All rights reserved-Chris Hancock


A hot, humid air sat of Williamsburg,
My daughter and I looked for the sheep
Hoping to break the rules
And get a touch of their nappy wool.

The texture, the oils,
It feels so nice,
But given the heat,
The sheep had taken a cool cover somewhere.

Our walk led us to the Gaol
Where no one stood guard,
So we figured it must be free
Looking to see prison condition ala 1700s.

I stepped into the cell,
The air even more still than outside,
The grain of the wood rough to the touch,
Unpleasant in its trendy architectural way.

A chain with cuffs was bolted into the wall,
A ring was similarly clad to the floor,
All to prevent debtors and criminals from escaping.
High tech cruelty for the time.

Standing in the box,
I felt the same oppressive weight
Of being in the freight cars within
The Holocaust Museum. Oppression feels the same everywhere.

In the courtyard, a family walked in,
I was struck by their vanilla
Wondering if they the felt the same as me,
A guy hating the injustice people put on each other.

Whether it’s criminals doing their thing
Or the authority that prosecutes them,
I left questioning why men and women
Persecute each other.

Is it insecurity,
Is it a failed gene,
Is an inability of evolution to keep up with social responsibility,
Or just good losing to evil all around?

We walked back into the June heat
A few minutes ahead of an afternoon thunderstorm,
And as we broke some law about beer consumption,
My mind jumped to the kids locked up in detention centers.

Glorified prisons,
Chain link on concrete in vacant Wal-Marts and such,
The heavy feelings returned to me
As the rain fell around us.


Bill Nunn, aka Radio Raheem, died today. If there is one character who symbolizes what is going on right now with police and African Americans, it is Radio Raheem. The riot scene in “Do the Right Thing” speaks to the tragedy of today with nearly the same impact as dashboard cameras and helicopter audio commentary. The movie shows the prejudices, brutality, disrespect for people and property, and the consequences of justice and hubris run amok. It’s all there, commentary of the times in 1989. It’s a shame that the message is the same twenty seven years later.

I love “Do the Right Thing,” especially when Buggin’ Out makes fun of Clifton for wearing a Larry Bird jersey. When I watch the movie, I don’t see issues of race. I know, that sounds hard, but I see a failure of people to recognize the importance of us all. I see a failure of people to see outside of skin color, a failure of people to believe beyond their religious or political affiliation, a failure of people to breathe beyond their economic assignment. Each a dumb reason to have contempt for anyone else and each an element contributing to the tragedies that too frequently happening across the country (the world). There are too many Radio Raheems today and it’s about time we started paying attention to the way we treat each other.

Let’s hope, “Left-Hand Hate is KOed by Love,” as Radio Raheem said.

RIP Bill Nunn…


Photo Credit:×435.jpg


Strive to break free of
Orderly environments
Concerning protest,
Challenge established mores,
Peacefully change what has been


Photo Credit: By Tony Webster from Minneapolis, Minnesota (Watchful) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

The forecast for Artis foretold time
Little did he know it was his lawyer in the news
The world thought of him in crime
As he shuffled about in prison shoes
He didn’t make a livin’ pimpin’ pimps
But the negativity was everywhere
Each day he was only able to catch a glimpse
Because his imprisonment was justly unfair
The judge didn’t buy his lawyer’s plan
Sticking with his original ruling
But Artis never thought his innocence as less than
While knowing the appeals would be grueling

Years would pass before he was out
The forecast knew what the law was about