Poetry Slam – Resolutions by Khalif Andre + Student Essay Contest



It’s a new year so say goodbye to 2013.
I hope that 2014 will be great
But that remains to be seen.
For now the only thing we can do is dream
and hypothesize.
Not about our deficiencies, but about our victories
We are all destined for greatness so let’s slow down
and take it easy.
We can’t rush through life skipping opportunities.
We might get along well for a while
but not with impunity.
I sense confusion.
I sense that you are all lost
So allow me to use an example to get my point across.
Its like driving down a highway
When focused on your destination.
You’re so afraid of arriving late
that your mind is racing.
You’re getting paranoid, you imagine that
people are saying
things behind your back.
You feel under attack.
But when you awake from this mental relapse
you find yourself lost, you don’t know where you’re at.
Instead of driving with ease, positivity and lax,
You were negative, jittery and couldn’t stay on track.
This is the same with life.
Yea I know that I am young and to some a pest,
but for our self-improvement, this I bet.
We need to digress, digest and rest.
If we start to digress, maybe we’ll die less.
We should digress from people giving us stress.
If we start to digest more information,
maybe we’ll be more cognizant of others and
one day improve race relations.
Now we must rest assured that our futures are bright.
I believe that if we work together
we can climb, to new and glorious heights.

-Khalif Andre

This poem was read at Riverdales’s recent diversity banquet by 11th grader, Khalif Andre. It made an impact on the audience and hopefully it did the same for you. Wise words from a wise young man. Thanks Khalif!

This next poem was shared by a friend. It was shared with this friend by a fellow writer. Long, yet it managed to say so much, in so few words…

For 364 days, at least, I found myself in a constant state of conflict.
Almost daily my alarm clock awoke me at the corner of a crossroad: asking that I decide…
…And every day I oscillated away.    
I was readiness & unsteadiness, joy & sadness,
deletion & depletion, Completion;
I was cool confidence in a cracked case.
I was the reluctant leader, the forlorn follower.
I was a horrible mentor, a deplorable mentee.
Always kept it together, rarely kept in touch.
I was here, there, everywhere and nowhere.
I longed for home and grew restless for the road.
I moved too fast and proceeded with much caution.
I served and rarely felt deserving.
I was selfishly selfless.
I spread love and squandered it.
I sailed in the sure serenity of certainty & in the swaying seas of insecurity.
I sparred with Self.
Battled with Me & I and
Eyes wept:
Tears of joy from my right,
Tears of loss from my left.
I was introduced to some old friends.
I lost contact, made excuses
I felt full of empty sometimes.
I decided to be indecisive.
I was spontaneous when I planned to be.
I longed, liked, and left.
I felt guilty for having a good time.
I expended endless amounts of energy.
Eager to exceed external expectations,
I ended up abandoning internal ones.
Effortlessly executed
trapeze tricks while tiptoeing the tightrope. no trouble.
Tried to rodeo the uncontrollable. Still can’t juggle.
I felt too old,
And felt too young too.
I missed some of the old times,
And some of the new ones too.
I disappointed myself.  I astonished myself.
I felt the weight of the World: in my palms and my arms.
I jumped at opportunities,
I mis-timed some leaps of faith.
I felt Big in the Big Times and small in the small ones.
(And it’s all about the small ones)….
I watched my words and bit off more than I could chew.
I went to an emotional island, with few ferries, from or to…
I saw miracles.
I saw the alchemy of anger catalyzed to action.
I saw evolution, transformation, and a rising revolution.
I saw the country catch fire, clenched fists of collective fury.
Scholars students and artists in communal catharsis.
Children unchained.  Hearts opened. Lines drawn.
I felt blessings pour down from the Heaven inside us.
I saw Light consume Darkness whole.
I watched us construct a collective future in 2 minutes.
I watched Power build, grow, and Shift.
I write this…
Feeling better.
Filled to the brim with anxiety and anticipation.
This is my tome to 2013.  My poem to the year of my dreams.
To my season of Resolution fever; turning fears to Ether.
The writer in me says it was the best of times & the worst of times,
My intuition tells me I haven’t seen enough of either.
2014 is Ours.

Stay encouraged.  The World is Yours.
In Peace, Power & Prosperity,

-Phillip Agnew

Here is a student essay call for entry, shared with RIISE expressly for young writers. Note the official rules & the deadline is fast approaching…good luck!


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