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Knowing People Then & Now

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Below is the poem entitled Knowing People Then & Now which was written by poet Joseph Spence Sr. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Knowing People Then & Now

People I used to know,
People I don’t want to know, who are
Not capable of creating life, yet—crushing 
Its beauty like the road-raged driver of a  
Loose truck driven over freshly fallen snow on 
The landscape, where kids played, now cried.
Agonizing people, with so-called pure 
Blood racing through their veins, like water 
Over Niagara Falls—crushing,
Until resting in a disguised flow.

My heart is crying over life’s destructive beauty.
While dining with questionable royalty, 
Giving meals to those who are hungry,
Helping indentured servants over the fences
Of plantations with repressive conditions.
Setting caged birds free from beating 
Their breasts and scared wings against
The bars of subliminal captivity; mending 
Souls from despair of political fear.

Hear the rising voices of Bradley, Garvey, 
Marley, Delany, Kennedy, Turley, and 
Inspiring students at USC Berkeley crying 
For liberation. People I yet to know, 
Whose touch will be like the beautiful 
Butterfly with wings spread, floating 
Upward in such harmony with melody. 
People whose passion will let us 
Know, like Harriet Stowe, 
How high life is 
Capable to grow!

© Joseph, November 9, 2008
© All Rights Reserved

Joseph S. Spence, Sr., is the author of "The Awakened One Poetics" (2009), which is 
published in seven different languages. He invented the Epulaeryu poetry form, which 
focuses on succulent cuisines and drinks. He is published in various forums, including the 
World Haiku Association; Poetinis Druskininku, Milwaukee Area College, Phoenix Magazine; 
Möbius Poetry, and Taj Mahal Review to name a few. Joseph is a Goodwill Ambassador for 
the state of Arkansas, USA, a college faculty, and a military veteran.


Copyright © Joseph Spence Sr

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  1. Date: 1/19/2012 1:18:00 PM
    Wishing you would grace us with some new poetry soon. You are missed Joseph. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 5/29/2010 1:17:00 AM
    Touching thoughts ...and thank you for the kind words on my poem sarah x

  1. Date: 7/10/2009 2:35:00 AM
    I loved this glimpse into america ... Always fascinated by the great orators and politicans have sung it loud and well ... Loved this one Jayne x

  1. Date: 5/22/2009 2:48:00 PM
    I like the descriptive lines in this piece like the road-rage and the beautiful butterfly. Sara

  1. Date: 5/18/2009 11:02:00 AM
    I feel you... I to urge to be surrounded with soldiers decked in converses and who use their pens as their swords... also thanx for the love- Tracy

  1. Date: 1/11/2009 11:16:00 PM comment would be like a broken record. Hmmm...nothing else to say really. Keep doing what you're doing...all the best for 2009. :-)

  1. Date: 12/28/2008 7:43:00 PM
    Brillant write here, Joseph. Its hard to keep welcoming in the new when you get to an age where it all seems like nostalgia and keeping up with whats NOW instead of what I miss can be difficult ... smile ... Guess its about ringing out the old and ringing in the new ... Hope you had wonderful holidays and '09 is a great year for you!

  1. Date: 11/28/2008 6:10:00 PM
    Hi there Joseph! Hoping your well and enjoying your Thankgiving weekend.:) You know that I think this is an extemely clever piece, written by an extremely clever man. Winter's on its way..leave that shovelling this year to another..I'm sure they envied you! Last year there was so much that even the snowmen fled. I heard they were detained at the border with those ominous brooms. I hope you smile, feel good. I will worry, dontchaknow? God bless you and yours...wishing you the best! Mikki

  1. Date: 11/17/2008 6:02:00 PM
    This piece was stunning! I am so sorry I missed it until now! Everyone before me has said it all, however I must repeat what has been said, this moved me beyond words. The passion....if only enough of us had passion like this, we could change the world to make it the place it should be. Outstanding poetry, Joseph. Such a worthwhile message we need to hear over and over again. ~ Carrie

  1. Date: 11/17/2008 4:39:00 AM
    Very passionate and heartfelt piece. Continue to share. It's time for change and it all begins with us. We can make a difference when we see all the heart and agony that has been described in this lovely piece.

  1. Date: 11/12/2008 5:30:00 PM
    Joseph this is an extraoridnary write, indeed the message is clearly conveyed... I wonder how many shall truly stand for what is right and leave the ill ways of the past at the wayside and pick up the mantle of love. I thank you for sharing this power-packed read. God's Love and Many Blessings to you and yours, Always, Adell

  1. Date: 11/10/2008 2:51:00 PM
    such a passionate and heart-stirring write filled with truths and the changing of times, thanks for your uplifting and soul striiting comments, take care D-nyce

  1. Date: 11/10/2008 9:19:00 AM
    Perhaps the activists are coming back. For or against in the 60's. Either way, the apathy wasn't present. I'm pro life for children and pro death penalty for chronic criminals. We'll see how it goes. Don't forget JFK was a liberal though not by today's standards. Great write. Vince

  1. Date: 11/10/2008 6:47:00 AM
    Passionate, heartfelt and beautiful write that makes me want to cry out Amen! Just awesome to read. Let us indeed hope and pray for great change soon! Love, Shar

  1. Date: 11/10/2008 4:35:00 AM
    This crying out is what more and more people are coming to. Unless something is done about middle class conditions, anything might happen in the world, and in this country. I believe you speak for a multitude, Joseph, and I cry out with you. Love, daver

  1. Date: 11/10/2008 3:53:00 AM
    There's so much to say about here Joseph. Nice choice of words and moreover great description of the present day affairs. The difference of attitude in each stanza helps to invoke so much. The world is becoming more like a battlefield and I love your manner. Not to forget, just as you said "life is capable to grow higher than we ever can imagine". Blessings and love, Chitra

  1. Date: 11/10/2008 3:40:00 AM
    an excellent message here, written in a beautiful way, passion is key! Awesome, love Kristin

  1. Date: 11/10/2008 12:16:00 AM
    An encouraging closing couplet Joseph.Thanks for your welcome commentsRgds Brian

  1. Date: 11/9/2008 5:29:00 PM
    Joseph this is a great message and great poetry. If you don't stand for anything you will fall for nothing. Wonderful people that love humanity and tried to bring attention to a greater cause other then themselves. A very touching and truthful piece. Helping and caring about your fellow man is one of the greatest testaments you can give. Thank you for this wonderful write. Blessings and thak you for taking your time to make a comment on my poem appreciated dearly your insightfull opinion.

  1. Date: 11/9/2008 4:15:00 PM
    This is a captivating piece, Joseph.:) You amaze me more and more with your craft that seems to gush out of your caring soul. Being able to integrate both in your poetry, is a wonderful thing, huh? Well yes..for sure!:) I just read your comment, and reread's a bit static and choppy. Mognome's name was borrowed from my son's turtle..they didn't have so much in common.:) I hope you're doing well..I wish the best to you and yours. God bless you all! Love to you..Mikki