Lifestyled by Paula Joye

The Joye Navigation

May 24th, 2013

Shake The Dust.

Shake The Dust.

Driving to work listening to Breakfast with Linda Motram (ABC 702) I had to pull the car over and stop when this came on.

Stop and listen.

I was so struck by this poem and its delivery that I couldn’t move. It literally made me inert. I have a feeling that I am very late to the party on the poetry of Anis Mojgani but am so glad I’ve discovered it.

His poem ‘Shake the Dust‘ is quite simply one of the most powerful, special pieces of literature I’ve ever read. Share it with your kids, the person you love, the one you don’t.

Motivating, enlightening, a reminder, a warning….it’s wonderful.


Listen Here.

Read Here.

This is for the fat girls.

This is for the little brothers.

This is for the school-yard wimps, this is for the childhood bullies who tormented them.

This is for the former prom queen, this is for the milk-crate ball players.

This is for the nighttime cereal eaters and for the retired, elderly Wal-Mart store front door greeters. Shake the dust.

This is for the benches and the people sitting upon them,

for the bus drivers driving a million broken hymns,

for the men who have to hold down three jobs simply to hold up their children,

for the nighttime schoolers and the midnight bike riders who are trying to fly. Shake the dust.

This is for the two-year-olds who cannot be understood because they speak half-English and half-god. Shake the dust.

For the girls with the brothers who are going crazy,

for those gym class wall flowers and the twelve-year-olds afraid of taking public showers,

for the kid who’s always late to class because he forgets the combination to his lockers,

for the girl who loves somebody else. Shake the dust.

This is for the hard men – the hard men who want love but know it won’t come
For the ones who are forgotten,
for the ones the amendments do not stand up for,
for the ones who are told to speak only when spoken to and then are never spoken to.
Speak every time you stand so that you do not forget yourself,
never let a moment go by you that doesn’t remind you that your heart beats thousands of times a day
That there are enough gallons of blood to make you an ocean.
Do not settle for letting these waves that settle and for the dust to collect in your veins

Shake the Dust

This is for the tired and for the dreamers, for those families that want to be like the Cleavers, with perfectly made dinners with songs like Wally and the Beaver

This is for you

Make sure that by the time the fishermen returns you are gone, because just like the days I burn at both ends, every time I write, every time I open my eyes I’m cutting out a part of myself to give to you. So Shake the Dust, and take me with you when you do none of this…What has this has fucking ever been for me, that pushes and pulls.. pushes and pulls for you!

So grab this world by it’s clothes pins and shake it out again and again and jump on top for a spin and when you hop off shake it off for this is yours.

Make, Make my words worth, make it not just another poem that I write not just like another poem like another night, make it like it’s heavy about us all, walk into it breath it in let it crash through the halls of your arms like the millions of years of millions poets coursing like blood pumping, pushing and making you live, shaking the dust!

So when the world knocks at your front door clutch the knob and open on up, running forward into it’s wide spread greeting arms with your hands before you your fingertips trembling, though they may be.

  • whitewineplease

    Thanks for sharing, just what I needed on a chilly night at home x

  • Zoe

    Paula I watched the clip and just started to cry. So beautiful, it touched my soul. Thank you for sharing, love your work. Zoe

  • KillerChic

    I have listened to this since you posted. Every. Single. Day. Work is a little tough and it reminds me to focus on what’s import. Everyone can be inspirational.

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