When did I become a black writer?
Was it at birth with deviant skin
Or when I found my voice -mirroring my sight.
My poetry somewhere between Heaney & Rage (Against the Machine).
I hear the black only adjectives again today,
but I’m already well too aware
And it seemed as if hopes were aloft
asunder from liberty’s grasp.
An ethereal hand washes
against the mundane plight.
I must rest my eyes, before
tomorrow’s light stings my eyes.
With rise and fall of right and all
Moving on again to its peak from finish
I wonder if your love for me will diminish
As in the past some of us were strung
upon the most local yew
and I fear I will be forever a hue askew
from the rest of you.
It seems like your voice comes only at times of sensitivity
dissonant opinion sharing -your subversive activity
“Don’t shoot the messenger -Oh…”
“I’m just playing Devil’s Advocate”
“People are evil”
-“they’re morally reprobate.”
But I tire of your distinct brand of banter
and your progressive take on the Trump banner,
regardless of what’s good and what is lost
it’ll not be your ethnicity
that pays the cost.
really that’s the only type of honesty there is.
A compliment bubbling through the lips of admiration.
un-tinged by the cynicism of self benefit.
Do I say thanks enough?
To those who do what I’ve come to expect.
To those who meet my assumptions, and fulfill my needs.
I wave a soon forgotten thanks
to those paused at the zebra crossing
allowing me to just catch the tram I would have just been late for.
My friends and family, bastions of support and love,
I see you,
even if my words do not reach your ears.
Perhaps I do not give enough meaningful thanks,
as I applaud my own hard work’s achievements.
But I’d be floored without your outstretched arms, your words
repairing my ego raising a coy smile.
Perhaps I shy away,
to give thanks is to admit a weakness, a vulnerability
healed by another’s words and actions,
a naked appreciation masked in a mini shame.
And so I’d like to thank you Ashley,
for all you’ve done
doing nothing special at all.
What lingers in the air is the scent of, mum’s cooking
cooked by someone’s Aunty from Spanish-town.
New black Bimmers pulling up
to get a recession priced chicken & rice.
Prams and pushers slowing down the 312,
and some fool claims his new oyster card’s ‘in the post‘.
The sky’s blue,
cracking through new build Aldi and the ancient maisonette.
It’s quiet today, the school children at home preparing for school tomorrow,
And the response they’ll give to ‘Where’s your homework!?’
And still after 20 years I love you all the same.
Wise to your failings and flaws.
and your trembling peace.
This is real Street Art.
Passing snap-backed supra-beings say gawking at the Cass-Art aerosol cans
spraying a haute-couture satire of our post-modern globe.
You see this Street Art represents something;
the impotent critique
of artists whose Guardian reading parent’s
lamented Maggie’s closure of the mines north of London,
while saving for their loved one’s housing deposit.
This Art covers the vandalism of before.
Those graffiti cans smeared the marks of a pre-developed community.
What message did that graffiti have?
Nothing legible to those subscribed to The Guardian nor Mail.
Nothing at all, save
the names of the former youth of the estate,
it now priced to evacuate its dutiful placeholders,
so that those formerly lamenting the closure of Maggie’s mines, now
have a place for their children to pursue their adult childhood fantasies.
Isn’t that all of it,
to reach up to the sun
with fists filled with golden sand,
the hot grains fleeing through the cracked clasp,
and for the sun’s shine to be
silvered by the passing
moods of the earth.