Which Side Will We Be On?

By Lindsay Airey

White folks, how will we drain the poison from our communities?


Take the assault on Black Life personally, be mobilized to grief and rage that takes action?

Get at least as passionate & dedicated to rooting out the cancer of white supremacy as many of us get devoted to fighting the biological cancers that take our loved ones?

Protect & fight for the rights & dignity of our siblings being unaccountably targeted, imprisoned, displaced & massacred like we fight for our own families, our own children?

Continue reading “Which Side Will We Be On?”

Will You Pull Back The Veil With Me? Plunder the White Vaults Holding Ransom Our Spirits?

By Lindsay Airey (right, on the banks of Nandewine Sippy)

You say
I have a heart
so big
it needs its own moon
to orbit around.

I say
this heart of mine
feels weary
from carrying around
it often feels like
it will drown me.

You say
what clarity you bring!
What love
How is it possible?
In one being.

I say
I am so tired…
from being one being:
feeling it
seeing it
saying it
wiping your tears
building you up
holding you up
digging you out of the pit
with all these
tears, and knowing.

Continue reading “Will You Pull Back The Veil With Me? Plunder the White Vaults Holding Ransom Our Spirits?”

Abrihet Queen

picBy Lindsay Airey

This piece was developed during the second Bartimaeus Institute Online (BIO) Study Cohort 2016-2017.  These pieces will eventually be published in a Women’s Breviary collection.  For more information regarding the BIO Study Cohort go here.

Abrihet Queen, given name Valerie, was born on April 11, 1960, into the Core City neighborhood of Detroit, the sixth of nine children. Her parents worked hard and tirelessly to make ends meet. She soaked in beloved community, surrounded by a wealth of grandparents and parents faithfully watching over the neighborhood. At age three, she was rescued after being kidnapped. “I was snatched,” Valerie recounts, “but the community found me, and I’m still here.” Continue reading “Abrihet Queen”

Lead Us Home By Another Way

Cambria RoadBy Lindsay Airey

Spirit who animates All Things,
help us to listen now.
May we abandon our many pursuits
keeping us ever-busy and never listening
to your gentle,
fierce proddings.

Guide us in the way(s) of life.
Help us release:
our addictions,
white-knuckling, fear-suppressing
and deep-seeded
May we find something more reliable
to keep us warm
winter nights. Continue reading “Lead Us Home By Another Way”

Fifteen Years Fermented

Little CaesarOn September 12, the brand new $800 million+ Little Caesar’s Arena kicked off with a Kid Rock concert on the southern edge of the Cass Corridor in Detroit. It was the culmination of white billionaire Mike Ilitch’s* fifteen-year “dereliction by design,” scores of properties purchased and left to rot.  Land values were intentionally driven lower so Ilitch could buy even more. One week after the grand opening, prompted by this journalistic prose, Lindsay Airey was visited by a nightmare. Her attempt to relay it in poetry: 

A sea of black faces.
Beaten, downtrodden
by violent displacement,
callous disregard.
Greed turned sick
the souls
of these precious ones’
Gluttonous murder,
seeping like poison,
out their murdering pores. Continue reading “Fifteen Years Fermented”

An Ode to Frodo and Team Middle Earth: Gratitudes and Reflections On a Beloved Tale, in honor of those engaged in the struggle for “Middle Earth”

18451590_10212829369908513_6895391242480893518_oBy Lindsay Airey, LMFT (right: with her nephew Mason)

I didn’t choose for Frodo and Team Middle Earth to accompany me through pivotal points in my 20’s, nor to keep being a source of life-saving balm throughout my 30’s. I didn’t choose them to weave a deep bond between myself and other devoted followers of their epic struggle. I didn’t choose them to hold me through multiple seasons of disorienting grief, nor whisper to my deepest hopes, dreams, sorrows and visions of Beloved Community. I didn’t choose them to challenge and inspire me out of dark valleys of despair or numbing ancestral, cultural and imperial demons of depression, nor to rearrange my notions of power, success, and happiness. Continue reading “An Ode to Frodo and Team Middle Earth: Gratitudes and Reflections On a Beloved Tale, in honor of those engaged in the struggle for “Middle Earth””


t and lReaders may not know, but Tommy and Lindsay Airey are ending their time in Detroit this month. It is a serious loss for those of us in Detroit, but we trust it will mean wonderful things for http://www.radicaldiscipleship.net as Tommy and Lindsay continue to write, reflect, and place their feet in new places. This is a goodbye poem for them written by Bill Wylie-Kellermann.

This old world to that beloved Word
this watershed to discipleship
roots, sweet and thirsty, to the road;
in radical vocation, wed disciple to disciple
as time to time
(What kairos is it on the chronos of Detroit?
the nation, the planet, our hearts?) Continue reading “Marry”

Persistent Widow

valerie.jpgBy Lindsay Airey

2He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ 4For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’”   -Luke 18:2-5


To understand why the Persistent Widow jumps off her small passage in the biblical narrative, startles me into attention, and lovingly beckons me to see and follow her, I first need to give some context. I have been in an active process of 12-step Recovery for a little over a year now. This kind of Recovery is a process that, among other things, encourages me to practice loving myself enough to advocate for myself. It’s the kind of Recovery that’s been helping me to unlearn codependent ways—taking false responsibility for people, only to find myself all dried up at the end of the day. Continue reading “Persistent Widow”

Tangela Harris—Remembering a Fierce Midwife of Justice

TangelaBy Lindsay Airey

The white fathers told us, I think therefore I am; and the black mothers in each of us—the poet—whispers in our dreams, I feel therefore I can be free.
Audre Lorde

Tangela. Dear, fierce and tender Tangela. I just heard the news. I don’t even know how you died. I just got word pouring in over social media. 40 years old. How can you be dead? How can it be true?

Mind racing with questions. And tears. Tears and tears and tears. How can it be so? You were so ALIVE! Oh, and the children. The babies who must be grieving your loss. You were so beloved. So depended upon. So ready to respond in the time of need. So true a human. Oh, and how great were the burdens you carried. Rest now, dear Sister. Though our tears and cries long to bring you back, to fill the great void you have left.
Continue reading “Tangela Harris—Remembering a Fierce Midwife of Justice”

Taking The First Step: Reflections on Powerlessness from an Adult Child of a Non-Alcoholic Family (and Citizen of a World Gone Mad)

L and RyBy Lindsay Airey (right, with nephew Riley), on the occasion of working her First Step, prodded by the context and struggle of Beloved Detroit…

Admitting our powerlessness may be very difficult for us. After all, we are the competent ones who held the family, the job, or the world together while the alcoholics in our lives created chaos. How can it be that we, the responsible ones, are powerless?
Pathways to Recovery, AlAnon Family Groups

It is so true. I thought my being “good,” “perfect,” “responsible,” “aware,” “sensitive,” and “insightful” would all be what saved my family and stopped the chaos I felt. If I just figured out what was wrong, what was hurtful, and told them, they would surely change. They just didn’t see it (I told myself), and when they do, they’ll change! But all my tears, insight, responsibility, “goodness,” and withdrawing never saved a single one.
Continue reading “Taking The First Step: Reflections on Powerlessness from an Adult Child of a Non-Alcoholic Family (and Citizen of a World Gone Mad)”