Words. I’ve saved few and spent many. Baiting minds with a frustrated tongue.
Speaking from a pulpit of privilege.
Self-absorbed, indulgent responsibility.
Mattering to no one.
Each word a pill, a placebo; Anything to stem the ceaseless flow;
Of despair leaking from me.
Sleeping doesn’t work when you’re woke. The systems fucked. Fucked up. Broke.
You can’t un-know when you know.
Despair meet anxiety. There’s no escape from this reality,
The Ten O’Clock news has become
Ten second bulletins of bullets in.
Eyes clamped open seeing things I can’t un-see.
Hearts once soft and tender; now trapped in ribbed cages.
Petrified and petrifying. Tight and getting tighter.
Lungs punctured with panicked breaths.
No help, no hope for the faithful or faithless. No one to save us.
A heart, once juicy, now juice-free. A rusted metal shell.
Cold and hard. Bloody anger coursing through veins.
Hearts and minds shutting down. Shutting off.
It could break windows. Every beat resistance. Existence. Hell.
On top of this chest. The weight of the world’s hatred,
Bearing down on breastbone,
Underneath, anxiety sits, curled up there it’s made its home.
Waking to stretch and flex itself, screaming, naked.
Whiteness worn like scratchy clothes encrusted with stolen privilege. A scar of my lineage.
Can’t take them off they’re all I have. They’re all the rage.
My skin an armour…y that I want to surrender, but a cross I bear. For our sins.
A canvas for blood. A key to escape a smaller cage.
An over-stamped passport to opportunity, impunity, liberty.
A leg up over carefully built barriers to keep ‘others’ out.
The pen and sword are mighty, but this story is mightier.
Tearing this shit down is our responsibility.
A carefully edited book, a history of ‘victory’;
And conquest. White hands crafting shackles for slavery.
A world map glittering, littered with ‘error’.
Dividing and conquering, raping and pillaging.
A uniform for abuse, murder, horror, terror.
Thinking past these identities takes steely determination.
Pale fashions for mass devastation.
My head is swirling. Always. Looping back on itself. Questioning questions.
Tracing thoughts to their conclusion and watching how they play out. Checking myself. Clawing for solutions.
Thinking. Thinking. Overthinking. Rethinking. Unthinking. Dethinking. Rethinking. Thinking. Thinking. Madness. I’m sinking.
Deep breaths waiting for the sedation of hope, or possibility.
A mind craving an antidote to this. Existential hostility.
An answer For you. For me. For us.
For a broken ego cloaked in fragility.
Locked together, treading on each other, pushing. Biting. Clawing.
Feeding on each other and killing and fighting. Drawing blood.
I want to hold you close, but that’s not the story…
We’ve been taught. We’ve fought. So we fight.
Some of us have the sum of us.
Some have bigger teeth and bite harder
And the rest of us scream and shout and stamp our feet.
Hatred and anger and pain and fear giving birth to hatred and anger and pain and fear. Repeat.
Beat… beat by steady beat.
Wars in my name via WiFi while we fight in the comments section.
Extinguishing tangible insurrection.
We trigger each other with Twitter happy trigger fingers, while trigger happy cops kill…No end of Black. Lives….Matter.
For those that survive it’s incarceration, indoctrination, gentrification.
We stub out the pain with cigarettes and burn each other with thoughts and words.
Generation after generation.
We inject hatred, fuck pain and drink to be sedated.
We condemn and curse each other.
Ancestors, grandparents, parents, children and the yet unborn, bearing the weight of this world we’ve created.
My womb aches – it’s been filled up with hatred and scraped out to hatred. Sedated.
My body debated, rated. Excavated. The passage is tainted. The gestation unwanted. The exit terrorised.
Many hands make light work of tearing up women’s bodies and choices. Narrated…with thought and word and deed.
Unwanted fingers creep into our sex. Followed by guns. Loaded with creed.
What choice exists? The choice to remain barren. Too many people. Too much hatred. Stripped naked. Degraded. Who’d want to plan parenthood in a world like this?
We tear down trees and put up walls.
We fucked you over, but sorry we’re full.
We stand of the shoulder of giant…injustices. Treading on nations and nature and people who have paid for this all.
Hateful comes easy,
But I know to be grateful, believe me.
Wearing this privilege is a privilege that drowns me, but who gives a shit when people are drowning.
And those who can…do jack shit about it.
Mainstream flowing with vicious suspicions.
Chip wrappers with more nipple than news. Spitting hate and fuelling fires with incendiary lies. Words do more damage than devices.
And we’re divided. Not minded to give a shit about each other as we buy this and that.
Factories of news. And Carbon. And tat. We’re in crisis.
And we all want to live like an American. Idiot.
The civilising nation that leaves a trail of devastation with its cultural colonisation.
Built on graves and living bodies of ancient generations.
Following in hot pursuit of its European relations.
And the system fucks people up and infiltrates education and teaches them a story with grandiose decoration. Of Pale Kings and Queens who brought civilisation erasing the wisdom of indigenous populations.
‘History’ the very concept a western creation.
Genocide. Ecocide. Femicide. Maangamizi.
Chose a side, pick a side. Repeating history is easy.
Pamoja. Ubuntu. Uhuru. Reparations.
Solutions that exist outside Western imaginations.
Are ignored, sidelined, marginalised freely. Kwa nini sio sisi kusema Swahili?*
And we forget that all this shit is connected.
Stories created, told and resurrected.
Connected oppression under market depression that we’re all feeling.
This world’s no longer spinning, it’s reeling.
From the shock of these missiles on a mission creating climates for terror, and changing climates. Punching holes in a sinking ship in stormy weather.
Growth at all costs, whatever the loss. Cashing in our future. This is futile.
Greedy hands steal resources from lands, while bearing arms that costs lives and money.
Don’t you think it’s funny that we spend more on death than life?
Man-on-man more acceptable on the battlefield than in the bedroom.
With pro-lifers on the rampage, there’s no safety within or without the womb.
Fuck this shit.
Kids killing kids in classrooms in a ‘civilised’ nation where gun-loving indoctrination allows for mass shootings as a routine realisation. An indication. Of. Just. How. Fucked. We. Are.
Protests. Marches. Petitions. Civil disobedience.
Pounding fists and pavement. Nothing civil about this fucked up experience.
Pounds for pounds of flesh. Necks that turn heads. Hands that cover eyes and ears.
Mindless television a balm calming fears and drying tears.
These words taking space of those voices silenced. You’ve heard it all before from voices wiser than mine and you’ve seen it all before. A hundred thousand times.
Ammi. Nanny. Dessalines. Palmares. and Kleine.
Grant. West. Cole. Parkes. hooks. and Eistenstein.
Clemencia. Naciemento. Nehanda. Boyle. and Marley.
Rasta. Huxley. Orwell. Truth. Garvey. Garvey and Garvey.
Ahmed. Ensler. Monbiot. Morales. King. Sankara.
Obadele. Fatiman. Morris. Robeson. Cabral. Jones. Akala.
Fanon. Tempest. Lorde. Moore. Francis. Ghandi.
Corbyn. Kuya. Lewis and Lewis. Martinez. Kimathi.
Selassie. Tubman. Wainaina. Boyle. Davies. Wiwa.
Asantewaa. Tharoor. Ramsey. Smokey. Mckesson. Shiva.
Chomsky. Rodney. Roi. X. Lumumba and Lumumba.
Tutu. Kofi. Kuti. Mandela. Adichie and Nkrumah.
A dawn chorus.
A wake up call.
Are we too late? Have we lost it all?
*Why don’t we speak Swahili?
So I wrote a poem, which I haven’t really done since school. It’s about how I’m feeling about the world at this moment. It kind of just came out. It was a strange experience. I just sat there and was drawn to write and write. The words fell onto the paper.
I also recorded it, in one very rough take without editing. It’s a bit long (please bear with it) and this was the first time I’d read it out loud, so it’s raw.
Anyway, I wanted to share it with you to see what you think.
Thanks for listening.