A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Gianni Johnson stands at the podium, smiling and speaking into a microphone, with one hand raised.

“Turf,” by Gianni Johnson

We don’t have to kill our environment to make beautiful things
If life was on a dark path, should we continue on to see what life brings?
Self-inspired hope after finding new ways to cope
Dealing with demolition would leave one so pessimistic
Watching it all fall then running off in the distance
Returning to the rubble to find something once missing
Memories are lost along with the cause
And it’s been like this for so long
That we don’t know how to right our wrongs

Maybe it’s too late and we can’t make wrongs right
Or maybe there’s a voice in the crowd that’s going to put up a fight
Been trying to see the light but these apartments have replaced it
They wanted to change the community, but all they did was erase it
We don’t have to kill our culture to make beautiful things
All we do is sit in silence and wait till someone sings
But that voice falls on deaf ears and that feeling really stings
Cause it’s like hundreds of sent calls, and every time it only rings

Gianni Johnson wrote this poem while an 11th grader at Franklin High School, with WITS Writer-in-Residence Naa Akua. Performed at Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Hinge event with Hanif Abdurraqib at Town Hall Seattle on October 23, 2019.

Posted in Hinge SeriesStudent Writing2019/20 Season