No More Silence

By Shannon

This is my cry for a stop in senseless violence,
How many lives must be destroyed before someone, anyone
Shout to the mountain top, no more silence, no more silence

How could we overcome, if a promised dream is never realized
Due to a nightmarish reality that must end and if no
One is willing to step up, where does the change begin
To reverse a maddening cycle of gentrification, of generations
Who look just like me and you, who they look up to and emulate

So whose responsibility it is, to be responsible, before
Its just too late and what excuse could justify
Such a decision, when it’s obviously a grave mistake
That will surely impact our community, and reflect a
Negative mindset that we must counter and combat
With an objective view towards positive progress
That begins with self-evaluation and a want for change
A choice to make a difference, that can lead to an act of
Forgiveness and self-liberation, with you as our witness
And our guide in this act of unification, of prisoners against
Gun violence, men who can no longer afford to be quiet
And our debt to society is no more silence, no more silence

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37 Comments

  1. Kathleen Brown on September 22, 2020 at 6:52 PM

    Your words touched me deeply, on both a human and emotional level. Surely change will come from the courage and inner fire of young people like you. I hope sincerely that your generation rises from the ashes of previous ones and builds a world closer to a utopia.

  2. Kely on September 24, 2020 at 11:52 AM

    What a powerful poem. I can feel your emotions as i read this poem. I can clearly see this poem is about social justice and it voices the harsh reality of the social injustices we see in America. I would like to see a better definition of “our community” in line 4 of the third paragraph. Defining your community communicates the willingness to not be silent of those who are being oppressed by the American society. By doing this, it really helps those people who cannot see where lives in your community are not currently “mattering”. I know the lives in your community matter, and I want everyone to hear their voices, your voice.

  3. Meredith on September 27, 2020 at 1:57 PM

    Dear Shannon,
    I like how you reflected on current events within the world in this piece. Writing poetry is a wonderful way to express yourself and the change you wish to make in this world. Know that I am reading this poem and reflecting on the world because of you.
    This poem read like a story, or a cry for help. I liked the part about trying to find responsibility for the hatred in this world. Violence and heartbreak occur on a daily basis. It is our jobs to do our part and speak up to enact the change we wish to see.
    Please continue your work and I hope to read more in the future.
    For now, continue to use your voice, and I will continue to use mine.

    Meredith

  4. Alec McElyea on September 27, 2020 at 4:02 PM

    Shannon, I hope this message finds you well and in good spirits. After reading your poem “No More Silence” it was quite apparent to me that this poem is very deep and moving for you and I can feel that when I read it. Your second stanza that you wrote was probably the portion of the poem that I found most moving. The way you used those words to show the reader the feelings that you have is a great talent and you did it very well. In the poem when you said “if no one is willing to step up, where will the change begin.” That sentence made me think of a saying my father would say to me as a child which was “You will never get something done until you start.” That quote to me makes me realize that you do have that power to make a change in your life no matter how big or small. If there is something in life that needs changed then we don’t need to wait for other people to stand up and lead us to that change. I really enjoyed reading your work, and I truly hope that one day you, or another person will lead others to make this change and educate the community. Thank you.
    -Alec

  5. Caity on September 29, 2020 at 10:38 AM

    Shannon, your poem “No More Silence,” is really powerful and meaningful. You truly convey so many of the issues with social justice and progress that our country is grappling with at the moment. You masterfully connect your ideas/themes with phrases, such as “violence/silence,” which really resonate and make your message clear. I really liked the line: “So whose responsibility it is, to be responsible?”. So many people are not afforded the “promised dream,” and you are quick to point out this hypocrisy. -Caity, Washington, D.C.

  6. Ann C. Darling on September 29, 2020 at 6:30 PM

    I was glad to hear about the newly created important position…and to be able to meet you on line…this new outreach sounds to be So So Important….and in so many ways!
    I’ve read “No More Silence” many times. Each time I read it I see more significance in it and in certain phrases. The last sentence is so true.
    I’m going to end with two quotes from one of my most highly esteemed writers and poet: Mark Nepo. He’s written several books. This quote comes from “drinking from the river of life”.
    A day after I read the recently submitted Free Minds poetry I picked up this book just to scan and re-read….and my oh my!! I opened up to a chapter that is so relevant to having just read your all’s poetry. I’m going to send this book to DC management so that it can be previewed. The subtitle is “the life of expression”. He shares so very much of his golden insight in the subject of expression.
    The chief function of art in all its forms is to marry what is with what can be. By voicing the truth of things as they are while enlivening our better angels, art helps us live.
    And he quotes other authors: Not everything that is faced can be changed, nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

  7. Abigail Cross on September 29, 2020 at 7:24 PM

    -Shannon,
    This is an excellent poem that sends out a great message. I could also tell that you’re passionate about what you’re writing about. That is what makes beautiful poetry.

    The world deserves to hear what you have to say. Keep writing!

  8. Helina VanBibber on September 29, 2020 at 7:40 PM

    This is such a deep and inspiring poem. Never stop speaking up for what is right.

  9. Krystal Ramos on September 30, 2020 at 6:55 PM

    I think is beautifully written and I see and understand exactly what you are saying. People need to stop throwing their responsibility on to the next accept it for themselves. Change starts with ourselves. Once we ignite the change in ourselves we can unite with other to make an even bigger difference.

  10. Maya S. on October 2, 2020 at 7:29 PM

    Shannon, these themes are so important to talk about, and you write about them so skillfully. I can tell how much it has affected you by the emotion that comes through in your words. I like the recurring use of the phrase “no more silence” to hammer in what you want to change. I also kept coming back to the powerful lines, “To reverse a maddening cycle of gentrification, of generations/Who look just like me and you, who they look up to and emulate.” Thank you for writing this! Best, Maya

  11. Kendall Whitman on October 5, 2020 at 2:42 PM

    My favorite part of the poem was the line no more silence. I like how it is repeated throughout the poem to show the importance of it. This is very deep and should be known across the country to always use your voice.

  12. Maddie on October 6, 2020 at 12:32 PM

    Shannon, this is a really touching poem. I have reread it several times and each time it has a more profound effect on me. Your voice deserves to be heard, and your words deserve to be taken to heart. “No more silence” is a powerful message that is radiating across the US these days, and any effort to continue conversation is important. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Ben M on October 8, 2020 at 10:56 PM

    I like the idea brought up with the lines “No More Silence” this has been a problem many people have faced, the problem of the fear of speaking up. The more we use our voices to get out thoughts and ideas out the more everybody will be forced to listen to us. This is a very deep and emotional poem especially in the troubling times we’ve all been going through this year and the years before.

  14. Joyce on October 9, 2020 at 1:22 PM

    Dear Shannon,

    The repetition of “no more silence” in the first and last stanzas of your poem is so powerful and jarring. The emotion of this poem is amazing. At the same time, it is informative and inspiring but you can also feel the desperation and urgency behind the message. It is relatable for many of us, who have wanted to see our society change for the better for so long, but progress seems so slow. I love how you point out mindset and self-evaluation — we cannot depend on others around us and institutions to change, we ourselves must change and not be silent. Amazing poem!

    Best wishes,
    Joyce

  15. kassidilenae on October 13, 2020 at 9:10 AM

    Shannon,

    Your words are powerful. You live up to your challenge, “no more silence, no more silence.” I like how you ask whose responsibility is it to stand up for justice. We all assume someone else- someone more qualified or older or smarter or more well-spoken- will speak for us. In reality we wait unheard and unseen. Keep challenging others as well as yourself to speak for those who have no voice.

    KS

  16. Kennedi on October 13, 2020 at 10:42 PM

    This poem really reflects what you believe in and also how passionate you truly are about this. Keep up the good writing and never stop speaking your mind!

  17. Alexandra on October 18, 2020 at 4:23 PM

    Shannon,

    Your poem was very touching. Your words on the endless cycle of violence and how it is essential that people step up, and if they don’t, who will? This is very prevalent in today’s cycle of violence and how there needs to be a change. Your poem was very well written and your words were powerful.

  18. Torrie on October 18, 2020 at 4:39 PM

    Shannon,

    This is an amazing poem. These words are so true. When will the senseless violence stop? Our world right now is at a crossroads. And as a society we need to come together or more senseless violence is going to continue to happen. I agree… we can no longer be silent. Thank you so much for writing this poem. It’s powerful and you are very talented. Keep writing!

  19. Dyemone on October 20, 2020 at 12:23 PM

    I loved the message that was presented here. The title of this poem describes perfectly what it’s about. This is very touching to read and I can feel that the author wants change and to stop being silent. I hope that this person continues to write in the future.

  20. Katrina on October 20, 2020 at 12:37 PM

    This is a very powerful poem!The structure you used with the increasing paragraph lengths is very effective in portraying the emotions of frustration displayed by the words of the poem.This needed to be said so thank you for saying it!

  21. Cameron on October 23, 2020 at 5:36 PM

    Shannon, this is such a powerful, well-written poem. You are able to create so much emotion—especially when you repeat the lines, “no more silence, no more silence.” It is a call to action that I hope many people are able to read because, just as you mentioned, there are so many lives being destroyed. Thank you for writing such a strong piece! I hope I get to read more from you!

  22. N. B. on October 25, 2020 at 1:31 PM

    This poem is very complex and hits on an important topic today. It seems to depict the struggle of a community victimized by gentrification, gun violence, and more, and ask when those community members will break free of those shackles to start speaking up and breaking out. However, to me (and this seems a bit at odds with some other commenters), this poem also calls on every single person who thinks of themselves as an “ally” to ask whether they’ve been “silent” or not. “if no / One is willing to step up, where does the change begin”? When will we stop putting the physical, financial, and emotional labor on marginalized people of color to fix their communities over night? While the needs and voices of these community members must be the center of the organization for any sorts of reparations, it is not their responsibility to fix what white people did wrong in the first place that pushed these communities to the margins of our city and, in a more ideological sense, our society. The goal is “no more silence, no more silence,” and we all have a hand in reaching that.

  23. Derek H. on October 26, 2020 at 12:04 PM

    It is maddening that we appear to be going through a never ending cycle of lives being brutally taken. We must march, vote, and fight for change in this country, and all of that change starts here. Thank you for sharing, it is pertinent people know their civic duty is to speak up for not only themselves but all people!

  24. Anneliese on October 26, 2020 at 2:43 PM

    Shannon, your poem was so deep and emotional and it really spoke to me. I really liked the part that says “if no one is willing to step up, where does the change begin.” It reminded me that it is always important to fight for what you believe in. When you step up, others will follow in your footsteps and change can occur.

  25. Logan on October 28, 2020 at 1:31 PM

    Shannon, you’re very eloquent and refined in your word choice, and I can’t help but applaud that. It’s impressive, really. It’s impressive to see you address heavy issues with graceful words and a call to action, a cry even for an issue to be resolved. I enjoyed reading it, and I think you should write more. It’s clear that you have a talent for the art of poetry.

  26. Phuong Nguyen on October 30, 2020 at 3:11 PM

    Beautiful and powerful words! These stanzas convey so much raw emotions. The line “no more silence” is repeated, showing us how strongly frustrated we are with the injustices in this world. Poems like these are what inspire changes to be implemented in the way we function, to create movements against the denial of human rights!

  27. Hannah on October 30, 2020 at 3:24 PM

    Shannon,
    This is such a great poem that truly shares your emotions with the reader. I really liked your choice of style in the line “To reverse a maddening cycle of gentrification, of generations” where you used the repetition of the “g” beginning. It really pulls the reader into that thought. You do this again with the line, “Negative mindset that we must counter and combat,” which really works well in highlighting this idea to the audience. I loved how you acknowledged the reader at the end of the poem, making them a witness and guide, it makes them feel as though they are in conversation with you, which is so powerful considering the topic of the poem. This is such a great poem, keep writing!

  28. Jade H on October 31, 2020 at 9:05 AM

    Hello Shannon, this is a great, deep, heartfelt poem with so much going on in the world today many people can relate. Keep going!

  29. Belen Rodriguez on November 20, 2020 at 2:49 PM

    This piece was powerful and exemplified all the feelings of frustration, sorrow, and disappointment towards our current society. Rightfully so, there is much harm being inflicted and it seems to be a never-ending cycle. Your statement of “No More Silence” is very moving because it calls out the compliant behaviors of people who have the power to make a change, but do not. The poem is calling for real change and for brave souls to end the violence. I also like how you mention that if we ourselves are not willing to step up, then who will we turn to to do so? The change must start within ourselves before we call out the behavior of others. Forgiveness is a great way to start practicing self-liberation. In this way, we challenge our views that may have kept us from being the change we want to see. Very good piece, thank you!

  30. Anne on November 21, 2020 at 8:45 PM

    Shannon, I love this poem. It is so powerful and so relevant to so much going on today. This is a necessary message to get out to the world. If we truly want to create change we cannot be silent.

  31. clifford on November 30, 2020 at 2:09 PM

    My favorite part of the poem was the line no more silence. I like how it is repeated throughout the poem to show the importance of it. This is very deep and should be known across the country to always use your voice.

  32. Lyndsay on December 4, 2020 at 2:56 PM

    Shannon, this poem is beautifully written. Your voice is heard and others will be soon. These words are so powerful and create awareness to the violence going on in the world. It is important for everyone to speak up finally and make a change immediately.

  33. Taylor Johnson on December 7, 2020 at 4:07 PM

    Shannon, your poem is so powerful. Considering some of the repeated hardships of not being heard and social injustice you pin pointed that frustration out through your poem. My favorite lines are “No More Silence” and “This is my cry for a stop in senseless killing.” I love that you are using your voice to talk about these issues because they need to stop! I love that you spoke about the negative mindset due to this on going issue that seems to never end but just REPEAT itself and of course our community and ourselves have to learn to adapt to keep ourselves safe through everything and everyone in this harsh world.
    Your line when you wrote “So whose responsibility it is, to be responsible, before
    Its just too late and what excuse could justify
    Such a decision…”
    I love this line as well. It speaks power.
    This was so powerful. I hope you continue to use your voice!

  34. Taylor Johnson on December 7, 2020 at 4:09 PM

    Shannon, your poem is so powerful. Considering some of the repeated hardships of not being heard and social injustice you pin pointed that frustration out through your poem. My favorite lines are “No More Silence” and “This is my cry for a stop in senseless killing.” I love that you are using your voice to talk about these issues because they need to stop! I love that you spoke about the negative mindset due to this on going issue that seems to never end but just REPEAT itself and of course our community and ourselves have to learn to adapt to keep ourselves safe through everything and everyone in this harsh world.
    Your line when you wrote “So whose responsibility it is, to be responsible, before
    Its just too late and what excuse could justify
    Such a decision…”
    I love this line as well. It speaks power.
    This was so powerful. I hope you continue to use your voice!

  35. Keyana on December 8, 2020 at 10:53 AM

    I feel that this poem comes from a very passionate person. My favorite part of the poem is that you wrote about current events that are occurring in the world today. Keep writing and being great!

  36. Maggie on December 11, 2020 at 6:27 PM

    I really liked how this poem calls for changes in the world, and hopes that the world can be made into a more positive one! I thought it was also really well written.

  37. Sabryn Ferchichi on December 16, 2020 at 4:46 PM

    Shannon,

    I immediately identified the theme of wanting a society to overcome it’s demons and change for the better; for the people. I really enjoy your wording and how there’s clear repetition and link to real world problems. For example, you talk about gun violence and gentrification. I love that you made an emotional political spin on problems, like the opening echoes through “cry for a stop.” Also, the repetition of “silence” exemplifies your theme, that you will not be silenced. Beautiful work.

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