The Anthology 
Rivers







We Are Together in a Lush Place


By  Michael Kleber-Diggs



The vision: we.

[We as a variation on us; we as the subject.]

We are.

[We exist; are as the verb – the action.]

We are together.

[Together again; reunited.]

We are together in a lush place.
We are together in a lush place celebrating.
We are together in a lush place celebrating and loving each other, taking care of each other, healing.

We are together in a lush place celebrating and loving each other, taking care of each other, healing. Our lush place is vast and verdant. We have crops we planted and cultivated. We make our own bread and food. We eat together in community. We make juice and tea and beer and wine.

We have another garden too – with flowers and trees, herbs and that herb – a place where we make beautiful things and medicine. We have wise women and witches, astrologers and griots – poets, musicians, storytellers, historians. We make music. We dance. We sing. You know why we sing. It’s a variation on why we’ve always had song. This time:

We sing because we’re happy.
We sing because we’re free.
Her eye is on the thrush.
We know She watches us.

By morning / by day, we work. We sweat. We plant and tend. We water and weed. We build houses and buildings and schools – grand schools. We make parks and places to play. We build a few roads; we build a few bridges. We bring in clean water and power; we bring waste out the right way. We gather what will ripen off the vine. We cook together and eat together. We bring out the old recipes, the oldest recipes. We create new dishes too. We clean up together: we recycle what can be recycled; we compost. We use everything we can; we waste almost nothing. We are stewards, taking care of mother earth and each other.

In the afternoon, when the sun is high in the sky, we seek shelter. Some of us go to school; some of us teach. Others retreat to their homes in our same verdant place. We read. We rest. We meditate. We write. We write songs or poems or novels or plays. We write our history. We rewrite it. We tell it right. We rest and touch our beloveds with intention. We rub sore arms and legs, sore backs and chests and necks. We work our way down to where we curve and protrude to the center of our pleasure. We love each other. We take naps. When we wake, we put cool water on each other’s faces and necks. We wash each other’s feet. We put shea butter on our legs and feet and elbows; we grease our scalps.

Early at night we play: we jog and hoop, we dance and roller skate. We play football and American football. We have track and field events and every other sport, even polo. We play cards, too. We throw dice. We double dutch and freestyle rap. We converse in old dance moves and create new ones.

At night: A fire. A fire pit. A circle (unbroken). We: Light. Warmth. Our fire is heat to cook, heat to purify, heat to bring sweat in summer, heat to bring warmth in winter. Night calls forth songs, more dancing, but night is mostly the setting for stories: our history, our mythology, our dreams and visions for our future.

We live oriented around plenty. Everyone has enough. So our circle is usually unbroken. When there is a transgression, we seek healing, not retribution.

We treat our injured and sick with traditional medicine and scientific medicine, with healers and doctors. Every day we celebrate births and home-goings as a community. We have domestic partnerships and loving ways to dissolve them. We love without regard for whom or who we love. We only encourage how. How is abundantly and premised in grace. How restores and encourages. How is patient and full of purpose. How is joyful and fun.

There is a lake. It is big and clean and clear. Through tributaries it sources clean streams and rivers; a river that leads to the biggest water, to salt. In shallow water, we grow rice. Our lake is thick with fish, our rivers have crawdads and freshwater salmon. We bring out what we need. We care for the rest. We have ships and boats, canoes and kayaks. We share them all. In winter months, we skate and play hockey and ice fish and make sculptures.

This is part of the vision. Every beautiful thing you imagine will be there with us too. Our lush place is rich in dreams. Dreams form our plans and our future.

The main thing is this: we are together.

We are in a lush place celebrating and loving each other, taking care of each other, healing. Our lush place is vast and verdant.

We are together in a lush place celebrating and loving each other, taking care of each other, healing.

We are together in a lush place celebrating and loving each other.

We are together in a lush place celebrating.

We are together.

We are.

[subject; action]

We is our vision.

We.