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Dream Beyond™ with Youth To The People

11 Nov 2020

What we seek is love, justice, progress.

On my desk, I keep a note from a friend that says “Just Keep Going.” It’s a reminder that slogging through any mud takes one step, then one step more… It seems simple enough, seeking to push outward beyond the boundaries that formerly constrained us. When we dream, we create the possibility of a new reality—any one we want—unfolding. And we step up.

As Julie Dawkis alludes to in systems, her poem for Dream Beyond, the fifth issue of To The People zine, our collective healing happens first as a dream, a thought. But what happens next is what makes all the difference.

The pages of Dream Beyond are filled with activists and changemakers doing the work within their communities, and they are often making a difference on a national, even global level. I hope you’ll find them as inspiring as we do, and perhaps become inspired to dream and take action of your own.

— Alyssa Shapiro


i. the breath
the irrigation system rumbles along 
a summer field bordering country road, 
its latticed ribs breathing life upon unpatented 
seedlings; this field belongs to 
a family. 
ii. the belly
course curriculum forms a different
shape in curious mouths, now rich
in flavors of fruits bitter and sweet and
sour in measure; schoolchildren feed 
on once-omitted truths and grow 
hungry for more.
iii. the bones
in a city, you might, incorrectly, assume bones
are buildings or concrete
sidewalks or potholed streets — 
but bones are the people 
that travel to school, work, the park, the potluck,
these people that hold up what we tentatively, 
with great love, call home. 
iv. the blood
the rivers mapping
muscle and tissue make thumping
music of delivering need — money,
food, shelter. like
the Nile, the blood flows up — no vital
organ relies upon the trickle down of
that which is necessary. 
v. the brain
place a thermometer 
to the ocean’s salty temple; it
no longer burns with thick
fever. bleached coral mends 
into a wrinkled nervous system, 
and the great reefs team with the darting
silver of sunlight upon scale. 
vi. the love
in a dream, the body heals

Julie Dawkins is the 2019 National Student Poet for the Southwest Region. Her work explores themes such as social justice and humanity, and she draws frequent inspiration from her home state of Oklahoma.

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