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Poetry Submissions:

EQUALITY

The brown boy grew up praying to Shiva, and we

Grew up praying to Allah. The others may

Have grown up praying to Jesus. We have

Dissimilar skin tones; different

Shades of tan, and all of our religions

Have gods we believe to be different.

Truthfully we seek the same repentance. The languages

We use for the G-O-D are the same. Different

Words are used to name the universal him. Our colored

Ideas of folding our palms, skin

Softly pressing together, sending ripples through the world; but

We still kneel in front of the same God. We

Pray in front of the same God. All

That we share is universal peace. The world we belong

To is one where we close our eyes; take a deep breath to

Take in our differences like calming drafts over the seas. One

Breathe in and one breathe out. Realize religious human

Divisions and strife are ironic: fighting over the same god; we are but one family; one race.

We are not the same

I get the looks in public

but you don’t notice

Maybe we’ll be equal one day

If you were willing to help

Black and white are two

colors, grey is where they stand.

Boys and girls among 

them forced to choose between the

few. Can’t they be all colors?

We are all human 

Humans with goals and passions

We are all the same

Our aspirations are one 

Respect, a virtue of all 

Freedom, what we all deserve

The orchids in the field bend
as the wind blows through
but they don’t float away into the air
no, they stay rooted to their ground


No matter how much rain
pours down through the field
despite the glaring, blazing sun
the orchids still manage to stay


And just like that she stays too,
despite the harsh words they throw
burning with ignorance and hatred
She stay rooted to her ground


The harsh winds that is their hate
is a merely a breeze to her dignity
The pouring rain of their anger
does nothing to drown her away

1st Poem:

All men are created equal

But all men die different.

 

2nd Poem:

I live in a world where

Everyone is the same.

 

You walk down the street.

You see the same houses. The same people.

Everyone has the same job.

Everyone has the same things.

Everyone looks the same.

Same hair, same eyes, same skin color.

Life is very peaceful.

Very calm.

Would you want to live here?

People don’t know what they really want.
Many fight for equality,
what they mean is equity.
Equality works if
we all start the same.
And we do not.
Some get a
big head-
start.  

They look at you

For what you are

Not who you are

They ask why you’re here

But why must they know?

They’re strong in numbers

But you prevail stronger

My Equality

It is fairness and justness.

It has a proud light

A range of diversity

When it smiles you feel it too

I was born in a small village

A stained blotch on clean cloth.

I was surrounded with pale stares

And an unbridgeable gap

Between me and my peers. 

 

On the same planet but in

Another place, 

Girls poison their bodies

With mercury and bleach.

They hope for 

Pale skin- 

At all costs.

 

Brides are set on fire

Glowing ribbons of dancing flames

They leave behind such

Horrible scars

Twisting, reddened ridges

Both inside and out. 

Those 

Don’t 

Go

Away

 

True equality is still

So far away. 

But there are those who

Aren’t afraid of dreaming 

Persons dark to light

Come together and unite

With similar plight.

Now they all stand up and fight

For sight more than black and white.

Perdóname
मुझे माफ़ करदो
Pardonne-moi
Vergib mir

Forgive me 

Forgive me for making a mistake,

sorry my family can’t afford it.

The expectations are high

the risk isn’t low,

and your witty remarks, heartless gibes, and carelessness

isn’t making the journey any better.

Don’t mistake pressure for choosing food or picking clothes in the morning

Because you’ve never had your heart skip a beat

from that one comment about the color of your skin, where your parents came from, or where you were born

You don’t feel tense walking down the street on your own

You don’t make plans of escape in your head

You don’t question yourself in the mirror every morning or hide from the sight of your reflection

So don’t tell me you are losing your jobs and your rights and your money

And that we’ve got it easy

You have gotten it all wrong because you have made it harder and harder 

for those who try, those who come back, those who have fought to make their lives count

Forgive me for being correct

Forgive me

Vergib mir

Pardonne-moi

मुझे माफ़ करदो

Perdóname

Diversity is

Something to boast about but

opportunity

slips through your fingers faster

because you look different.

A small little girl

A dream the size of the world

Fighting for what’s right

Many, with no care at all

Except for the tiny girl

When women are equal,

we will not be afraid to

leave the house and walk

into the darkness.

 

When women are equal,

there will always be the 

individual choice

to have children.

 

When women are equal,

girls will be raised to be 

strong and intelligent,

not only beautiful.

 

When women are equal,

we will be treated as human beings,

and not as property,

by our male counterparts.

Would it be better
if my name did not precede
me if your glance did
not pause at skin or hair be-

fore you decide who I am

Behind the soft face

under the beautiful skin

lay a gentle soul

equal to all the others

same in both pride and courage

 
 

I have to light myself on fire

Dance through the flames

No one notices anymore

Trapped in their own worlds

Lost to the screens

Equity has been forgotten

As we divide but never conquer

 

Fools given platforms to spout hate

Screaming all lives matter 

Louder than those who have died 

for living in their skin

Ignorance is bliss

If you’re not the one being killed

 

Don’t repost to pretend to care

Saying you’re upset does nothing

Educate yourself in the New Year

No more pretending with no action

You are a drop in a rising tide of passion

If only you dared

As a little girl and her mother travel to the u.s
Without knowing the language or what awaits for them
Their arrival was hostile.
The moms education was no longer valid
Why? Because the university she went wasn’t good enough.
The education no matter where we get the education is the same.
She looked for jobs everywhere but as soon as they saw she was hispanic rejected
She found a job minimum wage, and horrible conditions but it was money to feed her little girl
So it was enough.
She worked hard and was better than anyone but got paid less, passed up for a promotion
The little girl grew up watching her mother struggle. So she worked hard to become one
Of the best students. But it was hard to believe she could do better when
Everybody else told her otherwise. As she once recalled getting on a taxi because their car
Had broken down. She doesn’t quite recall how they got to the topic about school
What she could remember was him saying
“ Ah interesting usually hispanic aren’t that smart”
That moment was painful because she already doubted she was smart
But to be told she wasn’t smart because of where she was born hurt more.
But instead she learned that no matter where she came from
She had the same rights as anyone else. And she was going
To make sure everyone else had the same rights.

This is a poem called “Changing Child” and is about the story of a gay individual who has grown up in a suppressing religious sphere of sorts where they are not supported. Halfway through this poem though, the individual shifts into someone much more free. They turn into someone unafraid to love who they want.

 

“Changing Child”

Sit on your hands child,

Bind them behind your back.

A beast crawling out a crib

Is what 

You are.

 

Speak with your eyes child,

Bind your mouth and secrets,

So that No One will hear

The words you utter,

So beautiful. 

 

Taste with your tongue child,

Chew on nothing but the

Sour and foul taste of a 

God that lost

And loved. 

 

Stand up on your feet child,

Sink your face into the chest

Of that body who softly does

Dare for you

To adore with no reason.

 

Open your arms child

And recognize the gold

That will shimmer

Endlessly from the crown

That rests upon you. 

 

A cardinal red that

Turns into iron blood

That turns into a beating

Scarlet with no caution

For a love once unmatched. 

Why discriminate
uniformity is dull
and why hate others
for something they can’t control
when acceptance is simpler

I stand along the shore,

Fists clenched,

Jaw set,

And think about the ocean stretched from my callused feet.

How the water swooshes and swirls,

Collapsed beneath my toes.

Forever at a rhythmic pace.

 

I think about my friends,

All expressive, all content in their world of cinnamon sugar and marshmallow,

Their happiness almost overwhelming, 

Their excitement sometimes unbearable,

Seemingly unbeknownst to me.

 

I wish I could be equal with them,

In their contentedness, in the passions.

To know and feel the exhilaration they feel,

The energy in their veins.

 

But truthfully,

My soul hasn’t arrived there yet.

And I wait till it reaches,

Allowing the calm of the chilly waters to swallow me 

In its wake.

He stared into the mirror
His black and blue bruises stared back
Blood stained his blue dress
Dreams of freedom danced in his head
Freedom to live as he is

Spit on my thoughts

And ignore my grievances

Look me in the eye.

Aren’t I your equal?

Just open up and listen

Sometimes I wonder

If I am wearing skin

Or if this is really all just armor

A suit made of metal, serving to protect my heart and lungs

 

See, all we really wanted was to be here

To wake up, and look at the sky and breathe easy 

We haven’t been asking for anything else

And yet you all tell us we are selfish and greedy

 

I cannot walk into public bathroom without feeling a thrill of fear

And yet, you all have the nerve to tell me that my life is fine as it is

That being stared at like a circus attraction is alright for us

Even that it is what we deserve

 

You all choose to ignore 

The countless numbers of our ranks that have fallen

The people beaten to death or driven to suicide

In the dark alleys and the deceivingly pretty houses of our world

 

I have lost so many of my siblings

And every day as I go through the motions

I am afraid that I will be next

 

But you have the nerve to tell me I am asking for too much

That we already have equality 

But several states have passed bills that directly state otherwise

And we eat, sleep and breathe fear

 

But we are still here, are we not?

We are still fighting

Through the high homicide and suicide rates

Through the mesh and wire

 

We will take our pain and our fear and all of our anger 

And we will scream until our throats bleed

And even beyond that, until we have what we all deserve

Equality

 
 

A daybreak.

The dissolving of the dark clouds overhead,
those once living in the dark
now bathing in the light.
A slow
yet vital process.

The warmth of the sun reaching for everyone,

For some
It will take time,

But they will all feel the warmth of the sun

one day.

A beating heart 

Two hands 

Two eyes 

No matter the color of our skin 

We are the same

Bass pounded my ears

Screws and chops filled up my heart

Rewinded lyrics

Representin real H-Town

Rip H-town’s king, D.J. Screw

They stand hand in hand

With tears rolling down their cheek

So desperately

Wondering why the price of 

their love can’t simply come free

Being different is a crime

Harsh words thrown at my face

Hoping for justice

Trying to erase my faults

Wishing for equality

Yesterday

I took a walk during class

with my trans friend.

He was sipping jello from a coffee straw

as we brainstormed ideas for writing.

It’s an odd scene;

not something you’d want to be part of at first.

But it’s nice that nowadays,

without being judged,

you can walk down a hallway

with a trans friend

while sipping jello from a coffee straw.

Being together is like connecting two legos

Regardless if they are red or 3×3

They come together as one to make something beautiful

No matter how many times you step on the legos

No matter how much you degrade them

They’re still there

Intact and still together

The beauty of it isn’t how strong they are

The real secret lies inside

I know I am different; you know it too

But we both know I am your equal, and you are mine

 

The way you look at my differences

It is not polite; it is not right

The way you poke at my hijab hurts me more than you could know

It is like I am an exhibit at a museum

But I am not 

I am just like you; I just look different

 

Do I have to make my personality twice as bold as the average one of us?

Is my hijab hiding my character?

I wear it to conserve my beauty for who deserves it, for who I love

It doesn’t hide me

 

My pigment, my clothing, my shape, my background, my beliefs

Are all different than yours, but why is it that you ridicule me

You are also different from me, yet I see you as an equal 

 

I could question where you’ve learned your ways

But I choose to show you mine

Watch how I love the people; watch how I smile at the people

I am the people, and so are you

 

Yes, we look different

But I am just as human as you are

I am just as American as you are

I am just as smart as you are, maybe even more 😉

I am just as bright as you are

I am just as beautiful as you are

I am just as special as you are

And I am just as loved as you are

 

Please learn my ways: my morals and values, my integrity, and my definite personality

I know you’ll see it and learn it, one day

I hope that one day is soon

 

We don’t have to be the same to be equal

But we are equal because we are human and we respect one another

Identical treat-

ment and bias towards no one.

We are all the same – 

The same skin and flesh and bones

And dreams and hopes and beliefs.

All together, a sound

They stand in their cliques

The white swans dance around

Mocking the graceful yellow chicks

 

They stand in their cliques

The blue and black birds sing together

As the white swans say Their remarks

They knew their worth From the start

 

The blue and black birds Sing together

The white swans dance Around

They knew their worth From the start

All together, a sound

The unfair battle that is here

Discrimination life

Race, gender and age

Ruins many lives

Unjust, cruel

Vicious

vile

Two children cycling in the rain

Two helmets glistening, covered in raindrops like a rose petal

They laugh at each other as one tries to be faster than the other

The boy falls, his pink helmet plummets as he does

His blonde sister holds his hand and picks his small body up as he cries

His knee bleeds, the pavement’s essence buried in his skin

 

The small, pallid girl holds her brother in her arms as she trembles under his weight

She drags both bicycles beside her 

She kisses her brother on his head as she whispers to him that it’s okay

That he will be alright and mommy will make his knee stop hurting

Hang on, she says, hang on

When mommy sees her baby all hurt, she holds him, and the girl looks as her mother nestles him in her arms

 

His sister remembers this moment when a girl falls to the ground

A ball hits her face, her glasses shatter

The same small, ruddy girl, taller now, reaches out

With the same hand she gave to her brother

To the girl on the ground, with her dark, long hair and eyes like two drops of coffee

Now glistening, crying from the blood on her shattered nose

 

The blonde beauty holds her with the same love she saw in her mother’s eyes

Two people, complete strangers

On the floor of the pavement, holding each other in eternal warmth

In the midst of the chaos around, boys laughing and mouthing foul words

It didn’t matter that the girl with beautiful, raven tresses and dark eyes was a stranger

It mattered that she was vulnerable, it mattered that she needed someone to hold

And regardless of who she was or what she looked like

She deserved the same love as anyone else

No matter your race

No matter your religion

No matter your sex

Or your orientation

Our hearts are all full of love

Anger

Fierce enough to claim its prize.

Black clouds spiraled her head

Growing and colluding her mind

Until all she could see was 

Anger.

Hot flames aimed at her heart.

The heat chained inside of her veins

Lunged at a desperate escape.

Until her resolve flaked away.

Anger

In dusty grape fields and 

Gatherings at Garces Highway

Grasping at any opportunity

To engulf those surrounding her.

Anger 

Overpowering in New York, 

In the sweet clarity

Of June’s violent sun and

 Its thrashing rays of heat. 

Anger

At injustice and static progress.

At last, it poured out 

Searing the landscape with

Her heaving words and tears of

Anger

Forever preserved in fragile memories

And scars that will never fade.

As she fights to be finally

At peace.

 

Equality is 

The idea of freedom

We are all the same

Regardless of skin color

Or our personal beliefs

In America, everyone has 

the chance to succeed and

To pursue their dreams.

Not every country can give

You that opportunity.

To be a scholar, athlete or

Even an underwater basket weaver.

Everyone is equal under the laws

Of America.

 

Segregation

And discrimination has

No place here any longer.

It is amazing

How much America has grown

Since the last century.

To realize that everyone,

No matter who they are deserves

Equal rights, equal opportunity.

Black. A color, yet also a mentality.
A shade, yet also a personality.
How do you see black?
Is it the color of your car?
Is it something that reminds you of death?
Do you think of violence?
Do you think of black when you see red?
Do you imagine flashing blue and red lights?
What do you see in black?
I see endless possibility
Black has a unique ability
To bring about change in the world.
MLK, Rosa Parks
Some of the greats.
People that fought for equality.
Equality is not a crime.
It is a right for all.
Without equality,
You wouldn’t see a black car.
You would think of struggle.
You would think of pain.
You would think of courage.
Black has many meanings.
How plain, yet ambiguous.
Weak, divided.
United, strong.

I have more than enough, don’t you think?
I’m allowed to live
I’m allowed to speak
I’m allowed to walk down the street
I can be myself
With a few exceptions
I cannot donate blood
I cannot visit some countries
without a biblical retribution
But I shouldn’t be complaining
At least I’m allowed to exist

Being a woman

Not able to have the same rights

Treated differently

Wishing I was someone else

Society still the same

Raise the signs high up

March along with the large crowd

Wondering for years

Many as diverse as me

now all a society

The two boys did learn

to not discriminate ‘cause

it only generates 

hate and chaos in which there

is no possible escape.

I.

The Queen, Nkrumah

Black and white, twirl through the room

And I dream a world

Where they can dance forever

A world without collisions

 

II.

The bird soars above

Gliding along the currents

Once upon a time

It had to fall from the nest

Struggling as it learned to fly

 

III.

Rainbows come from storms

Thunder deafens, lighting strikes

Tumult is needed

To paint rainbows in the sky

Else nothing will ever change

The dove sits 

On an olive tree

Looking around

Waiting for its big moment

 

The dove picks up

A long olive branch

Green with many leaves

Its big moment approaching

 

The dove flies

Olive branch in beak

Bringing peace to the world

Reflecting on its big moment

 

The olive branch 

That the dove carried

Brought peace and equality

To all the land

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