Expect Nothing to Change

Dangling Conversation ~ Philip Brent Harris


(Except the verse, I suppose. Rewritten since my previous post.)

How can we see where we are going

Under a million layers of dark night?

They weigh us down, block our sight.

Still, we are not, may as well be, dead.

Except the pain we cause, our screams.

Until any gains brief moments of fame,

Fully alive, to lede on the nightly news.

Will you be a cause celeb, with toe tag

Labeled with your details, the last I.D.

For the morgue worker’s shift change?


Why would you think a mother’s pain,

A father’s grief weighs less than yours?

We  plead for justice to seek humanity;

Yet, humanity denied stokes rage’s fire.

The mythic past was oh so short, unless

Shackled, stacked close, to swell profit,

In a filthy, fetid hold, foul Guineaman.

Ill, scared, no sun, wallowing in waste.

You yearn to live, yet, you yearn to die,

Knowing this choice is no longer yours.


Pray to your gods, sacred elders entreat.

Rue your fate and cling to love left home.

Spirited faraway, without hugs; your wife,

Child echo and grieve your daily absence.

You live. Will you consider escaping, go,

Be ambushed by the fierce slave patrols?

Brute thugs, whips, beating, degradation.

Till you lose hope, home, Until life offers

You, new love. You remain, raise children

Born into slavery, of old faith, a new God.


Centuries on; you work hard yet earn less.

You settle on a poor parcel you can afford,

Near other good people like you, aching to

Gain rights promised by the emancipation.

Still unequal; lower wages; ever suspected.

While you are hungering to be soon lifted,

Find your forced destiny in this new nation.

You see this dream unfold for the lucky few

Who strive and struggle to reach star status.

Living high, afraid to walk the streets alone.


You mark the shining city where fear is gone.

No segregation and no war waged upon you,

Washing down a deluge of drugs to drown,

Beguile you, hooked on a bogus golden ring.

Some seek fleet oblivion of no hope to fear.

Any holding the flash ring, their Holy Grail,

Find guns are readily available, no questions

Asked, winnow the ensnared within, without,

Funnel them into a new slavery, our prisons,

Give birth to militarized police departments.


We see a phone video of a man shot by police,

A woman, murdered in bed and men strangled.

Necks knelt on point to systemic racism, driven

Minute to minute in casually-claimed superiority.

Say time to recall injustice, hate, being targeted.

Staggering statistics, created by any racist LEO.

How can we wonder at centuries-old pain boiling

Over in rage, riot, fires, looting; mixed and fed by

Armed right-wing militia, riot police, it will erupt?

Why, you wonder why I expect nothing to change?


Who am I to write this screed, some old white guy

Who knows he does not, cannot feel your history?

I can only imagine, through my limited empathy,

Guess how horrendous your past, present, maybe

Future must have been, may be; It rips me apart

At one remove, racked by pain, guilt and sorrow.

So I write, attempting to absorb it, to tell anyone

As or more blind than me to stop and ponder how

We shall shed our million of layers of ignorance,

Escape our dark night to light and see each other.


Peace is Purpose, Nonviolence is Strength,  Diversity is Unity, Empathy is Empowerment


VOTE, November 3, 2020!


Peace is Purpose, Nonviolence is Strength, Diversity is Unity, Empathy is Empowerment


See more of my creative offerings and opinions at:

Brent Harris Fine Art

Philip Brent Digital Art

Vida Voices

Please, leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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