By Greg Corbin

what happens when the words you have learned to use
fall on deaf ears like rusty nails driven into wooden caskets
coffins have become a big investment in high crime areas
where murder is first on the shopping list of the neglected
the oppressed with windowpane lungs
shattered tongues who smile fragmented sunsets
a broken dawn when they yawn in the middle of a classroom
sleeping on their dreams
slobbering on a desk top of destiny
because the curriculum is too boring
snoring is the result of a teacher
who refuses to tap into the alarm clocks of the future
and wake up the voices of tomorrow
voices who have voices of hollow sorrows
they speak the echoes of speechless rainbows
that dangle from mute skies
with quiet sunrays that remain barricaded

Philadelphia native Greg Corbin Jr. is an award-winning international poet, motivational speaker, activist, ​educator​, humanitarian, strategist, culture shifter, Lincoln University Grad, ​and founder of the award-winning Philly Youth Poetry Movement. Corbin is currently serving as the program director for the Social Justice Leadership Institute for the American Friends Service Committee. Corbin is a prominent community leader that has extensive experience working with and mentoring youth throughout Philadelphia and beyond. Corbin has been featured at schools, conferences, festivals, and venues across the country, as well as HBO, BET, CNN, TED Talks. As an accomplished artist Corbin has shared stages with Nikki Giovanni, Mos Def, Bilal, Sonia Sanchez, Common, and many others. Corbin is dedicated to providing youth the resources that will provide them sustainable lifelong learning and the ability to advocate for self as they become social change agents that will mold the future. Corbin currently serves on the Mayors Commission for African America Males, along with the Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Laureate Commission. In 2015, Corbin was voted one of Philadelphia’s most influential people in “The Philadelphia.” Corbin believes, “When we invest in the voices of the young we are in turn investing in the voices of ourselves and the future.”