Social Justice Poetry

Old News | A Social Justice Poem by Joan Leotta

Tonight’s the debate –
a news event?
My mind instead will take a rest,
concentrating on the good, the best
of what I’ve
seen and heard
over weeks past
bits of news
stuck in my mind
of people trying to be kind.
This old news is
what I hope will repeat
in weeks, months,
in future years –
rescues from wrecked
cars, earthquakes, floods
I hope these bits of old,
accumulated goodness
will overtop the rocky
shore of acrimony
in a tidal wave of love.

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An Avian Wall Street | A Social Justice Poem by Donal Mahoney

Two doves on a telephone wire
wait for the blue jays to finish eating
bread put out for the birds.

When the jays arrived,
sparrows fled into the trees
because jays dine alone.

When the jays have had enough
the doves and sparrows will share
whatever the jays leave behind.

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White Ass Reacts to Uncertainty | A Social Justice Poem by Arya F. Jenkins

She is frightened of the
Black man the darkness
The question the unknowing
Bigness of it lurking
Riots Hangings Violence
Don’t matter who done it
The scene unscrolls like a nightmare the eyes have seen
The glory of putting down evil
And All it represents
Black evil
White good
Good white
Evil black
For the uneducated the
World Must be simple
Must be and complications
Need to be smacked down

What do I do with
What I don’t understand?
What do I do?
What do I do with the rush of the question that makes me feel
Not curious but bad
Oddly ugly
Out of place because
I see what I am capable of becoming
I feel the trigger in my hand
I know what to do
What is my right to do
When I see a bad thing
A black thing threatening
A poor white girl like me
I shoot why I shoot
I shoot shoot.

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His Town | A Social Justice Poem by Guy Farmer

His town isn’t like
It used to be,
Main street was always
Bustling with people
Living their lives,
Sharing some conversation
About the weather or something
Going on at the mine.
He walks down tattered streets,
Boarded windows announcing
The memory of former tenants,
An occasional dour face averting
His gaze, nothing to do
Down here anymore and
Nobody who cares about any of it.
Jaw clenching, he vows to force
Someone to listen by voting for
The same people who did this.

Acceptance | A Social Justice Poem by Guy Farmer

I hear the same words
Coming from different
Mouths in slow motion,
With great conviction,
No doubts or hesitation.

They all describe
A disconsolate landscape of
Hopelessness and futility,
An entrenched acceptance of
Callousness and cruelty.

We’re all on our own,
They mutter grimly;
I’m transported to their
Formative years when someone
Important told them that.