Thursday, 4 December 2014

See Demons

I’d do it again
Because I can
And a million more like me
Would do exactly the same
Put me in a uniform
Give me a hood
Show me the history of honor and blood
Give me a scapegoat
Feed me the fear
Make me the weapon
We all desire
For my arrogance is no longer enough
There is no security in the privilege of hate
I need to see demons to eliminate
Keep me righteous
Keep me pure
That I can stand tall on backs once more
When the wind changes
Apples go bad and wolves are alone
But a million more remain
And a million thereafter each generation until further notice
This skin has to mean something after all
Liberty and Justice for all (of US)
Surely not an accident a gift
Of centuries passed in domination
Construction of a virility untouched
Enlightened bathed in the wisdom of a continent
Which matured in the blood and faeces of the poor, the tortured
Surely not that
Because if they remembered and passed that pain on
The descendants of those poor could not become a scared, hooded, uniformed weapon after all
Could not see every Black Woman as a succubus
Every Black Man as a demon
But would see everywhere mirrors into the ravaged wastelands of our souls
And in our millions, though one by one, could grasp the irony and the cruelty in there
And wrench the evil life from them
Because we couldn’t do it again
Not after this
Never again
Could we?

Tibalt Was an Honest Man

Is he a bridge builder?
Not with these hands
Picking at scabs
Bare feet on shaded sand
Thinking Tibalt was an honest man
Tibalt was an honest man

Is he a priest?
Not with that past
Gazing mid distance
Eyes playing on dead cars
Thinking Tibalt was an honest man
Tibalt was an honest man

Is she a healer?
Not with those tools
Delving into hornet’s nests
Grasping for lost jewels
Tibalt was an honest man, an honest man

A man who let his hate define his speech; his commitment, his pride steer his course
Self destructive mission
A lesson, a mission walking, smoldering
A bastard who never said “I Love Peace.”


In this complex there is no sleep
In the life of the night
Breath falls on unhearing ears and words dig deep inside the flesh
Can’t walk on water but have surely walked in wine
Striving for humility, thinking of fast cars and balladeers
And the feeling underneath
Whilst vanity boils within
Indicators of assumption shared
Hide the schism, hide the fear
When I find my voice
It feels alien to my ear
But when I touch the truth it sings
Echoing in the hollows
Between Ivory and blubber few taboos remain
 but none have claimed me for their own
now we have reached the season of the storms
and I am unoriginal
exempt excommique walking brick paths
watching the chipped masonry float away
we all build our fascias
of stone or flesh
we all squirrel something safe within
but time passes differently here
since that other power breached
and those etched tablets expired an age ago
the titles that defined us, shaped our response, hang in the air,
pretty lies that slash at transformations which shun the frame
the person that I was glows and blurs
the thing that I am becoming moves in spirals
headed south bound

Sunday, 19 October 2014

the passion

I’ve purchased prayer shawls for women of states that never quite were
Who are more real than I could ever feel
I have put my hand in the passion, centuries worn, and felt the beauty in the lie
Smoothed over with the seal of ritual; incense and flagellation
Enough for the breeze to speak through
Enough for the griot to bleed to
Wearing the beat of whip upon flesh
Watching the children marched to war
In the belly I, judge penitent, gluttonous feeding upon organs, confess; echoing hollow
Without the map of commandants who would profess prophetic sentence
My cell walls are well lined with other words
Nasty Short Beautiful Forever
Tracing the arbitration of the absurd
 (kissed with insect offal)
Symmetry speaks where logic is silent

Tuesday, 5 August 2014


I’ve been fighting all the wrong battles
And I’ve been losing time and time again
Looking at the faces of all those departed
Feeling in my pockets for the key to see them safe
This is a long long way from home
And I never made all the right allies
Turned some to enemies
In retreat again from the shame of disbelief
Scoured the shelves for the tools to lever open
Never felt further from the truth
The things that hold this together
Chew deep into flesh
Straining for purchase
No less fraught for all their bite
The marks we leave on each other
Heal rough and clean, stitched by time
And I’ve been making some right turns
A passenger charting hazy terrains
Our movement fluid
Steered by steady hand and strong currents
Never fled from fire only from fear
And the romance of the things we can never know
The rights and wrongs escape us
But we can never escape them.

Thursday, 24 April 2014


27 Times came the knock on your door
Mummy answered
Alcohol on her breath, body black and blue
Domestic after domestic
Police turned away and your teacher never knew

4 times
You were sent to the nurse
They patched you up, swabbed you down
Patted your head
Noted their concerns
And never asked you

One more time
One more chance
They stepped across the threshold
Ready to help
Not from the school, not from the station
Unconnected to other and seeing as if for the first time

This filth
This degradation
The violence and neglect
The denying defiant faces of your abusers
The one who bore you and helped to take your life
Your sickly frail body twisted unnaturally in the corner
Disfigured and discarded
No-one’s fault but theirs
Still the questions beg
31 of them screaming in the conscience