He stood for something
he who was named after
a famed abolitionist
Cassius Marcellus Clay

He stood for something
we hear from a memorial
(coincidentally this Friday past
a youngster and I find a file
Ali facing up to Nelson Mandela)

He fought the good fight
jailed for his refusal
to enlist in America’s War
against Vietnam

A war they still fight
against many others
(and The Other too)
with all imperialism’s guile

He stood for something
boxer Muhammad Ali did
stripped was he of his 1964
world heavyweight title
for refusing to be press-ganged

He stood for something
the champion of the world
rose above the boxing domain
and the world of sport
(was there no Dylanesque
song sung in his name)

A morning media man confirms
a human rights activist too
straddling more than one world
Stinging like the proverbial
(he held the Olympic Torch in 1996)

He stood for something
supposedly was controversial
for his conversion and draft refusal
the tributes now are many
The bell has rung his final round
Everyone and their relative pay tribute to one of the planet’s most recognizable faces.