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If those young men had looked like me,
how diff'rent everything would be.
There'd be no blood or teardrops shed.
Had they been white, they'd not be dead.

If Mike Brown had been Michael White,
he surely would have been alright.
"Don't shoot!" would not need to be said.
Had he been white, he'd not be dead.

From Ferguson to East L.A.,
we hear the stories every day.
"Protect and Serve" til streets run red.
Had they been white, they'd not be dead.

Call it racial immunity,
where skin-tone is impunity.
Don't let yourself be so misled-
had they been white, they'd not be dead.

As more and more young ones are slain,
and protests are met with disdain,
you may debate what I have said,
but were they white, they'd not be dead.
Wrote this when Mike Brown was killed in Ferguson. I'm sad that it maintains relevance today.
Eleanor Apr 2019
And did they hear, those on-looking distant
Rules, hear did they what was said to the world?
That story must be told by one “me,” can’t
Have a sonnet without that one letter mold—
First person voice, and make it beautiful,
Can’t have a sonnet that doesn’t love,
That doesn’t speak from a mouth of its own
That doesn’t rhyme, that does not resolve
Can’t call it a sonnet if it won’t grow old,
Not Shakespeare but Brooks, not Byron but Stein
And here— the words that did not do what they were told
And here— rules fall, away in line in line
But author? Who author, who inspire? Who make?
Un-sonnet, un-sung it, not claimed. Not take.
Sharon Talbot Sep 2018
If spirits can walk the earth after life ends,
Or even before, to soar in flights unhindered
By physics, let me dance then!
To reel, arms out, on a vivid green lawn
In a garden before a comfortable house,
Where lush flowers grow and summer reigns,
Touching rows of Constable trees that tower, emerald,
And violet-shadowed even at noon or painted
In twilight, soft before a rising moon.
I would skip over roads and find that field
That lies, protective, above the Connecticut,
Watching as it winds lazily northward.
Then, being sure that all is right,
That the corn is tall and full,
I would speed up to a rounded hill
Above a Victorian barn in Leyden,
Ten acres of rye grass for the cows.
I would stand at the summit and gaze
Far away, down the sleeping valley in its haze,
To the little towns and glittering in
The sun, my alma mater, towers
Of attempted wisdom, of spires and dreams.
Then I might then bathe in a little lake
Where I once romped with friends
After a wedding, **** and laughing
While puzzled farmers watched and leered.
As before I would flee to the river that wound
Down between the hills, splashing through
Pools in shade and sun, basking on smooth stone
Whose marbled veins glow in the canyon light,
Remnants of an ancient era, of pressure and time.
Then on I’d go, bounding from one hilltop to another,
Turning north from the cesium-laced Deerfield,
Passing Vermont’s border to stroll the streets
Of Brattleboro, Putney and Newfane.
I might find a canoe and glide up the West River,
Somehow floating above the rapids and dam,
To rest on the flat water as the sun sets,
Skimming lightly, watching the trout rise
To sip dancing insects or hear the splash
Of a bass as it flicks the surface with its tail.
And then I would sit with the ones I love,
Silently, breathing in the mist that rises
As the sun slips below the hills;
Sunset-colored, elliptical echoes
Catch the low swells like waving glass.
I would wait here until morning returns,
Not ready to leave this beauty or the world.
Reverie about the places I love.
A T Bockholdt Dec 2017
Right Downtown where
buildings scrape blue skies
and leaves share
their space on the cement,

A vagrant just on the end of 10th
dances wildly capturing high-class sentiments
he throws wide arcs of brown shrouds
and falls with practiced elegance,

the city waltz between trees,
the jazz swing stepped proud,
in harmony with the breeze
your lolling head beats

out an ancient melody.
You belong to the streets.
You creak at the knee.
You smile right at me.

Between the glass pane
you see mine and wink,
you are perfectly framed—
I never do look away.

If you weren’t all
that I am not
so free
would I have seen

the officer turn the street
his rigid blue uniform taut
like his skin and hard
like his eyes?

Officer! I wish I could’ve
screamed, would you
had heard me? Turned a cheek?
Street dancer, city slicker,

You were everything—
****, the way he tapped his feet
floating high, mesmerized,
stunned, I just watched

sitting in a leather chair
hair dye dripping blood red,
his cracked lips flare
a smile turned cross

he falls onto the cement
he goes home colored red
he fills the cracks
he is dead.
This is part of collection for a senior portfolio project at CU Denver
Project is intended to represent the stylistic distinctions of great American poets through the imitation of their poetics and/or their subject matter

"Getting a Haircut," is an imitation poem of the poet, Gwendolyn Brooks. Her poetry hones in on the political outcry of her time and uses accessible language to convey narratives of the everyday people. This is a true poem that uses her poetic form of narrative ballads to tell the story of a homeless man shot and killed outside of a salon I was getting a haircut at. Brooks is influenced by Langston Hughes with her rhythm and blues that is seen in the flow of her poetry, sound, and style.
Dee Sep 2014
A dream
By Dee
Debbie Brooks

Restless sleep last night

I tossed left and right

Across the everglades and leas 

I saw you running towards me. 

Out of breath, you came & clasped my hand

My heart pounding, I could barely understand, 

The distress, pain, aches reflected in your eye

Not a word spoken, yet all said by your sigh. 

I saw a teardrop rolling down your cheek

Adios my darling, hitherto we shall never meet

‘The dawn arrives’, is what you said silently

Why can’t you linger awhile? I beseeched fervently.

Confused paralyzed, I let you go 

And you were lost, gone – ergo

As I sat on the broken bench to catch my breath

I wondered was I, in holding on out of depth? 

Alas…I pray

Would you come back into my dream again tonight? 

Not to leave, but to stay on even after daylight? 

Not to cause agony & pain

But to stay, forever remain.


My love, I saw you in your dream
I traveled oh so far, waiting for an invitation
To be part of you once again
Your mind entwined with mine
Drove my heart to yours
And dreamed me so many times

Your dreams become my restless sleep
Tossing and turning with touches of your lips
That keeps me flooding with touches and love
That’s when I was running to you
You saw my teardrop, with touch of desperation

My heart pounding not understanding
The need I had for you,
Whispering we should ever meet,
Please do not let me go,
Your dreams are my dreams
Even in the daylight

I can taste your love like rain on my tongue
You teased my dream with droplets of you
With so many wild pleasures that lay in store
As our happiness dazzled before our eyes
Our dreams made one, that last time …
Love, Romance, collaboration
Conor Letham Apr 2014
Dey real kewl. Dey
selfie skool. Dey

glow goonz. Dey
PC geeks. Dey

luv Jay-Z. Dey
RT #JK. Dey

tan tangaz. Dey
pRT bangaz. Dey

dwn danger. Dey
jack jäger. Dey

dbl dip. Dey
do trip. Dey

l%k weL 7k. Dey
die s%n, LOL innit.
I wanted to do a piece that was almost identical to that of "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks (, except longer and in text-speak so it's in alignment with today's culture.

— The End —