Hill top green cliff seaside beach.
Daisy flower silent speech.
All the power matters reach.
Dividing space existence breach.
Sense and meaning endless teach.
Circles are the only shape.
Nothing really is at peace.
do you understand all the laws that surround you?
and all the repercussions of the actions that define you?
or do you understand them like when nature gives you a sign
and you puzzle life away trying to get to a design
or have you humbled down so low
that you don’t need to understand
and it’s better safe than sorry under any circumstance
or have you reached the point
where you’ll give it another go
cos if you get down to that point my dear
then there’s nowhere left to go
and you might as well throw in the bloody towel
and start growing an afro
cos I’ve done had it up to here you know
and all of this just goes to show
once you’ve seen it then you know
I only have one memory
and its not even mine
I walked down that road
ignored the sign
I really didn’t know though
What I would find
Numbers and lines
Numbers and lines
Numbers and lines made me lose my mind
Back Where The Paths Begin
Some men love the idea of Islam
for its manliness and its femininity
the gendered garb
scarves like petals round a woman’s face
feet marching with a purpose
heart stirred with beauty
the allure of being manlier
kicks a kink in their path
and the lamp shining
on a womanhood bashfully admired
disappears behind a brick wall.
The frowns deepen
the march becomes military
the segregation obligatory
no touching hands – don’t break
my wudu’ – and the beards are now
not thoughtfully stroked but
firmly put in their place.
Chivalry is confused with chauvinism,
gallantry with greed.
Man ascends to the position
he feels is owed to him,
a towering throne from which to judge
how well the womenfolk
are keeping their earlobes covered
lest the animal within him wakes
and he grows so comfortable there
it seems this seat of power was
made purposely for him.
Barbed wire goes up to warn off girls
who might think they
could grow learned and give advice
and every passing decade sees
fewer of them sneaking through the palisade
until the lookouts start confirming
the old ones’ belief:
they just don’t do intelligence like us.
Meanwhile sunlight dashes
fleet-foot over beardless faces
laughing in private, weeping in private
knowing in private, loving in private
cracking almonds, brewing tea
holding a lost one in their arms
stroking her hair while she finds herself
seeking in dreams and the unseen
for guides whose hands
they are forbidden from kissing
and all this round the crook in the path
where the lamp still flickers
and the watchtower sentries
have forgotten the path begins.
Hidden Under The Things They Grasped
They carried a plague on their fingers
when they went to seek gold and sell guns
took a ruler and pen to a map
birthed nations by caesarean
sliced human terrain in hot places where
their germs settled into the hot skin
and they returned thinking
their hands were clean
only the sores on their palms were
hidden under the things they grasped
They took back their queen and flag but
the disease was marrow-deep
fed by fictions of our happiness
ads for things they cannot possess
because they are working in the factories that make them
films with white heroes and brown villains
until some took the bait offered
by canapé waitresses at arms fairs
grinning bankers offering loans to pay for it all
and one surgically created side
was pitted against another
so the wound never heals
And the sickness we gave them never left us
the pockmarks on our diseased body
are hollows in the wet sand
along the outline of our nation on the map
And we decry their assault on our fortress
calling their desperation
€1,500 to board a lethally overcrowded boat
the desire for a safe home and enough food
And while the borders grow metal spikes
develop a rash of guard dogs
ossify into concrete walls
a man and his wife
hold hands each night
and try to leap onto a train
travelling fast underwater
until they reach the promised land