Social Justice Poetry

Allison Grayhurst

When the City Speaks | A Social Justice Poem by Allison Grayhurst

It is no small place
this devil’s field
where leopard’s blood
runs through the streets
like a constellation
cut from the sky.
Drunkards, drug pushers,
the cold amoebas that
die without seeing a dawn.
In Chinatown, the spell is
set loose, splitting
sidewalks with fury.
Waxen murderers, a barnyard
of devourers.
lovers tremble,
clutched tightly together,
sensual and desperate,
anaesthetized by passion,
by common fear
of the cruel madness
that pounds and pursues
just outside their door,
where all
will never be
well nor

Humpback | A Social Justice Poem by Allison Grayhurst

I give this flower,
these historic eyes
to the Atlantic whale, who will perform
for me a symphony of genius. Hungry, we will
rob one another of mistrust,
caress each other’s hairless skin,
holding things that gravity cannot forsake.
Once safe in the ocean’s dune,
we will open our eyes, our mouths,
swallowing moonlight like pirates
from a ship.
Together through
the salted plasma we will swim and hope
for the violence born by medieval fear,
promoted by division
and encouraged by judgement
to be terminated by an acknowledgment
of identical love
(which is not an accident).
Tenderly we will axe the human prejudice;
and the child and calf, rubbing wing and arm
will know the blessing of a marvelous unity,
which has been concealed to the point
of near extinction.

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Plight of the Freelance Underdog | A Social Justice Poem by Allison Grayhurst

A deformed creature who loses arms.
The same cruel senselessness ensues
from those arms of watered-down souls,
corporate drones who feel no obligation to moral kindness
or even simple, obvious justice,
who ride their authority with spiked
stirrups, having no regard for the one
who carries them below or how
hardworking and reliable their steeds have been.
They have taken my meager living and stripped it
even further with reluctant acknowledgment,
with no apology, with knowing
there is nothing I can do.
I am trapped by their lizard-cold power,
trapped by my lack of rights and by their fleeting disregard,
as though I am an ant to be flicked from post to post and then
to be crushed by their whims, where what remains is only the
tightening jaw-grip
of this unionized beast, where what remains is me
determined to leave this affliction, to build my house
on a land of mature self-reliable splendour.

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