Iced Lattes And Weed Stores

Today’s status quo

would have been unthinkable 

just a couple decades ago 

but things become so normal 

after a generation 

like iced lattes 

and weed stores

high speed internet


and drones 

remote controlling 

far more wars 

than you can count 

and a mountain of bodies 

we pretend we can’t see 

and MRAPs cruising Main Street 

while we keep telling ourselves 

this is the land of the free.

Amadou Diallo and Columbine 

seem like a century ago 

but violence is still our pastime 

and death is still the status quo

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Headline Haiku

“US Troops Not Sure

Who They Are Supposed to Shoot

At in Syria”



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Twist the lid and walk away

Brothers and sisters 

from the east, north, south & west

born into unrest

forget about rigged tests of time 

focus on the here & now 

divest from all this violent crime

and as the winds blow

and the chimes start to ring 

and the masses start to sing

worship the ground you walk on 

break bread with those 

you were taught to hate

and bury the priest and king,

treat mountains and valleys 

like the temples they are

twist the lid and walk away 

let the fireflies escape from the jar

and maybe shooting star wishes 

will bring peace to the land

but so will turning off the gas

and putting down the fan,

so the flames will quickly burn out 

and humanity will heal,

let’s value truth and justice 

not deadly mass appeal.

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All we have to lose

May the ignorant lose

all their bliss 

and the prophets deflect 

that Judas kiss

may the swords all break 

and the guns all rust

and may we affirm 

in ourselves we trust 

may the merchant ships 

go up in flames 

and the queen drown 

in the River Thames 

may the wars all end

and the violence cease

let’s disarm the government,

disband the police 

and demand Wall Street crumble 

so we’re fleeced no more

let’s tear down all the prisons 

and release the poor 

let’s unlock our doors 

and turn off the news

and realize mental chains 

are all we have to lose

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Streets Where They Can’t Breathe

We all curse the athlete 

as if life were a game 

somehow we keep forgetting 

that Cassius changed his name 

and they took away his title

and he risked a whole lot more 

Ali nearly went to prison 

to avoid an unjust war 

because right was right 

and wrong was wrong 

and he had no quarrel 

with the Vietcong

so he did what he knew 

that he had to do 

when he stood up and fought 

the red, white, & blue

Our dollars turn to bullets

and the decades fade away

the bodies turn to mountains 

but somehow we still pay 

for policemen and for soldiers 

who keep killing black and brown 

between our prayer and our amen

they gunned a mother down 

while her sons were laying motionless

in streets where they can’t breathe 

as the old blood-spangled banner waves 

injustice they receive 

in Baghdad and in Baltimore 

where bread turns into bones 

the dead turn into numbers 

and a broken-winged dove groans

Another bullet blazes

through the cool, crisp autumn air,

no obituary phrases

can give you the heart to care

or the eyes to see past hatred 

or the ears to hear the truth 

or the nose to smell Rome burning 

as your taxes kill black youth

and blow up countless cities 

in the countries you can’t see 

while you salute a blood soaked flag 

pretending that you’re free

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Look Into The Mirror

Jay-Z’s here

so you think it’s okay 

but have you read 

the news today?

The mindless masses 

stand and clap 

but grieving mothers 

kneel with Kap

We eat more pumpkin 

and apple pie 

watching the game 

as black folks die

and we lie to ourselves 

saying things aren’t that bad

but four hundred years 

is more than a fad

We should be mad as hell 

not cheering the game 

look into the mirror 

you are to blame

If cops killed people 

who looked like you 

I guarantee 

you’d be kneeling too

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Divest Yourself

You say you want peace
and you pray for it each day
so why do you pay
when the taxman comes calling?
You pay for the falling bombs,
no psalms will stop war
and as long as you buy more,
more soldiers will kill and die
on their fourteenth tour, and more
police will shoot black people
as they open their front door
and more medicine
will be withheld from the poor
and if you want peace
you’ll have to do so much more,
you’ll have to explore
the depths of your soul
and you’ll have to ask yourself
why it is you’ve been okay
despite the rising death toll,
those millions of brown faces,
those human beings
we’ve be taught to fear
divest yourself from violence,
save that alligator tear.

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