We The People

by: Israel F. Haros Lopez

With a message tailor-made for our present moment, Israel F. Haros Lopez’ poem “we the people” is an ecstatic declaration of ultimate connectedness that exhorts the reader to activate a deep sense of hope: “this america/ of us/ this america of them/ this america/ needing to heal itself unto itself/ for the sake of moving forward.”

we the people

we the two legged
we the winged we the snake people we the tree nations
we the mother earth as a living being

we recognize the vibration and life of water
we the two legged five fingered
and all the variations of us

recognize that without water there is no life

we reconstitute old treaties

between all nations of these americas

we the people
recognize all people
walking nations flying nations

hummingbird nations butterfly nations
nations of eagles and condors

confederations of mountains
and mountain nation peoples
peoples that have lived underground

in refuge
in underground railroads

we the people recognize the debt handed over
to the peoples all peoples
of what was a soveriegn nation

all the debts handed to native peoples
of burned and broken treaties

of enslaved africans and their descendants
and all the chains handed to them

over and over
all the empty promises of 40 acres and a mule
on stolen land

all the empty promsies of an american dream
handed to all hyphenated americans

asian american enslaved on the railroad
mexican americans enslaved in bracero programs
and sent back to mexico with “Operation Wetback”

we recognize all these herstories, theirstories, histories
and all the layers of truths needing reconcilations

with the mother earth
with all her children
whether they speak human languages or not
recognizing the breath of life

the entity we call air
and the necessity to keep this spirit clean
and free of toxicity

we the people

recognize the layers of trauma and healing
needing to be repaired

and choose to move forward from here

as a people of all nations
all colors all creeds
all the differences

all the layers of racial anxiety
needing to be bridged
all the layers of humanity
needing to be bridged

all the layers of our consciousness needing to be bridged

all the layers of displacement
we have caused other nations to face
other countries

and recognize deer nations, elk nations, buffalo nations
all the four legged nations displaced
across this nation and abroad

in our efforts to manifest a lie of a destiny
that we are now remanifesting
re visioning
re imagining
another destiny

freeing ourselves
seeking true freedom

and another system of labor
that does not bind us to enslavement
of ourselves as workers
of others as workers

and gives back everyone
every living entity their peace
and their dignity

their names
and their layered ancestry
and the reprecussions
of dismantling
and remantling

reconfiguring this america
this turtle island

and all of turtle islands relations

this america
of us
this america of them
this america
needing to heal itself unto itself
for the sake of moving forward
for all life
for all generations to come
seeking reciprocity
and true emancipation

truth and reconciliation
and not waiting 200 years
or more to be re written

always coming back to the notion
that nations are not nation states
that tribes and families are big and small
and tribes and families and communities
and cities and states need to have principles
of self governing that can help heal these herstoreis, theirstoreis, histories
of self governing that can help heal themselves
of self governing that can help recognize the multiple intersectional
forms of identity, politics, thoughts, religion, gender, prayer, science,
art, and cultural formations that allow for the fluidity of being
amongst each other and amongst other local and national self governing nations

seeking always true freedom
seeking what is true for the diversity of self governing bodies
in a way that does not harm others
seeking what is freedom for the diversity of self governing bodies
in a way that does not harm others

and places non-linear and linear ways of thinking and being
as holding equal and relevant manifestations
to our wholeness as beings as part of living breathing organism
that we are one
and inside this oneness
we are one with the earth
and all the parts that make mother earth a living breathing being
all the parts of her that make up her body and being
that we remember all the rape and pillaging done to her
and all the rape and pillaging that has been done to her children
and begin to heal and reconcile that

and create layers upon layers upon layers of harmony
that will take generations to manifest
but that we acknowledge that we are in the process
the stepping forward
and movement in our steps
our minds
our bodies
our beings
our spirits
our consciousness

and every action taking towards that
is our collective responsibility
our collective consciousness
to our local and universal environment


Israel Francisco Haros Lopez was born in East Los Angeles to immigrant parents of Mexican descent. He is a recent recipient of the Kindle Project’s “Makers Muse Award” for his community work. He brings his firsthand knowledge of the realities of migration, U.S. border policies, and life as a Mexican American to his work with families and youth as a mentor, educator, art instructor, ally, workshop facilitator and activist. He has been published in online journals and in “Poetry of Resistance: Voices of Social Justice,” an anthology by Arizona Press. He has self-published two collections of poetry, “Waterhummingbirdhouse: A Poetry Codex” and “Mexican Jazz Volume 1,” along with many chapbooks.

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