Category Archives: Racism

Rising – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJs Weekly Challenge – Pace

Photo: theguardian.com The statue of the slave trader Edward Colston (1636 – 1721) comes down, his company was responsible for the capture, transport and sale of 100,000 slaves in the Caribbean and the Americas. Colston made his fortune from slave trading, and, not-with-standing that he later became a philanthropist, his wealth and life flourished by the misery of others. I my view, people who profit from the misery of others do not deserve any public recognition or honour.

“I know the removal of the Colston statue will divide opinion, as the statue itself has done for many years. However it’s important to listen to those who found the statue an affront to humanity.” Marvin Rees (Mayor of Bristol)

Rising

The statues of subjugation crash
to the ground of the past,
we're loving a new now,
the beginning of future dreams,
free-ranged, unwrapped,
letting go Aquarius' aged darkness,
rising to unison of heart,
pace the whispers of worm tongues
who would hold oppression lightly,
but whose account is well due.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Note: I have used pace in preposition form, expressing disagreement with worm tongues with those who support enslavement of any kind.

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Filed under challenge, Free Verse, history, injustice, life, poem, quote, Racism

It Begins With Me – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Word of the Day – Begin

Photo: abc.net.au BLM protest in Adelaide, June 6.

“Racism is a refuge for the ignorant. It seeks to divide and to destroy. It is the enemy of freedom ….” Pierre Berton

It Begins With Me

We know the system is malignant,
a menancing metastases whose
symptoms are poverty and despair
matched to a greyscale of colour,
imprisoned in anger that rails
agasinst the enormity of the evil
that presses in on every side,
and yet, the scaqle of it all
is not beyond us,
just a shift in thinking,
a step forward,
a word said right,
it begins with me.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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To Breathe – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: George Floyd – New York Times

dVerse Poets – Open Link Night

Grace at dVerse is hosting Open Link Night where we post a poem of our own choice. My choice has been influenced by the poems Grace posted as a reflection on the protests and Floyd’s death. So, I’m reblogging an earlier OLN poem about George Floyd that I wrote in the moment of grief having watched the video of his murder. Still can’t get it out of my mind, can’t erase the anger I feel of the injustice to him, and sadly, for so many.

"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,
he 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

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Filed under death, Free Verse, grief, life, poem, quote, Racism

Whiteousness – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJs Weekly challenge – Privilege

Photo: Professor Steve Locke detained on the street because he looked like someone the police wanted in relation to an attempted break-in. Steve Locke – “I Fit The Description”

“The police make me as a white woman feel safe, while my black friends, family and neighbours feel the opposite.” Natalie Portman.

Whiteousness 

Blue and red like a vapour 
flashes off the windows
all around me,
siren squeals a warning and
I pull over to the side,
my routine, rehearsed so often,
plays out in tension real,
window down,
no sudden moves,
papers and cards out,
both hands on the wheel so
he can see there's no threat,
sweating now, anxious,
is my misdemeanour worth my life,
will I bleed for colour today
to make this man feel righteous?
Do I fit the profile,
do I look like someone he
needs, wants, to shoot?
Don't stare,
sound soft, polite,
don't be black,
ingratiate,
just make it easy on his ego,
right or wrong,
his mood determines my future,
Right or wrong,
his privilege is my death.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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The Art Of Bludgeoning – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: forbes.com A seventy-five year old man was shoved to the ground, causing serious injury, the two officers have been stood down pending investigation. This must end.

RDP Friday – Protest

"We're not anti-police ... we're anti-police brutality."  Al Sharpton

The Art Of Bludgeoning 

We can't have peace,
take an oath,
take a badge,
now go,
be brave,
bludgeon that 
man,
woman,
child,
until their blood
redeems the views
of the marionette's
twisted predations,
laid bare on the 
altar of lies,
such is the denial
of protest.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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Filed under Free Verse, life, poem, quote, Racism, Uncategorized

I have No Words – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: gettyimages.com

https://onewomansquest.org/2020/06/01/vjs-weekly-challenge-98- no-words/

"Racism is all over the world but justice is nowhere."  Areena Nadeem

I Have No Words

Decades of days have passed
whose shadows have lenghtened
like a pall on a coffin
in a dimly lit chapel
awaiting a prayer of light
to reveal the edifice collapsed,
the facade of politeness exposed
in every corner of a smug world,
where power is bound in abstraction,
whose currency is hatred,
whose anthems divide,
whose flags are merely shrouds
of deadly propaganda
laying waste to minds,
what has happened to humanity?
It is impossible to speak of it,
I have no words.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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Filed under Free Verse, life, poem, Racism, Uncategorized

What Is The Colour Of Guilt? – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: time.com


"There comes a time when silence is betrayal."  Martin Luther King Jr.

What Is The Colour Of Guilt?

We thought he had a gun,
she was in the way,
he walked towards me,
she was similar to the picture,
he was eratic,
he was suspicious,
she reached into her handbag
he was filming me,
she was unwell,
he looked like a perp,
he was known,
he argued,
the neighbour said,
we didn't know it was a phone,
he crashed his car,
there was a phone call,
O, it was a toy gun,
He shot himself while handcuffed,
he was running,
he was asleep but he was armed,
he was in the shop,
He was high,
she was arguing,
there were drugs,
he laughed,
O, he was in his own yard,
mistaken identity,
he was helping police,
he looked at me,
he was mentally ill,
she was homeless,
unpaid fines,
the white man said,
the white woman said,
he was black,
she was balck,
a counterfeit twenty dollar note,
8.46,
a cheap life
when you stand in blue
above the law you uphold,
you can make up a story
to make their innocence 
suit your crime,
what is the colour of guilt?

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Note: To say that Black Lives Matter is not to diminsh other lives, especially Indigenous lives, but they simply make the point about injustice. Statistics don't actually bear out the injustice until you look deeply at the cases - unarmed, ill, mistaken identity, and many innocent people. 

Paul, pvcann.com

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Filed under community, death, Free Verse, injustice, life, poem, politics, quote, Racism