On Sunday Dr. Lenora Fulani led a protest march against the privatization of public housing here in NYC, a process in which many of the 600,000 poor and working people who live there will lose their homes. We observed a moment of silence in solidarity with the hundreds who lost their homes and, in at least 79 cases, their lives in a fire in Grenfell Tower, a public housing project in London two weeks ago.
Here is a poem by Nigerian poet Ben Okri about the Grenfell tragedy.
There are fish
And there’s fishing.
Fish you can get at the fish market,
In your favorite restaurant.
Even in a lake or stream if you’re lucky.
Fishing, however, is a
A pointless activity.
This morning on the Battenkill
Birds sing, a mother duck and her ducklings float by.
The trees reflect in the river.
Can they see themselves?
Are they aware of the peaceful beauty they share with us?
Do they care if we sad humans — so driven to succeed, to win,
Catch a fish?
We forget life’s simple joys.
The fish will be there next time.
This morning won’t.