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Portrait of Jimmy Lee

Today is the first month anniversary since I hijacked my poetry blog and turned it into a photography/portrait blog. For those of you who don’t know, I set out to post a portrait a day, for a year. I started a few minutes after midnight New Years Day, 2017 and somehow made it through the month of January.

I am proud to introduce Jimmy Lee, who described himself as “a rock and roll singer and songwriter.” He had been singing and writing for 25 years out of Rosamond, California, United States. When I was introduced to Jimmy Lee, I had no idea I was about to photograph an international celebrity who was an Award-winning musical artist, Grammy Finalist, NAMMY winner, and a spirited advocate, at the time, supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Jimmy Lee, who is both Mayan and Wayuu, stood with his fellow Indigenous Americans to stop construction of the The Dakota Access Pipeline.

In honor of this momentous anniversary (I made it though a month of portraits), and because the subject of the portrait is an advocate for a current political issue, I will also be posting a poem. And here comes the passive, miserable excuse: Because, I didn’t have that much time to compose the poem to reach this anniversary, I am writing a Villanelle. I do not consider this a very great Villanelle…but…

You can learn more about Jimmy Lee on:

Jimmy Lee Young | Maya | CD Baby Music Store

A Conversation with Mayan/Wayu Recording Artist Jimmy Lee Young

A Flood At The Protest Camp

Flooding was expected at the protest camp.
Fossil fuel usage cannot be best.
“It’s wrong”, said our native champ

who illuminated issues with an oil lamp.
A sit-in. A walkout. A revolutionary contest
flooded, unexpectedly, at the protest camp.

“Spills, leaks, ruptures!” “Find a clamp.”
“Stop the pepper spray, rubber bullet fest.”
Who was wrong? Who was the champ?

Was it cold, or hot, or dry or damp?
The demonstrators did not rest.
As flooding expectorated the protest camp,

fervor and passion upwardly did ramp:
Stripped naked; forced to starve and fast.
If all were wrong, who was the champ?

A peaceful resistor cannot be a tramp.nell
Defenders should never be oppressed.
A flood had hit the protest camp.
It’s always wrong to whip a champ.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

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