Social Justice Poetry

G. Louis Heath

Mickey Mouse Mitten Requiem | A Social Justice Poem by G. Louis Heath

The Mickey Mouse mitten on the arid,
Lonely rise pierces the eyes. Long search

Frustrated, requited on this savannah. I
Stand in somber requiem before the Disney

Knitwear. Mickey’s plastic face on the palm
Stares wide empty eyes over a welcome smile,

Overwrought, an unctuous bridge to a magic
Castle. The sparse remains of a child’s withered

Body lay shallow in hard, bitter soil where once
Lions thrived with pride of pride and Zulus ruled.

I burn to knit the boy back to life, feed him full,
Make Mickey ecstatic. I can only step away from

These infamous bones under an impious, gray sky
And wait for sunlight on my shuttered, blue eyes.

The End of the World | A Social Justice Poem by G. Louis Heath

The world is ending in silence. Villages
Across the globe bristle with dishes

Feeding TV into homes all the waking
Hours. An elder, last speaker of Eyak

On Earth, sits with her great grandkids
Before a communal screen. She is tired

And angry; her breathing device bites.
She longs for silence to teach some Eyak

Words. She musters the will, the strength,
To reach for the remote, to hit mute, to hit

It with all her might, for the legacy of her
People, the survival of her nation’s culture.

But the six-year-old will not yield. And she
Must suffer in silence the end of her world.

No Island of Escape | A Social Justice Poem by G. Louis Heath

There is no island on the rivers, nor in
The lakes or seas, or in abstruse clouds

To escape the plagues of humankind.
All bear the black dog on their backs

As shadow nibbles mountain, plain, and
Valley to our doors. Yes, the megrims

Bite deep but we must carry on against
The plagues that beset us. The way is

Hard, strewn with mighty windfalls and
Boulders, on a high, torturous route, each

Step precarious. We hunger for the meadow,
Open to all. There we can enfold one unto

Another, build bridges of spirit and act, to
Deny the evil days of barbarous annihilation.

Grass Grows on Grease | A Social Justice Poem by G. Louis Heath

In these fields in the shadow of a butte,
Tufts of grass march in the gleaming mud.

You can lose a shoe in the slippery muck.
Be forewarned, tourist. If you lose one,

Abandon it. Freeing leather from the tight
And desperate embrace of greasy soil will

Ruin your trip abroad. Feet slew and slip
Across these fields of muck guarded by a

Sparse army of grass. The grass corps are
Survivors of the flower-strewn corpse-pyre.

Verdant blades march across the leaking,
Slippery hummocks to grow on the grease.