Blog / poem

Poem: "The Cold Within" by James Patrick Kinney

The Cold Within by James Patrick Kinney Six humans trapped by happenstance in black and bitter cold Each possessed a stick of wood, Or so the story's told. Their dying fire in need of logs, the first woman held hers back For on the faces around the fire She noticed one was black. The next man looking 'cross the way Saw one not of his church And couldn't bring himself to give The fire his stick of birch. The third one sat in tattered clothes He gave his coat a hitch, Why should his log be put to use To warm the idle rich? The rich man just sat back and thought Of the wealth he had in store, And how to keep what he had earned From the lazy, shiftless poor. The black man's face bespoke revenge As the fire passed from his sight, For all he saw in his stick of wood Was a chance to spite the white. And the last man of this forlorn group Did naught except for gain, Giving only to those who gave Was how he played the game. The logs held tight in death's stilled hands Was proof of human sin, They didn't die from the cold without, They died from the cold within.
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Poem: "No Difference" by Shel Silverstein

I spent many hours as a child loving Shel Silverstein's book of poems, Where the Sidewalk Ends.Today I ran across an old favorite. Enjoy!

No Difference

by Shel Silverstein

Small as a peanut

Big as a giant,

We're all the same size

When we turn off the light.

Red, black or orange,

Yellow or white

We all look the same

When we turn off the light.

So maybe the way

To make everything right

Is for God to just reach out

And turn off the light!

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Poem: "Human Family" by Maya Angelou

[audio=http://www.icelebratediversity.com/humanfamily.mp3] (there's nothing like hearing Maya Angelou share her poetry...such a gift!) Human Family by Maya Angelou I note the obvious differences in the human family. Some of us are serious, some thrive on comedy. Some declare their lives are lived as true profundity, and others claim they really live the real reality. The variety of our skin tones can confuse, bemuse, delight, brown and pink and beige and purple, tan and blue and white. I've sailed upon the seven seas and stopped in every land. I've seen the wonders of the world, not yet one common man. I know ten thousand women called Jane and Mary Jane, I've not seen any two who really were the same. Mirror twins are different although their features jibe, and lovers think quite different thoughts while lying side by side. We love and lose in China, we weep on England's moors, and laugh and moan in Guinea, and thrive on Spanish shores. We seek success in Finland, are born and die in Maine. In minor ways we differ, in major we're the same. I note the obvious differences between each sort and type, but we are more alike, my friends than we are unalike. We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike. We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.
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Poem: "Lisa" by Beverly McLoughland (biracial)

I found the following treasure at a school bookfair eight years ago. It was buried in a book titled "Through Our Eyes: Poems and Pictures About Growing Up". I probably picked the book because it had "atypical" (not the usual blonde-haired and blue-eyed) girls on the cover. To see this, I knew it was intentional. I was happy to see children of different races and ethnicities represented on the pages. The book is filled with sweet poems, but we have especially enjoyed this one:  Lisa by Beverly McLoughland Lisa's father is Black And her mother is White, And her skin is a Cinnamon Delight, Her hair is Dark And her eyes are Light, And Lisa is Lisa, Day and Night. And Lisa is Lisa, Night and Day, Though there are People Who sometimes Say-- Well, is Lisa That, Or is Lisa This? -- Lisa is Everything She is. Lisa is Lisa, Day and Night, And her skin is a Cinnamon Delight, And Lisa is Sun And Lisa is Star, And Lisa is All The dreams that Are.
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