Social Justice Poetry

the human condition poems

Hello, Win. | A Social Justice Poem by Alexandre Bartolo

Her eyes gaze at
a lady with implanted hair
across rosé cheeks,
screws spiking
children’s necks,
Egyptian bands
enrolling firefighters’ bodies,
cliché bloody teeth
coming from my gums.

“It this Halloween,
daddy?”
We tell our children:
“Lies often have shorter legs.”
How can I
tell her this is not?

Should I tell her
the lady has hypertrichosis
which her insurance won’t cover?
Her childhood peers
were murdered by the soon-to-be serial killer?
The mighty Estate
won’t assist His more-burnt burdens than heroes?
My company
is moving towards tax-breaks?

Wishful | A Social Justice Poem by Langley Shazor

Where are we?
In this place
This space
This life
This existence
Do we stand to be snuffed out
By our own well-doing
Or does doing well
Bring us life?
Does it matter to those
Who don’t mind
Or to those whose mind
Only matters in ways
Of self-righteousness?
Can we find ourselves
Free ourselves
Love ourselves
That we may love others?
This is hope
This is faith
This is what we strive for
Or are we merely dreaming?

I Ask a Veteran to Help Me Write a Poem | A Social Justice Poem by Jimmy Pappas

You ask me if I will tell you
about my experiences in ‘Nam
so you can write a poem, but
soldiers don’t like to tell
their war stories. It would be
like pretending to be some
sort of hero instead of what
you really were: just a regular
guy trying his best to survive.
The next thing you know, no one
is satisfied. They want you
to tell them all the gory
details. The past suddenly
becomes the present. It puts
pressure on the next generation
of young men who feel the need
to be worthy of your respect.

And those gold star mothers?
The ones who lost their children
and have to live on? I can’t imagine
what that must be like.

You know my son went to Iraq.
Now what if he went there because
he wanted to impress his father?
How would I feel if he died there?
Because if my son ever died
in Iraq, I’d never forgive myself.
That’s why I can’t tell you these stories.
So, No, I just can’t help you write a poem.

Interim Report | A Social Justice Poem by Neil Creighton

Unseen, we hovered above the planet.
It has retained much of its beauty:
grassed plains, high mountains, sky and cloud,
spectacular displays from land and sea.

However, we noted damage and scarring.
Floating islands of plastic and huge holes abound.
Grey smudges and stagnant water indicate
considerable pollution of air, water and ground.

We also noted the dominant species
has a limited, self-centred thinking.
Inequality and poverty are rife.
Egalitarian ideals appear to be shrinking.

Problems demand altered consciousness.
Poverty, resource plundering, increasing population,
primitive energy sources and climate warming
indicate a need for global cooperation.

Most of the wealth is controlled by a few.
To protect it they exploit a common flaw
which enables many to be easily manipulated
into the absurdity of destruction and war.

We believe they slumber in partial consciousness.
They are not yet fully awake.
Further development may require
an emotional and intellectual earthquake.

We will return in a millennium or two.
The species has potential for distinction.
We conclude with the hope that their folly
does not ultimately lead to their extinction.