Sample Poetry


I kind of like this loss of control
Cause the feeling was getting old
Of routines and recipes you have to follow—just so
Chaos crowds my car, so without a passenger, I ride alone
But my heart just can’t condone
The fact that my mind chose to take this road
So I drop down into a dark abyss
The feeling is sublime, but the journey: endless
So I light a candle illuminating the fear in your eyes
Because for once it was real, so you shut your eyes
Because you knew you had the prize, wrapped it in your arms
And with a kiss you bid goodnight
Though, by daylight, the fear crept back in
Suddenly making breakfast became a mortal sin
You can no longer hold on to what you thought you had
Hoping for a safety net, maybe I’ll catch you in the end

∴   ∴   ∴

Where is MY Flag? (for Megan Williams)

“Oh say can you see?”
How unjustly we’re treated
By a country that seems
Superpowers supreme
But a secret it keeps
One so dark and so deep
That if it was ever leaked
Other nations would scream
While our nation promotes democracy
As screams of “Black Power” ring through the air
I could never be more glad
More proud that I was there
Calling upon my ancestors
Coretta Scott and Dr. King
Malcolm X and Harriet Tubman
They all did the same thing
Marching for our rights
We have no choice
We have to fight
I may even start listing it as my occupation
Because being an activist is a full-time job
With no vacations
I’m so proud that I can stand hand-in-hand
With my brothers, my sisters, my friends
As we start the march, signs wave in the air
Calling for justice, but is anyone there?
We say stop the violence and give us peace
While they look at us as if we’re freaks

“By the dawn’s early light, what so…
Proudly we hailed?” I’m not proud.
Proud of a nation bent of holding us down.
Proud of forefathers who didn’t mean me
When they said WE the people
Proud of a nation that doesn’t consider me as equal.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the US of A
But we continually have conflicting actions
When we preach another thing

“At the twilight’s last gleaming?”
At twilight’s last gleaming?
My light’s still beaming
Like a flood light or a flashlight
My eyes are still open, I’m still seeing
The injustice and segregation,
The rape of our people, the degradation
And a nation built on a rocky foundation

“…Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight?”
Our fight wasn’t just dangerous, it was devestating
Fighting over resources that it wasn’t our job to claim
Counting mens’ lives, hoping they’re cat-like
Now recruit another thousand, send them to bootcamp in Iraq overnight
We shouldn’t have even been there, but that’s another story
Killing men in other countries to attain daddy’s love and historical glory
So the rest of the song talks about ramparts we watched,
Rockets’ red glare and bombs bursting in air
With proof through the night that our flag was still there
And although our flag was present, where was our President?
The towers fell, Katrina hit, and we were left to represent ourselves
Our secret was nearly revealed, one Kanye West nearly spilled
It’s not just Bush who doesn’t care about black people
That’s why we’re left alone to rebuild,
A great city, a cultural center filled with music, food, and until
We recognize the signs of a country’s divide
We’ll be unparalleled in our strife and still crying for the life
That was lost in the waves, where racial walls stand strong,
But the levees break

“Oh say, does that star spangled banner yet wave
Over the land of the free, and the home of the brave?”
And brave we must be for continuing to stay
In a land filled with inhabitants who claimed it was they
Who own the land, and discovered it first
Not really seeking to find it, the Columbus curse,
Where others still claim our culture as their own
Where we either gave up our native language
Or were whipped to the bone
Where we practiced martial arts, but made it look like dance
Where we sang songs to let others know the plan
Where we gave birth to this great nation
We built it, we suffered it, and some of us still can’t take cruise vacations
Where we are still oppressed and our checks make us depressed
Where they medicate our children and teach them lies
Where they turned us against one another and smile every time another one of us dies
Where our women were raped and tortured, became sex slaves
Where our men occupy prison from birth to their grave
Yes, land of the free and home of the brave
More like land of the white man and home of the slaves.

∴   ∴   ∴


Back when we were echoes our voices existed only in the imagination of your mind
Our screams were shadows
Our cries were cryptic
And our utterance was unheard
There was a time when I was the only echo in your mind
The memories loop like a video in your head
And all you could hear were my whispers
Whispers that had awakened you in the middle of the night
Remembering me
Remembering how I gave you everything you wanted and everything you need
My love,
My life,
My loyalty,
And I gave you what all real men need—
Appreciation and understanding
Then, there you were–
My echo
And as I recollect
You didn’t appreciate
The love I tried to generate
Something your heart just couldn’t take
So I made the choice to separate
And trust me darling, while it was great
And always will be in the past future and today
But then I realized that I had made a mistake
Because you’re the echo in my head
YOUR cries went unheard
YOUR calls went unanswered
YOUR love was not returned
And I stand here the one spurned
In a game for which I often take too much blame called love
See, back when we existed as echoes
Our screams were shadows
Our cries were cryptic
Our utterance was unheard
But my whispers you always heard,
Saying ‘I love you’

∴   ∴   ∴

OJ Zimmerman

“You ain’t the first nigga to die
and nigga you won’t be the last,
the cops is rolling by,
put your hands up in the air.”
There were 2 men; 1 black, 1 white
Both murderers
One used a gun, one used a knife
They both walked out the courthouse a free man
Guilty of a murder, innocent by the laws of man
One man from the past virtually admitted his mistake
Couldn’t take the heat, got arrested for many other things
But this new guy? He’s trying to spark a race war
Killing our baby boys because he didn’t get to join the police force
Was he looking forward to shooting them then?
Could you imagine him, George Zimmerman?
Somehow even then I can see how the story ends
Mild-mannered white dude fond of rap music,
But wants to be a cop because he gets a gun and can shoot it
At little black boys like video games,
Hums the melody in his head when he shoots Trayvon Martin
Thinking now he’s a hero
Justified to racially profile; he must be a seer too
Because somehow he just knew
He was going to rob someone, probably stole those Skittles too
Probably covered up in hood just to hide his ambition
Not because Florida tends to get rain,
Like every 10 minutes on a hot and humid day
But anyway, a jury of his peers found him innocent
Gave him back his gun, practically condoning that he do this shit
Still ineligible to work for any police force
He’s back in his neighborhood on neighborhood watch
And to be fair, it’s probably the safest place in town
Niggas won’t even leave apartments when this killer is around
Afraid they will get shot getting in their own car
He’ll say they tried to steal it
And that again, he’s a savior.
“You ain’t the first nigga to die
and nigga you won’t be the last,
the cops is rolling by,
put your hands up in the air.”
Now let’s flip the script, he’s black, not white,
Killed his wife and friend for stabbing him in the back
Except he stabbed them back, a couple dozen times
Acquitted of the crime, but it haunts him in disguise
With guilt racking his brain, lots of weight he’d start to gain
Drinking nightly too, always alone not with his crew
Because there’s nothing to admit to walls
That will be shared with anyone but you
So these secrets,
Hungry for fame so they start to devour him from the inside
Pulling at his chest cavity, they move ribs aside
Hurting now, yearning now to get outside
Screaming now to let the world know what you have done.
It’s funny how secrets seem to work that way.
So juicy they seem want to slip from your lips
and press gently against the nearest-waiting ear
but instead he chose to write a book,
making every detail clear
—Soooo glad we have that rule about double jeopardy—
What are these lawyers doing?
Honestly, I’m starting to think it may not be the entire justice system
Maybe just your interpretation—it seems you’re failing us all
I’m just trying to figure how many niggas it takes to die
before you try hard?
If you know the world is watching, why not try to impress Mars?
You let us down like these families of murder victims
Cried on our knees so much that now we’re waist deep in soil
Looking for a branch to pull us out because your hand just let go
“You ain’t the first nigga to die
and nigga you won’t be the last,
the cops is rolling by,
put your hands up in the air.”
When I heard that vedict, part of me wanted to burn shit
Head out to the flag pole, hang ole glory upside down
Because we’re a nation in distress, yo
Some even say there’s going to be war
but I promise you there will be nothing civil about it
racial lines divided
whole relationships ripped apart
because you didn’t realize you hang with bigots
and how do we fix because war is not the answer to this shit
Exposure, facts, and conversation can make this load a little lighter
Combat hate with love and fiction with fact
Confront a racist with its problem
and use more than 4-letter-words to react
OJ Zimmerman, a symbol of our nation
Racist bathwater that we drench our kids in
Intolerance hand-fed breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Skepticism and suspiciousness are virtues in this era
Don’t forget close-mindedness and ignorance too
All you need to know is that the law allows you to have guns
And they’ll let you go when you shoot.
“You ain’t the first nigga to die
and nigga you won’t be the last,
the cops is rolling by,
put your hands up in the air.”


All poems © Rheadrea’ Monet


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