Air Force

June 6, 2014

MDSS Airman expresses self through spoken-word poetry

Tags:
Staff Sgt. LUTHER MITCHELL Jr.
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Airman 1st Class Christopher Malone, 56th Medical Support Squadron medical laboratory apprentice, swabs a patient’s arm with alcohol as he prepares to draw her blood May 7 at the 56th Medical Group laboratory. Malone writes and performs spoken-word poetry, a modern form of poetry that is spoken using theatrical expression.

“Roses are red. Violets are blue. Sugar is sweet and so are you.” One might have heard poems similar to this before, but there is another form of poetry gaining popularity amongst youth around the world.

Spoken-word is a form of poetry that expresses thoughts through rhyme, music, dance and theater. For one Airman, it’s a way to express himself and influence the world around him in a positive way.

“Spoken-word is a platform,” said Airman 1st Class Christopher Malone, 56th Medical Support Squadron medical laboratory apprentice. “It’s not the poetry you write, put in a book and sell. It’s revolutionary. It’s a movement.”

Spoken-word poetry dates back to ancient Greece when orators used poetry to engage in political debates. It traces its modern roots to the Harlem Renaissance and musicians of the 1960s who used poetry to bring political awareness to the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

Malone first began writing poetry as a child. He looked up to his older brother and tried to do everything he did.

“He would write poems to girls and leave them on the computer,” he said. “I would read them and try the same thing. I looked up to him as a role model, so whatever he was doing; I was trying to do the same.”

His love for poetry led him to YouTube, where he discovered spoken-word poetry. From there, he began writing poems with meaning about his experiences and those of others.

“I started looking at YouTube videos online of youth poets and people in my age group and saw people standing up for something they believed and writing about it,” Malone said. “Poets from Chicago were talking about inner city struggles and people from Los Angeles and New York were talking about racism and politics.”

Malone began performing in talent shows during his senior year of high school, and after he graduated, he would go to other high schools and perform. The more he performed, the more he appreciated the art form and saw others liked it too.

“I was under the impression people really didn’t like poetry,” Malone said. “They think it sounds nice, but poetry is underappreciated. From people’s facial expressions, I began to see that people actually liked poetry.”

Malone was raised in a single-parent household and had a hard time growing up with four brothers, often moving from house to house. Through spoken-word, he began to see the world and his struggles from a different perspective.

“Everyone has their own story,” Malone said. “You can’t really say one person has it worse than another. You can, but in that person’s mind, at that moment, they probably think nobody has it worse than them.”

Poetry is a way for Malone to vent and talk about his feelings when nobody else is around. More importantly, it is a platform to make a difference in people’s lives.

“I post videos to my YouTube account and people tell me they really like my poems,” he said. “It’s crazy somebody in another part of the world has gone through the same struggles as me. I thought I was the only one who was feeling like that. If one person can relate to what I’m writing about, then I feel I’ve done a good job.”

Malone performed a piece about the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and his leaders liked it so much, he was asked to perform it at the group and wing levels. Eventually he was asked to record it with music.

If approved, his spoken-word presentation will be sent to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force to see.

Airman 1st Class Austin Shrewsbury, 56th Medical Support Squadron medical laboratory apprentice, played guitar for Malone’s presentation and has since acquired a new-found appreciation for Malone’s poetry and spoken-word.

“The first time he told me he did spoken-word, I thought, ‘That’s kind of lame,’ so I just dismissed it altogether,” Shrewsbury said. “He then told me he had videos on YouTube, so I looked it up and saw it wasn’t just words. I could see the emotion in his poetry. Watching him, it’s like he’s in another world, and you get to glimpse it. It’s awesome.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

My personal leadership philosophy

My personal leadership philosophy can be summed up in just a few words — people first, mission always. Some may mistake the phrase “people first, mission always” as a dictum to coddle unit personnel through adversity, but actually, my focus is on preparing them to overcome adversity. The mission will always press on, but without...
 
 

Work, family balance success marker

“Being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.” — Zig Ziglar In our careers, we frequently hear about the importance of having balance in our life and job. Some common...
 
 
Staff Sgt. 
TIMOTHY BOYER

Luke plays role in saving species

Staff Sgt.TIMOTHY BOYER A team of wildlife specialists prepare a Sonoran pronghorn for release into the wild at the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in Ajo. Sixty-nine pronghorn were captured this year. Of those, more tha...
 

 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Road closure Litchfield Road at Northern Parkway is closed daily 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Sunday to paint the bridge overpass, weather permitting. Northern Parkway will remain open. Reems Road and Dysart Road are alternate routes. For more information, call MCDOT at 480-350-9288. MLK luncheon There will be a Martin Luther King Jr. luncheon...
 
 
Senior Airman 
JAMES HENSLEY

MWD Roy — partner, friend passes

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY Staff Sgt. Scott Emmick, 56th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog handler, and Roy, 56th SFS MWD, play Dec. 14, 2012, at the at Luke Air Force Base kennels. The MWD and handler team plays to...
 
 

46 graduate ALS in class 15-1

The 56th Fighter Wing Airman Leadership School graduated 45 senior airmen and one staff sergeant Dec. 11 from class 15-1. The graduates are senior airmen unless otherwise noted. John L. Levitow award: Nathaniel Gladney, 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Distinguished graduates: Matthew Goodspeed, 56th Operations Support Squadron; Russell Hires, 56th Medical Support Squadron; James Gilmore, 56t...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin