Where I am From

My 10 year old daughter wrote this for her class assignment a week ago or so. I was at Back to School parent night at her class, and saw the poems written by the class posted on the wall. I cannot say how proud I am of her and her ability to write as well as her maturity. It is moments like this that makes me feel I must be doing something right as a parent even if I don’t know what that is.

The poem has references to specific memories we share as family but also it has a lot of symbolism and metaphors for issues, perspectives and values that are so siginificant to me and our extended family’s heritage and histories.

Kids can be so smart and observant too. I hope the world gives them the place and space they deserve.

Here it is below:


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I am a writer rendered speechless
Flabbergasted and incinerated
I am a poet left with castrated stanzas
Mummified and stupefied
limbs chopped off like remains of carnage
they have come to feed, you see
those old men with pink faces and
blue neckties
tie a yellow ribbon around the ole oak tree
Imprisoned in this facade with circus clowns
and the bears and lions smell rotten in their cages
their weak tails and trunks floppy from wear
and tear
we have been left to hang on lynches
our necks lesioned by fibrous piles
high and dry, because according to the book
we are savages with our slanted eyes and pussies
muddy skin and broken backs
we have been whipped till senses reel
we reel in this vortex
there is no end.
We spiral down
to hell.
There is no God.
At least not in this colored world
not in this jukebox of a quarters
They are might Gods. Gods in Gold. Gods with Dough. Gods in High Towers. Gods with High Powers.
In my country, we appease the gods with wine and dine and bills pinned to possessed shamans. But no these Gods. Shamans cannot reach them. This is their Kingdom. Even gods can be reached by commoners, but not kings. Kings decapitate upon their fancies.
how dare i iterate
how dare i this subject to their kingdom be literate
how dare i this subject to their kingdom be legitimate
and so, banish them from this kingdom, they say
this is the decree
this is the speech
It is not that I am left speechless
it is I am left heartless
and I am a poet, with words as my heart.
so these verses that flowed
are a river of bleeding….
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Solitude hungry

The hunger of a poet:

Manic motions of the day
Vortex of whirlwind instances
left unchecked, without reflections
run ablaze as diluted cocktail
drunken state of incoherence
an incohesive self
an incongruent life
the inevitable black out that ensues.

The poet cannot remain
in such abyss
akin to the apocalypse
of the soul
She starves for the quiet
A longing for solitude
where her own voice is heard
in the winds that blow
from life’s currents
and carry echoes of fortitude.


We break our fast
On the side of the road
That takes us places

While we left our beds
Warm with stories incomplete

Ours isn’t a huge journey
Just one trail forged by discovery.

We have traveled far in one night
Breakfast marks a new day.

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so many menus visited and served
yet I remain hungry

as if I have fasted for years

tongue tied and void of
tasteful bites
only burnt air circulates

and dropped like hot potato cakes
flat and thick with

I sit by the low table
while the diners feast into oblivion
and watch beer bottle caps pop open

until we find


Just like
Smoke in a hookah
Cleansed and released

Received by you
Disbursed and expired
Dissolved upon exit

Smoke does not last
But visits your bosom home

I am a visitor
I come and go
And you, stay

The Hunters Will Depart

I have no words to speak
no honesty to spill.
My truths dwell in apathy.

I hover, stagnant, in constraint time.
The space is vast but
there is no floor for depth.
I resent.

So I play dead
and hope that soon
the hunters will depart.