march thirty one: #30poems30days – poetry inspired by pop culture – sports and racism

photo from Google.com

photo from Google.com

I  originally wrote this poem in 2006 and revised it in 2014.  It’s to interesting how this topic of the intersection of sports and racism continues to be a problem in American society juxtaposed against the importance of sports in the lives of American youth and our need for recreational activities.  Sports and athletic events has also become somewhat of a status symbol, afforded only by those with money to pay for front row seats at stadiums or who’s corporations can buy season tickets for it’s employees, leaving the everyday citizen to watch it on TV or forcing at home viewers to go broke investing in a “viewing package” of all football/basketball/baseball all the time just to stay caught up with the Jones’.  This issue is out of hand and the recent alleged racist rant by L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling only exacerbates the problem as well as opens a window into the true feelings and comfort level of many older white men in America who still own most of the land and commodities in our society.  So much to talk about, so little time….

 

A New Kind Of Strange Fruit     (2006, updated 2014)

instead of hanging from trees

we hang from

basketball hoops

and we sprint down a field

 

running and jumping

performing at tip top speed

 

all for a contract

that puts a price

on your back

 

our athletes

are treated

like servants

bouncing and throwing a ball

on a plantation

disguised as an institution

of higher education

 

trading our talents

for entertainment

and naming rights

on stadiums

alumni return to campus

to tailgate

and drink

and swap stories

about

their fortune 500 careers

and talk about

how fast that new boy

can run down the field

 

these so called students

are plucked from their hoods

promised big dreams

promised a life of

sex and groupies

only to be left with a life of

trying to maintain a scholarship

trying not to fall asleep in class

trying to prove

that they’re more than

a black buck

recruited

to fill a slot

on a team

that wins championships

only to encourage donors

to keep on digging

in their pockets

leaving players

wondering

why their coach

is treated like a king

and they are treated

like a commodity?

 

And then they get drafted

and traded

like stocks

 

traded and sold

to the highest bidder

to fill their pockets with some change

in order to fill their lives

with material goods

only to make their owners empires bigger

 

all at the expense of racial progress?

 

now tell me again

what is the difference

between sports

and the oppressive

capitalistic

institutionalized

system

we came to know as

slavery?

thank you for reading march thirty one poetry

follow me on twitter: @ivywriter

 

march thirty one: #30poems30days #poetryprompt: finding direction in the hood

protest

This poem was based on another prompt from poet Scott Woods on Twitter.  The prompt was “Geocaching in the hood”.  I used my own interpretation of that:

Poem:  GPS for the streets

never underestimate the homeless dude

sees all, hears all

and probably knows all the shortcuts

 

Thank you for reading march thirty one poetry

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march thirty one: #30poems30days – Easter Poem

Happy Easter (image from Google)
Happy Easter (image from Google)

I wrote this poem based on a poetry prompt from poet Scott Woods who runs the Writers Block poetry group.  The prompt was “When an Easter egg hunt goes wrong”:

Easter at granddaddy’s house

adults hide $$ in plastic eggs

cousins become enemies

keep your eyes on the prize 

Thank you for reading march thirty one poetry

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march thirty one: #NationalPoetryMonth #ThrowbackThursday #OldSchool – Gil Scott Heron – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Since it’s Thursday (Throw Back Thursday that is), here is one of my favorite poets and one of my favorite pieces of spoken word. It’s Gil Scott Heron’s, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”.  #OldSchool #TBT

We lost him in May 2011, one of the pioneers of modern spoken word and performance. RIP Gil Scott Heron

From You Tube

Thanks for reading March Thirty One poetry

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National Poetry Month – Late Start

So I’m getting a late start on this. In the spirit of National Poetry Month, I will once again, attempt to keep up with the Writer’s Digest Magazine Poem A Day Challenge (PAD) http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides/poetry-challenge-2014-poetic-asides.  I managed to do very well in 2012 and posted poems just about all of the 30 days of April, however 2013 I didn’t do as well and this year is turning out to be a challenge to keep up with the challenge. Today i s actually the first day I’ve had to post on my blog. So much poetry to write, so little time….. 

Day #1 Challenge (posted by poet Tracy Brimhall)

  1. Write a beginning poem. Today is the beginning of this challenge. It’s also the beginning of April. But there are so many other beginnings: Beginning of a relationship, beginning of school, beginning of the rest of your life, and so on. Pick a beginning to write about.
  2. Write an ending poem. Often, though not always, beginnings come as the result of an ending. Sometimes endings are cause for disappointment, heartbreak, or numbness. Other times, endings are celebrated. Capture an ending today.

 

My poem:

April One – a poem

Fools rush in
Jokes abound
Laughter comes
Then someone
Inevitably
Is embarrassed
This month
Full of rain showers
Begins as a mystery laden
Comedic driven
Reality show
Full of punchlines
Ridicule
And shenanigans
It’s a wonder any work gets done
Perhaps the boss
Will give us a day off
To lolligag
Roll on the floor and
Take naps on a whim
Daydreaming of beach filled days
And extra long vacation days
With pay

April Fools

Thank you for reading March Thirty One

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