Ugly People

There are those who say that
the world has ugly people
and they’re right…
but they say that “ugly”
is the colour of skin or hair
or “ugly” is their religion
(or lack thereof)
or “ugly” is the
brand of clothes or
make of car that they drive
and in that, I say, they’re wrong
Oh yes, the world has ugly people
but it’s an ugly that bleeds out
from deep within their core:
an ugliness that is born
of hatred and prejudice
and discrimination.

I hate to see that the world
has so many ugly people
but most of all
I hate to see that
sometimes,

I
am ugly
too.

~~

Perhaps the first step to ending racism/prejudice/hatred of any sort is to recognize that most (if not all) of us are guilty to one degree or another…for only when we see the ugly in our own souls can we hope to make any sort of change in the world.

Skin

Is my value as a human merely based
on the colour of my carcass?
Is there no intrinsic value
in what lies beneath my pelt?
Is my hide all that matters?
Will you say that a coat of black
is worse or better than a coat
of white or brown or red?
Peak beneath my skin
and see who I really am
Let me see you for more
than your colour
or let me be flayed
and tanned
for if I am no more than the
tone of my flesh,
I am merely an animal
to be hunted and
turned into leather.

~~

Recent violence that appears to be racially motivated, and a history of marking people as “good” or “bad” based on nothing more than their exterior are the motives behind writing this piece. Usages of terms for animal skins is very deliberate, for that is what we are – animals – unless we can see each other for who we really are, and not just what we look like.

I’ve also decided to share this with Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, as it seems to fit the Sunday mini-challenge of something deep within a shallow world.

And We Vow…

Agbado

We’ve all heard the phrase
“don’t judge a book by its cover”
and we vow that we’ll never judge
a book…or a person…
by mere outward appearances
and then we all go around
patting ourselves on the backs
for how we don’t judge
while all the time, looking down
at those around us, assuming
that they are not as good as us
because they ARE judging books
by their covers
(or so we assume)

and all too often
we don’t recognize
our own hypocrisy

 

~~

 

Anthony Desmond (over at dVerse) has invited us to write poetry based on selected photographs of Phyllis Galembo. ┬áHer photographs reminded me that we often fail to see what is really there…the truth of who a person is is often hidden beneath the surface, and no matter how hard we strive to not pre-judge others, I think that all of us fail far too often.