The Decision to Create


We are at a crossroads here in Vallejo. While our city council deliberates whether to declare bankruptcy, or not, I can tell you one thing for certain, the state of the arts remains in the hands of the people who create.
Whether we are in an official bankrupt state or not, the arts are never first in line for the cash, and are first to get cut from the budget when it gets trimmed. Don’t get me wrong. Listen and Be Heard Weekly nor Listen & Be Heard Poetry Cafe applies for or receives any money from the City of Vallejo. Of course city policies effect our business and our ability to produce arts events, but at this juncture the City Council would do well to look for ways to be as creative as the most ingenious artists amongst us to find solutions to our common problems.
Here are some basics worth understanding:
The only person who can get something out of nothing is the one who has the ability to create something new.
The only way to create something new without spending any money is with labor and the materials at hand.
We all have materials at hand, no matter how humble they may appear to be.

To put things in a different perspective consider this. We have complaints about the conditions of the schools that our children are compelled to attend. Conditions could be better. But our children, here in Vallejo, are not compelled to work in gold mines for a pittance of food, or to carry machine guns, or to perform sexual favors. In some other parts of the world, these are the things that parents fret and cry over.
But nothing stays the same. A sure way to see a change for the worse is to act as though nothing will change, to complain and cast blame without creating anything at all. There is no universal law preventing the disintegration of our own society or city.
So my advice is Communicate! Get Busy! Create something New and Contribute to the neighborhood, the community, the city, the country, the World, simply by making the decision to be a part of progress.
Here at Listen & Be Heard Poetry Cafe we work hard to Create an atmosphere where you can Listen and Be Heard, Contemplate and Create and come away with a new attitude about tomorrow. This Friday will be celebrating the African roots of culture and society with poetry, comedy and the beat of the drum, the dream, the drum, the dream.
I hope that you will join us.

Related Posts:

  • Writers on Writing

    Writers on Writing

    Fresh from the field Tony Robles, our own people’s poet, storyteller and radio reporter spoke to the Executive Director of the North Carolina Writers Network, who has a new book out, poets, historians, memoirists, publishers and a poet laureate, about the state of writing, the mental state of writers and their thoughts about banned books… Read more

  • EP35-Ancestral Foodway Holidays

    EP35-Ancestral Foodway Holidays

    As we head straight for the season of deep tradition and sharing, Laura Lengnick and Meredith Leigh share insights into the global food system and resilience thinking. They challenge the dominant technological narrative about climate crisis in favor of human rights and regional foodways. Read more

  • What We Can Do

    What We Can Do

    Let’s practice being different, together! We will refer once again to Laura’s list from, Cultivating Resilience, and focus on: practicing resilience in your community, learning how your ancestors nourished theirs, and a new resilient foodways skill. Read more

  • L&BH Radio is at North Carolina Writer’s Conference Today

    L&BH Radio is at North Carolina Writer’s Conference Today

    Our correspondent, Tony Robles is at the North Carolina Writer’s Conference today, Saturday Nov.4, in Charlotte, NC. Please come to the audio garden at and join the conversation. Read more

  • We Gotta Get High!

    We Gotta Get High!

    Energy attracts like energy, so the more negative input we absorb, the heavier we get. The more positive input we absorb, the lighter, and higher we get. Read more

  • Community Poetry, Banned Poetry, and Multi-media Writing

    Community Poetry, Banned Poetry, and Multi-media Writing

    Tony speaks with Randy Gonzales, Poet, Writer, Community Historian, about his latest book Settling St. Malo. In the second hour I return to a conversation I began with writer, Nilsa Rivera, back in Episode 5 of this season, before Listen & Be Heard ventured into broadcast radio at WPVM in Asheville. We talk about what… Read more

%d bloggers like this: