Rhaps and Rhymes: “Any Relief?”

Rhaps and Rhymes will be the posts where I showcase poetry written by me.  This one was inspired by the incident of Charles Kinsey, Arnaldo Eliud Rios Soto, and the police of North Miami.  What do you think?

Relief Photo with Poem

Image text unclear?  Here’s the text below! What do you think?




Once again…

A human…of dark complexion

Came in contact with the officious loaded barrel

Thankfully, the bullet only got the leg this time

And in the age of Sterling, Castile, and several Dallas police officers

That is a relief



Another human… with autistic identification

Sat in the presence of the same officious loaded barrel

Thankfully, the bullet got none of him this time

And in the age of Baton Rouge, Garner, and Powell

That has to be a relief



A human…of uniformed certification

Was the master of this infamous loaded barrel

Thankfully, two of three bullets disobeyed him

Though in the age of Brown, Gray and Rice

That isn’t enough for relief


Because what I witnessed there

Was a confession and an exchange

The rescued life with autistic identification

In exchange for a scar on the dark complexion

But if you’re of dark complexion with autistic description

This is scary beyond belief



Rhaps and Rhymes: “Any Relief?”

15 thoughts on “Rhaps and Rhymes: “Any Relief?”

  1. vicki cana says:

    Thoughtful poem, Cobra. These repeated incidents with police make me wonder IF the police themselves are actually paying any attention to what’s happening. I heard recently of another murder (Paul O’Neal). I don’t know the full circumstances but, there doesn’t seem to be any relief.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. GGail says:

    Hello COBRA, it’s Auntie GG. I am so happy to see you delving into and exploring a segment of black society that is crying for RELIEF. I believe all POC {people of color} should not just internalize the situation, but also externalize how it affects them and their outlook on life. This dialogue is important if understanding and enlightenment is to be realized.

    Please keep thinking and expressing. And I look forward to thoughtful comments from your readers.

    Much love & blessings to you nephew ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the words of encouragement, Aunt GG 🙂 I agree with you that the dialogue of life as a POC is important. The question is, how does one externalize one’s experiences with other communities that may not have anything close to a similar experience?


      1. GGail says:

        It begins with acknowledgement that a crime is being committed. Then empathy has to develop.I want to share this with you as a template for understanding empathy…
        Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

        Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the quotation:
        First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a Socialist.

        Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

        Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a Jew.

        Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
        The quotation stems from Niemöller’s lectures during the early postwar period. Different versions of the quotation exist. These can be attributed to the fact that Niemöller spoke extemporaneously and in a number of settings. Much controversy surrounds the content of the poem as it has been printed in varying forms, referring to diverse groups such as Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews, Trade Unionists, or Communists depending upon the version. Nonetheless his point was that Germans—in particular, he believed, the leaders of the Protestant churches—had been complicit through their silence in the Nazi imprisonment, persecution, and murder of millions of people.

        Only in 1963, in a West German television interview, did Niemöller acknowledge and make a statement of regret about his own antisemitism (see Gerlach, 2000, p. 47). Nonetheless, Martin Niemöller was one of the earliest Germans to talk publicly about broader complicity in the Holocaust and guilt for what had happened to the Jews.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Yes, I’ve heard that quotation in various contexts, but didn’t know the person behind nor the original context behind it. That was a very enlightening article to read, GGail!


    1. GGail says:

      I’m happy you enjoyed it COBRA
      enlightenment: : insight, understanding, awareness, wisdom, education, learning, knowledge
      Sharing stories, history and information about one’s culture & society with another group will enlighten and perhaps draw empathy and ultimately develop support to help combat the injustices that are visited upon the oppressed society. Other communities will not have similar experiences, but, that is no reason for them not to acknowledge that the inequity does exist and eventually work to make this a more equal and just society.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That is one of my favorite quotes too. The problem with other communities acknowledging inequity is that they (wrongly) believe they have a lot to lose, instead of understanding that they have everything to gain.


  4. i loved the poem, COBRA. I’m not an English teacher, just a (now retired) teacher of second graders. But it spoke to me clearly. As a teacher I am appalled at the lives we are willing to throw away, the pain we refuse to see, because of a feeling of threat (non-existent) to us. People who have the power in a culture (white) have the privilege of seeing the world through only one lens, their own. All other people in the culture must necessarily pay attention to other lenses, especially that of power. It’s a matter of survival for them. Powerful people take things for granted, others cannot take anything for granted. To move forward we need brave voices to speak, even when they aren’t sure they’re being heard. From my point of view, I believe that one of the things the Obama presidency has done is to bring more voices into prominence, given them a safe(er) space to tell their truth. Yours is a power truth-telling poem. Keep it up.


    1. I certainly agree with your point on the Obama presidency giving more voices prominence (even if the negative is that his haters become as equally active as a result). Nonetheless, the haters shouldn’t be the ones to stop these viewpoints from being shared. Thank you for your response, maryl1!


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