Dian Sousa is a long time activist and poet. She has published three books of poetry, has published in numerous journals and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She is a former Poet Laureate of SLO. Dian read her poem WHY WE MARCH at the 2017 San Luis Obispo Women’s March. You can read the poem below.







We march
Because there is no poet in the White House
No music, no art, no reverence, no love
For the poetry of our Mother Earth
And the language of her people
Which has been stolen and replaced
With an oppressive language of twittering lies

We gather and we march
To reclaim our voice
To release its thunder
To ignite its incendiary beauty
To rekindle its power and light
Which has always lead us out of the darkness

We march to move forward

Because we can not go backward to an America…that never existed
Or existed only for a lucky… sanitized…fast asleep few

We march to move forward in the best tradition
Of those who have always marched
Who have given their lives to move us forward
From an otherwise brutish America

Where Father Knew Best
And MOTHER was never allowed to speak
Where sister bled out from a back alley abortion
And brother was sent to occupy the land and steal the lives

Of the Comanche, The Lakota, The Apache, The Arapaho,
The Meskwaki and the Sioux

Where black lives were terrorized, torn apart
Strung, the strange fruit on hideous trees
Where exhausted, grieving, brave human beings
Were told over and over again
That their lives were worth
Only three-quarters of a white mans’ life
That their lives did not matter
When we know that black lives DO matter

Where the rainbow
When it tried to show its courage and its truth,
To marry, to celebrate its love in every new and unconditional light of day
Was brutalized, murdered, legislated into the closets

Where no one stopped the trains and busses from grinding over human rights
Into the wastelands of Manzanar and Poston, Gila River and Crystal City.

Where too many forgot that Jesus and Mohammad
Were brown skinned brothers in the Revolution of Love

We march
Because to look into the eyes of un otro ser humano and say
You are illegal is a construct of inhumanity

We gather and we march forward
With the wisdom and courage of Black Elk, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks,
Margaret Sanger, Harvey Milk, Muhammad Ali, Winona La Duke,
Cesar Chavez, and Barbara Lee

We march for women and our right to sovereignty over our own beautiful bodies

And Yes! We are STRONG

Whether we are young
Or middle aged
Or white haired as the great head of Kilimanjaro
Or bound to a wheel chair or covered in keloids

We march because this is DAY ONE, AGAIN,
In the fight for our lives

In the the fight for our Mother Earth cloaked in all her colors and great song

For the immense blue mind of the rising sea
For the redwoods, the yellow-faced bee,
The Florida Panther, the gray bats,
And the Beluga whale

We march to sing with Emma Lazarus

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
Oh and those who are cold in the street, homeless and hungry and sick
We march for them

We march and we sing for the true America

We march because the future will ask,
What did you do?

We awoke
We bore witness
We gathered
And We The People marched

And We The People will not stop marching
Will not stop resisting and working and healing
Will not stop singing
Until our real voices are heard
Until our words become the true law


Dian Sousa 1/21/2017






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