Fire / Feu



For the Warriors

Ellen Klaver
Earth First! Journal
February 2, 1986

ou've got to want to fight,
the odds are so overwhelming:
they always have more money, more force,
(Remember, it's force and not power they have more of)
more weapons and the means to use them,
more offices, typewriters, telephones, xerox machines,
secretaries to diligently type and mail memos,
men to deliver the charges,
all the many ways of keeping us busy,
distracting us from the work.
The work, the work...

Pow-Wow at Red Bank, NB
(photo: Pow-Wow at Red Bank, NB. Taken by Dennis Three-Feathers)

You've got to want to fight,
want to do it from some place deep, deep, within,
deeper than the need to take vacations,
grow gardens, play with the children,
deeper than anything else,
from someplace deep enough
where truth is what matters,
where the truth of justice and freedom
is the only, natural truth,
as essential and unquestionable
as breath, or seasons,
or the rock at the center of Earth.
And this truth, and its sister the love of it,
makes you want to fight.

You've got to want to fight,
facing the terrible truths of oppression,
the deadly and violent acts
can grind you down, bleed you slowly.
If you're not careful.
The knowing can be a butcher knife in the guts
that slashes and twists,
or it can be a bitter poison dripping in the blood
like rust,
or, of you're lucky,
maybe it will only be
tired lines around the eyes and an occasional
tightening in the chest - maybe only that.

But whatever else, the knowing has got to make
you want to fight,
it's got to make
you want to fight enough
to know more:
to know that what is worth fighting for is
what lasts - grass, wind, flowing water, mountains;
to know that it will endure longer than
our own lives, to know that it is for what is
all around and through us, through our hands
and the work of our hands,
through our bodies, greater than any one of us.

Knowing that,
knowing that makes you not fear
their threats, their violence, their fear,
it makes you want to fight,
truthfully, honestly,
as hard as you've ever done anything,
because you want to,
you need to.
Like wanting to sink into the sweet earth
after a long day,
like wanting to linger in the blessedness of dreams,
like wanting to wake to clear dawn,
like wanting to rise and work through the sun until the evening star
and maybe past,
first you've got to want to,
you've got to want to fight.