Power and Love 
“Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”

Martin Luther King Jr. wrote that the year I was born in "Where do we go from here: Chaos or Community?" Timely given all that is happening right now.

I'm speaking in LA at a social entrepreneurship workshop (Starting Bloc) about how I use these ideas practically in my work, especially in network building. How we balance saying what needs to be said with widening the tent.Tricky beautiful stuff. How being a mutt or at the edges has always felt a bit lonely but I've come to realize is a unique and helpful vantage point. Well placed to help build the bridges.

Qin 
Was bloody, half the empire would fall
but battle only lays them for a time
they cut and burned the books to quell the living
Rites of Zhou replaced with rule of law

and rule of land and tombs that fit for kings
an infantry to make it great again,
chains of serfs and bandits moved as one
bound the little states that wrapped Beijing.

Two thousand years, about a million men,
a life for every foot of wall when done.
What is blocked and what is kept within?

Caged white roosters, mortar of human bone
like the scales of a sleeping dragon
and as visible, too, from the moon.


North End Land Trust 
Working together with a group of people to ask the question: what is the role of a community-led organization in setting aside land and property for public good, particularly affordable housing but not only. Possibly community gardens, affordable rental space for community agencies.

We're in a neighbourhood, the North end of Halifax where gentrification is a serious issue. We're interested in ensuring development without displacement and linking it to neighbourhood employment and community building.

Tenants are in dire living situations and are being displaced. Those on assistance can't afford to live on the $535 stipend they're given so it cuts into grocery money, other things. There are community agencies that are looking for places to rent. Non profits that are losing or unable to upkeep their properties. How to safeguard and watchdog and develop opportunities for and by the community? Then there are those in the community who might be able to donate some of their property or equity. Who can pay market rates and give back to the community to ensure affordability. Maybe even a connection with rural land trusts where swaps are possible.

One thing I've learned from my work in economic organizing. The strongest alternative economic models are built on community networks. Wide networks. The community land trust models seems to have had the most success in providing affordable housing and community building and accountability. We'll have to see what works in our neighbourhood, political context, housing situation.

It's the beginning of discussions and connections that just take time. These aren't technical problems. It's about finding common ground to move forward in the same direction.

100,000 Poets for Change 
Proud to be part of this chorus of voices speaking out on the American election. Click on the link below to read the poems.
  |  related link
The Demagogue 
like those before him, less blood
or a different kind, different
ceremony but similar use of timing
and Other as when Europe swelled
from pogroms and picket lines.
I don’t mean to equate brutalities
but history is bound by desire
spit and gut.
You can slay an order
when we're grinding our teeth.
The right mix of wind and kindle
a clear enough path
to unleash the legs of flame.
They knew, they know
fear is bloody heady-
we don’t care for details.
We’re tired and
when you’re tired
the smell of body
on altar delivers.
Hot front, full speed
seemed to come from nowhere.



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