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Stand: For Every Teacher I Ever Had or Hadn’t was written for and premiered at TEDxABQED on January 11th, 2013. I want to thank the great folks at TEDxABQ (& the badass team of volunteers), the African American Performing Arts Center, and every teacher that has set out to change world one child at a time. Find out how you can be part of TEDxABQED at http://tedxabq.com/education.html.

Listen to the audio of the poem here.

Written for TEDxABQED and premiered on Friday, January 11th, 2013. Look forward to the video of the entire day of talks at www.tedxabq.com, coming soon…

Stand – hakim bellamy

You stand

Somewhere between

Who they are

And what they could be

Not an obstacle

Quite the contrary

But they can’t tell

Their only hint

Is the way you stand

You appear ready to fight

And dammit if sometimes…

They do not know it is for them

You are hands down

While they are hands up

In front of you

You take their best shot

And every morrow

Come back for more


You are the space between

The end of every question

And good manners

Between a demand

And a smile

Between please and thank you

Between boredom

And the bathroom

Between bathroom and sh…

‘tuff we let pass for education in this country

You stand between pass

And fail

Between pass

And learn

Between pass

And future

You stood between Dr. Maya Angelou

And her degree

Her traumatic muteness at 8

And her ability to speak at 13

Between Anne Sullivan

And Helen Keller’s ability to speak what she sees

You stand between every single student

And their “Story of Me”

Stood with Mary Duncan in Nashville, Tennessee

Between a 4th grade Oprah Winfrey

And THE Oprah

And in 1989 you stood on her show

As she said thank you

I thank you

For standing between the spike

And the punch bowl

Between the wallflower

And the wall

Between the two kids

Getting a little too Lambada on the dance floor

Between the black board

And the clean slate

Between a paycheck

And a living

Between social promotion

And social skills

Between high stakes testing

And a high stakes life

You stand

With a backpack

More camouflage

Than campus

Always at attention

Even in a room full of pupils that lack it

You are a frontline

Of lessonplans waving sayonara from flagpoles

At half mast

You are marching orders

That have accepted

to stand

Between our lil’ angels

And the gunmen who have come

To give them wings

Between neck

And bedroom closet

Between bully

And believer

You stand between a sensible work week

And beyond the call of duty

Between the drugs

And our children’s self-esteem

Between banned books

And burnt out

And sometimes…

Between the bar

And the weekend you desperately needed

Like two days ago, already!

You are a Monday through Friday

Stand in parent for ME

And for every moment you surrogate life

I am away on my knees

Begging for you

And my child

To succeed

For as long

As you’ve been on your feet for me

I will stand for you.

© Hakim Bellamy December 31st, 2012

Hakim Bellamy is a two-time Poetry Slam National Champion, and has been named “Best Poet” by both the Local iQ (Smart List 2010 & 2011) and the Alibi (Best of Burque 2010 & 2011). As an educator and performer, he is interested not only in the poetry lessons he teaches his students, but the lessons which Poetry has taught him.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Story Sutra

That has a very nice ring to it ;) Thank you again TEDxABQ! So many people have seen me afterwards and said nice things about my TED Talk. I am humbled by your praise and encouragement. Beautiful people deserve beautiful words, I’m doing my best to meet you half way. (See some of the awesome photos from TEDxABQ here.)-hb

It’s odd. Every year on 9/11 I tend to be in the studio. Maybe it’s because we create to get over destruction. Coincidentally, this was a piece of the TEDxABQ Talk I did on Saturday. Production by Diles. On my album BE. Yesterday it was me and Camilo Quinones cooking a soon to be release track on relationships…get your radios ready.

A cadre of TEDxABQ speakers and lead “TED-head”, Tim Nisly. I got to go back to my old stomping grounds at KOB (Floor Crew Tech 2006-07) on the “other” side of the camera with the always genuine, Nicole Brady. I got to share this episode of Eye on New Mexico with other TED speakers Shana Rappaport (Bioneers) and Dr. Diana Northup (UNM SLIME). Thanks to the KOB-TV Floor Crew Peeps, Nicole Brady and the TEDxABQ Crew (& Tim). We are sold-out but you can watch via simulcast, check out www.tedxabq.com for details. (Note: I’m in the second half of the program.)

It’s coming. Only a few tickets left. Sneak peak of another speaker, Nancy Judd of Recycle Runway, with my son in the Atlanta International Airport. Her exhibit is housed there. She is another TEDxABQ speaker. It’s all connected. It’s deep. You don’t want to miss it. See the promo above and share…and come. -hb

Hakim Be to speak at TEDxABQ on September 10th @ The National Hispanic Cultural Center

"Poetry giveth and giveth again: Teaching and learning from poetry"

Tickets go on sale July 15th at www.tedxabq.com

Find out more about the TED movement at www.ted.com

"Ideas Worth Spreading"