The Greatest by Bruce Michael Foley



Muhammad Ali – January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016

Steely right hand was his
striking thunderbolt punches,
rendering opponents falling
dominoes unconscious.

Hardly a scar
handsome his face of shining glory.
Playful boxer poet, taunting a boast.

A fighter soft spoken, his bearing humble at home.
Regal lion king toughness, fearing no man
a canon shot exploding came his quick left jab,
that black cat dancing, fast shuffle to a pivot
smooth sidestep then slip, for a big K.O.

His best combination
a smile worn kindly with true tenderness,
donning gentleness with humility
when most men wore pretense,
he sported a cloak of natural greatness.

The crowds saw blood and fiery fists
deadly gifts of power and speed, this
warrior now leaves us, the peoples champ
we’ll forget him never, the last bell rung
true to form in death, his is the victory.

Muhammad Ali
“float like a butterfly, sting like a bee…”
In awe with gratitude, we stand to applaud you,
your gloves now hung up, the final fight won.

indexI was born across the bridge from Boston, Massachusetts, in Cambridge, as July 4th fireworks exploded over the Charles River, just a stone’s throw from Harvard University. At age two, my family moved to Somerville, Ma.,where I was raised in a rough blue-collar environment, playing many sports. In 1998 I relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada. Here, I work among special needs children and teach martial arts. Poetry began in high school, but took off in a more dedicated way in later years, along with resuming music studies, guitar. My poems are published in various anthologies; including Impressions, Prism, and the Mighty Voices Of Thunder Series, sponsored by the international poetry website, “Allpoetry.” I was a featured poet in Lyrical Somerville February 2015, a Boston based publication, as well as being an “Editor’s Front Page Pick,” for the month of March 2016 on Allpoetry. A defining moment that contributed significantly to further interest in writing was a First Place Award from the International Poetry Fellowship, for my poem, “Among Fields of Cotton.” Presently, I am happy to have the opportunity to explore various forms of poetry with Mr. Bruce Isaacson, Poet Laureate of Clark County Nevada.

2 Replies to “The Greatest by Bruce Michael Foley”

  1. So long ago I recall growing up in an Irish immigrant neighborhood where Gerry Cooney was the great Irish immigrant hope and that soon ended. There was no one like Ali. Sugar Ray Robinson, a welterweight, in his prime, had some of those skills but Ali was to boxing what Astaire was to dancing and Sinatra to singing. There was simply nothing like him. A rebel with a cause.

  2. Ali was a very bright guy, Donal. As you know. No ones fool. He played the court jester and poet, but he was as sharp as they made them. Intelligent. A great man of strong values…a gifted athlete with a wonderful mind…an ambassador to a troubled world; he influenced millions towards better ways of living. He put hope where there was none. He made us laugh and smile. He was more than a fighter. He was a man of wisdom, with a huge heart. As a boxer?

    Man, could he dance!
    One bad cat- very dangerous…but so lovable. Oh, and I can’t forget,he’d want me to say, ” and so pretty.” Hahahahaa…what a character…he’ll be missed.

    Thanks Donal.

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