Volunteering - a Spoken Word poem

9 Dec 2022 | Articles

Joshlyn on the left and Dremayer on the right performing their spoken word poem

Spoken Word poetry is a word-based performance art where speakers engage in powerful self-expression by sharing their views on particular topics. Spoken Word poems frequently refer to issues of social justice, politics, race, and community. This original piece was performed at Volunteering Auckland's Annual LoVE Awards 2022 by Dremayer Ah Yek Strickson-Pua (right in photo) and Joshlyn Osaruese Lyekekpolo (left in photo) Yr 12 students, Mt Roskill Grammar.

Volunteering
Volunteering
Is trying to be the cool coach
So the kids listen to me
Ignoring their never ending moans
Every time I approach

Sprinkling their inferences
On my very clear instructions
Just tap your racquets
Lightly on the court
No no don’t throw them

Please
Don’t cry
I am sorry I yelled

Volunteering
Is being ready to respond
To the weirdest questions
No Kaison
Just cause you saw a ring on my finger
Doesn’t mean I’m married
Yes I’m 16
And no that is not old
Well…

Volunteering
Is arguing over whose box gets the last can of spaghetti
And figuring out which families need the bigger boxes
Pretending like my house doesn't need one too

Volunteering
Is helping those who need help
But can’t ask for it

Seeing the happy look
On that little boy’s face
Sizing up
His cool new shoes
With the spider man lace
Lowkey wishing they sold a pair
big enough for my feet
While his mother
Secretly wiped her tears away
Teeth on display
Knowing
That those might be his last days

Volunteering
Is something people like to call free
When in reality people are spending their time
Making sacrifices to help others feel heard and seen
Putting in the effort to make a difference

Volunteering
Is being selfless in the selfishness
Putting others before ourselves

Volunteering
Is understanding the struggles
Of those around us
Watching them
Persevere
Through something that should break them

It’s being grounded in our community
Connected to the people
Contributing to the land
Cause who am I
Not to give back
To the land
That gave me everything
When I needed it

Original piece created by: Dremayer Ah Yek Strickson-Pua, Joshlyn Osaruese Lyekekpolo, and Ferah Siofele-Toilolo, Yr 12, Mt Roskill Grammar, Auckland, NZ
Performed at: Volunteering Auckland's Annual LoVE Awards 2022


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