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Jeffery Martin

I face the new year 

eyes open pencil sharpened 
and unpromising baggage discarded


I won't stop fighting 

but will change strategies 

if it looks as though 

yesterday is repeating itself


I will speak to the heavens 


walk amongst the trees 

and flowers more 

give salutations to the 

ancestors more 

be a replica of perfection 


rub my dark brown skin 


and be unapologetic 

for where this skin 

is taking me


this new year 

the first without my 


will supplant all voids

with a soul music 

on the frequency of the 


I shall not fear 

I shall not belabor 

I shall not lie down 

but rather 

walk in the  aura of promise 

knowing what I know 

and learning what I do not 

pouring libations to 

the collective hands 

guiding me 

I will not forget 

the blood that nourishes 

my garden 

and the tears that 

sometimes stunt it


I will keep my body 


my spirit in tune 

and mind sharp 

I will not beg or 

cower or wait 

for justice 

either it will be 

mine or I shall 

join the ancestors 

in its pursuit


I shall study 

war and peace and love 

and hate 

to their extremes 

and when dumbfounded 

I shall talk 

to the wind 

shake hands with the 


sit in company with 

the rose


This new year 

shall find me 

more of 

all things relevant 

and less of the 

things which oppose 

my need to smile



Note @ California

What have we become

when we scream about borders

and whisper about children

in little cages

called necessary


We are that horror movie

finding its reality

that makes one cover

eyes and cringe

no longer is it


to look beneath beds

or in closets

for our greatest


it walks amongst us

in plain sight


wearing suits and badges

and skirts

and middle class



Its breath is bad

but it talks too


to notice

the toxicity

polluting every blade

of grass east of here

west of there

north of this

south of that


It made no sense

when it was black



it made no sense

when it was red


it made no sense

when it was

brown skin

it made no sense

when it was a



it made no sense

when it was a christian

a muslim

   a buddhist

an atheist

a communist

a revolutionary

it never made any



it was unthinkable

ungodly, despicable

and divisive

it was us at our


we thought

but now we surprise

even the wicked

for what have we


when we turn our


towards the children

how do we sleep


knowing babies sleep

in pint-sized cages

put there by adults

who are doing


their mutha fucking job


What have we become

when we close doors

on small dreamers

because they are viewed

as a threat

to someone, somehow



Do tyrants ever really

see their victims?

Do monsters feel the

fear of their prey?

we can now answer

these questions

because we have become

that horrific



lurking in the shadows

waiting to pounce

not only on the


but also on the seeds

the blades of green

which are supposed to

bring new growth

and vibrancy

but find themselves

hemmed in by what

we’ve become


Aren’t we supposed

to love our children

your children

all children

what have we become

when the young


have been turned

into statistics

into uncomfortable


to our greed

and selfishness

unwanted by purveyors

of half truths

and whole lies


Have all of us

gone mad

or have too many

of us

grown silent

in the face of evil

cowering in its


numbed by its



and hypnotized

by its face


Since when do children

become threats

to national security

and recipients of so

much scorn

what law was passed

separating us

from the empathy

that in the past

was seen as a

bridge to progress

and advancement

who signed the papers

incriminating us all

in this slaying of spirits


at borders created

by men who had no


drawing lines in


that was never peacefully

handed over

to them


What have we become

when we turn

architects of the future

into monsters of our



If we will not fight

for children

what is left to fight



what excuse can

we give

and what excuse

is acceptable     





What Have We Become
(for the refugee children)

Jeffery Martin is an amazing Poet and Activist. His selfless actions lend him to helping so many groups throughout Los Angeles. He serves the homeless community of Skid Row by offering Poetry and Art. He works with children that work through learning difficulties, and he is an Ambassador of Humanity! 


Jeffrey hosts Open Mic each 2nd and 4th Friday at Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural - open to all creative genres! 


Come to know more about Jeffery through our LAPS Member Spotlight, 

An Interview with Jeffery Martin.

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