Slice Of Life Story Challenge March 29 -Sometimes Poets Must Speak Out

Poets Speak Up Sometimes

Sometimes a poet feels the need to raise a voice, make a statement, or a stand. Sometimes the events of the world prompt and provoke a response.

In 2016, the world experienced a lot of social and political uncertainty. Think about the US election of Donald Trump as President, the Brexit movement in the United Kingdom, the growth of fake news stories and the emboldened stance of xenophobes and racists in many countries. 

It is with such matters in mind that I am writing today. In a world where shallow news reporting is increasingly relied upon, it is important to be an educated consumer of information. Social media displays both positive and negative attributes. We must afford it due diligence, use it wisely.  We must be willing to learn, grow and reflect. We must learn to filter information and question sources. Blind acceptance is dangerous. Our students need to be taught the skills of critical literacy, so they become savvy digital citizens.

And so to my poem. I have shared it before and was surprised by reactions. I know it came from a place inside where strong feeling reside. So, I have decided it needs another audience. Is it a rant?  Am I taking a stance? You decide, dear reader. The world needs its poets to each play a part. We write for different purposes. 

Live Stupid, Die Dumb

I hold no desire
To live stupid
To die dumb.
I choose to move in the opposite direction to those feckless folk
Who cling to ignorance ferociously.
Stupid is easy
You can get there in a flash
Just put up the vacant sign in your brain
Let weeds flourish around your thoughts
Pull up the drawbridge on fresh ideas
Just turn away.
Turn away from reading
Consider it unnecessary
Banish books from your life
Let them gather dust
Just as your mind will surely gather dust.
Never ask questions
Refuse to listen
Refuse to try
Pack up your dreams
Lock them away in a cupboard
And forget about them.
Cover your ears to new ideas
Plant yourself in the dark
Never leave.
Ignore the world out there
Never travel beyond the city limits
Never lose sight of the shore, what’s more
Embrace your shackles
Avoid taking risks
Dangerous thing, risk.
Yes, stupid is yours for the taking
Giving up is easy, so easy.
But remember.
Remember, if you can
To live stupid
To die dumb
Is a dead set choice.


  1. This is a powerful poem. I love the images you used... favorite one was dusty books equaling a dusty mind. These are times that beg for Poetry.

    1. Thank you for your response Kathleen. These are indeed times that beg for poetry. I will hold that comment close.

  2. Poets are needed in every age, but particularly in times like these. Ironically, I think Trump's rise, and demonizing newspapers, has reinvigorated the traditional media landscape. I see better stories, more investigative pieces and newspapers buckling down to find new ways to tell stories. The result? They have more readers, and maybe a path to survival.

    1. I think you may be right on the money here Kevin. It has aroused a backlash totally unexpected by Trump. A growing tide of voices not prepared to be silenced or demonized.

  3. I enjoyed your poem! I feel the strength of your passion in your words. I completely agree with Kevin's comment above. The attempt to put "stupid" on a pedestal is backfiring. I see more investigation. I see more art. I see more powerful words. I hope this is the trend that continues. The world needs poets! Keep writing!

    1. Thank you for your inspiring words Michelle. The worlld needs its poets and every voice counts.

  4. The "stupid" you describe in your wonderful poem is easy, it is safe. But it is lifeless and a waste. "Dumb" people do not know what to fight for, or how to cherish the good and right. What a powerful piece of writing. Thank you for sharing it and causing us to ponder so many intelligent ideas.

    1. Knowledge and a thirst to learn are the cure for ignorance, so I thank you for your considered comments.

  5. There is too much at stake in all our lives to be intentionally "stupid," yet people go on choosing to be so. Even some people I know. On the bright side, the "stupid" people probably didn't expect the "seekers" to rise up as one to combat "stupid." Write on...right on!

    1. You have provided points to ponder regarding our life choices Barbara. There is much at stake as you say.


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