POETRY: The Long Path of Ali

By
K.G Bethlehem

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali

The year 2016 has been a “something” year. A lot of icons, stars, great people passed on. The world felt the passing of Prince just months ago and now the great Muhammad Ali.

It’s hard to really write how much he meant to me. He reminds me of my Father who also passed on in 2012. Both men were strong black men who fought for civil rights in the face of oppression and racial white supremacy. Both men shunned the Vietnam War; my Father didn’t re-enlist in the army due to his moral objections to the war and the condition of black and brown people. He even despised the treatment of the poor who were the ones who took up the mantle of the war soldier during that conflict (the rich just ran—ran far away).

I haven’t forgot about you Kimbo Slice, now you can rest brotha’ man!

If you’ll a more in-depth look at our honored “Champion of the People,” check out my article, “The Humble Greatness of Ali”. Here’s an original piece I wrote to further pay homage to a legendary great.

 

the long path of Ali

He welcomed the greatness at birth,

the doctor was jealous as he blocked his hand before it hit his butt,

mother and father remarked a name to him,

that would last around 20 years.

confidence was his strength,

compassion his blood

arrogance was null,

as his name change from above.

He fought so well against all opponents

his greatest bout was not Foreman,

or Frazier,

or Norton

but racial inequality

and racial white supremacy

and all that jazz.

that left us the blues as we watch him slowly die

throughout so many years

my dad remarked when I was young–

“it is hard to see Ali like he is now because of how he was then.”

it hurt my father greatly

I know it hurt other folks

I know it hurt me and I wasn’t born for most of his great fights,

I heard of them though,

he put on a hell of a show!

This man name Ali,

don’t you see,

he floated like a butterfly

and stung like a bee.

Don’t you see how much he meant to me?

You see black people in sorrow,

knowing tomorrow won’t allow Ali to be in it

not at all,

as well remember our loved ones,

who lived with him during the 60s’

and 70s’

and 80s..

who passed before this great man.

This fighting man,

this courageous man who stood in front of oppression.

He just stood in front.

..and didn’t move.

 

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