A Tribute to Jack Layton

Jack Layton has succeeded in thinking and living beyond the politics of our prison- whatever limitations we imposed on our own politics, hopes, and dreams for our collective happiness and social justice. He thought and lived outside of the box of our own collective imposed self limitations. I do not know if his life and death will be sufficient to awaken us out of our blind acceptance of the way things are. I dedicate the poem, “Why?” to questions of social and personal happiness and justice that Jack Layton would surely have wanted us to ask. I hope this moves us all to strive for change:


Why do we put up with

crippling poverty?

inhuman realities ?

the monotony of work?

a mortgage for 25

to own a house and abandon a home?

We submit to the way things are,

the rules and system of law and order which tells us

to be patient in the face of  a hungry child

for promise of a change that will come one day  that the child may not live to see;

To have faith in our institutions, our politics.

We seek to change the system while we have no place to stand without it.

We buy a promise that will never come.

We are blind believers of patient change,

submitting to a system and giving up our free will.

Our happy lives have been scripted for us.

Moiz Billah