Social Justice Poetry

Favor | A Social Justice Poem by Guy Farmer

You can’t build a thriving,
Egalitarian, democratic society
If you set it up to favor
Only one group at the expense of
All others. Once you’ve given
Every advantage to one segment of
The population, it’s disingenuous
To purport that, because one or two
Of the non-chosen ones succeed,
Equal opportunity actually exists;
Those are the exceptions to the
System you’ve created to make sure
Only certain people prosper.

America | A Social Justice Poem by Anuja Ghimire

Shoot a father before his toddler
Empty bullets into the belly of a baby-bearing mother
while her children outside her body watch
Wear a uniform
Bust through apartment homes and oak doors
Shoot by the road, river, under the moon and stars
Take two seconds to finish a child in the park
Bust a girl’s jaw in the library
Rain bullets in a parked car
Stand your ground until earth has holes
Arrest a woman for not signaling a lane change
Release her corpse from jail
Slam a child near a pool
Remove a son from his classroom desk
Choke a husband on the floor of a diner
Escalate your fear
Reach for the gun
You know you are always already free
Earn your bloody badge
Shoot while their dark hands are raised to heaven


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Abyss of Ruins | A Social Justice Poem by Sanguine

I felt a ring of yells
Rolling elegiacally in my head,
Itching my palms and soles;
I want to fly away.
I felt the cadence gather on my forehead
Each time the tempo rises,
And my sweat strolls again to my chin,
And I want to stop it, fly away;
From the heat of depression that trammel
My gait from gaiety.
But each time I roll my body out of my head
To steal into vacancy,
I roll instead into the abyss of ruins.
I get stuck in the debris of discrimination
Derived from diverse distinctions.
And my body reeks of foul oppressions therein.
The abyss runs deeper.
Dug by the filthy hands of painful retrospect;
The scenes of horror painted with the colours of our skins.
And I’m pricked by what I wear under these clothes;
I’m black, even in tongue.
I feel a ring of yells still;
Races racing into this abyss,
Causing the world yet another death.
And I want to fly away. Away!

Puppet Master of Hate | A Social Justice Poem by G. Louis Heath

He pulls the strings of hate, lives in the forest
In a shotgun cabin without a pillow for love.

He pays out twine, marinated in poison, as into
The Minotaur’s maze, to numb minds below.

He knows how to tangle viperous string into
Cortical realms, neurons fizzing to be strung.

His power fomented from the upcountry baffles
Pundits, his legerdemain refreshing poison in

Marionette skulls unseen. At last he throws his
Hands up in victory, “Look Mom! No strings!”

What the Little Brown Girl Lost | A Social Justice Poem by Marcelius Braxton

Police lights; remain calm.
Bang. Seven shots.
Hysterics, tears, shouting.
Close your eyes, little brown girl.
Maintain your innocence for just one more day.
One peek. Left eye.
Blood stained shirt.
Close your eyes.
Second peek. Right eye.
Motionless body. Heartbreak.
Destroyed innocence.

Useless trial. Same verdict.
Not guilty.
The banging of a blood-soaked gavel releases the jury.
Let’s begin to heal they say.
Move on,
and brace for more sirens.
Will we make it home?

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