Occupying the Streets of San Diego with the 99 Percent

by on October 11, 2011 · 23 comments

in Civil Rights, From the Soul, San Diego

Oh, I have had moments in my life,
downs where pizzazz
seemed out of my grasp,
where joy and light
disintegrated into
notions I could only
think of as relics of the past –
and I’ve had some highs
wherein and whereas
I felt as mellow
as a funky
blast of jazz.
Without glorious moments
how long could a life last?
I sure dunno
but
Occupy San Diego,
just a few days ago,
let me know
that when I am no mo’
hope will still be alive
and on the go.
From the time I stepped
out of my daughter’s auto
good vibes
commenced to flow
from my graying head
to the tips of my toes.
I stepped into
an ocean of people.
Old people.
Not so old people.
Young people.
Sub-young people.
People in dreads.
People with caps worn
backwards on their heads,
and a few T-shirts with an S
on top of a D,
one praising
an ex-Charger
we love to call LT,
a couple graced
with John Lennon’s face,
asking us to IMAGINE
such a scene as we
were in that time and place –
human beings seeking
to create
a world of decency,
representing
a variety
of ethnicities,
standing boldly
in opposition
to society’s
social and economic disparities,
paving a path our children
might trod upon
to make the world even better
someday,
having our say:
“We got sold out!
They got bailed out!”
Those sentiments
told what it was all a – bout.
“Hey! Hey!
Ho! Ho!
Corporate Greed
Has Got To Go!”
For way too long
they’ve been the foe.
“Tell me what
democracy looks like!
This is what
democracy looks like!”
And from the reflections
in the windows of the businesses we passed by
what we were singing
was not a lie.
“The people united
will never be divided!
The people united
will never be divided!”
Music to an old man’s ears,
a massaging of his deepest fears
that we would not ever realize
that it’s only through our being united
that we can insure that
justice and liberty
for all
is provided.
Oh, we moved
with such a groove,
with a little pause
at Chase Bank
and the B & A
for a little showering
of jeers and boos,
hoping it ended up
on the eleven o’clock news,
stepping into the Civic center Plaza
with the chants going ever so strong
and one dude
with the passion
of a Jimi Hendrix
with a guitar in hand
laid down some hot licks
and those of us in his little circle
got our kicks
in the massive mix,
just swaying to the beat
of the music,
stepping right along –
and the bells
and drums
and tambourines
punctuated the sounds
rising from the throng
making it seem like we could do this
all day long.

“We are the 99 percent!”
was the name of our song
and the movement moves on
with some of us living in tents,
occupying the streets
until we are content
with our piece of the pie,
until equality
is not viewed as pie in the sky.
Something for everybody:
Corporations.
Fat cats,
You and me.
Taxes spread fairly
and evenly.
Boy, that would be some moment in a life
if you asked me.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Sherry Engberg October 11, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Great, vibrant article, in the spirit of the movement!

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avatar Patty Jones October 11, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Thank you, Sherry!

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avatar Ernie McCray October 11, 2011 at 4:28 pm

And thank you, Patty.

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avatar Ernie McCray October 11, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Gracias, amiga.

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avatar annagrace October 11, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Ernie- Your exquisite words in my brain made feel as though I were there all over again.

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avatar Ernie McCray October 11, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Wasn’t it nice.

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avatar John P. Falchi October 11, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Ernie-What a great rap about this wonderful effusion of joyful ernestness about life today in this city of San Diego. Listening to the beat of your music takes me right back to last Friday with all of its wonderful expectations. It was truly great to see the youthful enthusiasm shining again in our midst amongst many familiar faces. Thank you for capturing the spirit of what was occurring there. You do it so well.

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avatar Ernie McCray October 11, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Oh, it was quite a gathering wasn’t it?

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avatar Kim October 11, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Ernie,

As someone on the sidelines “looking in” your prose zeroed in on the reality and pain of the people gathered. Take care of yourself and thanks for sharing your zest and dedication to the people.

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avatar Ernie McCray October 11, 2011 at 10:18 pm

I will keep on truckin’.

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avatar Christine Schanes October 11, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Thanks for capturing the spirit of Occupy San Diego, Ernie! Great job!

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avatar Ernie McCray October 11, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Thanks, Christine. It was quite a spirit to capture.

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avatar Elaine October 11, 2011 at 9:41 pm

So cool Ernie. Once again you have written such profetic words. Thank you for being such a prolific writer and gracing us with your poetry.

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avatar Ernie McCray October 12, 2011 at 10:06 am

Thanks for being graced. Hey, Keith is pretty poetic, huh?

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avatar Frank Gormlie October 12, 2011 at 9:17 am

Very nice, indeedie.

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avatar Ernie McCray October 12, 2011 at 10:06 am

Here’s a thanks that’s quite speedy.

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avatar Ernie McCray October 12, 2011 at 10:08 am

Ahh, you weave so well and your dreams are swell.

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avatar wendyEllen October 12, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Go San Diego!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You Know!!!!! Will be in for Veterans weekend..maybe we’ll will swish by if we can…

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avatar Ernie McCray October 12, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Should be around.

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avatar Paula October 12, 2011 at 10:32 pm

I love how you express how we all feel. You are a wonderful poet and a delightful human being.

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avatar Ernie McCray October 13, 2011 at 9:05 am

Trying to be. Thanks.

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avatar Brenda Prantil October 20, 2011 at 5:57 pm

You JUST rock….and roll those words! I, too, was able to feel the vibe and it really was nice, just to know that peeps still care about each other!! Thanks, Ernie

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avatar Ernie McCray October 20, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Thank you. And keep on feeling the vibe. There are a few of us who care about each other.

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