Nothing prepares you…

Nothing prepares you…

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Nothing prepares you for that knock on the door, that one thing which throws your world into a whirl storm.

There is no set manual which details- preparation for loss.
But, it doesn’t come as a shock either.

You’ve felt flutterings in your heart all morning, not the pleasant kind.
Your hand trembles as you lift the coffee cup to your lips.

You feel some type of way but you don’t know why…
soon enough- you do.

There’s a banging on the door. A body is framed in the doorway.
Your heart skips a beat, lips quiver,
no word is said but a silent motherly message passes across- from her to you.

She barges into the house, turns on the TV set. Her legs give way.
She collapses onto the couch.

You crash beside her, hands intertwined in each other’s. Holding onto the only thing you’ve got- hope.

A voice on the TV utters, “school under siege”.
All you hear: “our baby boys are under siege”.

Nothing prepares you for that knock on the door. When your world as you know it- is thrown into a storm.

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My Father-

My Father-

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My father…
What isn’t there to say,
About the man, whose voice
Carried a coldness, akin to the
December weather.

His footsteps-
you could swear left
imprints, on the cold hard
Impenetrable ground.

And his eyes,
had a constantly hovering
Guard of beetle black hair
Furrowed above them. Like a
Permanent tattoo.

He stood ramrod straight,
And spoke in an untremulous way.
He was the dictionary definition of
“Head of the household”.

Then- mama found a place
Amongst the soil,
Six feet under- enshrouded
In white.

His shoulders slopped,
His eyes sacked,
His voice lost the arid detachment
It was famous for… His footsteps,
Barely audible.

And I learnt,
Even a mountain requires
A solid ground to build up on.
Without it- it’d crumble.
My father lost his solid ground.

 

The weight of silence-

The weight of silence-

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To the women who watched him punch me and said nothing…
To the men who watched him tear me and did nothing…

I could run, but I couldn’t.
My arms were burdened with
Two children weighing heavy on
Me,
Run to where,
to whom,
With them?

I could run, but I couldn’t.
My body was pained from bruises
And contusions and lacerations;
Words now familiar to me, all
Thanks to so many,
Too many,
hospital visits.
He’d be on me before my shadow
Was out the door.
I could run, but I couldn’t.

I could say something, but I couldn’t.
What would words impact
The eyes that have seen fists,
Gracing my skin
Like a punching bag;
Seeing is believing I heard,
You saw- but you did nothing.
What has words gotten over vision.
I could say something, but I couldn’t.

So I caress my limbs with Ice,
And swallow my words
As darkness envelopes the sky..
A coward- maybe.
But how do you sleep at night
With your silence?

The Love we withhold-

The Love we withhold-

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I kept waiting for the world to hand over to me, that which I withheld from myself. I sought for it, chased it, demanded it. That fuzzy feeling which one gets from being appreciated or loved or cherished.

I stood on tiptoes awaiting that one person who would make my world all sunny again, that one person who would make me feel like my presence is needed and my absence dreaded, that one person who would make me feel good about myself.

And what I got, was a ball of spitfire. From afar, it looked like a beautiful powerful light, just the kind to elicit the feeling of stardom, but up close… It burned. And I learnt, the world is a reflection of the image I view myself in. (I saw charred skin in the mirror, and the world gave me one).

-We cannot expect love from the world until we are willing to give that love to ourselves. And when we get to know who we are, we accept who we are, we love who we are, the world as we see it would be different.

We good-

We good-

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I washed myself since I was four,
Since mama was hidden,
Under crumbling stones
But don’t worry about us…
I lifted my brother,
Fed him,
Washed him,
Loved him…
But don’t worry about us.

The skies rained down on us:
Day after day
After day..
Blood dripped down his knees,
But don’t worry about us…
I cleaned his wounds,
Bathed it,
Wrapped it,
Kissed it..
But don’t worry about us.

The grounds are white, our
Bones they shiver
I grab my brother,
Rub him,
Wrap him,
Warm him
But don’t worry about us…
The moon is out,
Will we see morning?’
Maybe-
But don’t worry about us.
You never did…

The above image is gotten from: http://thechronicleherald.ca/world/336329-cold-comfort-in-kabul

I’ll like to believe-

I’ll like to believe-

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The sun spreads it golden rays,
Illuminating everything,
In its path-
Except for me.
You see,
Mornings offer no solace,
Just as nighttime offers no rest.

But I rise,
And I dress,
And I greet the neighbour,
And I down a cup of coffee:
With just enough vigour
To say to the world-
I am okay.
But I’m not.

The sun spreads it golden rays,
Illuminating all,
And I’ll like believe-
One day,
I’d feel it’s light in my bones
Too..

 

Writer’s Poem: Our Silence…

Writer’s Poem: Our Silence…

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Have you heard of the term “Bystander efffect”. This came about after a 28 year old woman, Kitty, was raped, stabbed and murdered outside her apartment while 38 people looked on and did nothing.

This led to a research carried out in 1969, five years after Kitty’s murder, which was termed Bystander Apathy (effect). Basically, it proved that the more people there are available in an emergency situation, the less likelihood there is for someone to intervene.

Today’s poem reminds me of this story and forgive me for starting this post with a downer. But, I thought to share it because I believe we all need a reminder that as heavy as our words, our silence is also heavy too.

Town watches them take Alfonso by Ilya Kaminsky

Now each of us is
a witness stand:

Vasenka watches us watch four soldiers throw Alfonso Barabinski on the sidewalk.
We let them take him, all of us cowards.
What we don’t say
we carry in our suitcases, coat pockets, our nostrils.

Across the street they wash him with fire hoses. First he screams,
then he stops.
So much sunlight—

a t-shirt falls off a clothes line and an old man stops, picks it up, presses it to his face.
Neighbors line up to watch him thrown on a sidewalk like a vaudeville act: Ta Da.
In so much sunlight—
how each of us
is a witness stand:

They take Alfonso
And no one stands up. Our silence stands up for us.

https://biologydictionary.net/bystander-effect/

Black History-

Black History-

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The ship sailed their tanned bodies,
on a fateful day with promises,
filling the souls of young black
Men with:
dreams born of ignorance
dreams fuelled by innocence
dreams affirmed with words
which taste like honey,
mouthed by men who spoke
a fancy language.

The oceans witnessed the horrors
which men, inflicted
on another, without skipping a breath.
The promise land drew but
with no promises,
the Eden for the black man became,
A new wave of hell…

I am the descendant
of one such black man;
My soul is rooted
With black history:
We are not slaves who
gained our freedom;
We were free Men long before,
The chains found our wrists…

Broken wings Can Fly-

Broken wings Can Fly-

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You asked the question,
Here’s my reply-
I cant tell you why those men-
Broke you that night;
can’t tell you why your mother,
Drunk herself mad;
can’t take back the childhood,
That destroyed your life;
can’t shut out the voices,
That’s screaming aloud;
Can’t make you believe in-
The body you have;
Can’t force off the blade from-
Your hands every night.

Can’t tell you to get over it-
That’s not right;
But together we’ll get through it-
That’s my pact;
Together we’ll sit through,
The dark till it’s bright;
I’ll bind up the wrists till-
You needn’t do that;
We’ll seek help together-
And wade through setbacks;
Together we’ll make it and
Don’t ask me why?
I love you my girl and
Believe in the lines-
Even broken wings
Can still learn to fly.

Originally written 24/August/2014

Hope- a 4 letter word

Hope- a 4 letter word

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Hope-
Without it
I would be, a mess
Of a person, a shadow
Of a human, a remnant of
Someone who could have been;
Without it- I am nobody.

So I hold onto it,
Arms weary, feet dirty
And I cling onto it,
Mind boggy, heart aching
And I claw deep into it,
Fingers piercing
Last mechanism.
And I do not let go,
Despite the darkness
Building around me.

Hope-
A four letter word
Without which…

The above image is courtesy of THE odyssey online