The Automation of Poverty

for Aurora Harris of Detroit, Michigan

We are walking around
a one-way bus
traveling nightmares,
morality, negotiating

suicide bombs,
tainted water,
under funded schools,
machine guns,
trading bullets for jobs
is called
normal, polite society.

civil disobedience,
advocates of peacemakers,
not politicians
or war by other means
in the streets.

We need doers,
not naysayers
on a conversation about
the public schools
of who we want to be.

Put your money
where your mouth is
so we can help
the outspoken
while a bunch of people say,

Click, you just received
another donation,
another like. . .
we have no life boat,
emergency managers,
poor legislation,
inadequate representation.

Mash up,
flash mob,
pop up,
we have generations
on public notice
to vote platforms, reforms,
transitions leading to transformations,
not public policy
by automation.

I am tired
pound for pound.
but grow enough food
from my own backyard
using poetry,
"creative license"
and running out of time
to plant
one more share of
copyrighted culture.

My land, your land,
we all have that in common,
and way underpaid,
glad to have a chance
to not be a slave.

The "Old Negro Slave"
spiritual plays
in the background,
"We shall overcome."

Or is it. . .
"Yes, We Can"
or can we overcome
the back biting,
apathy and tragedies?

It is getting hard
to not remember
the burnt out,
sold out
and played out
part of America.

The mix ups,
the torn apart people,
"social hiccups"
for the heartaches
of the word "perpetuity".

We shall over come
knowing, we
deserve better,
deserve more than this,
are deserving of dignity.
Our lives matter!


Check out Terry's paintings in this issue!



Terry A. Burton is a professional artist of 10+ years and splits most of his time between Toledo (Ohio), Detroit and Ann Arbor (Michigan) and sometimes Cleveland (Ohio). He experiments with and crafts a variety of mediums and media: painting/collage, film, graphic design and music. His work has been presented at the Toledo Museum of Art, The Mansfield Art Center (Ohio), The Laneway Festival from Australia and 555 Gallery (Detroit). You can check out his artworks at or


Edited for Unlikely by Rosalyn Spencer, #BlackArtMatters Guest Editor
Last revised on Thursday, September 1, 2016 - 17:32