On Peaceful Demonstrations

Bullies with badges and guns;
In Baton Rouge were dressed to fight.
They antagonized and intimidated the people;
It was such a frightful sight.

Peace Officers in Inglewood, California;
Simply allowed the people to have their say.
It was a Black Lives Matter demonstration;
And it was such a peaceful day.

A lesson to be learned;
Regarding public demonstrations.
There can be peace in the streets;
When there is collective communication.

Too Much Hate

Too much Donald Trump;
Too little Muhammad Ali;
Too much hate;
Not enough sincere humanity.

They say guns don’t kill,
Figure that out for yourself.
But hate surely does,
And I tell you something else.

It was hate that killed,
Unarmed men, women, and kids.
At Wounded Knee and My Lai,
These things white Americans did.

And it was hate that killed,
Unarmed people in Orlando,
And hate will likely kill again,
And so it sadly goes.

Would that hate were buried,
At Wounded Knee.
Instead of the massacred people,
Who through the ice and snow did flee.

Would that hate faded away,
In that Vietnamese village in 1968.
Instead of long gone peace movements,
Whose revival would surely be great.

The tally of hate,
Four dead in Ohio.
Tally 50 more,
Down in Orlando.

Too much Donald Trump;
Too little Muhammad Ali;
Too much hate;
Not enough sincere humanity.

In Memory of Muhammad Ali

He floated like a butterfly,
He stung like a bee.
But there was more than boxing,
To Muhammad Ali.

He had the courage of his convictions,
And he thought for himself.
Rather than merely doing what he was told,
Like most everyone else.

According to George Foreman,
Muhammad was the greatest human being he knew.
And coming from a great human being himself,
That gives Ali his just dues.

Though it costs Ali his title,
And midst intense racist slurs.
He refused to fight and murder others,
Such conviction rarely occurs.

Among the bravest words,
Are those of Muhammad Ali.
In the quote immediately following,
This poem in his memory.

I watched Ali box when I was a teen,
And have grown to respect him as an adult.
He was an outspoken social activist,
I believe that goodness was the result.

Thank you Muhammad Ali,
May your cause live on,
Thanks for being truly human,
Farewell, and so long.

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas

June 4, 2016

In memory of Muhammad Ali (January 17, 1942-June 3, 2016)

“My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America. And shoot them for what? They never called me nigger, they never lynched me, they didn’t put no dogs on me, they didn’t rob me of my nationality, rape or kill my mother and father…. How can I shoot them poor people? Just take me to jail.”

Damned To Pay Our Dues

Those who are born wealthy,
Use their money to stay wealthy.
Those who are born poor,
Work for money to be healthy.

A ceaseless quest,
To exploit Mother Earth.
Manufacture money from trees.
Then pretend there is a worth.

To a rectangular shred,
Manufactured and stamped.
To symbolize some value,
To we the living damned.

Damned to pay our dues,
For exploiting her so.
Damned to become earthworm feed,
And to help her flowers grow.

In The Land of Endless War

Napalm in ‘Nam,
Drone Wars these days.
A remedy for peace,
Incessant warring ways.

Why settle for peace?
When another war will do.
Why negotiate?
With those you can subdue.

The Military Industrial Complex,
Their budgets must maintain.
Where there is peace and harmony,
A mercenary sees no gain.

We are often told,
That we are always right.
Each time we do engage,
And every time we fight.

Statistically unlikely,
As often as we combat.
For we are known to fight,
At the dropping of a hat.

A declaration I have made,
Peace upon the world.
The odds aren’t in my favor.
In the land of endless war.

Reason and Compassion

There is a voice within,
Deliberating each moment.
The problem which is at hand,
Reasoning helps solve it.

There is a feeling within,
Which accompanies each encounter.
The older that I grow,
I’ve learned not to doubt her.

Reason and compassion,
Natural innate guides.
Experiences without.
Resolutions from inside.

On Compassion As A Moral Code

The intellect and sensitivity,
Natural guides for existential being.
Feelings are for ethical behavior,
The eyes are for the seeing.

Pain is bad,
Comfort is good.
Sensitivity is a guide,
To function as we should.

Why seek pain,
When comfort will do?
I have an aversion to suffering,
I can only assume the same for you.

The intellect and sensitivity,
Natural guides for existential being.
Compassion as a moral code,
The eyes are for the seeing.