Social Justice Poetry

the common good poems

Temporary Assistance | A Social Justice Poem by Guy Farmer

She rages at people
Who receive support
To feed their children,
Keep a roof over their heads,
Remain contributing members of society
Rather than scorned pariahs,
Cast off and left to perish.
She conveniently forgets the
Many times that some person
Helped her in a time of need,
A friend, a co-worker,
A family member, someone who
Believed that she just needed
A little temporary assistance.

Lake View | A Social Justice Poem by Langley Shazor

If I may be so bold
Allow me to speak candidly
I am at a loss as to what friends are
Anyone who has ever been in my inner circle
Has tried to sabotage my life
Hurt me
Or walked away and left me stranded
Is this the degree of what friendship means?
Is this the measure of what a friendship is?
Perhaps all friends are temporary
Existing only to fill a void in whatever state a person currently
There was a time when I was less than reputable
And only looked to serve my own interests
But even in that state
I could be counted on
I faltered, as we all do
I have let people down
Could you consider this my comeuppance?
You reap what you sow
And there is always a harvest
I must first ration the poor work I have done
Before I can feast on the fruits of good labor
All things in turn maybe?
As painful as this is
It all circles back to me
I want to blame all of you for your blatant disregard for my feelings
Knowing full well I have scorned others similarly
Thinking back on who I was
Contemplating on who I am
Determining who I want to be
It is clear that each of those phases requires growth
And there are always growing pains
So I must be the first to examine myself
Let my conduct be the example
That I may continue to sow goodness, peace, charity, love
One day, there will be nothing left of a poor harvest
The famine will have subsided
Generosity reciprocated
But until that time
I will sift through varying degrees of rotten
In hopes of finding a small piece of nourishment
The old will pass away
Leaving the new
Revealing better
We will be better

Old News | A Social Justice Poem by Joan Leotta

Tonight’s the debate –
a news event?
My mind instead will take a rest,
concentrating on the good, the best
of what I’ve
seen and heard
over weeks past
bits of news
stuck in my mind
of people trying to be kind.
This old news is
what I hope will repeat
in weeks, months,
in future years –
rescues from wrecked
cars, earthquakes, floods
I hope these bits of old,
accumulated goodness
will overtop the rocky
shore of acrimony
in a tidal wave of love.

Visit Joan at

Real Patriotism | A Social Justice Poem by Guy Farmer

We sat together and
She told me that in her
Many years on this earth
She had come to understand
That real patriotism is
When you care enough
For your fellow citizen
To make sure she has
A job that allows her to
Support her family,
Health care when she
Falls ill, clean air,
Water, food to nourish
Her body, parks that
She can enjoy on her
Her time off, a genuine
Opportunity to move up,
Buy a house, own a car,
Travel, learn, enjoy,
Thrive instead of survive,
Have her voice matter,
Live with dignity rather
Than barely making it
Because some callous
Group of broken beings thinks
Only they are deserving.