Local Peace: “The Earth” Zine

On December 11, 2019 a group of local creators gathered at the San Jose Peace and Justice Center in an act of Local Peace to collaborate on a Zine. The theme of the Zine was “The Earth”. While the pages were ultimately not assembled, we recently recovered some and would like to share. The text on the 2nd page is provided below the slideshow.

  • Colorful page including images of flowers, trees, a duck, and a man watering a bonzai tree. There is a drawing of a river and the words "Protect the Beauty" in marker.
  • A sheet made up of primarily text (text provided below) and images of blue eyes and letters cut out to spell "Just Us". The words "soul" and "apathy" spelled out in marker. Drawing of a blue heart in bottom left corner, tombstones in top left corner.
  • Images of bamboo, male monks meditating on a large rock, and a river. Cut outs of text including "Be More Present" "Climate Change = Mass Murder" "We work to transform our society into one that compassionate, inclusive, kind, sustainable, equitable, and interpersonally connected." and "Find Your Center:
  • Word cut outs of "Give Thanks to OUR Planet" and images cut out of green hedges, a black and white globe with Saturn as the planet, a picnic set up in front of a tent, a black and white drawing of a person looking at trees and the trees turning into books, and a silhouette of a woman.

Text from Page 2:

(Preface) I met Paul at our Belong Circle in MLK Library where we dialogued between housed and unhoused community members. Paul read this to us and says he wrote it to read to City Council. We asked him to read it at the Interfaith Homeless Memorial of December 21st. He has the cadence of a slam poet and hearing him read this gave me shivers.

transcribed by Rowan Fairgrove

Poetry 11/27/19
Paul Soto

Mental health, under the weight of your wealth. suffers striving for dignity.

Our humanity under your apathy, our significance beneath your indifference challenges our collective resiliency.

Eyes see, ears listen, let sentient hearts pray, for those with an obsession, who welcome oppression to those living in San Jose.

The Greedy know nothing with regards to Justice. They know only about “just us”.

“Examine my heart” “Search my soul” says San Jose. “What has become of me?” When I look into the eyes, ignoring the cries of those “who are the lease of these”.

Compassion escorted me along the creeks, “These share not San Jose’s wealth” holding apathy’s nose because it reaked. Said it is of no matter, they brought in on themselves.

Along the Guadalupe, poverty mourning, as developers and banks keep oligarchs yearning, providing the means for gentrification, plotting the insolvents decimation.

Instead of new homes, they erect tombstones, casting its shadow along the river. Building your towers, demonstrating your power, in whose shadow the homeless shiver.

This poem’s goal is to remind, we have a mandate to be kind, upon which our humanity is built. Woe to those in haughtiness who chose to suppress the soul’s pangs of guilt.

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