I need you, and you me. Together we are one.


by Francisco X. Alarcón


people use sprays

to get rid of pests


cockroaches running

with the kitchen light


insects eating up

flowers in the garden—


could somebody tell

our university police


students in the sit-in

on the Quad sidewalk


engaged in peaceful protest

and civil disobedience


are not bugs nor vermin

but real human beings—


thank you — now, who is

cleaning this big media mess?


all those responsible could

help by stepping down—


please pass on the mops

red pepper spray stains


on the cement and minds

are so hard to wash off!—


© Francisco X. Alarcón


Reading this poignant poem and some of the responses, stirred up so much within me, I am sharing it here:

To poison the bug – who came to the surface to clean up the overuse of pesticides – is to poison our mother, and ourselves.

As we, the people, why are we here?

What purpose do we each serve?

Are we here to be powerless subordinates and to seek out leaders who are going to fix our problems (as if they could)?

Or are we here to reclaim our own power, realize that we have the power and the capacity to take care of our own, and each other?

I represent the 100%.

I am the bug, diligent servant of the mother, bringing to the surface that which needs to be resolved.

I am the protester who can clearly see the powerlessness in the so called power play in duality – us against them – consciousness. Enough of that already!

I am the cop who had notions of a noble profession and then received training that not necessarily serves all, but in the end still has a choice to serve the best interest of all concerned.

I am the president, who has ideals to want to live up to, but who is overworked and overburdened by too many demands to answer to, and who has found that in a position of perceived power, if I try and have power over others I attract people around me who drain it out of me just as fast if not faster.

I am the mother whose love runs deep, so deep I can love the darkness and the light I see reflected in everyone as my own, and integrate the two in harmony with each other.

I can do this by practicing kindness, compassion and forgiveness fearlessly, while fiercely guarding the interests of the whole.

I love to see all my children thrive.

I can see all these problems that are in the way and I am tickled to rise to the occasion to resolve within myself how to deal with it.

I cannot do this alone.

I need you, and you me. Together we are one.


Remember the sky that you
were born under,
know each of the star’s stories.
Remember the moon,
know who she is. I met her
in a bar once in Iowa City.
Remember the
sun’s birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and
her mother’s, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life also.

Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow
earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants,
trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.

Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this
universe. I heard her singing Kiowa war
dance songs at the corner of Fourth
and Central once.
Remember that you are all people and that all people are
Remember that you are this universe and that this universe is you.

Remember that all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember that
language comes from this.
Remember the dance that language is, that life is.


~ Joy Harjo ~

(How We Become