Poetically Yours - Ep. 28 - It's Time For A Change

Feb 12, 2021

Welcome to this week's Poetically Yours. Poetically Yours showcases poems by northern Illinois poets. This week's episode features Christopher D. Sims. 

Christopher D. Sims.
Credit Connie Kuntz

Sims is from the West Side of Rockford and first shared his poetic gifts onstage at Haskell Elementary School thanks to Dorothy Paige-Turner. 

Rooted in Black joy and celebration, his poems wind through the landscapes of this country's past and present. He hopes they will inform, engage and entertain. Sims, who originally wrote rap and hip-hop lyrics, said his poetry has a bebop cadence. His poem "Thinking About King: A Thesis-Poem On Leadership" reflects on the years since Martin Luther King Jr.'s passing. 

Year, after year, after year

We celebrate King in January;

We honor his memory; we share

how thankful we are for what

he did for this country.

When January arrives,

when King Day becomes

present, clear

the energy of justice

of equality, of equity

becomes proximate

to the future

of the United States -

as if the United States,

has never needed it!

What can we

do different this year?

How can communities

of activists, of organizers,

of leaders

change the trajectory

of the inequity, of the

poverty of this country?

Can we pause

to think about

that for a moment?

Service is good.

Feeding the homeless,

excellent.

Cleaning up

a dirty neighborhood

is awesome.

But how about

something new,

something different,

something significant,

something game changing,

something impactful?!

King would be proud

if we could get past

the mediocrity of

the same actions,

the nonchalant

attention, the

less involved

activities we

give to the

work he did

in order to

get us all

the way

here, here,

here.

We are

The ones

We’ve been

waiting for

change, change,

change, change,

justice, justice,

justice, justice,

equity, equity,

equity, equity

is needed more now

than ever before!

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.