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Maple Mathers May 2016

Dear Mother and Father,*

        I spoke with Ali today. Maybe it was the first time in years. Maybe it was the first time that we’d ever actually spoken at all. Either way. She told me some things that I thought you should know.

Prostitutes, ******, what have you. They’re not born, they’re created.

         Focus on this. Your white picket fence. Your barbecue, your big family dog. Your pristine, rich neighborhood. Your uppity gossip. Your rules, judgements, “charity.”

         Behind your closed doors, however, dwells something else.

         Something like hypocrisy. Something like abuse.

Now focus on this.

         Ali: dark and brooding, even as a small child. Questioning all of your family values, the ones that I had merely accepted.

         My little sister, the ultimate judge, the supreme *****.

         Forbidden black fingernails, black hair; fingernails, which you forced pink, hair that you insisted blond. Friends that you deemed “greasy” and “unsavory”.

         Hateful, teenage Ali. Ditching classes to go off with boys. Returning home with track marks and glossy eyes. Sneaking out with no destination, if only to not be at the one place she couldn’t be herself.


Now, this. That awful “it’s not to late to save your soul” camp. A reform jail. Holier than thou epithets. Squeaky clean repentance. A stockade full of higher authority telling her, “you’re wrong,” telling her, “we are going to fix you.”

         Brain washing robots with backhanded facades.

         Sad, scared Ali. It’s no wonder she chose to rebel, for all she knew of authority was hypocrisy.

         Not just you.

         Instead, a withered, sick janitor.

         The old man who brought her the food that they didn’t serve in the dinning quarters. Fresh fruit, chocolate, and cheese. Food to outweigh the everyday gruel.

         This lonely, forlorn man expecting compensation in return. ****** compensation; unimaginable and certainly ungodly acts.

         This Janitor, he would wander into Ali's room in the early hours of the morning. . . And vanish, several hours later.

        His pockets, empty. His heart, full.

         In this sick and twisted world, the janitor believed that love could exist anywhere. He believed that romantic relationships should not be constricted by something as trivial as age.

         And Ali, she had alternative motives, and compensated her innocence to reach them.

         This was, perhaps, the beginning of Ali's stark career.

         The *compensation of her soul.

         Or, perhaps, it was the man that picked her up next, as a desperate hitchhiker.

         Ali, who finagled the nun’s keys and escaped that ungodly place forever.

         Ali, who climbed into a sinister car with a pretentious man who warped her in more ways than one would even imagine.

         Penniless, solitary, and willing.

         But, think. What would you do with yourself if you had absolutely nothing and no one to lose?

         **Prostitutes, ******, what have you. They’re not born, they’re created.
(All poems original Copyright of Eva Denali Will © 2015, 2016)

Shari Forman May 2013
Everybody Loves Raymond

“The Long, Unforgettable Wednesday”

[Setting: Barron’s home]
[The kids and Debra are at the table eating breakfast.]
DEBORA: So Ali, John, did you guys finish your homework for school?
ALI: yea mommy, we finished.
[Long pause; Debora smiles]
DEBORA: Ok, you kids get your bags ready for school; I’ll go and wake Daddy up.
[Debora comes charging up the stairs.]
DEBORA: Ray, you have to drive the kids to school now.
RAY: It’s my turn already?
[Groans loudly]
RAY: Ok, here are my car keys. Tell them to call if they hit traffic.
DEBORA: Ray, this isn’t funny! I have to go to work now and have two new patients coming in! Get up!
[Debora pulls the quilt off him and opens the blinds]
RAY: [smiles confidently] There’s no way you can get me out of bed Deb.
DEBORA: [seems aggravated with him] Fine then Ray.
[Tries pulling him off the bed when the whole bed collapses.]
RAY: Holy Moly.
[John and Ali walk in petrified]
DEBORA: Hey kids! You have your bags I see.
ALI: Should I be worried?
[Ray quickly jumps out of bed.]
RAY: No, no Ali. Mommy and Daddy were just meditating.
[Debra gives Ray a nasty look]
[End of scene.]
[Ray, Ali and John are in the car heading to their school]
JOHN: What were you and Mommy doing before?
RAY: I told you guys; we were meditating.
ALI: It looked like you were fighting though.
[Ray seems tense]
RAY: Meditating and fighting are very different; therefore, we were originally meditating Ali.  
[Children look baffled]
[Children arrive at school at 9:30 a.m.]
RAY: You know pretty soon; John, Ali, you’ll be able to drive.
[Ray chuckles and the kids smile]
RAY: Love you. Just for future references, don’t go around like me telling the world that people should try meditating; you’ll end up in an environment like me and mommy.
JOHN AND ALI: [Kids laugh] Love you too Daddy.
[Ray arrives home to find his brother and parents in their house and an enormous shopping list to do.]
ROBERT: Ray, what happened to the bed upstairs?
RAY: It wasn’t like you were going to use it anyway Robert.
MARIE: Come Ray, sit down. I made you a roast beef sandwich.
FRANK: I thought that was my ravishing roast beef sandwich!
[Ray walks over to the T.V. and looks at the screen]
RAY: Jets are playing?
FRANK: Oh forget it, we’re done. He’s not going to get the yard goal.
[Makes the kick]
RAY: Yea! Woo!
[Gives Frank a hug and a high five]
FRANK: This calls for a celebration. Marie, go make me a tuna sandwich!
MARIE: What am I, the chef?!
FRANK: That’s why I married you…
[Marie gives Frank a serious look]
FRANK: And because you’re the love of my life ***.
RAY: Oh, God, see you two love birds later; have to go food shopping
MARIE: You didn’t even eat yet!
[Ray smiles and closes the door]
ROBERT: I’m sorry to have spoken, but may I ask kindly if I can have that sandwich?
MARIE: [surprised] what?
ROBERT: What, Rays gone and I just don’t want it to spoil.
MARIE: [Smiles] Good thinking Robbie; I’ll put it in the fridge for him later.
[ROBERT frowns.]
[End of scene.]
Steve Jun 2016
This here's the story of Cassius Clay
Who changed his name to Muhammad Ali
He knows how to talk and he knows how to fight
And all the contenders were beat out of sight

Sing, Muhammad, Muhammad Ali
He floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee
Mohammed, the black superman
Who calls to the other guy I'm Ali catch me if you can

Now all you fight fans, you've got to agree
There ain't no flies on Muhammad Ali
He fills the arena wherever he goes
And everyone gets what they paid for

Muhammad, was known to have said
You watch me shuffle and I'll jab off your head
He moves like the black superman
And calls to the other guy I'm Ali catch me if you can

He says I'm the greatest the worlds ever seen
The heavyweight champion who came back again
My face is so pretty you don't see a scar
Which proves I'm the king of the ring by far

Sing, Muhammad, Muhammad Ali
He floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee
Mohammed, the black superman
Who calls to the other guy I'm Ali catch me if you can

Sing, Muhammad, Muhammad Ali
He floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee
Muhammad, the black superman
Who calls to the other guy I'm Ali catch me if you can

I'm Ali catch me if you can If you'd like to hear it sung. Originally released as a single in 1975.
Ali's Song
by Michael R. Burch

They say that gold don't tarnish. It ain't so.
They say it has a wild, unearthly glow.
A man can be more beautiful, more wild.
I flung their medal to the river, child.
I flung their medal to the river, child.

They hung their coin around my neck; they made
my name a bridle, "called a ***** a *****."
They say their gold is pure. I say defiled.
I flung their slave's name to the river, child.
I flung their slave's name to the river, child.

Ain't got no quarrel with no Viet Cong
that never called me ******, did me wrong.
A man can't be lukewarm, 'cause God hates mild.
I flung their notice to the river, child.
I flung their notice to the river, child.

They said, "Now here's your bullet and your gun,
and there's your cell: we're waiting, you choose one."
At first I groaned aloud, but then I smiled.
I gave their "future" to the river, child.
I gave their "future" to the river, child.

My face reflected up, dark bronze like gold,
a coin God stamped in His own image—BOLD.
My blood boiled like that river—strange and wild.
I died to hate in that dark river, child,
Come, be reborn in this bright river, child.

The poem above has been set to music in a YouTube video by Lillian Y. Wong.

You are free to copy the poem for noncommercial use, such as a school project, essay or report, or just because you like it and want to share, but please credit Michael R. Burch as the author.

NOTES: (1) Muhammad Ali said that he threw his Olympic gold medal into the Ohio River after experiencing racism in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Confirming his account, the medal was recovered by Robert Bradbury and his wife Pattie in 2014 during the Annual Ohio River Sweep. The Ali family paid $200,000 to regain possession of the medal. Ali later made a joke about the incident that caused him to toss his medal into the river. He said that he took his medal into a white downtown restaurant and ordered a cheeseburger. The waitress told him, "We don't serve negroes." Ali replied, "I don't eat them either. Just bring me a cheeseburger!" (2) When drafted during the Vietnam War, Ali refused induction, reputedly saying: "I ain't got no quarrel with those Viet Cong; no Vietnamese ever called me a ******." (3) The notice mentioned in my poem is Ali's draft notice, which metaphorically gets tossed into the river along with his slave name. (4) The poem was originally published by the literary journal Black Medina. It has since been published by Other Voices International, Thanal Online, Freshet, Poems About and Poem List.
Jordan Rowan  May 2016
Ali Girl
Jordan Rowan May 2016
Ali Girl, oh Ali Girl
It's been a long time since we've spoke
You must think I'm a joke
Trying to reconnect something I expect must've gone up in smoke
If I wear you down or make you frown
Please doesn't hesitate to push me around

Ali Girl, oh Ali Girl
I think that my youth is a mess
And when my heart reflects on this lack of respect I hope you tear it right out of my chest
I can't stop or start a dying heart
So please just leave me in the dark

Ali Girl, oh Ali Girl
I know that you'll be fine
And when the winter winds blow away these petty sins I hope you keep me in your mind
When life is free and loved to be
Please tell a story about me
Mark Lecuona Jun 2016
It is very difficult to explain what someone means to you who you've never met. I suppose we all have our heroes and those we admire greatly. But beyond admiration, sometimes there is someone who has an effect on how you view the world; an effect that shatters your naiveté and profoundly opens the door of the human mind, personal behavior and possibility. For me, Muhammad Ali was that person.

“The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

That one quote of his is all you need to know about the man. It transcends sports and the violence of his chosen profession. And while we all admire the sheer will of his being to over-come a near death experience in order to win a fight, it was his willingness to accept ridicule, scorn and accusations of treason or of being a coward that showed how much more his will was than just beating up another man.

As a child I was loved boxing and studied up on its history, especially the heavyweight division. I was aware of Jack Dempsey and the long count, Joe Louis and how he fought Max Schmelling, the pride of **** Germany and how Joe came knocked him out in the first round after a previous loss to Max, but then later in life he became friends with Joe Louis and assisted his former rival financially in his later years, eventually financing his military] funeral in 1981. , Rocky Marciano and his undefeated record and Sonny Liston with his terrifying scowl. But to me Muhammad was the greatest of them all because he combined power and speed. He could fight like a middle-weight and stand toe to toe with the strongest men who entered the ring with him.

But all of that suddenly didn’t seem to matter when I learned that he refused to go to Vietnam. At the time, like so many of you I was a child. All I knew about the war was the child-like fantasy that our soldiers were supermen and that we were going to win the war. We were the good guys. And yet here was this black man, so known to me suddenly refusing to go. I learned about a phrase called “conscientious objector.” I wondered how a person could just say they wouldn’t go because it was against their religion; especially if this same person was savagely beating people in the ring. It was a dichotomy that I do not fully understand even to this day. I wondered how a man who had the courage to enter the ring and fight would be called a coward by other men who would never challenge him to a fist-fight. I wondered about hating our own country and saying that he had no reason to hate the Vietcong. I wondered about what our country had done to blacks over the years and how maybe, just maybe they had a point.

And I wondered about becoming a Black Muslim and changing his name while calling his former name, his "slave name."

These things all entered the mind of a child. And I didn’t know what to think. But as time passed and he continued on as a boxer, I continued to admire his skills. I admired the way he carried himself after his defeat against Joe Frazier in their first fight. That was a shock to me because I thought Ali to be almost god-like in his skills and the way he lived life. But then he came back and later defeated Frazier twice. It taught me that we can be great even with a blemish as he was no longer undefeated.

And then came George Foreman; another terrifying man in the ring. Even more terrifying than Sonny Liston. Nobody thought Ali would win. But win he did and it was the greatest victory of all; because it was a modern day tale like David versus Goliath; Ali showed how his mind was his greatest weapon and how it can help a person overcome any odds; any disadvantage if they are willing to use and believe in themselves. Again, the possibilities of life were presented to me. You can do it another way.

But you have to believe in yourself.

“The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

And now these words mean so much to me because I believe I have not wasted the past thirty years of my life. I believe I have changed. And I believe I am now able to consider all possibilities before I decide what I believe and how I should judge the actions of another person. Though we are taught not to judge we find ourselves in situations where we are forced to judge. And when a man refuses to serve while another man does serve, giving his life for his country, then it is hard not to judge. And I’m not here to tell you that Ali was right not to go because I know I have friends who went along with their Fathers. And they deserve every honor and not a message that they died in vain. But what Ali did was make me think about the future and a world where a young man should not be forced to give his life for the ambitions of another man. Or the fears of another man. It taught me to think about peace and love. And to understand the culture and burden carried by another man.

Because not everyone is raised by loving parents. Not everyone was born free and made to feel special. Not everyone can live a life of relative ease.

And very few have the courage to live their life by their conscience. Muhammad Ali was that type of man. A black man in America, straddling the times of Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A black man living in a time of hate and violence. A MUSLIM black man who saw a CHRISTIAN black man assassinated for speaking out for TRUTH, JUSTICE AND LOVE.

All I can say to my children is that this man WAS A MAN.

RIP Muhammad. You rose before us all and now you can take your place among angels who stand waiting for your great soul.
This is not a poem but I wanted to eulogize the man and give you my thoughts; there are so many young poets on this site and I think you should look into his great life if you do not know much about him. I'm 57 and he was a huge part of the life; like The Beatles. Like Dylan. Like Martin Luther King. Jr.

All of this is to say that I was blessed to grow up in a time of great social change and the courage Ali possessed was other-wordly.
Paul Butters  Jun 2016
Paul Butters Jun 2016
He floated like a butterfly,
Stang like a bee –
The one and only
Muhammad Ali.
“I’m The Greatest”, he always said,
20th Century Sports Personality,
Put his rivals to bed.

Yes, he WAS the Greatest, that’s for sure.
Above the rest by a massive score.
Faster than a hummingbird,
Slicker than a snake,
Those quick hands of his
They made opponents quake.

He’d get into bed
Before the light went out.
Rarely a whisper,
Usually a shout.

Like a long-distance runner
Ali had the endurance.
Anyone who fought him
Needed lots of insurance.

Ali was great and didn’t he know it.
A witty speaker and amusing poet.
Some of his lines I’ve used right here:
They had his rivals shaking with fear.

No way would Ali fight the Viet Cong.
For that he merits a Nobel Gong.
He was the champion of the oppressed,
A hero with whom we all were blessed.

He had charisma, way beyond sport.
Ali influenced our every thought.
He’ll call into Hell on the way to Heaven,
To knock out Satan, in round seven.

Paul Butters
After a sad weekend during which we lost The Greatest.....
Ceyhun Mahi Sep 8
Aşk meydanında elbet şah-ı merdandır Ali,
Yani gerçek mertlere yalnızca sultandır Ali.

Yüzü parlak bir güneştir, ki ışınlar yelesi,
Türlü iman ateşinin içre aslandır Ali.

''La feta illa Ali la seyfe illa Zülfikar'',
Zülfikarıyla devamlı küfre düşmandır Ali.

Sanki iki tane şimşek çıktı ondan ansızın,
Hak yolunda kükreyen ol şir-i Yezdan'dır Ali.

Rafizilik ehl-i beyte sade aşk duymak ise,
Rafizi'yim ben, bu gönlümde canandır Ali.

Abdestsiz sahte aşık gibi haşa gezmeyiz,
Bab-ı şehr-i ilm hem, hem şah-ı irfandır Ali.

Hazret-i Peygamber'e aşk duymayan dinsiz olur,
Mâhî bil, Peygamber'e elbette hayrandır Ali.
Ali is the son in law of the Holy Prophet of Islam (may peace be upon him). Not only is he praised by all Muslims, people outside of the faith have praised him for his multiple qualities.


Ali is the shah of the brave in the field of Divine Love, I mean, Ali is only king to the truly brave.

His face is a shining sun and its beams are his mane; Ali is a lion in all types of faith's fires.

''There is no man like Ali and there is no sword like (his) dhulfiqar (his scissor-like sword), Ali is with his sword an enemy of unbelieve.

It's like two pieces of thunder are coming out of his sword; Ali is a roaring lion on the path of truthfulness.

If being a Shiite is only feeling love towards the Prophet's family (and Ali) than I am also one, because Ali is a beloved in my heart.

(But) we certainly are not like unclean fake lovers (of the Prophet's family), (because) Ali is the door of the city of knowlegde, and the shah of spiritual knowlegde.

The one who does not feel love for the Holy Prophet is not a Muslim, (and so) O Mahi, Ali is a admirer of the Holy Prophet.
martin  Nov 2013
Cloud busting
martin Nov 2013
I've had enough of all this wind and reindeer
We otter go away
Holidays are important, my parents tortoise that
Weasel have to look on the internet
You know I can't bear the heat
But here's a spa hotel where I'm sure they would panda to your every need
Alpaca suitcase right away

Toothpaste tube, cattle class
Purple stripes, rows of lights
A newly formed castle white
In concrete, steel and glass

Cloud-high halls, giant pots
Re-charging bodies strewn around
Turning deeper shades of brown
Volcanic sand, hot black rock

We watch a floating city, blazing light
Like a dying star, fade into the night


Ali, where do these bananas go?
What kind of tree is this?
How far does this levada flow?

Ali takes the tourists out
He throws some breadcrumbs in the water
He likes to feed the trout

Madeira born in forty five
Ali told me many things
Ali, our levada walking guide

His family was very poor
He collected mussels from the shore
And sticks to burn for heat
For today his mother said
I have no food and we must eat
We have to eat

Ali, where are all the vines?
How long before your boots wear out?
Do you drink the local wine?

Do the tourists drive you mad
With all the questions that they ask?
Ali smiles, shuffles us aside
To let some others pass
Muhammad  Ali- Poster,personification and Palsy

When I was young,I had posters of only two;
Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali ,you.
I was uninitiated to understand Che Guevara.
Frankly,my dear; I had no clue.
Rest in Peace, Muhammad Ali ,Sir.
A part of my childhood and adolescence goes with you.

From Cassius Clay,the champion
to Muhammad Ali,
With the whole world as his nation,
You were an awesome thing to happen to religion.
A  naive thought-One may argue.
But I was small then,
it was a child's view.
My young mind questioned,
how could you float like a butterfly
and how could your punch be
like the sting of a bee?
It was you who made me understand,
what Metaphors do.

You began to move slow.
I saw you shaking too.
Your body suffered,
but you remained unshaken.
More than what it could,
You allowed me to know,
What this 'Shaking Palsy' could not do.

Rest in Peace,
I bid adieu.
It all feels strange,
this world is new.
But the World is not that brave.
Muhammad Ali, Sir,
without you.
Ivan Brooks Sr Jan 2018
As thousands of migrants sojourned from Timbuktu
All destined for Libya from the ancient Kingdom of Mali,
One ,a patched lip skinny kid , greeted them''Assalamualaikum''
''Why are we dying in Libya ?'' asks the young migrant called Ali.

For several months , everyday , from sunset to sunrise
Ali said he too dreamed of being a part of the mass migration
'' Oh my dear brothers, I wish your plans were otherwise ''
For many of you will not reach your final destination.

Ali said Libya was the cradle of modern day slavery,
Death trap ,a magnate that lures desperate poor Africans
Escaping prosecution, economic hardships and poverty
Just for them to end up dead like sardines in cans.

Oh Africa Ali asks,where are all of your leaders?
What have we done to deserve this unspeakable evil?
Is it because of the hues of our beautiful black leathers?
When did we become the slavery anvil?

Man to man , is so unjust '' he quoted Bob Marley
'' But Arab to Black Africans is another sad story ! ''
'' Why are Black people being sold into slavery?
Why is the whole world sitting so supinely?

~ Ivan Brooks Sr ~
Man to man is so unjust ''says Bob Marley
''Arab against black man is another story'' says the migrant called Ali

— The End —