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 – Easter Poem

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

Follow me on Twitter: @ivywriter

march thirty one: national haiku writing month, # 14; Happy Valentine’s Day

Here’s a haiku for Valentine’s Day. Enjoy!

haiku for love day  

to give me your heart

datinggame

you have to want more from life

or risk loneliness

 

thanks for reading march thirty one poetry!

follow me on twitter: @ivywriter

march thirty one: writers digest chapbook poetry challenge, prompt #4

English: Skin color distribution around the wo...

English: Skin color distribution around the world, data for native populations collected by R. Biasutti prior to 1940 Italiano: Distribuzione del colore della pelle di tutto il mondo, i dati raccolti per le popolazioni native di R. Biasutti prima del 1940 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the month of November, the challenge is to write apoem-a-day andsubmit your finished work for a Chapbook Challenge.

Find out the daily Chapbook Challenge prompts by visiting Poetic Asides written by Robert Lee Brewer on Writer’s Digest at:

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides/2012-november-pad-chapbook-challenge

Prompt #4 from Marie Ellen Good:  Take the phrase “Just Beneath (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then write the poem.  Possible titles include “Just Beneath My Feet,” “Just Beneath This City,” or “Just Beneath the Surface.”

MY POEM:

Just Beneath My Skin

just beneath my skin

what you can’t see

is my heart

blood pumping through my veins

giving me life

my bones

holding up my frame

guiding me through

the hustle and bustle

of busy schedules

what you don’t see

is the intellect

underneath my skin tone

beyond my hue

the dark skin

that doesn’t allow you to

see the human

the woman

the citizen

who wants

the opportunities from life

that historians have defined as

life, liberty, and happiness

but because

scienc doesn’t allow you

to see underneath my skin

you only see what’s at sea level

somehow society that allows you to

assign derogatory names

to people you don’t know

for whom you’ve willingly overturned

years of civil rights

violated biblical courtesies

so that in the name of God

you have been allowed to treat me

like  the slave

that in your mind

was never allowed to be free

and in your mind

Lincoln never signed that declaration

giving me

the same assignment  as you

to call America home

yet, underneath my skin

you will never know

what it feels like

to be treated

as second class

not even the mail

gets demoted like this

 

c) Kellea Tibbs and march thirty one, 2012. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of original march thirty one material without express and written permission from the author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. 

march thirty one: writer’s digest chapbook poetry challenge, prompt #3

Cover of "Poltergeist (25th Anniversary E...

Cover of Poltergeist (25th Anniversary Edition)

For the month of November, the challenge is to write apoem-a-day andsubmit your finished work for a Chapbook Challenge.

Find out the daily Chapbook Challenge prompts by visiting Poetic Asides written by Robert Lee Brewer on Writer’s Digest at:

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides/2012-november-pad-chapbook-challenge

 

Prompt #3 is from Joshua Gray:  Write a poem that scares you. It could be a scary movie or ghost story poem. It could be a poem about a secret in your past. It could be a poem about your worst fear. It just needs to bring up a scary/fearful/uncomfortable emotion as you write.

 

MY POEM:

scary moments

last week

I watched Poltergeist on Halloween

that classic scary movie

from the 80s

with the pre-paranormal-esque

somewhat believable

story line

about houses built

on top of the graves

of long lost relatives

who returned to haunt the present

the shady real estate brokers

and the revenge of the underdog

a throwback of memories

considering the recession

houses in foreclosure

families in disarray

estate sales

and somehow trendsetters

manage to make downsizing

to apartment living

chic and cool again

scary movies

morphing into real life

make zombies and serial killers

look like kindergarten

c) Kellea Tibbs and march thirty one, 2012. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of original march thirty one material without express and written permission from the author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. 

march thirty one: writer’s digest chapbook poetry challenge, prompt #2

English: The Atlantic Ocean.

English: The Atlantic Ocean. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the month of November, the challenge is to write a poem-a-day andsubmit your finished work for a Chapbook Challenge.

Find out the daily Chapbook Challenge prompts by visiting Poetic Asides written by Robert Lee Brewer on Writer’s Digest at:

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides/2012-november-pad-chapbook-challenge

In my effort to continue to get caught up on the Chapbook Challenge, here is Prompt #2 from Khara House

Write a full moon poem. The full moon might be a character or symbol in the poem. Or the poem might address what happens during a full moon: magic, mischief, madness, etc.

 

MY POEM:

moon landing

for all you old heads

debbie harry sang about the tide

being high

before she decided to move on

but what about when a hurricane

barreling down the street

knocking on your door

causing life to come to a standstill

so that you can’t move on?

who’s responsible

for pleading your case

to the man in the moon

to keep the tide

from getting too high?

usually we like it when

the sun, the moon, and the stars

are aligned in our favor

but when they’re

aligned for disaster

who will manage the clean up

of the hearts, the souls, and the lives

that have become debris

along the Atlantic?

c) Kellea Tibbs and march thirty one, 2012. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of original march thirty one material without express and written permission from the author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. 

march thirty one: national poetry month – 30 poems in 30 days, April 30

The 2006 State Champions of the Poetry Out Lou...

The 2006 State Champions of the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, I made it, it’s the last day of April and I have written a poem for each day. I took on the 30 poems in 30 days challenge from the National Poetry Writing Month website, http://www.NaPoWriMo.net and I’ve officially celebrated National Poetry Month as all poets should.  Thanks for following along and I hope you  have enjoyed the journey as much as I have! Here’s my last poem for April:

payday haiku

bone thugs said it best

people scrambling for checks

its first of the month

 

thank you for reading march thirty one poetry and celebrating national poetry month with me! stay tuned for my poems to be published and available soon!

follow me on twitter: @ivywriter