Social Justice Poetry

injustice poems

Hunted Down | A Social Justice Poem by Krushna Chandra Mishra

For how many years since the first,
how many times in how many ways,
hunted down in the strangest conditions
when secured most I have always felt,
believing in companies and kinship
to my utter surprise and to my deafened wit
when there has come no proper answer
I have just learnt to wait in silence
for a just world’s voice to descend,
to hold me by hand with consolation
reassuring me that no more, and it is
no more, in the future anything the like of
the present humiliation would
be repeated ever and in great
patience since then always like now
I become silent to hear several times repeated
the same drab voices that in shame
drown my head as I feel if again
I should turn to you for help, support
or care or consolation once for sure
I know nothing like justice shall yield
in this vast blind universe of words.

Rock Dreaming | A Social Justice Poem by Neil Creighton

I walk past water gums,
roots twisting and flowing over rock,
past the creek’s eddy and swirl,
past deep grooves in rock
made long ago by sharpening spears.
Is that the laughter of naked children?
No. They are long gone,
now only imagination’s shadows
flitting through scrub.

I scramble up a long hill
to stand on a huge expanse of rock.
The world seems quiet and still.
All around in the stone are carvings-
kangaroos, emus, women, men, shields, spears,
a great spirit creature.
I imagine clans of Dharug people meeting here
to dance, laugh, cry, draw, worship, wonder,
and most of all, to belong.
Do I sense them?
That is a lie.
Their culture, life, laughter and song
have shrunk into the past.
They seem long gone.

I lie on the rock and close my eyes.
Underneath my back
are curving patterns in rock.
I see cloud, rain, sun’s rising, sun’s falling, moon, stars,
the diamond quilt of night.
I see people greet, paint their bodies, tell stories, dance, sing,
belong, feel purpose, feel love, draw and carve.
I am filled with loss for the changes of time,
for the tangle of history,
for the injustice of the present,
for prejudice, dislocation, theft and murder,
and I know that where they,
in such deep belonging, did roam,
my ancestors, England’s rejects,
came from the other side of the world
to claim it as their own.

The sun is low.
I begin the long walk back.
As I walk I am moved by the knowledge
that Dharug people are still living,
scattered through the land of their ancestors
and although the past cannot be changed,
its loss and sorrow should be sung.
I am taken too by the crazy dream
of a single people
meeting under these southern stars,
upon the great patterned rock of this land
to draw, dance, embrace and sing together

as I descend into a gully
and the sun disappears
and the single evening star
hangs low in the darkening sky.

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Social Injustice | A Social Justice Poem by J.K. Durick

When does something like this end?
When will it lose its prominent place

In the list of things we see around us
Hear about, know from experience

Pass on the street, we read about in
The newspapers we have left to read

Witness on the evening news in
Between ads for the latest meds to help

Us along, make things easier to take?
When will we have better things to think

About, to write about, our better selves,
The better angels of our nature coming

Forward to put an end to some, if not all
Of things like this – that’s when.

The Dogs Slip out Again | A Social Justice Poem by Tricia Knoll

That black and white TV, police dogs,
night sticks, and fire hoses. 1963.
Birmingham scared this child viewer.

Now with the remote in my hand,
in full-color black dogs pull
on leashes held by corporate security.

Up the chain of command someone cried
havoc at the oil fields. Let loose
corporate dogs to draw blood

for black oil money. Scare
the people with treaty rights.
Tell them oil drives, not ancient bones,

nor sacred waters, nor wind prayers.
Only rights of passage
of petroleum.

Handlers ignore the bones
dogs might understand.
People stand up, hope

never to be bitten again.

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