John Anagbo

April 27, 2008 at 3:43 pm (Uncategorized) ()


Memories fade
Pandemonium echoes through the heartland
We ponder the senselessness of the perpetrators
And the helplessness of the victims
Hate, the pseudonym for terror strikes
Division replaces cohesion
Anger and hate fills us all.


What is the color of my eyes?
What is the color of my shirt…your dress…his uniform?
What is the color of my soul?

Why do you concentrate on only one color
On the one aspect of my being
That I can do nothing about?
Colored bathrooms, colored bus
Colored restaurants, colored this, colored that…

Tomorrow, I shall lend you my shoes
Promise that you will walk with me,
Eat with me, dance with me, sing with me,
And sleep in my shack

Promise that you will make me coffee
And hot chocolate
That you will wake my children up
And take them to the bus stop
Then ride a bus reserved for you
When you hear the sirens, do not run
Face the music and the anguish of the voiceless

When I hear your cry
I will open the door
I will do it because I harbor no evil
I have two cheeks
And I bear no grudge
I will certainly remember my painful past
But I have the courage to look into the future

What is the price of ignorance?
Pain, anger, hatred and prejudice
What is the cost of tolerance?

Have you walked far enough?
How do you like my shoes?
There are no people of color
We are all colored

John Anagbo is a Supervisor/Teacher of English at Montgomery High School
in Skillman, NJ. He also works as a Content Instruction Specialist in
English for the Program in Teacher Preparation at Princeton University.



  1. Melinda Neff Willems said,

    It was such a treat as I sit here on a Sunday night writing lesson plans to hear your poems resonate with your deep, rich voice. Are you still writing? You are able to capture such complex and abstract ideas and make them concrete for your reader. I teach a creative writing course and I am going to have them listen to your poems tomorrow morning. I have a talented young man from Ghana who is just learning what a poem can do. Perhaps you will be able to inspire him. . .

    I hope life is treating you well – I am expecting a daughter in early June – so life is indeed being good to me.

    Melinda Neff Willems (former colleague from WW-P)

  2. JL Johnson said,

    Hey John – Ekua sent me the link to this site and I saw your poems posted under hers. I enjoyed listening to them and reading them. You rock! -KP

  3. Wendy Ekua Quansah said,

    hey mr.anagbo
    i am so happy our poems are finally up and that they are up together. thank you for giving me the chance to say my poems. i feel honored to be the second teenager to do this. i love your poems. maybe we can write one together.hhahah.see you later.luv ya!

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