About Words For Haiti

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Words for Haiti is a concept organized by Jason Mars carried out by some of the most talented poets of this generation. As poets our words carry life, our words guide readers to truths hidden behind facades. This site features a POEM concocted by poets from many different backgrounds who recognize the effectiveness of their voices. Catastrophic events often remind us of the comfort which we take for granted or the lack of compassion for the rest of the world. Words for Haiti gives this poem to the world in an attempt to remind you that there is a world beyond our own. May our words linger on in the minds of the apathetic, causing a stench that demands the attention of those who choose to look away.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Big Picture

These pictures were taken on February 1st. Three weeks after the earthquake struck Port-au-Prince.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Go Fly a Kite!

Richard Deris and Wasnel Samuel Guirand are living temporarily in a tent outside The Salvation Army Haiti Divisional Headquarters in Port-au-Prince.

It’s a breezy day in Port-au-Prince, and its boring in their tent. For centuries a breeze anywhere in the world has attracted children and their kites, and these kids are no exception. But, Richard and Wasnel had no kite and no money with which to buy one.

So, they made their own.

Using a discarded garbage bag, strips of cloth salvaged from the near-by trash canal and stripping the middle spine of a coconut palm leaf, they fashioned small kites that catch the wind and provide hours of play and relief from the boredom of their present circumstances.

What a simple, beautiful way to remind oneself that in the wake of a terrible natural disaster, joy and a little fun can still be found in the sun that continues to shine and the breeze that continues to blow.

Written by Laura

The strength of Humans

The fact that individuals are still being pulled from underneath destruction makes my soul smile.

Earthquake survivor spent two weeks trapped under rubble:

Rescuers find 16 year old girl alive 15 days after the earthquake:

By: Jason Mars

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


The earth shakes underneath my feet

I step right before left in search of something

Hope dangling nothing in front me

But I can't turn back because there is nothing in that direction save
for a black hole

I am starting to forget which way leads me forward....

This is simply a scene unseen by me

I have never been to Haiti

In fact I have never been a lot of places

But when God places words in your heart

You have to open your mouth like a book and allow the world to read
the lines

Then maybe we as humans will focus on a world outside of our everyday

America sits idle

Turning the channel from live coverage of destruction to American idol

Or the latest reality series

The truth of the matter is that reality stares us in the face

And we often look away

As we spend less time thinking of others and their pain

And more time spending for pleasure

What we discard others see as treasure

My wealth is in words and I give them freely to causes

That call out to me

Reminding me that less is more

I have found that the richest people are the most morally poor

The world is malnourished as far as compassion is concerned

Apathy keeps pulling at my coat tail but I am held up by concern

Starving children make me sick to my stomach

Some things are just to difficult to digest

You should have thought of misfortune before the tip of my pencil
introduced you to it

But I digress:

I found something amidst the rubble of ruin

Bodies broken in the blackness of night

Laying motionless forgotten in a corner of this forgotten world

Media makes its way to capture catastrophe

So that people can tune into a world that they would normally tune out

Zoom out:

This is my life

Days of night

Until something happens

And it becomes lights camera action

A show to skip over

For something less intense

Something more entertaining

To take your mind off of the mess that you can't bear to watch.

Jason Mars

Friday, January 15, 2010

Words For Haiti

God places a hand of concern on the shoulder of apathy

His voice, Calamity, shakes the rest of the world to gain our attention

Reminding us that the loss of life ripples wider than the most thundering of quakes.
And dust settles on rock-hewn skin like cremation.... we have been genetically predisposed to carry the burnt pain of our ancestors on our sweat pores like blessed religion.

My heart assures me that my feelings are normal. It is far beyond the rational mind to understand such destruction. To know that it is happening right now and not be able to lend a hand. But we are only helpless if we allow ourselves to be. So we surrender our thoughts to you, for too long we ignored you

The more I think, the more I realize that I do not know much about human nature, but I hate that it takes this much loss for us to gain a sense of responsibility.

We should have been there long before you crumbled, may we find our character buried somewhere beneath the grace of your rubble.

find more than bone but souls
find humanity
dig us from beneath our filth
too long have we tried to cover you
wash us new
this heartbreak will force the stories we try hard not to hold on to

Our souls rubbed as raw as your hands as you shift through the broken
bless you if you can see God amongst all that rubble
today I love you, bleeding guilt. Hope. Terror. Prayer.
Today I love you as if you were mine and I desperately want to piece you back together.

May the spirits of the fallen be reincarnated within each of us so that their story can live.
Let us re-attach their broken limbs using verbal glue.

I remember my grandmother saying it’s pointless to bring flowers to the dead, so instead we send regret scented supplies to supplement what you have lost.
Your story will not be buried with your children.
It will live on in the mouths of witnesses, spectators that finally have the balls to admit that you exist.

You and your Land of high mountains, fist curled, back against the wall
how they topper the lies and threatened to de-God you
your truth now resonates in our hands like destiny manifested
and we shall hand them over so dreams can once again touch reality

This is the re-birth breaking though bones and barriers--everything that came before has led us here: to the undeniable interconnectedness of a people no lines of separation/ no space between. Every breath in every child in every crevice in every corner matters. The weight of our worth will be measured now, the universe watching and recording, hope swollen in her lens.

Showing struggle in an unfamiliar light…as humans we tight rope between Heaven and Hell, the wind pushing us in either direction…divided we fall, and our screams fall on deaf ear, our hands reaching for compassion grasping darkness tightly for fear that we will fall out of touch with light…Haiti, our fallen comrade, let our words serve as wings to bring you from the depths of destruction…let our voices guide you in your blind attempt to better your circumstances…in each letter find steps to a ladder of love and compassion until you reach the pedestal on which you belong.


Jason A. Mars

Fisseha W. Moges

Adam (In-Q) Schmalholz

Youssef Grant

Natalie Patterson

Yesika Starr

Daniel Weingarten

Thea Monyee

Venessa Marie Marco

Gina Loring