building hands bristled and bruised turns heaviness into light
and the ugly tears streaming from the broken but beautiful hearts
ask the fragmented hope to forget thy not and rejoice to remember thee
not as a song, not as prayer but it rises in that similitude
above the firmament and encircling the sky
it asks the clouds to lament but not weep.
because our tears rise high and the pain never numbs
this is how it feels to lose the one we thought would overcome.
When emotions are excessive and the mind cannot cope. Close the eyes and imagine each strand. Dangling like chandelier pieces. A glistening ray of hope beacons. A festivity of light dances in the mind. Hold the light. Hold the hope. Let it fizzle the fear. Can you hear the crystals chorus and the diamond note. Each time you feel the fear, close your eyes and hang each feeling on the chandelier.
The shards of bottles and debris on the road sinks into the bare feet. The crimson liquid trickles upward. The scarlet paints on the clear canvas of the skin, forming across the ankle a cerise daisy chain. When the red soil sticks to skin, the potency of the sun burns the cut deep within. With the rhythm of discomfort, the steps begin to synchronise. To adjust the afflictions, carry the shadow on your back throughout the journey. With seven songs away from surrender, find the reservoir for eight and learn the wind’s symphony. Amidst this, find a vitality so vivacious that the fragmented mountains makes way for the sunlight. Then find simplicity so easy that causes the river to mirror the silhouette of every sunset and sunrise. Above it all, the horizon over the lily-white sky promises to soak in the splendour of the shine. You are no longer the wanderlust light, you are the daughter of a yellow sun.
When the voice was stolen and she could sing no more, the frown formed and the lines found solace on her face. In her silence, it defended her. A world where hostility determines if you’re victimised and she’d rather be the victor. So she put it on each morning. After all, you cannot report expressions but you can recall words. Yet we all know that frowning is not precaution and smiling is not softness. If only she didn’t hold onto yesterday’s worries which are drawing the outline of tomorrow. The scowl she wears wouldn’t be a testament of her sorrow.
Before deciding to walk in her shoes let her show you her feet. The callous blisters tarnished by the stones who decided to dance on her soles. Yet she walking barefoot across the equator with the red soil tarnishing the pigments of her skin. When she crossed the ocean, borders poured cold water which began to sting. The earth became her shroud covering her in the dust. Like the temperature of the desert, she was scorching like the sun. When her tired eyes saw peace, she ran to towards the mirage only to find illusions are the mirrors to the mind. When the fisherman boat waded by the shore, she became the destiny that wanted more. For herself and for her dreams. A damsel determined to stay afloat. A journey across her dreams beyond what she ever wrote. Yet dreams capsize on that solemn day. Her spirit left her essence and it soared far away. When the morning swallow danced over the scene, her body asked the earth why did you follow me?
As the television transmits the news unable to peel the callous layers of her mind.
She owns a seared conscience which no longer flinch at the vivid violent paintings on her screen.
When the hunger of little children hums- she no longer feels guilty.
When the injustice harmonises with the defenceless- it no longer warrants her pity.
When death sings over nations- she no longer feels sadness.
When corruption chants dishonestly- she no longer calls it madness.
Echoes whispers the equator set the precedence
As the smartphone announces itself by vibrating to alert her of the notifications.
She owns a conscience willing to bloom on social media where she becomes an
advocate for the ones she cared not.
Echoes whisper the tweets set the precedence.
How do you tell her she owes the world nothing?
In silence or in deed, the world goes on.
Echoes whisper the discontentment set the precedence.
I am collecting all the thank you I have ever received. I’m gathering them up to burn it and have it cremated. From here on hence, I don’t use them anymore. Or rather I’m not allowing people to use it on me. I have crossed the ocean for you and seared my feet amongst volcanoes. If the extra mile was required, I have traveled to space. Should you require a coat, I have bought you the winter collection. Yet, all I earned was your thank you. If you bought me a card, even worse, you took the time to reflect on everything I did for you and condense the worth into a fragment of the trees. Now you’re just taking oxygen away from me. I have too much thank you from being passive when I thought I was kind. If thank you was a sword, I have been stabbed in the back too many a-time. Its just words you pluck and you don’t mean it true. Your thank you are formalities and not because of what I do. Or rather what I did. I’m leaving you alone to wallow in your so-called politeness. When you’re done with the eyeservice take the ‘you are not welcome’ as my kind-heartedness .
What do you say to me?
When you’re done selling broken dreams?
Whilst tears fall down my cheeks like bitter streams.
In my search to redeem what could not be fixed.
Instead of the tepid truth,
You make promises on rainbows that didn’t form after the rain.
Your deception got me dancing on clouds.
It got me wishing on stars.
My reality reaching towards some distant planet- perhaps mars.
Your deception took us that far.
Instead of revelling on the authenticity of who we are.
You walk past the willow tree
It reflects your silenced state.
Yet you do not cry nor smile.
You did that on your first visit.
I did both on my second.
This is together is our third.
The wind knows our names.
Yet it dares not trouble.
Petals fall beneath your feet.
With no reverence of them
You step solemnly.
With the shroud of your voice stripped.
Solemn sounds are now stolen. I have seared your silence.
Across the wooden bridge
With an effervescent lake beneath.
I saw the bilingual beauty
Of flora and fauna coexisting.
So, I walked across,
Wading by the waters.
You could have warned me.
Yet I know, in a world with no words.
Actions design the fate.
I died in that lake.
Why did you take the bridge?
Imagine this open space An elusive place.
Where the Bird of Elegance walks
Asking you to take one of its feathers.
Promising you it will give you a voice.
A voice that makes you speak up.
It is not about your accent or pace.
Nor about dialects and sociolects.
Rather a voice of your own.
Articulated in speech and tone.
Fanning out its feathers
Take one for your shroud.
Let your words walk like the Bird of Elegance.
Parade the prose like a peacock.
Which feather did you pluck? What did it mean to you?
A seed seeking sunlight swells and sweats. Through its seed coat. Shooting taproot in the soil. Submerged it pokes its head through the earth. Until it blooms, Soothed by the serene song of photosynthesis.
A droplet of despair
Dripping from once-dried tear ducts.
A flimsy attempt to hold them
Piece it together
Patchwork the pain.
Sew it silently.
With the excess crochet it
Turn it into a commodity
Then sell the once broken tears to the tradesmen at the stall.
Tell them you’ve got an ocean you’ll be bringing in the fall.
Sunset and sunrise can be as beautiful as hellos and goodbyes.
At each instance, it doesn’t matter if your heart skips a beat or your stomach gets butterflies.
Each sleepless nights invites days which will bring you closer to the sweetest lullabies.
You may have been chained but know your ankles have power to break shackles.
You may have carried the weight of the world on your shoulders.
Tilt your neck and it will fall off.
You may have lifted your eyes to the mountains and saw giants.
Fix your eyes on the valley and pick three stones.
Amidst it all keep going.
For your feelings and fears are not your reality.
All you have been through makes you true.
So rise above it like a sunrise.
Let the fears dim like a fading sunset.
When the moonlight reflects a mirage
Wait for the sun to say it’s an illusion.
Don’t rely on the mind which makes a faint figure
Yet sight and sound tells us its called perception.
Once materialised where do illusions go?
Maybe above and beyond the fading rainbow.
A song of poison spewed on the silent lips.
She gathered it and let it salsa on her tongue.
Then she showed her fangs slyly.
To ignite fear in me.
A warning sign that she is ready to sink deep within,
Deep into my skin, she bites.
The bite is not the worst,
As she disguised it as a kiss
Then she watched and waited
For the venom to overshadow me.
Yet she didn’t know before this,
I made her venomoid in her sleep.
I had to let her know that my precaution isn’t weak.
I expected the earth to shift
And oceans to be set adrift.
At the spark of our lips
Under this lunar eclipse.
A soft song fluttered in my tongue
Which birthed a love so young.
It still makes my heart skip.
To think of how your mouth danced on my lips.
Like a peacock spreading its feathers,
I span out my feelings.
Like hands holding each other,
I long for this meaning.
Like petals to a flower,
I seek my purpose and beauty.
In this very hour,
Acceptance will be by duty.
Look at my glass house but don’t throw stones
For sticks and stones may break my home.
This fragile abode with a transparent gaze,
Often leaves people amazed.
So you see my in’s and out.
A glass house is like a vase.
Look deeper and you’ll see my fears.
For I was a fool to build my years on a house so easy to break.
This is my mistake.
I will not be able to calm the storm
Nor promise you that I’d walk on water.
Yet if you find yourself sinking.
Remember like mother like daughter.
I have had my share of drowning
But you will not suffer.
I have made my sacrifices for you,
Because I want to be your mother.
At a cross way with a cold chorus,
Promise was left to be pious.
On the right hand of promise was the infallible good.
On the left hand of promise was the infallible bad.
For Promise has the power to snap your decisions into two.
So be benign when you,
Cross your heart and hope to die.
Cross your heart and hope to live.
Cross your body and hope health will restore the derelict.
Cross your mind and hope to believe.
Cross your spirit and hope to breathe
Cross your soul and hope to resurrect.
Do not tarry.
Do not wait.
Do not limbo in a Promise.
For when you lay six feet forever,
Your choices, decisions and promises will lie on too.
The world has felt your wrath before.
We felt your violent shake and your ravenous storm.
We give new names to old gods.
You were once the Latin American Sovereign debt.
Then you reincarnated as the Asian crisis.
Before you plagued us in all hemispheres and revealed your self as the Global Financial Crisis.
We know your nature.
We know your will.
We saw your guise.
Nonetheless we were none the wise.
You came bearing presents.
Your gifts were derivatives.
To change the narrative of risk.
We accepted it with open arms and flooded the market with your benevolence.
We didn’t know you were lingering in the air.
Junk bonds became butterflies.
And if only credit rating agencies clipped its wings.
Maybe they wouldn’t fly.
Nor flutter beautifully.
Or maybe they saw butterflies and called it moths.
These moths ate the garnishing garments that hid the secrets of finance.
Then the academics saw beauty in ashes.
Formulas which will change the dynamics of how to price.
Then they called it gold.
And the bankers were completely sold.
If only they saw its journey with hindsight.
But you did. And you were lurking, waiting and hungered for this disaster.
Amidst it all, you cheered them all.
On. On. On.
I say it with her.
I say it for her.
Then I let her say it with and for herself.
We both learnt to say it.
Before we are reduced.
For you saw her innocence.
What was it made of?
It was laced with naivety
Intricately woven with virtue.
Hemmed with impeccability.
You took each stitch off.
With your seam ripper.
We could call it patriarchy.
We could call it male dominance.
We could call it chauvinistic.
We could call it a power bias.
It need not matter the new names we give to old gods.
For the crimes you committed against her, I will ask God not to spare the rod.
An unjustifiable criteria
Determined by a crooked line
Spewed out to split the equator into two.
I’ve heard the names one half calls the other.
To make it better the cunning half changed the terms.
Less economically developed replaced poor.
Regulation replaced corruption
Grass root movements replaced unemployment.
Parallels living in contradiction.
So the oppressed South asks the oppressing North.
Why do you give the same inconceivable acts new names?
Call the rose by its name.
For in the power of names,
Hides your solution to each change.
Take me to the river
To wade by the water in the winter moonlight.
In the depths of the river reflects a woman who drowned trying to grasp freedom.
A man whose hopes of emancipation dangles around his neck.
At the river bank lies children whose bodies are rooted in the ground as if they’re flowers.
Take me to the path
The long golden road
Where scars are healed and derogatory terms are seized.
Rising with the sunrise
Seeing Dr King’s dreams for the nation living in me.
Take me to the classroom
Absorbing the Golden Rules
The new testaments of what to say
The commandments on how to say it.
The Grace on when to say it
Take me to the kitchen
Where the word blares loudly
And you said it proudly
Stabbed the woman, the man and the children by the river.
Stole the living dream in me
Moved me away from the equilibrium of my understanding.
So answer me this?
Who did you oppress more?
When you said the word
Was it me? Or Was It You?
I looked into her eyes and smiled.
But what could smiling prove.
When I could see me in her eyes.
So my smiles were just lucid lies.
Even though I could recognise her in me.
My misconceptions were flying free.
The hums of her cry is my lullaby,
that wakes me up at night.
But not because of my power and might.
For the pain travels in space and time.
Only to discover that weeping is for the night.
So just like her, we have the same fight.
For the state of mind is our very plight.
A dream is a living legacy which cannot be killed by death.
It transcends liberty.
In fact, it transcend freedom.
That I can hope for freedom within my constraints.
He taught me.
In the content of your character lies the change.
That after death your legacy can live on.
The man with a dream taught me this.
Stage one is characterised by fear.
The entity that floats to a mind.
Inviting itself in and out like a comfortable family friend.
It tells you what cripples you.
Debilitating your ability to trust yourself.
Once fear has marinated in your mind.
Then you can progress to the next stage.
Welcome to projecting your fear through bitterness.
You start telling others, you cannot do that.
The well- crafted response drown in ‘venomness’.
As fear told you, you decide to tell others.
Once you wallowed in your bitterness, progress in your denial.
Welcome to hatred.
For you can see a glimpse of their hope.
Flickering like flames on a candle.
Love is the light.
Hate is in your eyes.
Yet you know one is stronger.
And it’s not yours.
The hate eats every tissue, sinews and bones in your body.
Never finding the serenity in change.
You lie down each day telling yourself that life will always be this way.
Why live in denial?
When you could be free.
Why live in denial?
When you could just let situations be.
Why live in denial?
When you could focus your attention on more.
Why live in denial?
When you could see what the world has in store.
Why live in denial?
When you could transcend?
Why live in denial?
When what is broken can be mend.
Why live in denial?
When it is easier to persevere.
Denial is looking back with a heart full of fear.
Denial is saying yes when you mean no.
Whilst the choice rests with you.
The choice lies peacefully as you watch it sleep.
You dare not wake it up.
You dare not make a noise.
You leave it as it is.
Even though you know what to do.
Even though the power lies in your hand to make a change.
Even though it tears you up.
You let choice sleep on.
You let choice wake up on its own.
Defying the estate stereotype,
Jack decided to be the perfect prototype.
He went to university.
Just to face employment adversity.
He worked too hard.
But the economy is bad.
He gave education all he had.
First class university grad.
Unemployment makes him sad.
Whilst Brad just asked his dad.
A myriad of applications sent.
Interviews came and went.
On interview attires all his money he spent.
These rejection are becoming too frequent.
So what’s poor Jack got to do?
Lost in life, he hasn’t got a clue.
The corporate dream he had outgrew,
Corporate companies don’t want people like you.
For your life, experiences and struggles make you true.
Three years wasted and nothing to show
Life has dealt him a hard blow
He took the modules for all he needed to know
Meritocracy kept telling him to go
Looking back now you can’t change the status quo
He should have given up ages ago.
I remember putting so much effort into childhood and youth.
For I perceived it as the core of my root.
Especially if I wanted to live a life worth remembering.
My efforts had to be enduring.
I needed to stand the test of time.
So that adulthood would turn out fine.