whatever darkens the mind,

remain loyal to what the heart knows

- joy that feeds the bone. 



knock on my door

Have you crunched the numbers

combined the chemicals in endless scenarios

searched every corner of the world for something

intact, only to find

Here's a slightly different version of 'Knock On My Door' voiced during the opening session of Intersectional Justice Conference at The Whidbey Institute, March 2016, Clinton, WA. Following the poem reading is introduction to the conference by host Marnie Jackson and Bill of Rights by Christopher-Sebastian McJetters. I hope you will listen to the entire recording. As for my own dietary preference and stand on an individual’s right to compassionate treatment, I do not follow a vegan diet though I do have 4 years straight experience with the diet, which was chosen in response to an education in environmental toxicology, during which I learned about the bioaccumulation of toxins in the body via foods, water, and air. I am personally inclined to an Ayurvedic diet tuned to the individual’s body-type and imbalances as they shift. I do feel that a plant-heavy diet is healthiest for everyone particularly in light of ubiquitous chemical contamination and the many harms of industrialized animal husbandry, foremost the abuse of the animals and human laborers in direct contact with the animals.

Other animals and plants are encompassed in my concern and care for all living beings, but I am not and have not ever been an animal rights advocate in the narrow sense that this advocacy is often interpreted and practiced. That is, as a threat to human rights of existence. Species conservation has its own dark side in this vein. Exploring this darkness, which intersects with racial injustice among humans, was my primary interest to participate in the Intersectional Interspecies Justice Conference.

that one

touched too?


Did you look Satao in the eye

before his heart stopped

and then


to see his face butchered?


Do you still believe, after all this,

that there is hope for the flowers,

that love is


That though the known world passes

in famine by fire and flood,

field and forest will seed themselves again?


Do you know because you have seen this happen

a thousand times?


If so, then yes

you know me.

Please come in,

you are welcome here

as you are, beautiful

It is hard to gaze

softly enough

to see

oneself clearly.

Allow me

to see you

so you can see me.

Then, together we shall see

we are welcome here

plain as we are beautiful


note: Satao is a great tusker murdered May 30, 2014. Photo of Satao © Mark Deeble & Victoria Stone.

Knock On My Door (2014) joins poems written during a month's witness with elephant and poetry written by invitation for the Monterey Ashtanga Shala. In the poem, the search for something intact refers to person and community.