Instead of Running Away, I Raced

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Instead of Running Away, I Raced
–after Maya Angelou

rabid dogs stamped
inferior on my skin
thrust a dish rag in my hand
beat me down with a broom stick
tried to drown me in a mop pail
then they locked me in an iron can
but when the steel bars opened
i learned and i ran
but instead of running away
i raced

amongst many patrons
searching volumes of pages,
volumes of books on library shelves
i raced

amongst many peers in many
computer science, history,
arts, electronics classes
i raced

in many counsels, many mentors
with open ears open eyes,
open heart, closed mouth
i raced

as lowest ranking team member
executing project tasks
project after project after project
i raced

as project captain driving hard
towards aggressive
career threatening deadlines
i raced

rabid dogs stamped
inferior on my skin
thrust a dish rag in my hand
beat me down with a broom stick
tried to drown me in a mop pail
then they locked me in an iron can
but when the steel bars opened
i learned and i ran
but instead of running away
i raced

Jerry T. Johnson, 2017

note:  this poem will appear in the edition 3 re-launch of “Good Morning New Year” – print edition

 

Palatable

I do not want to try to make poetry
palatable to everyone for
then i may end up diluting
meaning

But

I do want to develop the appetite
for poetry
I want to develop the hunger
for prose
I want to contribute to an acquired taste
for words

Humility is What I Choose

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the gods of the corners
the lords of the street
looked at me and spat cliché
“nice guys lose”

but humility is my fist
meekness is my rule
no matter how high i grow
humility is what i always choose

when i board
my morning train
i stand aside and let
little old ladies board first

when the janitor
asks for my garbage pail
from beneath my desk
i hand it to him and i say “yes sir”

when a homeless man
who has lost his leg
asks me for a dollar
i give him two

when the flight attendant asks
me to buckle up,
i comply with a
kind “thank you”

the gods of the corners
the lords of the street
looked at me and spat cliché
“nice guys lose”

but humility is my fist
meekness is my rule
no matter how high i grow
humility is what i always choose

Thanks to Mad Gleam Press

Thanks to Mad Gleam Press for publishing my piece “Some Big Dogs of the Street” in your Vol II publication POSTmortem___ !!!

I’ve already read a few of poems and I am enjoying this publication.  To all who follow my blog (or FB page), if you would like to get yourself a copy of  POSTmortem, just click the link below.  You will find great art, poetry, prose and more in it.  You can also find my work on page 106 🙂

https://www.madgleampress.com/postblank

 

Removing the Chains

i want to remove the chains
wrapped around my mind
i want to cork the big bottle
put it away, put it down
a glass or two will do
every now and then three
but lately i been drowning

i want my mind to awake
i want my thoughts
to come alive
i want to walk
without too much stagger
without too much swagger

i want to run towards the front line
of the battle of the war against

atrocity