Tag Archives: poetry

The B-eautiful Struggle – A Poem about B-Words

We spend so much time focusing on the now and the how that we forget to look

Back

The ways we were taught, the ways we created this perception that our success and happiness depending only our abilities to be the

Best

Those B’s were never good enough. Yet those A’s came rarely. Just as rarely did they tell us that this society was not that promised meritocracy and that evaluation never was independent of our faces and names on the papers they graded – always judging our souls through these problematic processes. So many things I wish I knew

Before

Speaking of before – had I known before too late that our histories were the way they were. That we were never meant to succeed in this colony and that we had a presence they needed in order to

Build

A country on the premise of a supremacy and our eventual demise or productivity. They wanted us in Chinatowns not their towns. They wanted us as second-class and damn well did it for almost a century until we pushed back. That our ghettos were just that but now they say we’re building too many houses on these other

Blocks

Everytime I rise up with this jumpshot I’ve been working on I feel this 7-footer in front of me.  When I learn that step back, they tell me to step back, and that they now call it a travel. Got me leaning on one foot as if I’m Harden. Every time we fall, I feel the heart harden. Yet the other’s tell us we’re still good because we’re not

Black

We see you and feel you but are those emotions nearly enough? We still clutch our wallet with one hand and give you that hopeful dabs with the other –  hoping you see us too but shaking off the unconscious nature of what too many a-cultural teachings engrained in us so wrongly. From moms and pops telling me it was the music of criminals to white teachers looking disapprovingly at my baggy hoody. Their eyes told their stories and there were no black faces to ask the question of who “Matters.” We were all pretty much

Biased

Now that’s a tricky word. Because bias doesn’t exist in reality they say. It only exists unconsciously. Therefore it cannot be contained. Therefore it’s just human nature that we can attempt to minimize but will be maintained. Plus, more importantly, you need to stop playing that race card or investigating these coloured things because you are just creating your own

Barriers

You knew I would eventually get there wouldn’t you. That I wasn’t done just talking about cues and hues. That Intersectionality teaches us there’s different experiences of one’s abuse.  That chip on the shoulder that acts like a fuse. We feel like these walls are unscalable. Yet, we hold it in because we don’t want our struggle to be anybody else’s

Burden

We want to stop burdening those around us we got it. We were initially the Whiteman’s Burden now we serve as each others. We see another person in our community stepping up and in order to make ourselves feel better we dissect them into pieces in ways we would never dare to do to the masters and their institutions. In real life we scared, but we use our screen doors, computer screens, and cellphone screens as our defense to splatter some words to sound intellectual, to mask fear perpetual. But, it means little when they tell us to be more….

Brave

They say we can self-help our way out of it. We listen to those same relaxation tapes that tell us to pay attention to the

Breath

But what happens when that breath starts becoming hyperventilated, short, a struggle to even continue. We walk between these streets finding that our steps no longer are one ahead of another because we held down with all this weight to find

Balance

Imagine a balance beam of our culture on one end and your expectations on another. We don’t have time to put on the yoga pants, stand on the edge of our toes and “feel that stretch.” We’re stretched in our pockets, in our problems, and in our possibilities. We isolated in our own worlds, now tell me….

Brother

Where are all the brother’s at that care? Or those men that said they would be our mentors once we made it. Did they disappear once their going got good or the going got tough. Where’s all that so-called good stuff that others tell from their own mentors and generations of lessons learned. Are they hoarding them now like we’re about to steal their belongings. It’s like they took away our glasses and contacts, and left us here

Blindly

Therefore we follow their lead not our own hearts which continues to bleed.  But truthfully the pages were

Blank

to

Begin

with.

Broken

as I may be I still put together these shattered thoughts on this page. They can’t take away this pin and paper, they can’t love the girl but continue to rape her, they can’t love the song and dance, but ignore the sadness and despair. You see, we are different in our opinions and positions but see that we’re

Bonded

To what you just read and realizing you can’t go back as I did it when I first saw and learned about your

Beautiful

struggle.

 

21 Day Anthology – Day 1 – Beginning to Wonder and Wander

Whether it not it takes 21 days to truly make a habit, it is clear that in my life and practice, writing needs to play a more prominent role – for healing, coping, and as a bastion of creativity. Over the next 21 days I will force myself to write various creative pieces that purposely take me out of the usual context of being an immigration and refugee lawyer and into the realm of writing. If you are looking for professional writing, this is not the right place. I have never been formally trained. I’ve been told my writing is too ranty, too wordy, nauseating to read. Perhaps our words reflect our busy minds. What you will get is raw, truth-seeking, words on paper without fear or reservation of consequence.

Today’s piece titled “Beginning to Wonder and Wander” is a short poem that digs into some deep content and thoughts. I used to be a rapper/emcee for many years. Writing in lyric form comes naturally. Hopefully I will over the next 21 days engage in other forms.:

We live in this present state of too many beginnings.

Our ideas flow so frequently from our oversaturated minds. I believe the experts would call this a ‘synapses problem.’

Anyways, I couldn’t explain it to you. You see, I never was one good at Sciences and yes, it was considered a seminal failure when I wrote to the registry of the University stating boldly – physics will be the death of me and chemistry never worked out for me both in the books and in my limited relationships I had failed to begin or maintain properly. I guess sometimes there weren’t even certain beginnings to start with.

Instead  I spent years between states of wonder and wander, wondering what the differences were between the ‘o’ and the ‘a.’ I guess I was always more of a wanna-be-wonder boy, not that anyone ever dared to called me ‘wonderful,’ but that word had no A’s just like my transcript that I was made to believe defined my life worth – below average and boring.

I also liked the circular idea of the ‘o’ that I would going in circles dealing with one thing or another. I was really good at repeating and copying and pasting but when it came to exploring I fell short of climbing the fence that all the kids navigated with ease. I was scared of the fall. Still am today – the object of many nightmares and occasional realities.

I’m beginning to wonder if I had it all backwards. Whether I should have spent more time wandering the streets of my City aimlessly and freely, observing the intricate nooks and crannies and exposing myself to more truth. Giving my heart a little harder armour. Whether that would have addressed that fear I have when I clench the hands of my amour tightly to navigate around threats perceived only… I realize…  in my… oversaturated mind.

Today, I both wonder and wander through the mazes of this life – telling that often too vocal voice inside that he won’t steal my courage, that 30 years of occupation was more than enough. That my inability to gaze into your eye directly when speaking to you isn’t just a cultural bandage for fear, as I have finally stopped bleeding. I wish I could walk out of yesterday but indeed when I look at the scars from surgeries past or those glasses pressed against a too-flat face that used to cause me so much torment – I am still very much yesterday’s child.

I don’t ask for any special accomodation – but I ask you occasionally to listen and let me speak or ask me if I have some thoughts before rushing to conclusions on stories that have too many beginnings for you to even begin to contemplate.

I wonder when I will let go. I wander the dark corridors of my soul seeking for that enlightenment.