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Nazrawit Aug 2016
Dear homeless man on the side of the street
Begging for a dollar, a smile, or a treat
I’m sorry I looked away
I’m sorry I pretended like I didn’t see you
I need to shelter myself from the truth
I want to shelter myself from you
See I can never be a shelter to you
I could tell you there is rest
In the shelter of the Most High
I just assumed you’re probably high
I can’t handle the guilt of greed
So I blame you for panhandling
Now please let me drive by
Before I’m caught up in a drive-by

Dear homeless man on the side of the street
Begging for a dollar, a smile, or a treat
I’m sorry I looked away
I’m sorry I pretended like I didn’t see you
You’re in my blind spot
I cannot see you
If I pull up my blinds
Then I might spot you
So I stay in my dark room
Where I picture a world
Captured in imagination
And developed in reality
I stay in my dark room
I time travel with a flashback
I picture the world in just white
I picture the world in just black
So I expose the injustice
Until it’s black and white
Now I see the picture right
The Calm Jul 2016
This is a call

A wake up call

As the winds of America’s past time pass over the embers of racial distress

Soon their will be a flame

There was riotting in the 60′s and who is say that today it won’t be the same

The ****** memories of America’s past still brings fear

The fire of racial inequality builds and smoke fills the air

Innocent men getting shot down in the street but who really cares?

As a mother’s heart bursts in sadness as she’s reduced to tears

Hands up,don’t shoot!

They think all we do is ****** and loot

But who am I to refute?

Maybe they know who I am and feel my pain? Or maybe I’m saying #BlacklivesMatter all in vain

All in vein cause this pain runs deep

Everytime I see another mother weep

Another black life lost, who will pay the cost? Who will sanctify the souls? And take burning coals to holes where these bodies lay,

Like the one that holds Freddie grey,

Another black man in Baltimore just trying to survive another day, until his life got taken away,

tell me,what more am I to say ,

Hands up don’t shoot

Or how about I can’t breathe!

Please listen and take heed

Systematic racism is trying to destroy the black man’s seed

And what are we supposed to do? Get down on our knees? Cry and plead?

No, what we must we do is Rise up and lead,

That’s what our communities need

That’s what our communities need because we have black daughters, black sons

Black sons whose light won’t get to shine, won’t get to shine because of the barrel of *****’s gun

Oh *****, you wise old soul, you put a badge on henchmen and told them to take control

Told them to go on patrol, and shoot to ****, the young, the old

And you don’t gotta hide, you got the media on your side,

pumping lie after lie, making mockery of every mother’s cry

And that’s why I, stand here with my fist in the air

Staring right at you, ready to lay my life down with no fear

Because like Malcolm, like Martin I’m just another black man working to free the slaves,

Working tirelessly to break down this crooked system you paved

So with the roar of a lion I shout!

This is not a test, this is a call

A call to the people,

Not just a call but an unprecedented sequel

A call to the world to look at every man as equal

And hopefully this equality can take my people out of poverty

Open up blinded eyes so that our white counterparts can see

And for my young brothers to see that there’s no merit in gold chains with no brains

***** still in charge cause he still holds the reigns

Some of our young men got no sense cause they got no change

No leaders to look up to

No fathers to look up to

Just mothers to run to, and to those mothers I say thank you

But to the black men where are you?

I know ***** separated us from our families

but the return of the black man must come quick

Cause extinction is on the verge, and I don’t wanna go back to stones and sticks

Back to lifting bricks, or selling bricks, or flipping bricks just trying to make it

But I look at the state of my people and I can’t take it

So I can’t fake it, cause I feel it

Within me, deep in my soul

So here I am standing, here I am, bold!

No shackles on me, I am going to stay free

And Create a legacy

where I can sit back and watch

My Children be free







M Wheeler
This piece is ongoing. The war against black people in America has not ended, and so as I feel the pains, I will translate them into words and revise this piece.
Tuana Feb 2016
A single day contained so many Journeys and the Stories
as if they were meant to meet.

And Baltimore,
you were the humble host
of all the Reunions.

Belgium,
Filling our stomachs and the time apart
Memories came to life and we smiled — Together

Sydney,
Talking to random seagulls between our conversations
I found a feather given by a fearsome friend

Geneva,
Learning how to pronounce a foreign word— Affogato
I imagined this is how life should taste

Yokohama,
Making fun of the sushi places hidden in the brick walls
My heart secretly traveled back home

Istanbul,
Discovering the colorful lamps
I thanked for kindnesses sent from different directions

Unexpectedly,
All the journeys took us back to the 5th grade,
picking up our favorites at a candy shop
— and I promised never to follow any strangers!

Baltimore,
You’ve taught me how it feels to grow up.
not being somebody else,
but sowing seeds in our moments,
good days and bad days,
— just like we gave a name and fell in Love
with every single corner of the Town.

Baltimore,
Let’s do it again.
(c)Tuana
my dog stops to mark
each abandoned Christmas tree
that has found its grave
on the sidewalk of Keswick Road

Tonight I am walking in boots with laces
instead of a Velcro post-surgery shoe
Each step echoes an ache
that cannot ever fully heal

Half of the porches in Baltimore
are adorned with holiday lights
others with pumpkins, forgotten

The fruit bowl in my kitchen still holds
fruit given months ago by a sympathetic neighbor
Some spots on the apples from Ari
are finally becoming
soft and brown – I eat around the rot

My torso and arms are strewn
with black and blue kisses,
the result of weeks on crutches
My bruised ribs confess:
the real hurt was under here

Tonight I am walking
with a swollen foot, a swollen heart
but no longer broken
Farosty Aug 2015
Won’t the real Charlie please stand up
And put one of those pencils in each hand up

Je suis Charlie too, but Charlie bit me
And for that they rip me
They want to get rid of me

But I’m not them
And they’re not us
But we’re all one
So don’t count up

Put those hands down
We don’t need to see another case of Michael Brown
Yes, protest
But protest with peace
And take the jobs of those you wish you could leash

Give emotions rest
Love is the best defense
Glottonous May 2015
From one end of a sea, I waved to you
And carried it with me out to purlieu.
Over desertous thirst. It sank me through
A mermaid's con: rehearsed to drown on cue.
 
It reverbed off radars who threw it off course,
Who clash out; Who say our sound invokes force.
Who translate our call to a crime; (perforce);
Who trained us to fall, then harbor remorse.
 
I wait still in oceans for your wave back.
I wave me free from fear of dinful attack.
I got it all up here, should they lose track.
But I'm anchored still, -- slow, should you wave back.
A frustrating poem.
Alan S Bailey May 2015
Black people are wonderful!
Some of my best friends are black.
White people are just great too,
They aren't all greedy or "on crack."
So why is it that we can't all feel this way?
Good and bad, right and wrong, and how
We are all a part of this truth all along,
That we all have some part that needs to be fixed,
No humans were made without any faults or wrong,
It's all for the best, we're all wonderful-if the ignorant
Would just get to know them better-it's only a thing
That needs to be addressed, not to hold one ethnic
Color or another to follow a set of rules to the letter.
Sean Flaherty May 2015
It's so gratifying to realize that
I don't care what you're up to
Post-deluge-of-Dilaudid. Or
Adder-all-outta-luck
Where the beige meets the blue, and
The cat's smelling flowers, and
We're squished in this chair, here,
But you don't give a ****.

This was supposed to be the
Maiden voyage of
The S.S. Dog-Staying-Home-Alone
But, instead, familiar
Anxious chills, and shaky
Hands, and aching bones...

Hell, Baltimore is burning, whilst
Nepal just falls apart.
Sun beams, young, and up-and-coming,
Never getting called to start.

Does the wind smell
So sickly, did it die?
With the rest of me?
Is this that "long-count to thirty?"
Am I being too wordy?

"Stop rhyming, we need to drink."
I didn't write this as a sequel but it was the poem I wrote next and they are almost two perspectives on the same conversation
Skylar May 2015
The human being is an inherently contentious creature.

Seven billion rock-wall eyes;
Eyes staring belligerently down seven billion sharp noses;
Noses affixed to seven billion faces;
Faces covered in creases and scars,
Framed in unruly hair
And outlined in stark exactness
By the flames cowering in bipedal shadows.

Into the human heart is chiseled "inexorable".
We are an incongruence:
We row up the rapids,
Scale the waterfall
And taunt the oily heavens from atop Devil's Tower.

We will always get what we want,
Whether it involves killing the albatross
Or playing Gondorff's chess.
Whether we wrest it from Gaia's grasp
Or that of our more miserly peers.

Robert C. crystalised our resolve.

The riot gear-clad Blue and Green with timers in their throats
Stand abreast.
Chanting "Listen to Mother. Mother knows best.",
They begin the forward press.

When an impish grenade leaps our way,
We fling it back between mouthfuls of chips.

The barricades erected
By Mother and ourselves alike
Are many and implacable and incessant,
But they will be broken and overtaken.

They will be broken and overtaken by us,
The humans,
Because we are.
Austin Boston May 2015
Another,
the worst word
for it.

Crimes punished
by firing squad,
crimes like--
being seven years old (Aiyana Stanley Jones)
selling loosies (Eric Garner)
playing with a toy gun (Tamir Rice)
a loose headlight (Walter Scott)
being in a crowd (Rekia Boyd)
being in her mother's car (Jessie Hernandez)
being homeless (Africa)
fitting the description
without options
without justice
drops of blood invigorating
like Neutrogena
like salsa dancing
like another:

Houseless kid Dizzle
shot dead,
spangin' for food
and loose change
outside a bar, the shooting
unjustified says
even LAPD chief,
yet the murderer
walks free.

The worst word to say.
Another.

Taking life brings
no wings to badges
and "heroes" --

Life, fragile. Over.
I am here to remind you about
Justice, capital J, over peace.

Rinse, cycle
repeats. I'll see you at
the barricades.
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