POETRY

I HAVE TO BE SELFISH

Published in Neutral Magazine 2020

I have to be selfish this time,

she told him,

as she ended things,

without warning,

too much commitment, she said,


I have to be selfish this time,

she whispered,

as she turned her back,

to lick her wounds,

letting her friend bleed out,


I have to be selfish this time,

she warned her brother,

when he came for help,

but she’d done enough,

time to put herself first,


I have to be selfish this time,

she called to strangers,

as she walked through the silent streets,

abandoned to a disease,

that tore across the world,


I have to be selfish this time,

she said to the earth,

as she watched it burn,

because she’d needed things,    

that poisoned the trees,


I have to be selfish this time,

I cried,

it echoed through the destruction,

drifting on the wind,

although there was nobody around to hear it.

DO SOMETHING

All lives matter

You cry

While Muslims cower in fear

Abused, segregated, lynched

All lives matter

You shout

As Yemenites plead for sanctuary

And you refuse refugees

All lives matter

You deplore

Yet you sexualise women

And patriarchy thrives

All lives matter

You type

Inside the safety

That white skin grants

Where were your shouts

When a man begged for breath?

Where were your declarations

When a woman lost her dignity?

Where are your donations

When war steals the screams of a child?

If all lives matter

Do something

WHORE

Man’s biggest prize,

Woody sheets wrapped neatly in flimsy plastic,

Fluctuating numbers flicker across a screen,

Glows in the glassy eyes of a pallid face,

Yet bestowed onto her for what?

Feigned intimacy and a piteous release,

Legs spread to reveal a discarded jewel,


They fought for her prized thing, 

This thing that beats with the rhythm of a battle cry,

Not this useless body,

This depleted shell,

But her freedom,

It was won by a dead woman,

Laid lifeless before a stallion,

Her most prized possession,

Never to be parted with,

Lingers in the dank light,


But still he takes it from her,

In back alleys and marital beds,

Smothered screams and silent sobs,

She buys his treasure with the thing he snatches,

He never knows,

Never realises that it is him,

Who whores his emerald paper,

For something she cares little for,


His soul is heavier,

While his pocket rests lighter on trembling thighs,

Dirty,

Degraded,

She laughs at how easy he was,

How fickle,

How quickly he will part,
With man’s biggest prize.

REQUIEM

Where does love fly,

Soaring on reticent wind,

Dormant and still,

From splintered bosom,

It waits,

To come alive,

Or hopelessly stumble,

To bitter requiem.

SILENCE

A strangled cry

From scorched lungs

Too loud, too aggressive

For your delicate ears

But when I was meek

I was torn to morsels

Bruised body scattered

To hungry thieves

WE WILL REMEMBER YOU

My heart aches

Tears spill with sorrow

For a nation more enraged

At the tumble of stone

Than for expired life

Under sharp knee of pallor 

Carelessly distinguished

Crying out for mother

'ALL LIVES MATTER'

Another way to silence.
Another tool to diminish.
Another sentence to oppress.

BATTLE CRY

I battle for a world

with women unscathed

'me too' a dying memory

My feminism would not be

had I not cried and fought

under the weight of him

SNOWFLAKE

Beauty cascades from frozen clouds

Graceful dancing to land on the welcome ground


Steaming, angry words of contempt

Cowardly flung from behind impervious screen


Bent necked stems contort towards the sky

Petals flutter delicately to lie on sun-kissed soil


Crumpled words falling from the face of fear

Furious and bitter, landing with spittle and venom


‘Snowflake’ he fires,

Staring at the person he despises the most


‘Snowflake’ she implores

The only word in her arsenal


Reflections cower

Glass quivers


Illusions shatter

With the delicacy of a snowflake

RUNNING

Elapsed fear glides like a ghost

Rousing a pulse to throb against slick skin

Memory of untold dread

Of what might be

And has already been


Every sound, each creak and groan of a pipe

Carries heart to throat

Sweat to the surface of shivery skin

Hands tremor while silent tears fall

To a bitter end of what has already been

 

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