Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Citizen’s United

Enlarge poem

If we kidnapped
THEIR children
They would find us

If we put guns
In the hands of those young
They would tag them
“Child soldiers”

But here
We prefer to leave them
Clinically depressed
And decorate them in marine

There is a name
For people who will take
The very bread
Off of our dinner table
And put it in their pocket

They are toast
Like champagne flutes
Are the new silvers spoon

Like what they will be
When the revolutions
And the riots
Catch up with them

Tomorrow morning
When humanity
Has the munchies
And eats presidential candidates
For breakfast

When their war chest
Can fill the holes
In our country’s
Debt, deficit & addiction

But.
They’d rather
Raise money
To argue about it
Than raise sleeves
To fix it

Politicians are NOT people too, Mitt
LOOK AT YOU!

And they’re not Jesus either, Barrack
If you remember
He ran the moneychangers out of the temple
Not into his cabinet

If you remember
He was Guantanamo’s blueprint

He was no popularity contestant
He had no friend in the Pharaoh, Pharisees or FED
He told them
Where they could shove
Their opinion poll
And they hung him from it

Back in the day
When Romans used to lynch Jews
With perpendicular sticks

And you remember
They make sure you do

Cause from the dome of the United States Capitol
To the Pantheon bars of the White House
Boy,
They gon’ make sure that you know
Where Black people are supposed to live

Corinthian columns
At the halls of Congress
With no reparations
Or apologies

Depicting corn cobs
To symbolize
Our stolen bounty

Tobacco leaves
To symbolize
Our stolen “Help”

Our stolen wealth

If you remember
He did not run for office
He ran for his life

What ever happened?
To public servants
Instead of self-serving

When did it stop
Being about “We the People”

And start
Being about winning

When did the Catholic’s
Social doctrine
And the athiest’s
Social justice
Both translate to
“Go to Hell”?

Why do we wait for them?
For education
And elections

And then wonder
Wh we won’t teach us
To elect ourselves

What if
Every lawn’s
Campaign sign
Read “Peace”

What if
On November 6th
We’d agree

To agree

What if
I were to say
I’ll only believe
In a government
That believes
In me

What if the citizens
Were really united
And each one of us
Decided

That I’d vote for me.

© Hakim Bellamy September 17th, 2012

Hakim Bellamy

Featured Poem:

Place Matters

Enlarge poem

(Commissioned by the Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies for the Place Matters National Conference)

Somewhere between
Metropolis
And El Paso
Is the rest of our country

Where we leap
Small children
In a single bound

With a single
Bound book
We teach them
That this

Is the land of the free
And the home of the brave
For those who come in 1st
Place matters
1st, 2nd and 3rd
Place matters

In classrooms
All about race.

Race to the top
And pretend no child gets left behind,
My behind…

No child left behind?
My ass.

Bringing boot straps
To a track meet
Is useless
We need shoelaces
And sneakers
To pull ourselves up by
Place matters

Undocumented
And unheard
Place matters

Because Superman
Was an immigrant too
It’s just that his eyes were blue

Even if he couldn’t fly
And Metropolis had a fence
On the south side

Clark Kent
Would be safer
Than a Canadian kid
In the Tuscon Unified School District

Place is the difference
Between a Whole Foods
And a whole block
Of Fast food, liquor store, check cashing spots
Like we can live
Off of sodium and saturated fat
Malt liquor, Flaming Hot Funions
And title loans

Like,
We can live.
Place matters

Like the difference between
Art class at the prep school
And class warfare at mine

Like time off from work and
Doing time

The difference between
Home schooling
And mom working
Third shift
On job number two
For you…

And being crushed by the news
That yesterday
You decided not to show up at school

And yeah, you hear her
You hear her when she says
What she always says
And says
“Boy, they got a place for people like you”

And they do
Place matters
It’s the difference between
Her being able to afford to ground you

And paying rent

Knowing that
When she goes to work
Yo ass is going to leave the house again

Place is the difference between
Latch-key kid
And homeless

It’s the difference between
Him having health insurance
And her telling herself not to get sick

Not to get sick
Not to get sick

We are out of place
Like a fish
Pretending water doesn’t exist

Because we don’t want to drown
We are out breath
Jumping into boats

Running away from water
Chasing after Cokes

Instead of running for office
We’re running out of votes

Instead of building communities
Foreclosures got us running out our homes

We can’t even workout on our leisure time
Too busy running out the door

Can’t buy no sleep
Tank on “E”
But we thank God
For the little bit of exercise we get’
Even if it is
Just
Running out of hope

Somewhere
Between El Paso, TX
And Metropolis
Superman is waiting for us
To find him

Somewhere
Families are migrating
From the Navajo nation
To get Internet access
Like it’s the New World

Somewhere
Poor colored folk
Are moving Uptown
Into the heights
Far from the flood zone
Like the Jeffersons
Thomas, George and Weezie
Like the Great Migration

We have have no idea where we are going
But it can’t be worse than this
Place matters

Somewhere
Between two large bodies
Of water
We are nomads
Navigating our lot in life
…or our little

By stars
And by chance.
Displaced people
When it matters most.
(c) Hakim Bellamy May 1st 2012

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  • Inspiration (1)
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Biography

As the inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, NM (2012-2014), Hakim Bellamy is a national and regional Poetry Slam Champion and holds three consecutive collegiate poetry slam titles at the University of New Mexico.

His poetry has been published in Albuquerque inner-city buses and various anthologies. Bellamy was recognized as an honorable mention for the University of New Mexico Paul Bartlett Re Peace Prize for his work as a community organizer and journalist and was recently bestowed the populist honor of “Best Poet” by Local iQ (“Smart List” 2010, 2011 & 2012) and Alibi (“Best of Burque” 2010, 2011 & 2012). He is the co-creator of the multimedia Hip Hop theater production Urban Verbs: Hip-Hop Conservatory & Theater that has been staged throughout the country. He facilitates youth writing workshops for schools and community organizations in New Mexico and beyond.

Hakim is currently finishing his MA in Communications and Journalism Department at the University of New Mexico. He is the proud father of a 4 year-old miracle and works as the Strategic Communication Director at Media Literacy Project.

Hakim’s journey as a poet has come full circle as of late, wearing the hat of musician. A product of the Hip Hop generation and influenced by his parents extensive wax collection (which included the likes of Janis Joplin, Sly and The Family Stone, Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles, The Grateful Dead, Gil Scott Heron, The Temptations, Teddy Pendergrass & The Last Poets), Bellamy is equal parts musical artist, archivist and archeologist. He digs music. Piano lessons, recitals and many years singing in the church choir prepared him for the funk-infused, experimental yet melodic brand of Hip Hop that he produces today with creative partner Colin “Diles” Hazelbaker. He’s shared the musical stage with Zion-I, The Wailers, The Last Poets, Amiri Baraka, Cecil Taylor & Blacklisted Individuals.

As an actor, Hakim has grown his talent on both the screen and the stage. He made a cameo in the independent film Romeo & Juliet Vs. The Living Dead (2009) and has made multiple appearances in local commercials (Television and Radio). He has done voice work for television and radio, worked for two years as a radio journalist at KUNM 89.9FM in Albuquerque, NM and has been cast as an extra in such films/tv shows as Gamer (2009), Swing Vote (2009) & Crash the Television Series, Season II (2010). On the stage Hakim was cast in a major role in the 2009 Albuquerque production of The Exonerated, produced by NMRepeal.org. In the summer of 2011, Hakim secured a major role as the Friar in the Vortex Theater’s Summer Shakespeare Festival production of Romeo & Juliet for a 14 show run. He has since co-written and starred in Urban Verbs: Hip Hop Conservatory & Theater with his creative partner Carlos Contreras.

Hakim Bellamy

Biography

As the inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, NM (2012-2014), Hakim Bellamy is a national and regional Poetry Slam Champion and holds three consecutive collegiate poetry slam titles at the University of New Mexico.

His poetry has been published in Albuquerque inner-city buses and various anthologies. Bellamy was recognized as an honorable mention for the University of New Mexico Paul Bartlett Re Peace Prize for his work as a community organizer and journalist and was recently bestowed the populist honor of “Best Poet” by Local iQ (“Smart List” 2010, 2011 & 2012) and Alibi (“Best of Burque” 2010, 2011 & 2012). He is the co-creator of the multimedia Hip Hop theater production Urban Verbs: Hip-Hop Conservatory & Theater that has been staged throughout the country. He facilitates youth writing workshops for schools and community organizations in New Mexico and beyond.

Hakim is currently finishing his MA in Communications and Journalism Department at the University of New Mexico. He is the proud father of a 4 year-old miracle and works as the Strategic Communication Director at Media Literacy Project.

Hakim’s journey as a poet has come full circle as of late, wearing the hat of musician. A product of the Hip Hop generation and influenced by his parents extensive wax collection (which included the likes of Janis Joplin, Sly and The Family Stone, Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles, The Grateful Dead, Gil Scott Heron, The Temptations, Teddy Pendergrass & The Last Poets), Bellamy is equal parts musical artist, archivist and archeologist. He digs music. Piano lessons, recitals and many years singing in the church choir prepared him for the funk-infused, experimental yet melodic brand of Hip Hop that he produces today with creative partner Colin “Diles” Hazelbaker. He’s shared the musical stage with Zion-I, The Wailers, The Last Poets, Amiri Baraka, Cecil Taylor & Blacklisted Individuals.

As an actor, Hakim has grown his talent on both the screen and the stage. He made a cameo in the independent film Romeo & Juliet Vs. The Living Dead (2009) and has made multiple appearances in local commercials (Television and Radio). He has done voice work for television and radio, worked for two years as a radio journalist at KUNM 89.9FM in Albuquerque, NM and has been cast as an extra in such films/tv shows as Gamer (2009), Swing Vote (2009) & Crash the Television Series, Season II (2010). On the stage Hakim was cast in a major role in the 2009 Albuquerque production of The Exonerated, produced by NMRepeal.org. In the summer of 2011, Hakim secured a major role as the Friar in the Vortex Theater’s Summer Shakespeare Festival production of Romeo & Juliet for a 14 show run. He has since co-written and starred in Urban Verbs: Hip Hop Conservatory & Theater with his creative partner Carlos Contreras.

Citizen’s United

Enlarge poem

If we kidnapped
THEIR children
They would find us

If we put guns
In the hands of those young
They would tag them
“Child soldiers”

But here
We prefer to leave them
Clinically depressed
And decorate them in marine

There is a name
For people who will take
The very bread
Off of our dinner table
And put it in their pocket

They are toast
Like champagne flutes
Are the new silvers spoon

Like what they will be
When the revolutions
And the riots
Catch up with them

Tomorrow morning
When humanity
Has the munchies
And eats presidential candidates
For breakfast

When their war chest
Can fill the holes
In our country’s
Debt, deficit & addiction

But.
They’d rather
Raise money
To argue about it
Than raise sleeves
To fix it

Politicians are NOT people too, Mitt
LOOK AT YOU!

And they’re not Jesus either, Barrack
If you remember
He ran the moneychangers out of the temple
Not into his cabinet

If you remember
He was Guantanamo’s blueprint

He was no popularity contestant
He had no friend in the Pharaoh, Pharisees or FED
He told them
Where they could shove
Their opinion poll
And they hung him from it

Back in the day
When Romans used to lynch Jews
With perpendicular sticks

And you remember
They make sure you do

Cause from the dome of the United States Capitol
To the Pantheon bars of the White House
Boy,
They gon’ make sure that you know
Where Black people are supposed to live

Corinthian columns
At the halls of Congress
With no reparations
Or apologies

Depicting corn cobs
To symbolize
Our stolen bounty

Tobacco leaves
To symbolize
Our stolen “Help”

Our stolen wealth

If you remember
He did not run for office
He ran for his life

What ever happened?
To public servants
Instead of self-serving

When did it stop
Being about “We the People”

And start
Being about winning

When did the Catholic’s
Social doctrine
And the athiest’s
Social justice
Both translate to
“Go to Hell”?

Why do we wait for them?
For education
And elections

And then wonder
Wh we won’t teach us
To elect ourselves

What if
Every lawn’s
Campaign sign
Read “Peace”

What if
On November 6th
We’d agree

To agree

What if
I were to say
I’ll only believe
In a government
That believes
In me

What if the citizens
Were really united
And each one of us
Decided

That I’d vote for me.

© Hakim Bellamy September 17th, 2012

Featured Poem:

Place Matters

Enlarge poem

(Commissioned by the Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies for the Place Matters National Conference)

Somewhere between
Metropolis
And El Paso
Is the rest of our country

Where we leap
Small children
In a single bound

With a single
Bound book
We teach them
That this

Is the land of the free
And the home of the brave
For those who come in 1st
Place matters
1st, 2nd and 3rd
Place matters

In classrooms
All about race.

Race to the top
And pretend no child gets left behind,
My behind…

No child left behind?
My ass.

Bringing boot straps
To a track meet
Is useless
We need shoelaces
And sneakers
To pull ourselves up by
Place matters

Undocumented
And unheard
Place matters

Because Superman
Was an immigrant too
It’s just that his eyes were blue

Even if he couldn’t fly
And Metropolis had a fence
On the south side

Clark Kent
Would be safer
Than a Canadian kid
In the Tuscon Unified School District

Place is the difference
Between a Whole Foods
And a whole block
Of Fast food, liquor store, check cashing spots
Like we can live
Off of sodium and saturated fat
Malt liquor, Flaming Hot Funions
And title loans

Like,
We can live.
Place matters

Like the difference between
Art class at the prep school
And class warfare at mine

Like time off from work and
Doing time

The difference between
Home schooling
And mom working
Third shift
On job number two
For you…

And being crushed by the news
That yesterday
You decided not to show up at school

And yeah, you hear her
You hear her when she says
What she always says
And says
“Boy, they got a place for people like you”

And they do
Place matters
It’s the difference between
Her being able to afford to ground you

And paying rent

Knowing that
When she goes to work
Yo ass is going to leave the house again

Place is the difference between
Latch-key kid
And homeless

It’s the difference between
Him having health insurance
And her telling herself not to get sick

Not to get sick
Not to get sick

We are out of place
Like a fish
Pretending water doesn’t exist

Because we don’t want to drown
We are out breath
Jumping into boats

Running away from water
Chasing after Cokes

Instead of running for office
We’re running out of votes

Instead of building communities
Foreclosures got us running out our homes

We can’t even workout on our leisure time
Too busy running out the door

Can’t buy no sleep
Tank on “E”
But we thank God
For the little bit of exercise we get’
Even if it is
Just
Running out of hope

Somewhere
Between El Paso, TX
And Metropolis
Superman is waiting for us
To find him

Somewhere
Families are migrating
From the Navajo nation
To get Internet access
Like it’s the New World

Somewhere
Poor colored folk
Are moving Uptown
Into the heights
Far from the flood zone
Like the Jeffersons
Thomas, George and Weezie
Like the Great Migration

We have have no idea where we are going
But it can’t be worse than this
Place matters

Somewhere
Between two large bodies
Of water
We are nomads
Navigating our lot in life
…or our little

By stars
And by chance.
Displaced people
When it matters most.
(c) Hakim Bellamy May 1st 2012

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (0)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (1)
  • Reflection (1)
  • Captivation (0)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

Citizen’s United

Enlarge poem

If we kidnapped
THEIR children
They would find us

If we put guns
In the hands of those young
They would tag them
“Child soldiers”

But here
We prefer to leave them
Clinically depressed
And decorate them in marine

There is a name
For people who will take
The very bread
Off of our dinner table
And put it in their pocket

They are toast
Like champagne flutes
Are the new silvers spoon

Like what they will be
When the revolutions
And the riots
Catch up with them

Tomorrow morning
When humanity
Has the munchies
And eats presidential candidates
For breakfast

When their war chest
Can fill the holes
In our country’s
Debt, deficit & addiction

But.
They’d rather
Raise money
To argue about it
Than raise sleeves
To fix it

Politicians are NOT people too, Mitt
LOOK AT YOU!

And they’re not Jesus either, Barrack
If you remember
He ran the moneychangers out of the temple
Not into his cabinet

If you remember
He was Guantanamo’s blueprint

He was no popularity contestant
He had no friend in the Pharaoh, Pharisees or FED
He told them
Where they could shove
Their opinion poll
And they hung him from it

Back in the day
When Romans used to lynch Jews
With perpendicular sticks

And you remember
They make sure you do

Cause from the dome of the United States Capitol
To the Pantheon bars of the White House
Boy,
They gon’ make sure that you know
Where Black people are supposed to live

Corinthian columns
At the halls of Congress
With no reparations
Or apologies

Depicting corn cobs
To symbolize
Our stolen bounty

Tobacco leaves
To symbolize
Our stolen “Help”

Our stolen wealth

If you remember
He did not run for office
He ran for his life

What ever happened?
To public servants
Instead of self-serving

When did it stop
Being about “We the People”

And start
Being about winning

When did the Catholic’s
Social doctrine
And the athiest’s
Social justice
Both translate to
“Go to Hell”?

Why do we wait for them?
For education
And elections

And then wonder
Wh we won’t teach us
To elect ourselves

What if
Every lawn’s
Campaign sign
Read “Peace”

What if
On November 6th
We’d agree

To agree

What if
I were to say
I’ll only believe
In a government
That believes
In me

What if the citizens
Were really united
And each one of us
Decided

That I’d vote for me.

© Hakim Bellamy September 17th, 2012

Comments

Your email address will not be published.