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In Place

a poem

By Negomi Oak RhettsPublished 2 years ago 2 min read

Living within systems

systematic designed

to make change not happen.

Whoever pulls the levers

knowing or unknowing

they are part of what thrives on

taking away power


and choice.

They are part of systems that keep people in place

rather than building them up

like their shiny ads describe.

They pull the levers

for the fat cats at the top

the ones in their elite bubble

the bubble that’s always been there

the bubble that isolates


and mangles everyone else’s lives.

Do they choose to not see

what they create

or is the bubble so thick now

they really can’t see our struggle?

It’s hard to imagine a human

so cruel

that they wouldn’t change their ways

who wouldn’t be devastated

if they happened to glance out

and see the struggle beneath them

and think

That’s wrong

and it’s not by chance

the system that has me at the top

that’s sold as a promise for all

must be broken

it’s broken

and I am part of that mess

I am making, that mess.

But they do see us

so they must be cruel

I’m convinced

and yet

it’s amazing what greed

and a life lived with plenty

will do to a human

maybe greed and plenty

take the place of empathy.

So do we really want a system

that gives all to all

that gives into greed?

It’s hard not to think that if I had plenty

would I be in a bubble

looking down

not noticing the struggle...

They say money can’t buy you happiness

but maybe money changes you

changes how you see the world

if money gives you choice

I’m not surprised.

But it’s troubling to me to think

these bits of mental and paper

these dots on a screen

they hold so much power

it makes me want to scream.

But I can’t even do that

because the chase

for all those dots, that paper and metal

it's exhausting.

And when you start to pick it apart

it starts to all make sense

because you remember:

you’re living in a system

systematically designed

to make change not happen

and to keep you

in place.

slam poetry

About the Creator

Negomi Oak Rhetts

Herbalist & holistic health coach

Ex biodynamic farmer

Amateur poet and short story enthusiast

Self-published author of two free-verse poetry books: Weaving Roots and Wild Sanctuary

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    Negomi Oak RhettsWritten by Negomi Oak Rhetts

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