how I’d make the case—we are individually and collectively enculturated to hate life, hate the natural world, hate the wild, hate wild animals, hate women, hate children, hate our bodies, hate and fear our emotions, hate ourselves. If we did not hate the world, we could not allow it to be destroyed before our eyes. If we did not hate ourselves, we could not allow our homes—and our bodies—to be poisoned.” (Premise 14, Endgame, Derrick Jensen)

Decolonization and Resistance: A Conversation with Sakej Ward

Decolonization and Resistance: A Conversation with Sakej Ward

In this episode of The Green Flame podcast, we speak with Sakej Ward. Sakej (James Ward) belongs to the wolf clan. He is Mi’kmaw (Mi’kmaq Nation) from the community of Esgenoopetitj (Burnt Church First Nation, New Brunswick). He is the father of nine children, four grandchildren and a caregiver for one.

Sakej is a veteran of both the Canadian and American militaries. During his military career, he volunteered and excelled at some of the most demanding leadership courses in the military, including the Special Forces Infantry Leader’s Course. He finished his military career at the rank of Sergeant.

Wanting to pursue academics, he immediately went to university and immersed himself in politics where he graduated from the University of New Brunswick from the Honour’s program with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with a specialization in International Relations.

Recognizing the value of an academic background, he continued to advance his studies and attended the University of Victoria where he successfully completed the Master’s of Arts Degree in Indigenous Governance.

Sakej has a long history of advocating and protecting First Nations inherent responsibilities and freedoms, having spent the last 21 years fighting the government and industry. This deep desire to bring justice to all Indigenous people has given Sakej experience in international relations where he spoke on behalf of the Mi’kmaq Nation at the United Nations Working Group for Indigenous Populations (WGIP). For his efforts in protecting Indigenous people, freedoms and territory he has received the National Aboriginal Achievement Award.

Having taught, organized, advised and led various warrior societies from all over Turtle Island down into Guatemala and Borike (Puerto Rico) Sakej has made warrior-hood his way of life. He has been on over a dozen warrior operations and countless protest actions. He dedicates all his time to developing warrior teachings and instructing warrior societies from all over.

This show features poetry by the Chickasaw poet, playwright, and novelist Linda Hogan, and the song “Zabalaza” by South African political music collective Soundz of the South (SOS).

Subscribe to The Green Flame Podcast

About The Green Flame

The Green Flame is a Deep Green Resistance podcast offering revolutionary analysis, skill sharing, and inspiration for the movement to save the planet by any means necessary. Our hosts are Max Wilbert and Jennifer Murnan.

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