Two Ears. One mouth. A Responsive Poetry Mini-Portfolio by Drew Whitley

"My wish" by Alejandra Gomez

People are lost. People should not hit or hurt anyone. Those with power hurt those without power. It happens. I hit you, you hit me we hit others. That is the circle of violence. Humans need food, shelter, water, air, space, safety, love, courage, hope, beliefs and to belong. Without rights we become lost. People are lost. But if we can help then maybe no one will be lost. People are mean, they treat others bad. People kill also. But if everyone got together and fought for what they need our world would be peaceful. But things also happen for a reason. Maybe some people don’t understand each other, so maybe this is pushing us to find ourselves together. My wish is for all people to be found.


People are found. While it might seem dark, people are found every single day. People are found when a stranger smiles. People are found when a hand is given. Sometimes, it might not feel as if we are found. We still feel without purpose or direction or being. But look around. Your family is all around you. Don't let the waves crowd your view. Food, water, and shelter are surely need and essential, but so is that hug. So is that hand. So is that smile. The rubber band is snapping back and we are drawing in. I hope you feel it. I hope you feel found.

My poem serves as a response to the first poem, as it proclaims that the poet's wish is being granted all the time all around him. In addition, it refers back to specific lines in the original poem and speaks to them.

"Why we long for home" by Calvin Woo

Why we long for home?

Why we left the place we roam?

Why we hear, the cries at night?

Why we long, for something in the light?

Why we long for home?


We left a land, the gunshots sounding.

Leapt out of the plane, our hearts now pounding.

Allowed in with ease.

We are now, in peace.

Why we long for home?

"Why you long for home"

You long for home for what is there

You long for family and all that care

You long for foods and spices and smells

You long for your stories and myths and tales


Yes, you have been welcomed here

Shown love and care and are free of fear

But that does not mean that you cannot long for what you know

Dream to one day return and you may reap what your ancestors did sow

My poem responds to the original poem as it assures the poet that their longing for home is justified and fitting. It achieves this by letting the poet know that there are certain things only home can hold and that is more than okay.

"War V.S. Peace" by Bishal Thapa

In Iraq there is war/In Canada there is peace

In Iraq I see blood on streets/ In Canada I see blood on Halloween costumes

In Iraq I see and hear guns/ In Canada I see and hear guns in movies

In Iraq I see rockets blasting/ In Canada I see toy rockets blasting

In Iraq I sleep on the floor / In Canada I sleep on a cozy bed

In Iraq my dream, to stay alive / In Canada my dream, become a scientist

In Iraq there’s lots of hating/ In Canada there’s lot of loving

In Iraq I hear scream of torture/ In Canada I hear scream of happiness

In Iraq I have a broken shelter / In Canada I have a hard and a safe shelter

In Iraq I walk / In Canada I ride my bike

In Iraq I go to dirty places like streets with blood / In Canada I go to clean places like Niagara Falls

In Iraq they call me enemy / In Canada they call me friend

In Iraq they call me terrorist / In Canada they call me Bishal

In Iraq I see soldiers trying to kill me / In Canada I see soldiers trying to protect me

"You v.s. me v.s. we"

You have olive skin / I have white skin / We have skin

You have a past of blood and bombs / I have a past of shouts and worry / We have pasts

You have memories of Iraq / I have memories of America / We have memories

You now know true peace / I have always known true peace / We both know true peace

You've walked along boobytrapped streets / I've walked along landscaped streets / We've both walked along streets

You go to school in Canada / I go to school in America / We both go to school

You have experienced war up close / I have experienced war from afar / We have both experienced war

Your family is spread apart / My family is close together / We both have family

You breathe / I breathe / We both breathe

My poem is responsive to the original poem in that the first poem highlights differences (and does so with stunning effect) and my poem highlights differences and then takes things a step farther and highlights similarities. While the purposes of the poems are quite obviously different, I believe my response offers light just as the first one does, just by a different avenue.


Created with images by fsHH - "refugees hamburg fence" • AlexVan - "hands friendship hold" • Myriams-Fotos - "boy child sad" • #ZS - "together"

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