To Breathe (George Floyd) – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

https://dversepoets.com/2020/05/28/openlinknight267/

Grace at dVerse is hosting Open Link Night, the night we choose a poem of our own to post.

Photo: New York Times


“I Can’t Breathe” George Floyd

To Breathe

The tissue of life is delicately thin,
especially when the protectors grin,
arraigned with a knee and
pinned to the ground,
he couldn't breathe;
no judge, no jury,
they refused his cry,
the man needed air,
we was guilty, without sin,
they murdered George Floyd
with a dirty white lie and
since the moment he stopped,
I have struggled to breathe.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

I struggle with this, I wept for this man, for us, for life!

Paul, pvcann.com

98 Comments

Filed under death, Elegy, Free Verse, grief, life, poem, quote, Restorative Justice, Uncategorized

98 responses to “To Breathe (George Floyd) – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

  1. It has always been shameful and getting worse now. I think T is an instigator.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. A very needless, senseless death. I weep with you, Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: REBLOG: To Breathe (George Floyd) – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon – The Bag Lady

  4. I, too, mourn this man who was murdered while we watched.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Amy

    Saddened… I, too, I have struggled to breathe.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very shameful act but the powerfuls never feel the pain or the guilt.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have struggled to breathe too, Paul. Cannot yet put words to the horror I feel.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This tore my heart, Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Expresses what so many of us are feeling Paul. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Still nauseous and furious. That Mr. Floyd was calling for his mama as a murderer in uniform snuffed out his life with a smirk broke my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, what words can we use, it just overwhelms. An intentional murder under cover of power. My heart broke too, I hope somehow this results in charge. I can’t agree with rioting but how do you express grief when you feel that everyone is deaf? Horrible. Thank you for sharing your feelings.

      Like

  11. It’s infinitely hard to be watching this same scenario replay so often in our country. It was the wide-spread broadcast of scenes of brutality in Salem, the dead bodies in Vietnam, that influenced the passage of the Civil Right Bill and finally ended the war in Vietnam. I fervently pray that these sights will once again spur this country to a different outcome. However, in those days we did not have presidents who openly advocate acts a violence as legitimate forms of disagreement. I am ashamed and heartbroken we allow it to continue. We the entire people have not in my lifetime faced such great danger. When one is allowed to walk in fear – we must all go trembling for if they come for you why not me?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, the repetition must be devastating, I share your hope, even from afar, it seems that the mighty has fallen but can rise again. Yes, fear is crippling and destabilising. I agonise over these very things. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings.

      Like

  12. Shameful and heartbreaking…hope for justice to prevail this time and for a leader who will inspire and foster peace instead of inciting violence and hate to deflect attention from his own crimes

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I can hear the echoes of his pleas, I can’t breathe. This made me weep, no one should die like that. Where was the justice? So heartbreaking.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Nice phrase: “guilty, without sin,”

    Liked by 1 person

  15. We are so upset. It is an abomination. This is just one in a weekly occurrence (it seems like).

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This is beautifully penned. I am moved by your words and tragedy of the man. Thanks for joining us at Dverse.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. It’s so disgusting… I do wonder if there will be some true change this time. Maybe it will finally bring change,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hoping Bjorn, surely in time reflection on this will out the issues at least. I wonder if there are strong champiopns of legislative change and also community leadership?

      Like

  18. Paul this captures the feeling so well. I have felt ashamed for days. I witnessed a man losing his life for what? Because someone had the power and arrogance to do it? I too wrote a poem yesterday but have not published it yet. I just hope justice is served and Trump will no longer have the power to negate it. 😢

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m crying… You have honor George Floyd in a beautiful way.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. So moving. Dare people hope for change, after so many past abominations?

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I love this….can I inform my readers about your site so that they can read it as well? If not I understand! But thank you so much for posting this…very thoughtful way to honor another human being!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Charis Counselling

    Yes indeed – I totally agree and your words express my feelings about this tragic and deplorable travesty

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Thank you for this. Please check out my recent post regarding racism in america so we can support the movement together ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Thank you for this.A great recommendation. Its horrible what’d happend again.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Paul—Thank God for the artists who jump into the fray. interprreting and consoling! Thank you for being one of these courageous few!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    TAKES REAL COURAGE TO WRITE ABOUT THIS SO SOON. YOWZA!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Beautifully written, Paul. It has been more than a week now, and I am still in shock over what we all saw. I would like to think there will be systemic change in our justice system and in the hearts of the citizens of our country, but then I remember Sandy Hook and Parkland High School.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I share your thoughts Janet. I started watching the video without taking in the headline fully, I can’t unsee it now, broke my heart. Hope people remember come Election Day.

      Like

  28. I could not breathe either with shock for a long long time. In fact when someone first sent me the video I could not look beyond the first few minutes. It was only a couple of days later that I could bring myself to watch to the end. The helpless cries for help and the inability of anyone to step in choke me as much as the callousness of the officers … but that is a choke of utmost anger.
    Thank God all four have been charged. Praying the wheels of justice turn fast and change comes. That would be George Flloyd’s legacy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, so agree, just evil, to rob a life for no reason. Seems to me a lot of reform needs to happen in the US in justice and policing. I cannot unsee that video, haunting.

      Like

  29. It makes me so sad I can’t watch the news. I wanted to write a poem about this too but so far I can’t. I am glad to have found yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I can’t breathe…forever in my brain

    Liked by 1 person

  31. A little tRump and Melanoma supporter right there. Let me guess, white supremacist, facist, surely not from south, fox news, surely not?!!

    Like

  32. One of my followers stated in his post we need a deliberate and transparent change! There’s much that can be done to prevent these happenings and it’s unfortunate that we are even having this discussion. He will not be forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I thought a lot of Ahmaud Arbery just before George Floyd’s death. I could not watch the news because at the same time, just after I’d written about Ahmaud Arbery, my five-year-old daughter died on May 27. I relate to the depth of pain and injustice in your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a difficult place to be in, I can’t begin to even imagine what you’re feeling, but I do appreciate you reaching out and responding. Thank you for sharing your pain, and for your reaction to the poem.

      Like

  34. The words are amazingly used

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Pingback: To Breathe (George Floyd) – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon — parallax – The Interfaith Intrepid

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