Writer’s Poem: Race

Writer’s Poem: Race

IMG_9792

Its been a long and nerve wrecking week for me. Two more days and I get the weekend to relax, take a deep breath and either catch-up or procrastinate on all the things I need to do. Until then, we have today, a day for me to share a poem I love and I think you’d like as well. Spoiler alert, today’s poem talks about race.

Harper Lee, the author of To Kill A Mockingbird, described the situation of a mixed race child well when she said, “The black people didn’t want them because they were white, and the white people didn’t what them because they had black blood”. This begs the question, where does this leave a mixed race child? The sad thing about this is that it is still happening today, decades after Harper Lee’s books.
The poem below introduced me to the poet, Toi Derricotte. Do take a minute and read the poem below, unhurriedly.

Passing by Toi Derricotte
A professor invites me to his “Black Lit” class; they’re
reading Larson’s Passing. One of the black
students says, “Sometimes light-skinned blacks
think they can fool other blacks,
but I can always tell,” looking
right through me.
After I tell them I am black,
I ask the class, “Was I passing
when I was just sitting here,
before I told you?” A white woman
shakes her head desperately, as if
I had deliberately deceived her.
She keeps examining my face,
then turning away
as if she hopes I’ll disappear. Why presume
“passing” is based on what I leave out
and not what she fills in?
In one scene in the book, in a restaurant,
she’s “passing,”
though no one checked her at the door—
“Hey, you black?”
My father, who looked white,
told me this story: every year
when he’d go to get his driver’s license,
the man at the window filling
out the form would ask,
“White or black?” pencil poised, without looking up.
My father wouldn’t pass, but he might
use silence to trap a devil.
When he didn’t speak, the man
would look up at my father’s face.
“What did he write?”
my father quizzed me.

Advertisements
Walking away…

Walking away…

A93F5FC5-69D3-4E6E-A360-1F829BC4B451

And he said, “I am fond of you”, just that.
Not “I love you”, or “I like you”, He just felt a fondness for me. Something to say he enjoyed being in my company but, He wouldn’t take it any further.
For a while, it was enough for me. I couldn’t get the entire cake, so I settled for that little slice, enough to leave a sweet taste in my mouth for a while.

But as all things come crashing down eventually, my fantasy did. I realized when you love someone, “fondness” just couldn’t cut it. There’s a little bitterness that begins to form in the throat when you tell someone “I love you”, and they smile and utter, “I’m fond of you too”.

The bitterness spread in my mouth and I knew I had to make a choice. It was either him or me. If I choose him, I lose myself. So before my heart could convince me to do otherwise, I ran. Not literally. In the span of a few moments, I deleted his contacts, his pictures, his physicalities, leaving only his memories. His memories… Science had taught me a time will come when they will begin to fade too.

Sometimes, you have to love yourself enough to walk away from things and people who put a dent around your heart.

Writer’s poem: loneliness

Writer’s poem: loneliness

image

It wasn’t my intention to post two Nikki Giovanni poems in a row, but what can I say, I saw the poem whilst scrolling through my poetry album and couldn’t wait till next week, I mean, who knows if we’ll see next week right? 

That being said, I have to agree with Nikki Giovanni when she said, this decade would be known for loneliness. I look around me and despite such a large number of people, billions of us on this earth, yet a staggering number of us are lonely. Not alone, but lonely. Below is the poem:

Cotton on a rainy day by Nikki Giovanni
Don’t look now
I’m fading away
Into the gray of my mornings
Or the blues of every night

Is it that my nails
keep breaking
Or maybe the corn
on my secind little piggy
Things keep popping out
on my face or of my life

It seems no matter how
I try I become more difficult
to hold
I am not an easy woman
to want
They have asked
the psychiatrists . . . psychologists . . .
politicians and social workers
What this decade will be
known for
There is no doubt . . . it is
loneliness.

Today’s question is from Ingrid. She asks, “What’s your secret to keeping the blog up all these years?”.

To be honest, I am surprised that I kept this blog up for all these years. It has a bit to do with the fact that I write the most, when I have a blog. I realized that when ever I take my blogging break (which lasts for months), I write very little. So being aware of that fact, helped to keep this blog going. Also, the response I’ve gotten from the community. Another thing, is the WordPress family in my niche. I have been blessed to have such an awesome community, filled with people who check up on me in my absence , people who welcome me with open arms upon my return and those who encourage me to never put the pen down. 

Writer’s Poem: Fear

Writer’s Poem: Fear

A19144CC-E077-4176-8AC3-5B24A1ACCF54

Today’s poem talks about the murder of a harmless spider. I don’t know whats it with poets and the killing of insects. Charles Lamb also wrote a poem (thoughtless cruelty) which was about killing a fly. But I digress. In this poem, Nikki Giovanni briefly contemplates the logic behind her killing of a spider who did nothing to her, except that she was frightened of it. Is her fear a valid reason to cause harm to it.

A lot of people have used this poem to talk about the happenings of today, especially, the killings of black people by some white cops based on the irrational reason of fear. They feared the black person and they shot the black person. Ridiculous, I know, but it happens, sadly. Let me know what you think about the poem below.

Allowables by Nikki Giovanni

I killed a spider
Not a murderous brown recluse
Nor even a black widow
And if the truth were told this
Was only a small
Sort of papery spider
Who should have run
When I picked up the book
But she didn’t
And she scared me
And I smashed her

I don’t think
I’m allowed

To kill something

Because I am

Frightened

On to today’s question. Tam asks: What was the inspiration behind randoms by a random?

Haha I’ve actually answered this question before. But here goes again, there was zero inspiration behind this blog. Like, I don’t even know why I started the blog in the first place, but it most definitely was not supposed to be a poetry or a mental health blog, which it is now. I think I just wanted to try my hands in so many things, inspirational writes ups and other random things. I wanted to experiment, and hence its random name “Randoms by a random”. I really need to get a better name.

I hope that answers the question. Thank you Tam.

Without you-

Without you-

3DEE7529-65BC-4CE5-907A-ED814B0F311D

I’ve always wondered
What it would feel like
If one day we awaken and
The sun refused to shine.
If the tree leaves stood ramrod
Without the rhythm of the winds.
If the birds remained in their niches,
And the sky stood empty.

What would it feel like
If all the coffee shops lacked coffee,
(Decaf does not count),
If papers wouldn’t take up poetry,
If silence was the new “pollution”.
And noise became (what’s noise?)

Then you left.
Although,
The coffee shops are still stocked
And of course the sun arose.
The tree leaves are dancing,
And the birds going to and fro.
Today.. I know how it feels.


Last month was my blogiversary, and I asked you all to ask any questions you want to be answered. For this month, I’d be posting my blog posts with an answer to a question, so keep an eye out for that.

Question 2 (Jodi) She asks “where does your inspiration for your writing comes from. It is often sad and deep and I worry it is about you.”

Most of the time, I get my inspiration from life. I am not an abstract person, so abstract art and still life art are not my forte. I cant look at an empty cup and easily gain inspiration from that. My inspiration comes from people. 

I am a very inquisitive person, I love to understand people, why they feel the way the do, why they react certain ways. And if i don’t have answers to that, I find that poetry gives me the freedom to create that. It helps me fill in the remaining pictures of a puzzle. And also, the amount tragedy and sadness floating around becomes too much for me to contain at times, and so writing becomes a way of unburdening.
I hope that answers the question.

My Truth (about depression)

My Truth (about depression)

image

Depression
Is not just a phase
Like the girl who outgrows
Enacting plays with dolls,
Or pretending the mirror
Is her applauding audience.

Depression
Is not just sadness
It is screaming and anger
And irritability-
Being a short ended fuse.
It is rudeness and numbness
And night vigil,
To make it go away.

Depression’s antidote
Is not love.
It doesn’t magically evaporate
By the presence of someone
Whose world revolves around
You.
Love makes it better,
Love is no cure.

Depression is not glamorous.
It is pure hell,
It is a mean friend.

Last month was my blogiversary, and I asked you all to ask any questions you want to be answered. For this month, I’d be posting my blog posts with an answer to a question, so keep an eye out for that.
Question 1 (Colin and Ray). He asked: What was the most impactful event (what has influenced you the most) in your life to date?

I had to think a lot about this because there’s been quite a few events, but, I ended up choosing one. And this is because, this particular event was what started a spiral for me and that event is “leaving home and going to another country (Sudan) at the age of 15 to start university.
The main reason I chose this is because, I know now, that if everything that occurred with me whilst I was in Sudan, had happened back at home, the end results would have been completely different. So moving to Sudan at that particular age and time, made all the difference.
Thank you very much For the question Colin.

At the end (of the day)

At the end (of the day)

0C738239-E90C-41E6-89B5-05C2F292CF6A

I believe in coffee
And the effect of
witnessing the majestic
Welcome of the sun.

I believe in storms
And the rush to take cover
From Nature’s anger
Or blessing,
Depending on who you ask.

I believe that the past
Harbours many mistakes
But few regrets.

I believe that to love
Is to accept wholeheartedly
The good, the yucky,
The perfections, the flaws.

I believe that trust
should be freely given,
Suspicion earned,
And once broken,
Trust’s frayed edges can
Rarely be mended.

I believe in prayers,
And a God far superior
Than anything, anyone.

I believe in freedom,
Free will, free choice.

I believe
When the blinds are pulled,
The spotlight off,
I need to be able to look
In the mirror,
And vouch for the choices
I make everyday…
I hope I can.

Writer’s Poem: Aftermath of loss

Writer’s Poem: Aftermath of loss

F8210C4A-196C-46B0-BBD4-D88E7EED37F4

Writer’s poem Wednesday is back. The past few months I was away, I came across some great poems which were previously unfamiliar to me. I love striking a chord with new poetry. Today’s poem talks about a woman whose son resembles her deceased brother, both in mannerism and physically. Its a beautiful reflection of the aftermath of the death of a loved one. I hope you like it.

A drink of water by Jeffrey Harrison

When my nineteen-year-old son turns on the kitchen tap
and leans down over the sink and tilts his head sideways
to drink directly from the stream of cool water,
I think of my older brother, now almost ten years gone,
who used to do the same thing at that age;

and when he lifts his head back up and, satisfied,
wipes the water dripping from his cheek
with his shirtsleeve, it’s the same casual gesture
my brother used to make; and I don’t tell him
to use a glass, the way our father told my brother,

because I like remembering my brother
when he was young, decades before anything
went wrong, and I like the way my son
becomes a little more my brother for a moment
through this small habit born of a simple need,

which, natural and unprompted, ties them together
across the bounds of death, and across time …
as if the clear stream flowed between two worlds
and entered this one through the kitchen faucet,
my son and brother drinking the same water.

Rejection-

Rejection-

D3DF56E3-0C7D-47A1-862B-CFBE2FF28532.jpeg

The rejections pile up,
First The boy,
Then the emails
And now rejections, in the form
Of sealed papers,
Arrive at my doorstep.
Like I need,
A physical reminder to
“I don’t want- you, yours”.

“It’s not you, it’s me”
He said.
“Your work is great, just
Not for us”
They said.
Neither of them having
The courtesy,
The guts,
To speak the truth we both know:
“The problem is with me”.

But that’s fine.
Really, that’s okay.
I’ve done the calculation:
6 months of rejected writing,
Requires 1 week of grieving.
5 rejections,
ergo 5 weeks.
Then its back to pen and paper.

The world has told me
Too many Nos,
It has rejected me,
Too many times,
For me to reject myself.
Me myself and I,
We gon’ keep at it,
We gon’ be alright.

Its been 4 years!

Its been 4 years!

E62E9A0F-E570-41D7-94A8-83ADCF3C1599

This picture turned up in my notifications yesterday. A reminder that I have been in the wordpress community for four years now. I remember when I first started, I Was 18. I didn’t have any plan for the blog, hence it’s unfortunate name “randoms by a random”, and now that I am… (I’ll let you fill in the gap), i’ld like to believe that as I got older, my writings have evolved.

In the past four years, I have come across some phenomenal poets, I have fallen in love with many amazing poems which I try to share on writer’s poem Wednesday. And most importantly, I got to build a connection with so many incredible people.

And what’s more, many of them have gone on to publish their own books: My girl Rosema published (Between my bleeding lines), my Sister released her book “Soul Unraveled”, Jodi wrote a children’s book (Klaus the mouse and other silly animal tales), Colin chappel has published three books and the latest addition and my very good friend Carolyn , just recently releases her book called “The Odessa Chronicles”, which she co-wrote with Colin Chappel.

D1339B51-DEEE-4471-A6F8-6A9144BEAF9A

As writers, we support other writers. Go ahead, contact the writers above, get their books, leave a review and show some love.

To mark my four years here, (even though half the time, I am AWOL),  I would like to host a bloggers Q&A. I can’t believe I’ve never done one before. So, drop me your questions below and and I will be more than happy to answer them in a post.

Thank you for supporting. For reading, for dropping your two cents and for always welcoming me back whenever I go away without notice. ❤️❤️

Drop your questions below in the comment section.