Social Justice Poetry

Crush | A Social Justice Poem by Guy Farmer

Slowly but surely,
Establish uniformity of
Speech, dress, belief.
Heighten nationalism,
Crush dissent,
Persecute intellectuals
Artists, the so-called elite.
Castigate learning,
Mistrust books – except one,
March in lockstep,
Everyone the same,
No one out of line,
On penalty of death.
Coalition of plutocrats and industry,
A pall descends over the land.

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Fake News | A Social Justice Poem by J.K. Durick

The poor, of course, are
moving up, as promised,
while the middle class

feels comfortably in place,
and corporations open up
make way for the many;

the great unwashed of us
wash up to process, to march
on Washington to give thanks;

we are the banner headlines,
the backstory, the latest tweet,
a rumor, an odd bit of gossip,

we’re what’s left after storms
let up, after the forest fires,
house fires go out for good;

we are a budget deficit, a tax
cut, an underfunded program,
a wall worth building after all.

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Identity Theft | A Social Justice Poem by Julia Hones

She carries her gender like a heavy bag,
conceals her ethnicity to care for her safety.
She’s been penalized for refusing to accept
she has been molded out of a rib;
covering her body parts she learned
that predators cannot be deterred.

Now she hides from a male stare lest she be misunderstood.

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A Neuter Nation | A Social Justice Poem by Oladimeji Luqman (Sanguine)

But there is a name we can earn a child
Born with the fluidic cells of deceit.
He is a body of knitted brows
That has grown into piqued poetry.
He could be called a neuter nation
Whose identity and intuition is drowned in an eddy of putrid
That its history becomes only a loud hiss of story!
I welcome a vacancy into the homes of some two;
You that sit on the lounger of power
Upholstered with selfishness and carelessness,
You become the best pronunciation of wickedness.
Are you still not pleased with the nakedness you wrap
around your nation?
Friend, you are red.
You hold a colony of anger, which you cannot lead,
And hope in you is a burning wick of lifelessness.
Would you clothe, first, the nation in your home,
And blot your anger with active participation?
Move with the strong beat of governance.
Or does it not take two, still, to tango?

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Comrades | A Social Justice Poem by Daniel Klawitter

For all the dreams of dark-skinned men,
women and children,
scorched and stumbling on blistered feet.

For the nameless and numbered,
who were butchered like meat
with the sky growling thunder
and whose napalmed screams were silenced.

I offer you this hymn.

For the guns of defiance
and lips that curse…
for the peasants who barefoot
walk proud on the earth.

Hacked by machetes
and consumed in fire
or hung from trees
like electric wires of resistance!

I offer you this humble hymn.

Though death be persistent,
one truth stays consistent in this song of our lament:

we may be cut down,
but we will always return,
like weeds through the cement.

(Originally published in The People’s Tribune, June, 2008)
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The Promotion | A Social Justice Poem by Daniel Klawitter

Well now,
how does it feel
to be the big boss?

Did you even pause to ponder
what this promotion might cost?

It grieves me to see
the respect that you’ve lost —

With you newfound swagger
the underlings are speaking daggers
behind your back.

Everyone was so hopeful at first
that you would escape the ancient curse
of Power.

But in this futile hour
our fears have turned to fate…
and now it is too late
to save you from yourself

as you create an army of compliant machines
to replace the defiant ones
who still dream dreams
of something more organic.

But now, with robotic precision
the idiotic decisions of bureaucracy
come down in a panic
to do everything

not better…but FASTER.

We used to call you comrade…
But now, we call you


(Originally published in Blue Collar Review).
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Our Oleander | A Social Justice Poem by Dale Champlin

—all this hatred

For you: Oleander, poisonous leader,
all the clutter of your deranged mind
twittering, littering the internet
mindless of kindness—stockpiling rocks of hatred
ignorant of the past, of beauty, of knowledge,
misogynist, philanderer. Stone in darkness
under the thunder of propellers
deaf to the chunka-chunka of war
inured to songs of unrelieved cacophony,
worshiper of shallow thought and greed.
We are your glass house
while you throw stone after stone.
We shatter but some will pick up your stones
and throw from the inside.
You cower stone-hearted in your stockpile
Your orange seed follicles scatter clamor,
discord, dissonance, and uproar.
What place means love to you?
Where is your kindness?
Have you forgotten,
or did you never know?

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