Gandhi (Gandhian Philosophy)

Henry L. Jones

As I quickly walked to join the protest
blending into the sea of heads and signs
focused on our cause to try to change this world
whether seen as useless I had to try
just try regardless how much fear I felt
courage hid somewhere in my marrow
for me to pull it into my blood and let it flow
fill my heart with the will to keep going
hearing pounding in my chest like music
and resounding song in my head 
familiar lyrics keeping me in tune and focused
what might come and remember to resist
while knowing they might beat me bloody
while shielding myself from their violence
which might seem irrational to understand
but their fists, guns and clubs can't reach me
or stop my unyielding determination
and focus to win this battle without one blow 
for I am one of many to help change this world.


When the dogs were used against us
we stood firmly as their sharp teeth tore clothes and flesh
trying to stop our resistance with rabid fear
but our focus was on the change to come.

When the police beat, stomped and drug us
we kept our bodies tense  like long steel beams
building more strength in our foundation 
as an unyielding force for change to come

When we were spat on by many to anger us
we looked beyond their expanded pupils
full of hateful visions to end our lives 
as our tears mixed with their fuming froth.

When our legs became tired from the marching
We kept stepping one foot over the other
not thinking about the tormenting pain
pushing forward with the will of our spirits
as our eyes saw us embracing true freedom.

Bio: HENRY L. JONES is the Inaugural Poet Laureate of Hendersonville, Tennessee. Jones is the author of four poetry books. His upcoming 2023 book is Black Skillet Blues: Poetry without Cornbread, He won fellowships, residencies and visiting writers programs. Many anthologies, journals and magazines published his poems. Recently, appeared in In Fullness of the Word: Black American Poet Laureates and American Graveyard: Calls to End Gun Violence. He is a Fisk University alumnus. 


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