White Privilege Moon

Posted by on Mar 26, 2021 in Blog | No Comments
White Privilege Moon

White Privilege Moon

Full Moon  March 28, 2021


the moon is rising, waxing, full, setting, waning

over cities, over gardens, over jails & wilderness

colored by gases in the atmosphere & greed economics

made painterly by clouds, silhouettes of ridges

treelines, escarpment, snow, fog, wind

the moon inflected by minor & majestic


this moon is backgrounded caste dominance,

an un-interrogated assumption, cultural premise—

we cannot homage lightly or easily swoon


the moon of white privilege demands attention

not just while convenient or in outrage

but manifest in sustained life-long commitment

to going through the door the moon illumines:

on the other side is a life of birth & death

of solitude & solidarity, of inquiry & empathy,

a transformation of suffering


the moon of white privilege is a home-leaver:

hitting the road with Claudia Rankine’s Richard Pryor

serious word play: the path of just us


we must renounce white privilege

& pilgrimage hard to find the gate


over poverty, over hunger, over uncertainty

in classrooms, nurseries, shelters, & pharmacies

the moon of white privilege looms in plain sight

it does no good & needs deeds to be done in


just us/justice—like spring, like lovers, like death

demands that we grow, change, immediately evolve

new forms of prayer of self & other


O ineluctable moon of just us!

Keep pulling me to action, toward reflection!

Help me renounce pale imitations of peace,

disturb me to make justice the centerpoint

of this wandering life,  a turning place

& font of poetry dispelling white racial paranoia!


O courageous moon of pragmatic agenda:

let we of white privilege not stop now!


in thawing fields, in hospital rooms & airplanes,

in check-out lines, in the privacy of individual choice:

let me work tirelessly to transform unearned privilege

into tendencies of tenderness & affinity,

a new identity, north star of equality

purposeful multiplicity


Through that gateway moon

may I together pass

with all beings.



Poem by Qayyum Johnson

Drawing by Suiko McCall. Moon of Just Us, 2021. Ink on paper, 8×10″. suiko.art

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.