My father left without saying goodbye,
Because I was late,
And CITIES will not wait, for
African Leaders to emerge,
Female or male,
From the UN or not,
And the son was not at home to say goodbye
-partying as usual-
And my sister lost her passport on the airport road, we
Had to go back and hunt for it,
Lions in a pack,
Sniffing the grass,
Finding freedom, or
Yellowed inoculation cards, or
And I rushed back,
After the bar, where I was crying
For the father who’s glass ceiling meant that,
Africans cannot lead the world imagination, just
We said goodbye happily.
*Photos* – personal
-short evocative poetry-
Tag Archives: poetry
Like many people I began writing poetry from Pain.
I am African, I’m a gay man. In college, studying Pharmacology, I learned that I was gay. It was very difficult, and I attempted to kill myself. In Africa, being Gay is the worst thing you can be, and as a Christian, I thought I must have committed the outmost crime, rather than think why is this happening to me, though I was being punished.
I found I could write the pain away. My first examples were incredible..to me. It’s when i felt that I could actually write. I had a sense of wonder at what my pen was producing. It meant so much to me. And this is the first preoblem. It means so much to me.
It is also where the power of the poem lies. Who is me/ If the words were haveing a profound effect on me, then they are worth something. Because the you, it’s affecting, is a human being.
The secret is in scrubbing away the views we have of the ‘me’ that writing, from the me that is first a human being, and second, one who is affected by words.
There are word arrangements and phrases that set into motion feelings and thoughts and which corral these into and effect on the reader. Words move.
Where did your words come from?
Having written your poem, take each word, cut them out, scramble them. Take a moment to focus on the words cut up infront of me. Focus on your desire to be free of them. Then put them back together. Fight the feeling to enjoy the setences yet.
What happens when you read the reassembled piece back to yourself?
Go to sleep.
When You arise, before reading the reassembled piec, remove all the ‘I’ you find. Do not keep them. Burn them. Focus on being free.
Go to sleep.
Now put the two pieces together side by side. What is the difference in the ‘feeling’ that you recieve from them both?
Hold onto this difference and attempt to re-write your poem from memory.
Go to sleep.
Remove all the ‘you’s in your poem.
Go to sleep.
You are almost ready.
Ask a family member or someone else to read the poem. Do not let them tell you what they think for at least an hour. Then ask them to tell you.
Go to sleep with the thought that you have only one thing left to do. Write the poem. Prepare a sheet of paper, a pen, a desk. Nothing else should be on it. A cup of water, a packet of cigarettes if you smoke.
When you wake up, go IMMEDIATELY to the desk and write the poem without reference to either the original or it’s reassembly.
Do not worry about the Is and the yous.
When you finish, read it. It will move you.
One more thing, before you re-read it, before you do anything else, now take out all the Is and you’s that you know do not belong.
Apart from editing, your poem is finished.
Hand it to a good English speaking friend or teacher and ask them simply to edit for grammer and sense. Tell them to bracket anything they think is not needed.
When you receive this edit, make up your own mind whether to keep what has been bracketed or not – at this point it does not matter. You’re excited because, for the first time, you can see the poem – and it’s good!
The most important step: Take all other versions and burn them in the backyard or in the kitchen. You are free.
You will be feeling something you have never felt before. Pleasure.
You have written your first free poem. It’s good, you know it, and that feels good.
Say these two words out loud – Thank You – then do whatever you want with this poem.
Repeat the process for the number of times that you want to have poetry to share.
Prepare to experience the responsiblity of producing poems that people respond to.
And well done.
I’m seeing a certain periodicity to this.
Once every two weeks, I come up blank, I turn up beligerent.
Bellicose, obstinate, obtuse, I have words falling off my write-pad, spilling onto the floor, fighting with cockroaches or rats or slippers strewn on the rug.
I am breathing fire, I want to stab the words till they bleed, slam my laptop against the wall, run out of my apartment naked and screaming.
I’m like the flute on a steam train, chugging out puffs so fast and furiously, they’re blending together, great long strips of the stuff streaming off behind me, all the way down the fifty cabs I’m pulling…twirling into whirlwinds behind…
I’ve tried to eat, and ended up with toast, burnt.
Tried the television but they’re all still fighting.
Tried music and all I hear is garbled, from-beyond-the-grave-voices.
So…I’m going to interject.
I’m going to interject with a steam train blast – WHOOOOOOO/HOOOOOOOOO!
And throw it into the wind.
by W H Auden
This is the Night Mail crossing the border,
Bringing the cheque and the postal order,
Letters for the rich, letters for the poor,
The shop at the corner and the girl next door.
Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb:
The gradient’s against her, but she’s on time. Thro’ sparse counties she
Her driver’s eye upon the gauges.
Panting up past lonely farms
Fed by the fireman’s restless arms.
Striding forward along the rails
Thro’ southern uplands with northern mails.
Winding up the valley to the watershed,
Thro’ the heather and the weather and the dawn overhead.
Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
Shovelling white steam over her shoulder,
Snorting noisily as she passes
Silent miles of wind-bent grasses.
Birds turn their heads as she approaches,
Stare from the bushes at her blank-faced coaches.
Sheepdogs cannot turn her course;
They slumber on with paws across.
In the farm she passes no one wakes,
But a jug in the bedroom gently shakes.
Dawn freshens, the climb is done.
Down towards Glasgow she descends
Towards the steam tugs yelping down the glade of cranes,
Towards the fields of apparatus, the furnaces
Set on the dark plain like gigantic chessmen.
All Scotland waits for her:
In the dark glens, beside the pale-green sea lochs
Men long for news.
Letters of thanks, letters from banks,
Letters of joy from the girl and the boy,
Receipted bills and invitations
To inspect new stock or visit relations,
And applications for situations
And timid lovers’ declarations
And gossip, gossip from all the nations,
News circumstantial, news financial,
Letters with holiday snaps to enlarge in,
Letters with faces scrawled in the margin,
Letters from uncles, cousins, and aunts,
Letters to Scotland from the South of France,
Letters of condolence to Highlands and Lowlands
Notes from overseas to Hebrides
Written on paper of every hue,
The pink, the violet, the white and the blue,
The chatty, the catty, the boring, adoring,
The cold and official and the heart’s outpouring,
Clever, stupid, short and long,
The typed and the printed and the spelt all wrong.
Thousands are still asleep
Dreaming of terrifying monsters,
Or of friendly tea beside the band at Cranston’s or Crawford’s:
Asleep in working Glasgow, asleep in well-set Edinburgh,
Asleep in granite Aberdeen,
They continue their dreams,
And shall wake soon and long for letters,
And none will hear the postman’s knock
Without a quickening of the heart,
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
AND YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE IT! IT WORKED! I HAVE A POEM FOR MY POEM BLOG! AHHHH, LIFE!
I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE NIGHT-TRAIN AND IT’S DONE SOMETHING FOR YOU TOO.
–visit my poetry blog – Tomatoes, Oranges & Other Fruit–
♦photos – webstockpro.com♦