Posted in Poetry

Grievance

Grieve for my former self

No tears every day

But grieve

Yes grieving

Every day

No more early mornings

Or “Ms Noel

Holocene walks

Teaching plans

But now so much time….

Tick… tock… tick… tick…

Miss running

To Kanye’s Workout Plan

Miss running

Feel it in my gut

Wish to run away

Grieving

For my consciousness

So vivid, so lucid

Sometimes it’s mine

Sometimes it’s where? 

Posted in Poetry

THE TRADITION

“Carry it on now.

Carry it on.

Carry it on now.

Carry it on.

Carry on the tradition.

There were Black People since the childhood of

time

who carried it on.

In Ghana and Mali and Timbuktu

we carried it on.

Carried on the tradition.

We hid in the bush

when the slavemasters came

holding spears.

And when the moment was ripe,

leaped out and lanced the lifeblood

of would-be masters.

We carried it on.

On slave ships,

hurling ourselves into oceans.

Slitting the throats of our captors.

We took their whips.

And their ships.

Blood flowed in the Atlantic—

and it wasn’t all ours.

We carried it on.

Fed Missy arsenic apple pies.

Stole the axes from the shed.

Went and chopped off master’s head.

We ran. We fought.

We organized a railroad.

An underground.

We carried it on.

In newspapers. In meetings.

In arguments and streetfights.

We carried it on.

In tales told to children.

In chants and cantatas.

In poems and blues songs

and saxophone screams,

We carried it on.

In classrooms. In churches.

In courtrooms. In prisons.

We carried it on.

On soapboxes and picket lines.

Welfare lines, unemployment lines.

Our lives on the line,

We carried it on.

In sit-ins and pray-ins

And march-ins and die-ins,

We carried it on.

On cold Missouri midnights

Pitting shotguns against lynch mobs.

On burning Brooklyn streets.

Pitting rocks against rifles,

We carried it on.

Against water hoses and bulldogs.

Against nightsticks and bullets.

Against tanks and tear gas.

Needles and nooses.

Bombs and birth control.

We carried it on.

In Selma and San Juan.

Mozambique. Mississippi.

In Brazil and in Boston,

We carried it on.

Through the lies and the sell-outs.

The mistakes and the madness.

Through pain and hunger and frustration,

We carried it on.

Carried on the tradition.

Carried a strong tradition.

Carried a proud tradition.

Carried a Black tradition.

Carry it on.

Pass it down to the children.

Pass it down.

Carry it on. Carry it on now.

Carry it on TO FREEDOM!”

(from “Assata: An Autobiography” by Assata Shakur, (2016) Angela Davis)

Posted in Poetry

Our Love is Wrong

My pride is strong, 

But not as strong as these chains

From my past that bind me,

Which is why I feel wrong,



Wrong for you because

Your past is pure like spring.

There are not storms for you,

Which is why we must pause



Our love. My pride is strong,

But my will is weak. When I see you,

I can't imagine loving another.

Even though for you, I'm wrong.
Posted in Poetry

Dream Killer

INTRO: This is a poem I wrote a couple of months ago, so it’s been on paper for a while. I just haven’t felt ready to share it. I’m less angrier now than I was then, so I’m definitely in a slightly better place mentally, BUT although I have new dreams, like I said before my soul will always remember. I hope you enjoy it and please do share your thoughts. 

 

I arrived at the gates
With my ebony tan,
Ready to become the tawny owl
I had always dreamt of becoming.
My excitement puzzled you;
My endless excitement,
My enthusiasm,
My dedication.
“Why are you always smiling?”
You are asked. “Why not?” was my reply.
Every rung on my career ladder had led me to this
castle – you only have to look,
Look at my credentials!
By half term my owlets thrived,
My solar energy transposed to them,
For the subject I had always loved.  
Then
The rumours began…
Mahogany was out of place.
By winter, my skin had become burnt sepia,
As the venom continued to trickle
Through the ice.
It soon became clear that this castle
Was also your desert,
Where you gradually stole my warmth,
Layer, after layer, after layer.
I stood on trial,
against an invisible jury.
And time, after time, after time,
You told this owl to change her identity.
I was the embarrassment
With my attitude, my clothes, my hair.
In your lair, you unleashed
Your venom,
And drained the life from my very dreams.
What do you see?
When you look in the mirror?
I’m sure you see the pure, Christian angel.
Or do you see the sheer, spiteful fiend?
That I perceive.
The dream killer
Who destroyed my vision,
Destroyed my future.
The dream killer,
Legless,
Heartless,
Thoughtless.
Who turned this young,
Tawny owl,
To old, hard,
Mahogany wood.

Demon at the Gates

Posted in Poetry

The View from My Window

The view from my window 

Reminds me of what I cannot do.

It’s of the courtyard I’m too tired to nap upon

Because my bed is closer and more familiar –

Its muscular arms hold me and rock me to sleep, 

As I cry out the memories of days I used to 

Be able to run around at a moment’s notice. 

The window in front of me is wide open,

Yet shut to tomorrow’s possibilities. 

I must re-evaluate the view from my window.


 

Posted in Poetry

Goodbye

To you, I said goodbye to you only yesterday,

When you told me my suffering wasn’t real.

You took it back after I told you to re-claim your attack.

But it was too late.

The slip up had sealed the deal

What we had was never real! Let’s be real.

When I said goodbye to you yesterday,

When you questioned my check ins

Because social media is what we use

For truth we pick and choose

Instead of conversing and choosing to love

We recline and choose instead to judge.

And you hold onto grudges from years before,

Let hatred and jealousy seep from your pores.

So let your army come, You cannot take from me,

I’m out of your reach, I said my goodbye,

Goodbye to you yesterday,

Your army call me crazy,

Because mental health is funny,

Because battling with invisible soldiers on a daily basis makes you crazy,

And your army thinks that’s funny.

So the worst you’ve already done, for which I’ve already grieved.

And now you’re back with the species you belong.

No friends you say?

I don’t need selfies to prove

That with my homies mountains I can move,

For they speak the language for what I’ve been through,

So toodles to you from yesterday.

And to you,

I said goodbye to a year ago,

I know you still think of me,

The one you let go,

Your First Born.

I anticipated the years of heartache,

Oh yes…

There are days where my mind forgets

And my heart aches,

Just as the very day I had to say goodbye.

Today my heart still breaks,

That you didn’t stand by your first born

And you chose to stand by laws, spirits, demons, scriptures instead,

Instead of a scientific diagnosis.

Each rupture in my brain like an explosive

But your denial, at the time, was more painful,

More shameful,

Less gainful,

So I said goodbye that year ago.

But I cling onto the lesson you taught

With the Doc martins in Year 3

To deal with those those bullies in the playground you bought

Me a lesson I have carried up to now, like a bible close to my heart.

And I wear maroon Doc Martins at age 30

Kicking the shit out of the world

Since I said goodbye a year ago.

And to you, who had my first goodbye

Who couldn’t carry the burden

Of my stiffened limbs,

My past sins, and tears for lost whims,

But yet denied my suffering still,

Your years of jealousy taken over the edge

This time into terrain you couldn’t follow

And so you cast me aside

My sickness you couldn’t abide…

Years ago you had my first goodbye.

I would’ve died for you – I nearly did,

In the hands of the terror of our childhood

He would’ve ruined you if he could,..

But age makes us forgetful and careless,

Which is why at our breaking point

You couldn’t care less.

And now I am no longer afraid to say

I am more blessed

 

That you were my first best friend,

And that you were my first goodbye.

 

We don’t learn to say goodbye,

We remember.

We remember to protect ourselves,

To love ourselves,

To heal ourselves,

To never let anybody hurt us again…

Which is why you –

Yes you – will, and cannot hurt me.

You think you can torment my soul,

With your name calling, (like I haven’t heard it before) and grave digging.

You’ve taken on this role,

To lead an army as you forget the state of your own soul.

You can hang me on you pole, like a flag for your hatred,

For your people to see,

As you live and breathe.

But just remember,

That you cannot hurt me.

I fight demons every day, just ask the brainwaves in my head,

The sweat patches in my bed,

The bruises on my legs,

I won’t be old before I’m dead.

Which is why you cannot hurt me, because I have bigger fish to fry,

More of which I will cry,

So you won’t get a goodbye

From me.

Doc Martins

Posted in Poetry

Your Love Was Like Bad Medicine

Do you remember when we first found out he was sick?

I stayed with you on the phone, talking it through, because you said you had nobody else you could talk to about it.

We were both in shock:

summer months by the cricket pitch,

sipping coke in the sun,

dreaming of what he would look like, never imagining he would end up like this.

When he ended up in hospital, I left work to be by your side; I left my deadlines, left behind the seizures I’d had the night before and earlier that day, to be with you in the hospital room.

I caught up on sleep on the underground, so that I could be your pillar by your side, and not one tear flowed in your presence, even while you cried as you held his tiny hand, plus mine.

I cracked the jokes you needed, to make you laugh, while my own heart was breaking inside;

I cracked the jokes you needed to keep you going, while my own fuel tank was empty.

And then when I left you, I cried all the way home. I cried in the arms of my lover for your broken baby; and for my broken brain, my fragmented and foggy mind, and my leaden limbs.

Do you remember when we first met up, after not talking for so long?

You asked me to recount the story of how I’d ended up wanting to end it all after finding out my sister not only didn’t believe that I was sick, but also didn’t believe that I had been abused? You forced the story out of me like blood from a stone,

but it came anyway, drip… after drip…. after drip.

Deep breath.

I looked up at you, awaiting your response:

“What do you think of this book for the baby shower?” was your reply.

You hadn’t been listening at all.

And I let it go, because fighting for your attention was more trouble than it was worth.

Do you remember the summer months by the cricket pitch?

My train journeys to the county of white stilettos and orange tans; the only way was up for us because I heeded your every beck and call, regardless of my electric interruptions, and foggy traffic jams during conversations – you would overtake me without offering me a tow.

Soon life for me changed: I had more seizures, pressures bore down upon me from all corners of my ever-swelling prison. You said I was always busy, like being sick is suddenly a new hobby.

So, you found your own new hobby: you replaced me with somebody sunnier, healthier, more willing to fulfil your needs.

In the Disney store, the last time we ever saw each other, I mentioned my apprehension about the new Beauty and the Beast movie, but you promised that we would go and see it together, because you were my sister now and you were all I needed now, you promised.

But then you checked in with your new sunny BFF: you were at the cinema together watching it.

Without me.

Like a rag doll I fell to the floor, because you’d promised that we would go and see it together. But we didn’t.

Like the last rag doll on the shelf, I was left alone, to go and see it alone.

You said it was because I had been sick that week.

Being sick was my punishment for not getting to see you fulfil your promise to me.

Being sick was my punishment for not being there enough for you.

You compared epilepsy to having a bad back. Because your new BFF has back pain from a car accident, and now we’re playing who’s sicker than who, just like you did with your baby. I didn’t sign up for this game. I’m not here to play games, I’m not strong enough, and neither am I weak enough.

You said I was lying about being sick, and using my seizures as an excuse not to see you, just because I was up and about one day and bedridden the next; because I don’t look sick but I am in fact sick all the time:

“Do I have to be on a drip for you to believe that I’m ill? Is that what kind of friend you are?

Or do you need a doctor’s note?

Will you believe me then?

Fucking hell”

I then told you that: “I think you should stop talking, because you are making yourself look pretty bad”

You told me that nobody was going to tell you when to stop talking. Least of all me I guess, now that our friendship was a wreck on the rocks.

Then you replied:

“I KNOW YOURE [sic] ILL, THE WORLD KNOWS YOUR [sic] ILL you tel [sic] everyone all day on Facebook!”

So, I can’t tell people I’m sick? I can’t raise awareness for this condition I’ve been inflicted with, because you’re sick of hearing about it? I can’t use the strength that I still have, to fight ignorant dicks like you who look at me and tell me that because I don’t look sick, then I must not be? That because I’m on medication then that means everything is ok? That I’ve been sick for long enough now, so my time in the limelight is up?

Mama always told me that you were bad for me, but because she was also bad for me, I didn’t pay any heed to her advice.

Bad plus bad equals good, right?

Well, it’s taken me three weeks to rinse your venom from my system;

I’m still coughing up the phlegm from my lungs.

You said good luck to me, however your wishes of luck were laced with the words:

“in your epilepsy bubble”,

like I’ve chosen this life for myself, like I’ve chosen this cocoon to hibernate inside, except it doesn’t insulate me, it only breaks me.

Can you hear my cries as they echo within this hollow shell of a body?

Could you hear them when I called out for help, when I told you that I wanted out of this shell, into death instead?

This hollow shell weighs a tonne, and yet all this time you chose not to see.

And now you’ve chosen never to see.

Our ship has sunk.

For good.

Expired Medicine