Collected Poetry Project Poems

Collected Poems from all Poetry Project work: Fall 2017 Imagining America  — to Fall 2019 Student Summit

Table of contents:

  1. Fall 2017 Barb Clauer’s stanzas from the Imagining America 2017 Community-Generated Poem “Imagining America” (link to full project post)
  2. Fall 2017 Poems Barb Clauer wrote from community-generated responses from Fall 2017 ENGL 201 Introduction to Poetry students (link to full project post)
  3. Spring 2018 Inaugural LCC Community-Generated Poetry Project (link to full project post)
  4. Spring 2018 “Creating Poetry/Creative Resistance” Black History Month Event (link to full project post)
  5. May 2018 Professional Development Day Poetry Project Session (link to full project post)
  6. Fall 2018 Homelessness Poetry Project in collaboration with Professor Judy Allen’s and her docu-play I Have a Name (link to full project post)
  7. Spring 2019 Black History Month “Creating Poetry/Creative Resistance” sessions March 19th and March 20th, 2019 (link to full project post)
  8. Spring 2019 LCC One Book (now called Capital Area One Book) Poetry Project with Angie Thomas’ novel The Hate U Give (link to full project post)
  9. Spring 2019 LCC One Book Wrap-Up session (link to full project post)
  10. Fall 2019 Community-Generated Poetry Activity for the September 20th, 2019 Inaugural LCC Student Summit on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (link to full project post)

 

1. Fall 2017 Barb Clauer’s stanzas from the Imagining America 2017 Community-Generated Poem “Imagining America” (Link to the full poem titled “Imagining America”)

America is a dizzy boxer,
A forwarded meme, a vegan carnivore.
But its dream can be a nightmare for the hateful,
Haunting them.  It loves the love that is difficult,
Tries to remember to be a citizen of the entire world,
To do something
About it
With a work of art forged from
Ephemera used in direct action.

America is fractal, a chaotic, confusing gem
With inequalities and injustice in its inner workings,
In access to the fruits of its labor –
A drunk bumblebee stuck on a hibiscus plant
Crying tweets.

But if we could imagine
A new American superhero
What would her superpowers be?
A collage of empathy for others, transcendence,
Umoja (“unity” in Swahili),
A West Coast statue of Unity
Accumulated through adding stones
To others’ sculptures by the American River,
Blessing the survivors of her wrath.

 

2. Poems Barb Clauer wrote from community-generated responses from Fall 2017 ENGL 201 Introduction to Poetry students

America Is

America is a contradiction.
Arrogance + ignorance
like those who once thought 
the sun revolved around the earth.
A meddling klutz who means well,
but falls in the pool 
just dipping its toes in.
A moody teenager pushing 
away the adults, 
but still asking for dinner.
A pep squad: shouting, shouting, shouting
tossing each other in the air, 
smiling through a pulled muscle.

America is the gusting wind 
fraying its own flag.
A dog snapping and barking to be loved.
The shock of a cold lake full of bright fish
after a hot tub of rippling anger.
Apathy catcalls empathy.

An illness chokes America,
rectangular like money.
Always open to the prospect 
of development,
merchandise everlasting
absolved of accountability.

America is a mirage, 
ephemeral as a cloud floating away
blocking the sun even as it evaporates.

***
Poetry Is

Poetry is a park in the walk
playing with words
on a language jungle gym.
Parades of flying and flightless birds
riding a free breeze
purposefully overlooking
excused rules.

Poetry sneaks into your dreams
through the open door
to gaze upon the poet you are there
and steal the opulence of words
screaming from your fingertips.

Poetry allows reconciliation and yielding,
room to pretend and play with cliché.
Years are lost but always there.
Everyone involved neglects reality,
time travel is possible.

 

3. Spring 2018 Inaugural LCC Community-Generated Poetry Project

¿Shackled in Freedom?
by Brad Chattaway, Jesse Hamilton, and Uriah Lahti

Dead broke and feeling sour
Woke up and didn’t even shower
Ignite the beater and off I wander
Dodging millions of potholes over yonder
Off to LCC I go

A career I can enjoy that supports me
And maybe even some extra change for the family
But how can I get all the way to school
If I can’t park my car…maybe carpool?
Lost at LCC I am.

I get to class and am blown away
At all the homework we have for the day
But not once have I ever raised my hand
I sit there lost and confused about supply and demand
Lost at LCC I am.

One thing we want is BETTER SECURITY
And we believe in ECONOMIC EQUALITY
I never take tests and I still get a hundred
I don’t know why, but that grade will get me off this cheap bed.

Searching for parking, for what seems like days
I am tired,
hungry
Anxious about my grades

Throttling the car to my newly earned place
emotions swell
My procrastination piling up homework
already from hell,
leaving me gasping,
trying to do well
Now I bolt for my class
I’ve just missed the bell

But all can be well
If we refuse to fall victims to procrastination
in a forced
yet functional community
we can overcome hate of all
every person
religion,
or nation.

I find myself asleep
in a nap between classes
just trying to keep my GPA consistent
But it’s hard to be persistent
when I’m chained in this prison
for which I must pay.

As I complete my assignments
drinking cheap liquor
I reflect
what I pay for is not just solitary confinement
we make good friends
run into old ones
tie up loose ends.

We are learning at discount,
Just like my liquor
we are open minded
even as some of our skulls are thicker.
On others – our positive difference we can amount.

Now as I set down
my unsatisfying cup
I know we are not those who’ve all but given up,
submitting to
“the last chance college.”

Together a family, we walk down the path
of happiness
knowledge
our condition is math
one problem, many solutions.

Although we are shackled
we’re shackled in freedom,
our failures help us,
as long as we see them.

There’s an obligation to encourage and inspire
Gaining knowledge to spark an idea like a fire
Discovering a love for different cultures
We are free, not frozen like a sculpture
Spending time with the people I love
While shooing away racism like a dove
Here, learning is the goal
to motivate the youth is our role
to be successful you must work hard
have fun in the world like it’s your backyard

Now I’m living on a beach sipping a mojito
Living large on the island of Wakito
Cuz’ I’m dead broke and feeling sour.
Woke up and didn’t even shower
Survived LCC I did.

***

Brokeback College
by Jaquanna Carter, Kayla Norris, Tricia Wickens, Emilee Wilcox

Brokeback college
It’s like a Ponzi scheme,
eating my money and my time
The most expensive simultaneous ego boost
and ego shatter
I’ll ever participate in
Full of lonely lesser-thans

“Last Chance College”
It’s college on easy mode
that’s why you get good grades
You’re just solving problems
someone already knows the answer to.
Waiting 10 minutes for someone to back out
of their parking spot
they never did
Is it over yet?

Powering through malady
like a bittersweet symphony
Participation, connection, empathy
Stressful but worth it.
I am phenomenal,
Powerful.
I’m not afraid to move forward

Moving forward
there’s hope for everyone.
It’s not where we came from
but where we are going.
We don’t need superhero powers;
What we do is good enough.
We will one day be
greater and stronger.

***

Last Chance of College
by Grace Carroll, Gracie Smith-Jobski, Ebonee Young

The earth actually could be flat
Fast forward time
Looking both ways before crossing the street, and then getting hit by a plane
Leaving on a jet plane
Long journey with no exact destination
A series of unfortunate events
You can never park anywhere
Steal parking spots
Where people stalk you for your parking spots
Taking the L
Being stuck between child and adulthood
College turns a teenager into an adult
My patience wears thin more quickly than i thought
Came 40 minutes early to school and was still late because I couldn’t get a parking spot
I am very
A pebble, small and boring
A colone of ants
LCC weight on my shoulders, like a weight
Its smart to go to to save money
Money
Rich AF-2Chainz
Be prepared to be tired
Lansing is like a home i don’t want to live in
The place you dred going to
High school on drugs
I prepares for real life
College is like the food chain, someone is always going to be better and smarter than you
Transfer students: the ones who got away
My daughter cancer
I like to procrastinate everyweek
LCC concert, a musically painful moment
Lansing is like big and new I was not born in lansing so it is different being from a small town
If i met one of my LCC professors in 5 years it would be at fun and we would talk about what we doing
compelet

***

As Yet Untitled
by Lorisa Bolinger, Echo Canaday, Ryanne Gumfory, and 
Courtney McLaren

I just go to LCC
a last chance college
the first step
toward the future
where I want to be somebody
but I’m locked in conformity
a cage, an empty room
a blank wall
so much potential

Our community, a pack of wolves,
brings security, a thriving ecosystem the 
true heart of the state
a beehive
all sorts of buzzing and humming,
everyone doing their own thing
constant panic
too many people do the wrong thing.
I’m not living for myself.
Welcome to the club.

The roads are terrible
The earth might actually be flat
I’m on a long journey with no exact destination
on a busy street that never sleeps
filled with pebbles small and boring
the smallest stepping stones
anyone can go to college
I owe it to myself to take control

I am somebody
to love and be loved
community is like a human blood stream, an open-ended family
a giant pot of boiling opinions
that taught me not everyone has the same heart as me 
and so together through bagels, buildings and a whole lot of stairs
we grow and learn and start.

 

4. Spring 2018 “Creating Poetry/Creative Resistance” Black History Month Event

Student-created poems inspired using first lines from: 
“Harlem”, “I, Too” and “Let American Be America Again”

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it feel rage over being forgotten
     Or does it not give a fuck?
Does it wait for the door to reopen?
Or does it wither?
Does it close its eyes like a dead body?
A dream doesn’t come to a sleeper
     Or does it?
Is it all nothing and no longer holds meaning?
Do you get one chance or two?
Like a butterfly
God’s proof that you get two lives.

***

I, too sing but not to
America
I, too, sing. America is a land
of mixed genres, where it
shouldn’t be judged on the person’s
point of view.
I, too, love myself, but unlike
you, I know when I’m wrong
and love myself strong.
We all bleed the same color
but, we are all separated.
I am the broken brother, but
unlike Humpty Dumpty, I can put
myself together.

I, too, sing America for
peace all over. Put down the
guns and pick up the love.
I am successful – technologically advanced.
I am the future, the innovators
of upcoming America.
I, too, sing American; I see
the potential you can be.

***

Let America be America again.
When people cared more about
each other and less about defense.
When people built bridges instead
of worrying about a fence.
Pretend with your benevolence
yet black can’t equal excellence.
Let America nourish and empower
Let America be America again.
Let me be me once again
no conformity, no difference
because of a “friend”.
Let everyone love everyone
again and all of us be equal
again and everyone be a team
again.
America lost to the sea
in the horizon without
regard to the past or the present.
Let American be America again
Let us all go back to being the melting pot,
where crime wasn’t labeled one race
and kids go outside and play on the slide
coming back home in one piece.

 

5. Poetry Project:  May 2018 Professional Development Day Poetry Project Session

LCC is like a busy street that
     never sleeps, a home I don’t
     want to live in, constantly
     planning a wedding.
A beehive, all sorts, buzzing & humming.
A giant fishbowl, it’s a cozy little space.
Came 40 minutes early, still late to
     class, couldn’t find a parking spot…
     afraid to use the Gannon bathroom.
Staying up all night drinking coffee
So much potential, locked in conformity.
Oh say can you tell how my future will be?
     I hope I don’t regret this.

by Dan Holt, Marcy Bauman, Sarah Steinhour, Meg Elias, 
and Matt VanCleave
***

Anyone can go to college.
A bittersweet symphony,
A young person’s dedicated Hell,
A nightmare with a happy ending,
“She tried.”
Started from the bottom, now we here,
A kid at the starzone.
Cheaper than most places,
Meijer life statuses,
A ponzi scheme,
Of who they think I am,
I met my boyfriend outside of poetry,
I can’t get off.
It’s our shithole.
Maybe that’s ok.

by Rob McLoone, Tim Deines, Jeff Janowick, and Regina Gong
***

LCC stood proud, concrete exterior hard as
a shell, but inside she held a soft
happy secret
Your average student got a 100%
on a test that I never took & never
raised my hand
My future is bright and luminous
hope before life goes to shit
My life be like
a box of chocolate
money without inflation
remarkably, unremarkable
Get everyone to love one another
By watching them like zoo animals.

by Kali Majumdar, Anne Heutche, Ami Ewald, 
and Rosalie Petrouske

 

6. Poetry Project: Fall 2018 Homelessness Poetry Project in collaboration with Professor Judy Allen’s and her docu-play I Have a Name

Both poems were authored by the whole Fall 2018 ENGL 201 Introduction to Poetry class: Avery Beyea, Olivia Bush, Nicole Cade, Schuyler Clark, Caite Eddy, Julita Fenneuff, Shelby Frink, Ashley Guston, Danielle Hook, Dayona Jennings, Elliot Lowe, Morris Luckett, Maya Ludtke, Mikey Lutz, John Mertke, Mariah Mitchell, Mitchell O’Brien, Douglas Patterson, Brenden Scott, Claire Taylor, Hayden Torra and Tayler Woog

Poem 1

My mother tells me not to look at them;

they have a name, but only the local charity cares.

I avoid eye contact and try not to stare,

I can’t do enough, I’m not charity, I’m me.

It’s easier to ignore them than to ask them about their story.

If they approach me I say,

I don’t have my wallet on me.

I have limited resources.

I don’t have time.

 

Lost in the depths

I see no escape from

my unfortunate fate

I have been reduced to

nothing but insulting words

Crazy

Lazy

Junkie

Drunkie

And I’m always where the darkness glows

where good dreams hide,

Nightmares are shown

Home is a disappearing act, one moment it’s

there and then another it fades

The street is the sanctuary for the

forgotten.

Loneliness is like dreamlessness

“living the dream”!

A malnourished, American dream

Dream of a New Beginning

I dream of the day I

will be considered. I

vacate my former dream

the next day and the next

day and the next

Chased by nightmares

of what tomorrow brings.

Existing but, not living

1 day I’ll become a business

making my Dream…

a Reality.

I am not a stranger to the cold

As passersby don’t meet my eye,

They never see my pain

I have a name

I am one of you

I have an identity, a heart

Don’t banish my soul.

“Why should I help a stranger?”

I don’t want your money

You don’t know what I have

They glare, none seem to care

Under the dirt is a person that’s hurt

You don’t know my name

I was left behind.

Another stranger who can’t meet my eye

The constant flow of people around me

never acknowledge I exist

I am different

I am the one they avoid

How could you love a stranger?


Poem 2:

I have a name.

You see me as a stranger but I can be a friend.

Less judgment more effort.

I’m calling to action

those who choose to be willingly blind.

In a perfect world,

we would lift others up,

instead of leaving them down.

Never think of a homeless person

as just another stranger, they have a name.

Give conversations instead of coins.

A stranger to familiar faces

judging by looks instead of seeking the story.

Every stranger has a name, a voice.

Though a stranger I remain,

Hope I will maintain.

 

There is more to charity than just giving.

Charity is another term for love.

Help another human being;

listen

smile

don’t judge,

it can turn their life around.

In human dignity we find happiness. Now

I’m in your family

I’m in your heart

I’m human again.

It was my past, but it could be me again.

It could be you.

 

When you have no home of your own

you must learn to find a home within yourself

you must find strength to keep living

and better yourself.

You eat and sleep and breathe just as me,

I just have no home or place to be.

I have a heart, and lungs, and working brain,

even though I have no home, I have a name.

I am more than meets your eyes.

My strength may have dwindled but the fire has only grown.

My body is my temple so I call it my home.

Home is a picture painted differently in every mind.

Home is where the heart is, the people

you are surrounded and loved by.

I am a person with a life.

 

I exist

I have an idea of stability,

of safety,

of self-discovery.

I have a name.

I have a dream,

a dream to be like you,

a dream of new beginnings.

I have a name:

it’s happiness

it’s peace.

For the time being,

you probably don’t dream of being like me,

how life was before,

how life used to be.

When I have a name,

I become a bird

and dream about everything.

Just like you,

I have a name.


 

7. Poetry Project:  Spring 2019 Black History Month “Creating Poetry/Creative Resistance” sessions March 19th and March 20th, 2019

Poems from 3.19.19 session

What happens to a dream deferred?
Is it swept like dirt under a rug?
Or does it spread like an invasive bug?
Or is it never really forgotten like a lost loved one?
Is it built like a tank, yet hard to hit?
Or does it shrivel,
like a plant without water?
Does it vanish,
like freedom that has perished?
Does it follow like a shadow,
or wash away on a rainy day?
Does it wash away because of life events?
or do you let your peers deter you away from it?
Or are you free to be as everybody else?
Does it disappear to the back of your mind,
reappearing randomly just to be pushed away again?
Or is it just simply that a dream so long deferred
becomes a dream no longer?


by: Zion Chisolm, Emily Castle, Cy Church, 
Charlese DuMond, Morris Luckett, Quan Tran, 
Kalyn VanWormer, Sydney Green
---

I, too, sing America
Although I am different.
I sing to millions and billions.
Tell that girl to get her own style
because I am unique.
You may not think –
But I already do
My occupation does not define me.
I laugh, cry, and hurt just as much as they do.
I forge ahead, my path, my own.
We are blessed by our heavenly God.
He has given us a new way to live,
A healing comfort of pain and mind.

by: Christopher Marral, Oscar William Navichoc, 
Tionne Heard, Alaina Dempsey, Retha Moore, 
Jalen Steele, Brand Bekke, Courtney Bryan, 
Skye Keeslar, Grace Thelen
---

Let America be America again.
Let our voices be heard
Let the judgements stop
Allow us to be 100% ourselves all the time
Let it be a place of joy
And not a place of pain
Back to a time with no discrimination
A place with no stereotypes
Where you can run around freely
No matter the color of your skin
Let America be America Again
Let it be a place where indigenous people
Are once again treated with respect
Let it be the true “melting pot” it claims to be
That gives everybody equality
Let America be America again

When did America officially lose itself?
Who’s not letting America be America?
But what was America?
Looking back in time, why would we want this?
Who does the repetition benefit?
Let American shape itself.

by: Ruby Edsall-Parr, Caleb Harrison, Ethan Mongean, 
Caleb Friddle, Rose Fox-Long, Emily VanElls, 
Serena Boak, Juhyun Lee, Marquis Jeffries, Kelsey Connor
---

Poem from 3.20.19 


Let America be American again
Let open-mindedness spark opportunity,
Let colonizers be free from strain
Inputting diversity and producing creativity.

(America is still trying to be America to me.)

Dreams have been dreamed
Love expanded from the land
Never kings wear fake crowns
And dares the destruction of someone’s hand

(America is something America will never be.)

“Let America be America again
Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed
Let it be that great strong land of love.”

Let America be America again
When walls come down and bridges are embraced,
Where undocumented immigrants are
Connected with family rather than separated

Cold dreams, thoughts and tears
Washed away like dirty water,
The sweetness of my heart
fade into the darkness of my own loneliness

Let America be America Again
Without the violence, the pain, and the suffering.
Let America be awesome.
If I had a choice, I would take the flag and
Burn it, because it has so much bloodshed,
And create something new: a flag that’s clean.
Let America be great again.

by: Gary Cox, James Henson, Daniel Morgan, 
Prisca Mtimavalye, Leticia Naverro

 

8.  Poetry Project:  Spring 2019 LCC One Book (now called Capital Area One Book) Poetry Project with Angie Thomas’ novel The Hate U Give

Written by LCC students Emmerson Myhre, Lauren Nugent, 
Kurstina Simmons, and Tucker Tatroe, this poem came 
from source material written by other LCC students 
in response to prompts concerning identity and 
feeling pressure to code-switch


Hidden Beneath My Skin Is A Soul That Nobody Will See

This is not me, nor do I want it to be
Feels like I am in camouflage
It’s hard to see yourself as the same person
In a situation where people
Call you by a different name
It’s like we have to put on a different mask every day
I am the work me
I am the school me
I am the home me
I am the friend
I could be an actress
Standing for too long in one spot
Truth disguised
Broken identity
Overwhelming urge to belong
Doing everything right
And still being afraid that everything will go wrong
Exhausted
Feeling trapped gets tiring
Changing for others instead of ourselves
Obligated
If I didn’t
My Christian grandparents would know I’m agnostic
It feels like a burden and a lie
Not being who I am on the inside
Like…if I don’t I’ll be an outcast
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid
It’s okay to not be “perfect”
Unless you allow society to tie your own hands behind your back
Craving their acceptance
Because we are insecure
We can never win
---

Written by LCC students Killian Burcham, Madison David, 
Audrey Spitzfaden, and Chloe Teunis, this poem came 
from source material written by other LCC students in 
response to prompts concerning the cover of The Hate U Give 
and racism.

Read Me

A misunderstanding by white
Supremacists who live their
Lives in fear and anger,
Unnecessary negativity.
Racists are lowlifes with
Nothing better to do.

Frustrating,
Overwhelmed by the hate
Oppressors give: HATE
Brings out something within us
We do not recognize.

Karma
Can come crashing,
What do you expect when
You give hate?
A woman taking a stand against
The hate you spread,
Putting up a barrier to protect
Herself from what’s happening
To her.

“They don’t understand even
If they’re really trying to”
Is an excuse.
It implies there’s nothing
White people can do to
Change.

We can’t spark change if we
Show no change.
Heartbreaking,
I feel less than human.
---

Written by LCC students Levi Lantz, Taylor Matlock, Sam 
Nichols, and Jake Sinnaeve, came from source material 
written by other LCC students in response to prompts 
concerning identity and feeling pressure to code-switch

                    Identity


                    I can never be myself. Blank canvas.
                  ReD = Family
                 BluE = Friends
                GreeN is the real me
             Living Two lives is exhausting and overwhelming
                 If I were not to change I would be an outsider
                    The people in my life decide who I am
At the end of the daY, people will see me as they choose to.
---

Written by LCC students Robert Glew, Raymond Latchaw, 
Victor Verhil, and Keaton Woods, this poem came from 
source material written by other LCC students in response 
to prompts concerning recognizing one’s privilege and 
fearing the police.

It’s a Luxury

I can’t help but feel upset.
Yet I continue unphased.
Recognizing the image when blurry, but not in full focus.
I never had to work during high school, watching others worry
while I haven’t had to consider it.  Feels like I’m taking something for granted.
As we grow, we’re all led to believe that the color of our skin
is supposed to define who I am, for “better” or “worse”.
To realize you benefit from a privilege, could make you feel more
important than others. When in reality, you earned something that isn’t
deserved.
It’s not just color though. I pass a homeless man; despite treating
everyone with respect and humor, I’m somehow complicit
in the misfortune of others.
Not everyone wants to have that privilege over someone
because of skin color and status.

 

9.  Poetry Project: Spring 2019 LCC One Book Wrap-Up session

This poem, written by Suzanne Bernsten, Sierra Bouyer, 
Curlada Eure-Harris, Julie Linderleaf, Jeanettia Green, 
Marah Jones, and Robert Moore was inspired by the poem 
“Hidden Beneath My Skin Is A Soul That Nobody Will See” 
written by LCC students Emmerson Myhre, Lauren Nugent, 
Kurstina Simmons, and Tucker Tatroe. Both poems were 
inspired by prompts concerning identity and feeling 
pressure to code-switch

The life from which you choose

This is not me, nor do I want it to be
Who am I if I am not only myself?
Why is there a secret that I cannot share with everyone?
The person who others feel I should be.
Angry, angry at society.
Made to feel I am less…
Stereotyped.
Like a superpower that can be summoned on demand.
It can be exhausting.
I feel trapped beneath a false face.
If I hide, I feel it is not the real me.
But if I don’t, I fear you won’t like what you see.
I wonder what it’s like to always be yourself
What is it like to be unaware?
Some people may not be themselves living their lives as a lie
Feeling as if they chose to be themselves
That person wouldn’t exist anymore
Because they haven’t been themselves in a long time.
Who gets to see the real me?
Who am I with?
What will I show?
I am unique 100%
A complex identity is a high, life right!
We are human genomes 99% shared.
---

This poem, written by Yolanda Crim, Jahmallia Forde, 
Patti Goggins, Alex Gradilla, Prisca Mtemavalye, 
Leticia Navarro, Ronnie Oliver Jr., Curtis Pratt, 
Jonathan Rosewood, and Kimberly Skorna was inspired by 
the poem “Identity” written by LCC students Levi Lantz, 
Taylor Matlock, Sam Nichols, and Jake Sinnaeve.  Both 
poems were inspired by prompts concerning identity and 
feeling pressure to code-switch


I can never be myself. Blank canvas.

Trapped between two walls of communication
I’m on a journey to discover and grow into a future of self.
Please don’t judge each other or what we see today.
Why do we need to put a label on ourselves?
Am I not good enough? Are you better than me?
Am I not human? Let me be me.
Brown, red, white, blue.
Born here, went there,
told I’m everywhere.
To be myself in this environment, would I be outcasted?
White supremacy plus poverty suppresses me.
My ultimate wish is to express me,
and to JUST let be.
It feels like energy gets depleted at a very fast rate.
I accept myself for who I am,
If you don’t feel free…just leave.
---

This poem, written by Tonya Bailey, Monica Hemingway, 
Nan Jackson, Melissa Kaplan, Aida Rochid, and Sirpenia 
Stewart was inspired by the poem “Read Me” written by 
LCC students Killian Burcham, Madison David, Audrey 
Spitzfaden, and Chloe Teunis. Both poems were inspired 
by prompts concerning the cover of The Hate U Give and racism.


Read Me,

Don’t judge me,
Don’t overlook me
Don’t exclude me
   Rather
Maximize Experiencing
   Who I am
   I am Human
I have no words to tell you
What you don’t know about me
So ready to brush off
Push away
Deny
Mom said “no that’s a hairstyle for black girls”
It’s like a brick wall
Dad said, “I don’t want you dating black men. They’re no good.”
A blank stare
And my brother overheard.
Every day is like they think they understand,
but do they really?
Why is there still
hate in this modern day?
Why hasn’t it
gone away?
Where have we
gone astray?
Maybe we’re hiding
The Hate We Give
How about loving, caring, and sharing
with others
because we are all
loveable
and important.
---

This poem, written by Mindy Barbarskis, Greg Berry, 
Joshua Braswell, Alma Cameron, Ellie Darnell, Mia Misner, 
and Dr. Pamela Smith was inspired by the poem “It’s a Luxury” 
written by LCC students Robert Glew, Raymond Latchaw, 
Victor Verhil, and Keaton Woods. Both poems were inspired 
by prompts concerning recognizing one’s privilege and 
fearing the police.


I can’t help but feel upset

With the rise in racism
When I feel our American court system is not fair
to all our Citizens
When someone does not hear or see me
When I am not seen for myself
I feel like a broken record saying “I’m sorry”
The rich white people protect their perfect world
I can’t help but feel upset
When I am split between both sides
That most black men fear the police
How do I separate myself from white hands
on a loaded gun?
I can’t help but feel upset
My parents won’t acknowledge their white
skin safety
White privilege not being recognized.


 

10.  Poetry Project: Fall 2019 Community-Generated Poetry Activity for the September 20th, 2019 Inaugural LCC Student Summit on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Poem by Areli Espinosa, Courtney Kidder, Joe Martin, and 
Bridget Denise Webb, inspired by the line “I, too, have a 
voice”:

I, too, have a voice
I can speak.
Let me speak
   Speak up
   Speak out
Activism, Advocacy
I, too, can make a difference
What happened to We are Americans?
I, too, can represent,
because we all represent beauty.
And that beauty makes the picture.
I, too, have importance
I, too, contribute to the picture
The picture does not have to be perfect
There is no right way to be me
There is no right way to be beautiful.
Does race matter in America?
Let the haters eat in the kitchen.
---

Poem by Mahima Biswa, Gary Cox, Kenneth Franklin (MSU BSA), 
Esmerelda, Prisca Mtimavalye, and Richard Winston 
inspired by the line “I, too, have a voice”:

I, too, have a voice.
I feel pain; I feel lost.
I, too, cry in the late night.
I, too, have feelings.
I am hurt, so why did you leave?
I, too, have a voice.
It is just as important as others.
It is filled with confidence and hope.
I will use it without regret.
I, too, will shout until I am heard.
I, too, pay attention.
---

Poem by Dina Abdulamir, Kyle Atwood, Hadel Essa, and 
Terrell Nelson inspired by the line “I, too, am America”:

I, too, am America
I am the last one
I, too, is proud of what I am.
I am not free as a black man
I, too, am a survivor of hatred.
---

Poem by Madison Buckholz, Maria del Mar Osma Potes, 
Jahmallia Forde, Brandon Lawler, Lisa Morgan, Angela Patrick,
and Katrina Zimmermann inspired by the line “I, too, am America”:

I, too, am America…
   I am able to use my voice to say
I, too am America…
   I live, work, learn, socialize.
   I pay taxes and help make
        America great again.
We, too, are America…
   Although we were born
        near and far.
I, too, am America…
   I chafe under your expectations
        of home and hearth.
I, too, am America…
   Oppressed and marginalized.
   Poor and ostracized.
I, too, am America…
   Where there is freedom.
        But, is it really free?
---

Poem by Cortney Browning ,Carl Browning, Jr., Keonte Campbell,
Alex Rivera Cordero, Marisa Elzy, Basil Oli, and Alyeea Turner,
inspired by the line “I, too, am powerful”:

I, too, am powerful.
I, too, am important, I, too, possess value.
My resistance is my display of power,
God gave me power! My presence is strong.
My thoughts are valuable,
I bring a different flavor of strength to the team
to make the team powerful.
I am strong. They speak, like I am young.
I am not. My mind is clear, and I wait patiently.
One day they will look at me and realize, I, too, am
powerful.
I, too, am a black woman,
I have a voice that is more than just noise.
I, too, am powerful.
Embracing my uniqueness
and how it shows up in how I talk, how I walk, and carry
myself.
Feudal lords look down on the scrambling serfs, that are we
Except you refuse to be that lowly figure.
You are the overpass
Whose level I aspire to meet.