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Joshua Jones: Two Poems

Tomorrow's Voices Today

Beautiful Feet

I want to leave
this world behind
And saying goodbye
          to the filth
that is mankind
People dying
       on these streets
Brother killing Brother
Blacks killing blacks
Latinx killing Latinx
Both of us killing
                each other
Appropriating each other’s culture
    And maliciously
    and deceitful trampling
Each other under our feet.
Beating each other down
Just because we sound
and look slightly different

The dream and ambitions
of many aren’t to thrive
                           but merely survive
and hope that their actions
will be justified and somewhere
along the lines
they’ll be rectified
                         but all in all
they hope they
                              don’t die
on these streets.
But please understand
there is hope
There are those leading
                                            a change

Walking these streets with beautiful feet
Giving milk and meat
to the otherwise hungry
And shedding light in the dark
so even the blind can see
                                    R.I.P Nipsey
He was one that tried.
But I wonder now how
                      many people are gonna ride
Or are we afraid
                             of being crucified
      And hide
   our faces
The ages before us were
             willing
to suffer for a change

Look at Cesar Chavez,
                     and Dr.King
Who were men of sorrows
acquainted with grief and pain
but it made them warriors
for peace righteousness and change
So are we gonna
                  stand up
And have beautiful feet
Or are we gonna be products
of our environments
and behave supercilious?

*

My Testimony

It doesn’t matter
if you were or are a Crip
Blood
Skinhead
Or an ese
You can still change
You can change that identity
And put it in the past man
But man I’d be damned
if someone wasn’t always
trying to bring the past up
About how you used to hang
with people underage and smoke up
with some drink in your cup
and turn up an look
for some people to beat up
But hold up
Shut it down

That ain’t yo get down
Well at least not anymore
You don’t have to ignore
that those things happened
But realize that isn’t
your current practice
And you don’t go around trying
to put these things into action
So it doesn’t matter what
Faction or set you claim
Because you can still change
You can change your surroundings
And mind frame
And be an impactful change
in the same community
you helped terrorize
You are no longer
a deliberate bad guy
Why?
Because you changed

It doesn’t matter what
those simple minded people
say about you man
Because as you keep saying
That ain’t my get down
So you don’t have to get down
when you’re mad
You can communicate
and try to walk away
So don’t worry
about getting caught up
Because even if you do
get caught up
You can take a step back
and say Hold up
That ain’t my get down.

(Author photo by Malakhi Simmons)

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