Poetry Madness-The Final Four

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Poetry Madness-The Final Four

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“Rise to the Occasion”

Tyler (Jiggy) Kelly

They are ignored, hated, and violated

because they haven’t come clean about their sexuality

it’s such a sad reality

how can we absently and casually disregard her beauty and brains

just to objectify and compare her to the “supermodels” we see in the magazines

What about how we shun and disrespect those who look different

whether because of race or because they defy the imaginary laws of normality

it’s not gravity

These are all real tragedies


But what can I do?

I can’t put you in her place

I can’t put you in their place

you can’t walk in my shoes the same way I can’t walk in yours

But I refuse to allow others to wither away when I know there’s a cure

What if we didn’t give them looks of disgust and smirks of hatred

What if instead of making comparisons

we told her she was in her own lane

beautiful and no where near basic

flaws and imperfections she was destined for greatness

And that whatever dreams they had despite being black, white, Spanish, or asian

we would support them with full belief that they could make it

I bet that would change it

See I can’t make you do anything these are your Lives and I want you to claim it

understand that everybody

no matter how strong, how fast,

male or female

gay, lesbian, straight, bi,

young or old,

real or fake,

black, white or tan

has the ability to strengthen another for the greater good

rise to the occasion

the outcome of unity and respect for each other is something words can only describe as amazing

We are all leaders in the making

History is in the past

we are the future this is our time to change it

“I am Farha Khan”

Farha Khan

I am Farha Khan.

I am the product of love and passion.

Generations and generations of those before me.

I am my mother’s dream,

who sacrificed her own to bring this Indian woman on American land.

I am her compromises, her sacrifices, who feeds hungry mouths before her own.

I am not your coachella bindi, your chai tea latte, or your henna tattoo.

I am the steaming aroma of chai on a winter’s evening,

in a room filled with laughter and conversation.

I am the woman draped in crimson red,

hands embellished in mehndi.

I am the awakening fragrance of spice which mimics the color of fire,

the very element I carry within me.

I am the celebration of the festival of lights,

despite the darkness that resides in places you cannot see.

I am Punjab’s sarso ka saag, Kerala’s warm sunshine, and West Bengal’s tiger.

I am the very heavy accent you make fun of,

not knowing my country’s beauty lies within the sprawling variety of it’s mother tongues.

I am an Indian woman on American land.

I am the color of the soil, the color of this very earth.


My name carries history.


The warriors. The wars. I carry their power.

I am culture. I am a revolution.

I am Farha Khan.


“therein lies the rub”

Gabe Padiernos

i lie to myself everyday.

i preach a mantra of self love to the mirror

unbelieving and uncaring

i caked gold paint to rotted skin and broken bones

i sat a crown atop a fractured and aching skull


the mirror reflects a body i don’t recognize

with phantom skin and organs wrapped in cellophane

i pantomime who i wish i was in my art

the poems i scrawl in the margins of my chemistry notes,

the sketches scribbled into my english packets


i know i can no longer linger in this memory and this apparition of who i was, who i am not.

i romanticize everything from the sky to earth’s core,

i romanticize myself. my teeth and eyes and hands.

i do it when i know i’m lying, i do it when i pretend i’m not.

i romanticize the train that passes by my window,

to somewhere else, from somewhere else.


that train.

it mocks me,

comforts me when i stare at the mirror at a being, unknown.

the rumbling on the tracks deafens me

i promise myself when i have learned to love myself,

the train will stop its endless jeering

i shut my eyes and lie to myself some more


Osmin Torres

A hole in my heart

Am I really this dark?

Should I be judged cause I’m not everyone’s definition of smart?

Should i be judged on my anger even if it breaks everything apart?

What should i do…my family’s falling apart?

I’m alone and

My hearts like a cold stone

Some might even call me a drone. Maybe that’s why i always end up alone.


Who am I?

Am I just like the rest?

Why does everyone leave.. my life’s just a mess

Why does life feel like everyone’s just proving who is best?

What’s on his feet?

What’s on his chest?

Does the name on my clothes make me any less?

Cameras and fans – does that make you a better man?

I know people walking ‘round picking up cans

And they twice the man.


Who am I?

Why am I despised?

Why can’t she see what i see through my eyes ?

Why do I feel weak because of the tears that I cry?

Should I be myself?

Should I be like my father?

Don’t know much about the man…should I even bother?

Nah – that’s not me

I won’t mess up my life cause I was born a bad seed.


I am greatness

I am a light that hasn’t been seen

I will blossom

I will grow and be bright green

I am myself and

I will make a difference for the world to see.


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