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Some Poetry about Humanity

In celebration of National Poetry Month, I want to share with you some poems from one of my favorite local poets, John Stilwell.  Some relate to the good of humanity and the world around us, and one relates to the bad.
(These are all used with permission.)

The first are some Haiku poems:

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Our inner lights shine

Gently split by Life’s Prism

Beautiful colors!

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I look in your eyes-

Warmth and pain; sorrow and joy.

I look and see me.

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Black and white pixels

swirl and merge from far away-

into shades of grey.

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In all stars, beauty –

Silently, brightly shining.

In us all – a star.

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The following poem, also written by John Stilwell, was tragically inspired by a hate crime:

The Last Refrain

She said he sang,
strong and clear;
a voice which erased pain.

No song was this,
that passed their lips –
They bound him up with chain.

What did they hear?
It’s best not told,
though one sure thought rings clear:

His sister will not
hear his voice –
There was no last refrain.

Why did their God,
along that road,
where he will long remain,

cross those paths,
wax insane,
allow no last refrain?

What will we do,
in fear and shame,
to mitigate the pain?

We’ll try them fast
and bid them die –
There’ll be no last refrain.

Note: This poem was a response to the murder of James Byrd Jr. who was brutally murdered by being chained to the back of a pickup truck and drug for over a mile in Jasper, Texas on June 7th, 1998. Three men committed the crime. One was sentenced to life and two are on death row.
The Federal Hate Crimes legislation that was signed into law in 2009 was partly in response to this horrific hate crime.


Here is a link to poems about diversity that were winners of contests for young folks:

If you are interested in more information about National Poetry Month, check out the web page for the Academy of American Poets:

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