The Greatest of All Time

Mohammed Ali left the world

One year ago

The greatest of all time is gone


Mohammed Ali held the world

In his hands

The greatest of all time, lives on


I heard the news of his passing

I woke in the middle of the night

I heard the news of his passing

I listened to the stories and cried


Ali, the greatest of all one has died


Of all the heroes I ever fell for

He was the one that was truly alive

The only one I ever prayed for

The only one I thought

Could make a difference in our time.


Mohammed Ali spoke to the heart

Of everyone


About justice, freedom, he told the truth

Showed us love.


He spoke to the world, as he fought

For everyone


In rhythms that dazzled, words that hurt

He floated

He stung


Like the butterfly, and the bee

Symbols of his fame


He struck the powers of the world



He was a prophet in our time

He praised, and he scolded

He was sharp tongued in his youth

A silent witness as he aged


I remember the day in 1980

I heard the news that he lost

Mohammed Ali lost!

Ali would never fight again!


Kids on the bus they murmured

Ali was not the greatest of all

The world stopped making sense.


Mohammed Ali gave my generation


We could be ourselves, be bold, and brag

Be good, do right


Mohammed Ali taught us to question


Challenge authority, shun war


Risk the things you desire most


Give up titles, and money, and fame


Let them go for things that matter most


Ali taught us to serve the truth, seek justice

Do good

As long as you draw breath, the greatest

Of all time


Mohammed Ali handcuffed lightning

He jailed thunder


His star rose like the sun

It has set

and will never be forgotten





Given First (as an essay) – 2016.06.04


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