Ali. Poem by guy lipmore


Growing up into the'deep south'way,
Black and White, no grey.! !
‘Know your place'every day,
No change, things just stay.!

Across his path, came the noble art,
Latent passion and talent inside.
The strength of mind and heart,
Convention could and would be defied.

The champion he would fight,
Against all the odds.
He won against Liston that night,
Was his fate in the'Lap of the Gods'?

Islam growing in his mind,
A ‘change'of name.
His future is signed,
He felt no shame.
From that day,
The name 'Clay' was history,
No longer 'Clay'.!
Only 'Mohammed Ali.'!

Ridiculed and demonized,
Endless pressure and torment..
Undermined and patronised,
His pride and resolve, they could not dent.
66'year of the draft, Ali protests about,
Uncle Sam made his stand.
Ali was outside the‘age drought'!
Their plan didn't go as planned.
Ali, they had much underrated,
A blow they would deal.
His conviction cannot be over-stated,
Place in history, he would seal.
A reporter asked him, ' What did he think of the‘Viet Cong',
Ali replied, 'No‘Viet Cong', ever called me a‘Nigger.' '
He remained resolute and strong,
The story just got bigger.!
His title, they would threaten to remove,
His reputation was at stake.
Action they would prove,
However his defiance and dignity would not break.

Government against him all the way,
Pressure still growing.
But he kept them at bay,
No giving in, no bowing.
He was still the champ,
Speaking his mind.
Authorities unable to clamp,
A reason they'd have to find.!
They would have their day,
Try every bloody trick.
They would win, wouldn't they, ?
To their‘plan'they'd stick.

Illegal, unjust and immoral,
What they did was wrong.
Their‘last resort'totally indefensible.
Ali's fight would go on.
His refusal of the draft,
Fine and imprisonment.
Restriction of his craft,
Got their'way'message they sent.

So eventually they would de throne,
Three years not in the ring.
Public support had grown,
Exoneration, time would bring.
Over three years without his art,
Was a long, long time.
Outside, not being a part,
What would have been his‘prime'?

Finally vindicated,
Won his Supreme Court appeal,
Once again liberated,
Three and half years they did 'steal'.
Principles he'd stick to,
He took all the flack.
His resolve got him through,
He wanted his title back.
71' sentence was overturned,
Ali had eventually won.
Three and half years they had ‘burned'.
But justice was done.
His comeback, the Frazier bout,
Rusty, three years‘out'to blame.
However no doubt,
Ali would reaffirm his name.

So Frazier out, Forman in,
For the next 'rumble'.
Ali's belief within,
Next up was 'Rumble in the jungle.'
Underdog, it must be said,
Money men behind the scene.
Point to prove in his head,
Mr.King only sees green.!
The World was looking on,
Time to deliver, to do.
Was this to be his ‘swan song'?
Would the crowd and his faith get him through?
Yes, Ali, Zaire on his side,
The press he would call.
For his ‘cause', he never did hide,
His confidence would not stall.
The fight commences, sweltering heat,
Pugilists toe to toe.
Win or face defeat,
Fascinating duel, blow by blow.

'Is that all you got? 'Is that it'? Ali would say,
He would taunt through similar sounds.
Keeping his‘enemy'at bay,
Using ‘dope ‘a' rope' through the rounds.
His foes energy getting sapped,
Frazier's will also giving now.
Ali seems relatively‘intact',
Absorbing the blows some how.

Victory for the greatest,
Third time, a champion.
He beat every trial and test,
His legacy continues on.
So what did he leave behind?
Although not yet‘gone'!
Something in the mind,
Something so strong,
Of principles, making a stand.
Freedom of choice,
Nothing grand,
Expressing opinion, via voice.

Fight for what you feel is right,
Is what he tried to say.
Never ever give up the fight.
His life would portray.
What a courageous man, yes had his flaws,
Yes brash, bold, outspoken.
Faults yet again, who hasn't behind closed doors, ! !
Ultimately his spirit was never broken.

One of the greatest sportsmen,
Bar none to ever live.
Everything he had given,
Everything he did give.
He took on the establishment,
Questioned authority.
A message he really sent,
To all of us really.


Harriet James 01 August 2012

Excellent penning. Ali would be proud and honoured I'm sure. I wish there were more people in the world like that; a true star with grit, zeal and...a smile

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Shai Cherry 01 August 2012

what a very good poem

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