love and war

my story is based on romeo and juliet and is based in oakland cuz theirs alot of gangs and also a lot of people in love or hopeless lovers.


All these false stereotypes make me feel bad

Like crack babies.

The most interesting thing is the division between

The Oakland hills and the flat lands we know.

Two families part of this division

A wealthy family and a poor family.

This separation will soon lead to desperation

The desperation turns to fascination and soon

All the dreams

Will vanish.

It all started on a nice warm day for the flatlander

Riding his bike through Oakland enjoying the beautiful street art

When he caught a glimpse at something even more enticing

“Wow she’s pretty” he thought “no way i have a chance”

Little did he know she was diggin him too “wow hes cute” she said to herself

This girl was from the hills and thriving with wealth and privilege


He would think of her on the daily

Hoping he would see her again one day

They saw each other

The boy waved with his calloused rough work hands

She waved with her hands as smooth as velvet.

He got her snap she got his insta and they hit it off

Or so they thought.

The families didn’t like each other because the people in the hills had more privilege and the hills didn’t like the flatlands because they were “bums” and “unclean”

This made the boy feel bad and the girl felt a sense of sadness

Of division






  1. Rosaura 1 year ago

    Dear Matthew, I am amazed by your poem “Love and War” because you bring out a lot of relevant topics. It was impressive to see how you made the story of Romeo & Juliet into a modern story. It is disappointing that the separation of the rich and the poor is still relevant. Including snapchat and instagram was a twist into modernizing the story. Another sentence that you wrote that stood out to me was “all these false stereotypes make me feel bad” because stereotypes are something we often deal with. Stereotypes, specifically negative ones are disappointing. In your poem, you mention ‘like crack babies’ which makes me think of the type of people we often think about when Oakland comes to mind — bringing out the concept of stereotypes. Your poem reminds me of that time when I was teaching a group of children and witnessed the separation of wealth. Love and wealth is something that should not even be considered, but even after the time Romeo and Juliet was written, this is sadly still relevant in today’s day.

  2. Jocelyn 2 years ago

    Hey, My name is Jocelyn go add me on instagram @Joceegobrazzy. I really like the part where you said “This separation will soon lead to desperation the desperation turns to fascination and soon all the dreams will vanish. This sentence is hella strong because a lot of families that get separated may feel or feel like this and it’s sad to even think about it. Your poem is very strong lmao when you said “All these false stereotypes make me feel bad like crack babies.” that had me weak. Okayyy another than that I really liked your poem.

    Sincerely, Jocelyn Figueroa

  3. Ashley 2 years ago

    Dear Matthew,

    I am proud about your poem , “Love and War”, because you connect to the story about Romeo and Juliet and create it about something that happens in Oakland. I really liked how you explain  where the non- privileged people live and where the “privilege people” live in Oakland. Something that I like about your poem was that you talked about “street art” because we have a lot of street art in Oakland. One part of your poem line that stands out to me is ,“The most interesting thing is the division between the Oakland hills and the flat lands we know”. This connects to the whole community of Oakland because there’s a lot of division and gentrification going on in Oakland. Something you can work on it’s to capitalized the words that need to be capitalized. Make sure next time you reread your work. After all, your poem is amazing.

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