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Jack Foley and Nina Serrano Pay Tribute to Mary Rudge 10/1/14

Cover to Cover, KPFA 94.1 fm, Friday, 3 pm

mary rudge
Mary Rudge: photo by Marjorie Lynne Wagner

Tribute to Mary Rudge

Listen, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 at 3pm when host-producers Jack Foley and Nina Serrano combine their KPFA-fm radio programs to honor the memory and poetry of poet laureate of Alameda Mary Rudge. Rudge passed peacefully in January of this year leaving behind a body of published and recorded poems. Poets Foley and Serrano are offering an exclusive KPFA multi-media package, consisting of  a CD of her interviews and poems and a 28 minute DVD by Ben Goldstein ,”Jack London and the African-American Community: an interview with Mary Rudge.” It will be available only as thank you gifts to listeners who donate on October 1 to the KPFA upcoming fund drive. The graphic designer for the CD and DVD is Paul Veres.

Rudge is best known for her cultural activism, her sharp poetic insight and spiritual view. Her poetry is accessible, lyrical and passionate. As poet laureate of the City of Alameda she brought poetry into the forefront of a myriad of activities though out the San Francisco Bay Area and the world. She especially focused on encouraging young poets in the schools and in the movements for world peace. Mary Rudge was crowned in Italy as “Princess of Peace.”

by Mary Rudge

May every place you look

stones become bread

may mangos and papayas

and pineapples

fall into your hands

may you feed the hungry

and give them flowers

May swallows fly in the winds

of your passing

may monkeys dance

in the path before you

may children of all people

be your children

and all people be your family

may singing of small birds

in air surround you

may poems always be in your mailbox

coming in to praise you

going out to right wrongs

Remember you have the blessing

of all women before you

combing their hair by the lake

naming all beautiful things after


remember the women

who learned to walk on fire

lit your way


the women who breathed fire

have blazed your path


the women whose fire burned

pentcostal from forehead and brain

transformed your vision

remember your ancestress

the temple dancer

remember your ancestress

the Queen of the Euphrates

remember your ancestresses

Esther and Ruth

the mother who bore you

the woman you might have been

in another life

remember the women in chains and


with barbed wire wounds.

You are the one

whose sisters were buried alive

you are the one

whose sister drowned when

the river rose

whose sister died of famine

and drought

you are the one

who worked in the fields

of California

and slept by the roadsides

harassed in the marketplace

in a far country sent to Siberia

for speaking out,

locked up as insane

against your will

you are the woman imprisoned

in burnoose

with clitoris cut in ritual

whose husband was chosen for you

you are the woman burned

for your dowry

you are the woman whose feet

were broken and bound

who could not walk

You are the woman who

leaped over walls

who leaped into hearts

whose heart leaped forward

May others embrace and join you

May everywhere

you walk

stones become bread.

Published in “Beat, She Can’t Be Beat” by Mary Rudge

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