Social Justice Poetry

loss poems

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.

In Trump’s America | A Social Justice Poem by Dale Champlin

As children we sang, “Oh beautiful for spacious skies,” to America.
Imagining our superiority, we knew nothing but lies about America.

We were so innocent, we didn’t know we were great.
We were so young, we were proud to pledge allegiance to America.

We stood by our desks and put our hands over our first grade hearts.
Now that we are older we clench our fists at Trump’s America.

We can’t understand why blue-collar workers put their trust in him.
Our president scoffs at laws, doesn’t pay taxes, and gets rich off America.

While Trump postures behind a curtain of privilege—
the drug addicted and homeless pass out in the streets of America.

He back combs his pompadour, bullies his opponents and incites our enemies,
taunts, twitters and is ignorant about the history of America.

Each night we go to bed, thinking it can’t get any worse—
but every morning it has. I guess we were wrong about America.

I know missiles are pointed at our capitol, the rust belt and me.
In the land of the brave, how can I be brave if I don’t feel safe in America?

We build fences, break promises and turn our backs on climate change.
It’s no wonder the whole world has lost faith in America.

Try to breathe all this red and white smoke until you turn blue—
amid forest fires and hurricanes, children are hungry right here in America

While the rich get richer the poor can’t afford an education.
Our nation is divisible by money, race and gender here in America.

When sincerity is a thing of the past how do we know what is true?
But half of us still buy the lies about our great again America.

How can children at church or school be used for target practice?
How did we get here we wonder? Fearing the worst, we weep for America.

At the Wall | A Social Justice Poem by Roy Pullam

The wall stands somber
On that windy morning
Gales blowing rain
Into my face
I look at the names
Finding a school chum
A poor boy
His fate sealed
By lack of opportunity
Not unlike
Other 1A card carriers
Unable to afford college
To find a doctor
Who would shield them
From the draft
He believed
Willing to wear
The green
To fight in a land
Beyond his knowledge
One day in America
Experiencing the good life
The next
Landing in a strange world
A land of constant
Four months
Of wading paddies
Four months of ambushes
Intense firefights
Then the pajama-clad phantoms
A land mine
In a clearing
A fatal step
And his life ended
Not the homecoming
We wished for him
But we gathered
Just the same
To hear the minister
Searching for an answer
Then sharing memories
Good times
With the boy
We knew
I took the paper
Placing it
Against the wall
Dragging the pencil
Across the paper
His name rising
On the page
Bold letters
I have read
Over and over
Remembering each time
The futility of Vietnam

Circus | A Social Justice Poem by Tara Lynn Hawk

Silently stepping out
Into this world each morning
In sleep-rumpled clothes and with
An expression intended to
Ward off all takers
A tiresome daily ritual
Unwanted but necessary

There exists a rather
Infinite sorrow that hangs
About outside
Like a toxic cloud in search
Of its own forever home
Enveloping crash values
I reject

We proceed to show ourselves
But only for a minute or two
Before retreating back
Into the tiny bricked up
Private havens we created
With bare hands now
Wrinkled from the sun
And distress

Mourning the loss of
Our naked heart companions
Forests of well-aged trees
Cherished books and
The spontaneity of a pure life
Lived through art
We await for our turn
To join our friends

Visit Tara Lynn at

Peter and Paul without Mary | A Social Justice Poem by Roy Pullam

The music takes me back
Back before the bald
Covered your head
Back before the causes
Were robbed of their optimism
When your songs
Were blowing fresh
In the wind
When you offered hope
An uprising of youth
True believers
Ready to march with you
To confront authority
Committed to a new order
That would arise
From the ashes
Of discord
But injustice survived
Age has spoiled
The appetite
Of your ardent followers
And though
They still mouth the words
The fire is gone
And just the echo
When evil
Still remains