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My Tribute To Muhammad Ali- Narrative poetry included

Updated on June 8, 2016
always exploring profile image

I am a writer of poetry and fiction. I especially love flash fiction. My name is Ruby, and I live in Southern Illinois. I am a retired R.N.

" Don't count the days, make the days count. "

He was a young black boy born in Louisville, Kentucky in nineteen forty two. A time before the Civil Rights law was enacted.

Someone stole his new bike, and he wanted to find him and beat him up. A friend told him to come to the local gym where boxers honed their skill. He was twelve years old and a great boxer. He won a gold medal a few years later at the Olympics.

When he returned home, he went to a restaurant and was refused service because it was a white only restaurant.

He went down to the river and threw his gold medal in and never looked back.

From that day forward, he had a burning desire for equality for him and his race.

He was uneducated but smart as a whip. He had a gift for rhyme. He fought against racism his entire life.

He became the number one heavyweight boxing champion of the world.

He was loved by many, but also hated by many because he refused to be inducted in the Viet Nam war, stating, " I ain't got no hate for no Vietcong. " He also changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali, stating that Casius Clay was his slave name. He also joined the Muslim religion, believing that God had no color and loved all people from all religions.

He paid dearly for his beliefs. He was stripped of his world boxing title, and was sentenced to five years in prison for his refusal to go to the Viet Nam war. His attorney took his case to the Supreme Court where the sentence was overruled.

He was married four times and had nine children, saying, " Each child was a gift of God. " He continued boxing, becoming once again the number one heavyweight boxing champion in the world.

He retired from boxing when he was 39. Parkinson Disease was already noticeable. At first he had hand tremors, then it rapidly progressed to his entire body. Soon he was silenced and unable to walk.

Never again would we see him dance like a ballerina. Never again would we hear a witty poem like the following. " Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, his hand's can't hit what his eye's can't see "

" The best way to make your dream's come true is to wake up. "

" Don't count the days, make the days count. "

*************************************************************************************************************


He fought the establishment and won

He refused to fire a gun

He preached love instead of war

He shined like a twinkling star

His long battle with Parkinson Disease took it's toll

The light grew dimmer, but not in his soul

Ali, you did your very best

Now your rhyming has been put to rest

Just think when your spirit enters the Golden Gate

Your body will no longer shake, your witty speech will reverberate

Your funny quotes will once again

Make the heavenly hosts laugh my witty friend

The ' Greatest ' can now rest in tranquility peace

Where love is a constant that will never cease.

RIP




Ali, his wife and President George W. Bush awarding him the medal of Honor.
Ali, his wife and President George W. Bush awarding him the medal of Honor.

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    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 13 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Rolly. I agree with your comment. He stood tall and was a great roll model for his race. Thank you much for coming by...

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 13 months ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Ruby... he was a great man and a mentor for many as well as a powerful example for youth to follow. I have always appreciated his courage, power and strength both in the ring and out... great work here Ruby...

      Blessings and Hugs

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Cam. I wonder if anyone ever found the medal? It would be a nice keepsake. The sad part, he must've been really hurt to throw it away. I'm thrilled that you thought it was a beautiful tribute. Thank you so much...

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello SAQIB. I am so sorry for being this late. I didn't know that you had commented. I agree. He was a great humanitarian. Thank you for coming to read my tribute....

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 17 months ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      Ruby, you have written so well how many of us feel, but have trouble expressing. This is a beautiful tribute. Late last summer and fall I spent some time in Louisville. While there I kayaked a few times on the Ohio. I could see Ali's face on the side of a building. It would have been nice to have found that medal he threw into the river.

    • SAQIB6608 profile image

      SAQIB 17 months ago from HYDERABAD PAKISTAN

      Nice words for the truly champion .. I personally wrote a hub when he was alive. He will always be a part of history not only in the chapters of Boxing but Humanity. Overall great read. Pleasure.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hi Shauna. Thank you so much. So happy you thought this piece was well written...

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 17 months ago from Central Florida

      Beautiful tribute to a great man, Ruby. Your synopsis of his life is succinct and well-written. Bravo!

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hi Genna, I've been trying all afternoon to comment on your remarks, but when I get my words typed, they disappear when I click post. I don't know if it was my computer or a HP glitz. Anyway, I wanted to thank you for your kindness toward my hubs. I appreciate you so much. I know you are busy and only have the weekends to visit and comment. This is three of my hubs you've read today. I'm glad you found this inspirational. He was a great man. I saw that fight you mentioned. He just taunted him by holding his arms down. lol..Hugs my friend.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 18 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Ali's legacy is one of individualism and strength, wit and courage. There was no one else like him. I know almost nothing about boxing, but I recently watched an old clip of his fight with Cleveland Williams on television. He had this graceful, shuffle-like dance, with his arms often at his sides, as he fixed his eyes on Cleveland, dodging, watching him like a hawk, waiting for the opportunity to throw measured, quick punches. He was amazing. There was a unique rhythm to his movements and thrusts, like the sing-song quality of is poetry. I am certain he will RIP, "where love is a constant that will never cease." Your inspirational hub and poetry do him poetic justice, Ruby. And that's the way it should be. Hugs. :-)

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mar, I love that quote, he had so many. I watched his funeral yesterday and felt so close in spirit to all the many different people who paid their respect's. If the world could only come together like he wanted. Thank you dear one.

      Love you...

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 18 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      "I've made my share of mistakes along the way, but if I have changed even one life for the better, I haven't lived in vain." (Muhammad Ali)

      Mission accomplished - RIP to a childhood icon.

      Thanks, Ruby - you nailed this one! Love you, mar

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Rasma, I agree. He was a great man. Thank you...

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 18 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      An awesome tribute to a great man.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello DDE, America was full of racism during this era in America. He fought the establishment and won because we had a supreme court who ruled in his favor because of other religions who refused to kill, Jehovah's Witnesses comes to mind. Thank you..

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 18 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      You wrote truly and for a great person indeed!

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Thank you Frank. He was an ICON. happy you enjoyed my poem....

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 18 months ago from Shelton

      what a wonderful tribute to an ICON.. love the poem too Always Exploring..:)

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Theresa, I know we didn't realize how dangerous boxing was back in the day, now we know that repeated hits to the head causes neurological problems. Even football is now being looked at as a possible danger. I loved Ali. He was the ' Greatest ' Thank you for coming. Cheers..

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 18 months ago from southern USA

      Hi Ruby,

      I love your tribute and poem.

      I remember watching the fights with my Dad growing up. Ali was so charismatic and just drew people to him. My Dad loved all sports, but I actually loved watching the fights as a young girl. I had forgotten how young he was when he had gotten Parkinson's.

      There will never be another like him.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello ABCKram, nice to meet you. Your comment tells Ali's story so well. I love your poetry.

      " Good timber does not grow with ease,

      The stronger wind, the stronger trees "

      Thank you....

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Dana, I had a burning desire to write this piece. I admired Ali so much. He lost the last battle, Parkinson Disease robbed him of everything but his spirit. I know he is in heaven with a whole body, making angels laugh. Thank you so much for adding to this piece...

    • ABCKamran profile image

      High Flyer 18 months ago from Pakistan

      You did him justice with this tribute but then again,He was a man whose greatness can not be confined to a few words of praise .His personality,character,hardwok and love for Islam will always be an inspiration for many.After all,

      "Good timber does not grow with ease;

      The stronger wind,the stronger trees ".

      MAY ALLAH SHOWER HIS BLESSINGS UPON HIM IN THE WORLD HEREAFTER!(amen)❤

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 18 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      Ruby, this was truly a touching tribute to one of the greatest of all times. In many ways he was a trailblazer. He came, he conquered, and now he is at rest. He had so much strength, not just because he was one of the worlds greatest, but because he had the strength to stand up for what was right and go against the grain and it is not too many of us doing that. So I pray that when this man meet his maker he hears the words every believer wants to hear: "Well done! good and faithful servant!" This was a pleasure to read for anyone who admired this man. Ruby, thank you so much for sharing this with us.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Hari, I love your tribute. He truly was the ' Greatest ' Thank you...

    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 18 months ago from Bangalore

      Beautiful.

      My tribute.

      You discarded clay,

      never to let anyone tow you away,

      your anger you slaved,

      Hit it hard till it said.

      'Greatest' boxer ever to play.

      mohammed ali you are here to stay.

      RIP.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Thanks again vinK. Your kind remark is really appreciated...

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Bill, I will miss him too. He was one-of-a-kind. Thank you for stopping by....

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Shan, I wish we'd known the damage repeated hits could to the head back in the day, but we didn't. I can't stand to watch a fight anymore, knowing what it did to him. Thank you, so glad you liked this piece.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Ven, I didn't know that he was an Indian American. I really didn't go back into his family tree. My father was part Indian, so that may be why I felt a closeness toward him. I admired him as a person and for what he stood for. Thank you for a kind comment....

    • vink21778 profile image

      Vink 18 months ago from India

      Pleasure is all mine ,You are a wonderful hubber. Lots of love and gratitude.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello vinK, nice to meet you. Thank you for coming....

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      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I do not idolize professional athletes. I do not fawn over entertainers and celebrities. Ali is the one I would have loved to shake his hand....I will miss him very much. Thank you for writing this.

    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 18 months ago

      That poem is beautiful, Ruby, and you did a nice job with his background. I'm not even a huge sports fan, but I love it when people use their fame and what they are good at to inspire. He definitely did that. I've heard his quotes since I was a child and I am sure people will go on quoting him.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 18 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      It's a wonderful tribute to Muhammad Ali, the great boxing champion of the entire world. He was an Indian American. His contribution towards eradication of racism was commendable.

      I am very glad that you came up with this wonderful and deserving tribute to him. Thanks a lot.

    • vink21778 profile image

      Vink 18 months ago from India

      I was thinking to write about the legend ,but you have done exceptionally good job.lots of love and gratitude.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hi Clive, he was a great man who will live on in our heart's every time we see his children make their way in the world. Thank you..

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 18 months ago from Nibiru

      very nice tribute my friend for a very great man....M, Ali

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Thank you Eric. Happy you enjoyed.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Manatita, If you will notice, I didn't say that he was dumb, far from it. By saying that he was uneducated, I meant he didn't attend school much, but he was as smart as they come. I heard him talk and some would use a word that he was unfamiliar with and he would say, " I don't know that word, but if it means I'm pretty, then ok. " He did have a natural ability for witty words. back in 1942, black children were not allowed to go to a good school. You live in England where people are treated equal, and I love that. You, along with many others have a divine gift for words. Since segregation was banned in America, the black community has flourished, educational wise. Thanks for telling me your story. You are a special friend and I'm grateful for that...

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello junko, Ali was a man with convictions and he wasn't afraid to speak out. We need more of that. His spirit will live on. He taught the world, through his words, that we are all equal, just different colors. Thank you for coming and commenting....

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      A wonderful tribute.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Mike, I always was amazed at his ability to rise above the fray. I never missed a fight. I loved him as a human being who fought the good fight, and he was pretty. LOL He was gifted. I will miss him. I'm glad you liked him, and yes, Robert E. Lee could've learned from him. Thank you much...

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 18 months ago from london

      Very beautiful and I commend you for this. I have always wanted to write about Ali. I even thought of asking Rasma. I can do it, but I will write too much and take too long. I feel so much for the man!!

      I have answered a question posed by Ralph . Look for it? There I have tried to define greatness.

      Just one thing, though. I won't say that he was uneducated. Actually some think that he had a gift for using the English language. I think that he found his calling early and moved on.

      By the way, I left school at 15 and never went to a high school. I had a Green Card in '78 and passed the High School Equivalency with flying colours in NY. I just read a book for about three weeks, I believe. I also read Lippincott's and was ready for the State board exams in Albany, but I came back to London.

      I am an RMN; RGN and hold the 254 in Cardiac Nursing from Thames Valley University. I never did maths, but in later life, I picked up a book on Algebra, read it for a day, then passed the test with flying colours. Both mom and dad thinks I'm the brightest, and all the others either went to Uni or College.

      Not about me, really. Eric Matthew Gairy was the Prime Minister of Grenada some time ago and he also left school early. Ali was naturally intelligent and endowed by the Divine.

      Whew! A lot here, my Sweet. I love your Hub very much. I just took a while with that other stuff. Sorry. Much Love.

    • junko profile image

      junko 18 months ago

      Ruby I got to share your spirit and this random act of humanity and kindness with those of spirit and not.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 18 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ruby. Ali was able to get the attention of the entire world. That is "BIG." He is a national hero to many and your poetry does him justice. I have my opinions about the Vietnam war. I have no negative opinions about the man known as Muhammad Ali, I think you'll agree, he represented what was best about the land of the free, just the opposite of R.E. Lee.