Poetry Sunday: You Have The Right



You Have The Right



You have the right to remain silent

Anything you say can and will be used against you,

But so what

Is it better to remain mute,

To not give voice to what assails my soul?



While silent, I give approval to insults, to violence, to cruelty.

While silent, I give up my rights.

And while silent, I condone bigotry, harassment and assault,

Based on nothing but the color of one’s skin or sex.

Based on only a name, ethnicity, or religion.



But isn’t it my right to also be free of these wrongs,

To be free to worship, to be free to be who I am.

There has been too much silence for far too long.



The silent ugly underbelly of a nation’s people,

Raised on freedoms taken for granted.

Believing there is no racism, and that

Women are treated fairly, equally and are valued.



But no~the ugliness was still here in this silent nation.

Blindly condoned and quietly strengthened,

Until one day a government gave it credence~

Gave it voice~made it legitimate and perfectly fine

To say the most vile, hateful words about its citizens.



Ignorance is not bliss anymore.

We cannot afford to be ignorant or stand idly by

As the very freedoms and foundations

We hold dearly are slipping into the abyss.



Lives lost fighting for these freedoms,

Now anguished in the soil of this fetid land.

Pride in a country where these freedoms were held scared,

Now fear runs rampant instead.

It is all there is some days,

No brave voices rising from the silence to be heard.

So many mute giving approval,

As silence kills.



You have the right to remain silent

Anything you say can and will be used against you,

In the court of life.

Will you remain silent?

Or will you give voice to the warriors

Needed to take back a country once lost.


© Donna Donabella 2017



This poem has been rattling around in my soul waiting to break free as my anguish with each horrific day goes by with more lies, more acts of violence, hatred, bigotry and on and on with hate.  And so many still stay silent as words and acts by our government bring us daily to new lows.

The irony of this poem’s opening is purposeful.  They are the opening lines of the Miranda Warning said to all who are arrested.  And who knows if our acts of resistance will get us arrested, but I have hope we will overcome the insanity and fear.   So this poem is my rant to those who are still silent, as I give my voice to those trying to change the dialogue, and not allowing my silence to condone any more of this insanity.


The pictures are more goddess selfies I created last year.

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog, and I am joining Sherry for her Thursday prompt at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads; Being The Change.


I leave you with a few additional words about You have the right.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2018.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

48 Replies to “Poetry Sunday: You Have The Right”

  1. A powerful poem. Yes, we have the right to remain silent; but silence at these times accomplishes nothing. I am so glad there are young people right now who are willing to speak out and say things and do things in a way that the generations of people before them are not. We do need to speak out, to resist, to stop this madness and the mad ones in charge. We cannot be mute.

    1. Thank you Mary! I have long felt silence was maddening and made us complicit….it has led to so much insanity in this world. We cannot be silent and the young beautiful people who are brave to speak out need our voices and support.

  2. Thanks for this powerful plea to speak out for what is right and true and good.

    1. I hope more folks are emboldened by the many who are now speaking out, and that more will follow….I am especially inspired by the young who have had enough and are speaking up for their future.

  3. “The silent ugly underbelly of a nation’s people, raised on freedoms taken for granted” …this alone gives me goosebumps! Powerfully written, Donna.

    1. Thank you my friend….it was very powerful when it came forth from my soul….I felt the pain and tears as I wrote this terrible truth. It is that truth we must contend with if we are to make change.

  4. I echo every word of your poem. I have watched with horror as the fabric of American life has been torn open. And with hope as the young are rising to voice what adults have seemed too afraid to say. We need to join our voices to theirs as they rise up to Be the Change. We are far more numerous than the exposed underbelly………..I hope everyone votes next time. Especially the young!!!! The African Americans! The immigrants! and Women!

    1. Yes we need all the voices to rise and then act with their votes….it is going to be a very difficult time for us here, but one that must be as that silence has cost us so much.

  5. “Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.” – Leonardo da Vinci
    i do not live in the USA, but whatever happens there can impact us here. and try not to mention an egoistic person with nuclear codes.
    i am inspired by the young speaking up in the wake of the school shootings.. there is hope yet.

  6. I think you are right.. and one thing that might have even longer lasting damages is that your country is rapidly loosing all moral authority…. we used to look at your country for guidance… I hope that one day you will return, today we guide ourselves…

    The world is still a big place, and winning can’t be done with arms

    1. I think it was time that our morals were exposed for what they were and still are….we need to learn from others as we are not the power, the ‘be all’ we arrogantly think we are. At first I was ashamed of this country, and while that feeling was true and real, I had to feel that to get to the taking back of what we are supposed to be….what we were founded on even with all our issues. Now I think you will see us return but it will be a new changed country and world made better. A difficult journey but necessary….I hope the world will also embrace that ‘ winning can’t be done with arms.’

  7. Very timely piece, Donna. I hope the survivors of the recent shooting can read this, to continuously inspire them on letting their voices heard. We should not remain silent, speak up.

  8. “Ignorance is not bliss anymore” and the time is now. Time to stand up and say enough is enough
    Powerful write Donna.
    Happy you dropped in at my Sunday Standard today


  9. Once again we live in dangerous times, and the pain and fear felt in the US is echoed in many countries in the world as the future begins to look not only uncertain but dangerous and bloody. All caused by the deliberate unsettling of normal citizens everywhere. Power corrupts everything.

  10. Thank you for writing this. I wish I’d written it. You express the truth of resistance. We must speak out, we must be loud. We have the right to remain silent, but the duty to decry injustice.

  11. Thank you for linking this important poem to Real Toads. Now that the illness has been revealed, may all good people join to heal the wounds. I am inspired by the young who are unafraid to speak the truth. And i wonder at the adults who are so strangely silent. Your poem is important. Thank you for writing it.

    1. I am glad you posted this prompt Sherry….I too am dismayed by the silence and by those who are making up lies to discredit these brave young people. But boy they are resilient and are not backing down…..a fine role model for all of us!

  12. Your passionate belief is very well-expressed in these lines. A strong message to speak out against injustice.

  13. A powerful, thoutful poem, Donna. That theme of a right to remain silent, has to change to the right to speak speak up loudly for change so badly needed,

  14. Everything you say, Donna is correct. Before we moved it was the heart of the ultra conservative movement here in Texas. Mostly brought about by Obama haters. Now they rejoice with mr trump (I don’t capitalize his name, he is not my president). Thank goodness the place we moved to is more mixed in everything you mentioned. Some of the bigots still take for granted though that they whole world thinks like they do. And you are right, it is our duty to speak up.
    p.s. You asked about the marshmallows. I think our guide did a call, like calling the hogs to come eat. Then when they started coming around she threw out the marshmallows.

    1. Yes it is sad there are those here in this country who hate so much and would sell their souls and ours for their hate. And indeed they have.
      Interesting to use marshmallows to call in gators….cheaper and easier than meat to attract gators although not too healthy for the gators. I prefer to see them from a distance I think.

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