Tag Archives: fear

Squatting in Space

Railing from missteps

Time slips through my fingers

I can’t catch breaths

With every blink, I beat my breasts and suckle solar flares

Somehow I’m running from my right to be bare

Yeah!

I wash in polarising pools of platitudes and curses

What’s love if they only say patience is a virtue?

My life ain’t chapters they’re verses

I hammer definitions like a wordsmith.

Flattered by my flaws there’s no iron in my steel.

I’m arrested by bars but.

Somehow I am the keys I can’t feel.

How can I drive my life if everything else takes the wheel?

You tell me

What’s the formula one needs?

Is it bleed, heal and repeat?

Is it greet, grope and retreat?

Is it please, police, preach and never teach?

When you’re aiming for the stars….

You don’t lighten the darkness reaching for bleach!

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Fear? Oh!

As a male who is happy to adapt to any city, I’m generally comfortable wherever. I’ve been to London enough times to know you have to be savvy with the way you carry things due to the sheer number of people around you at any one time. I’m privileged as a male to (rightly or wrongly) believe, that I am at a lower risk of crime against me than a female may be.

However, after my colleague’s purse was taken on the first day of our company induction in London, my awareness of my safety was heightened. I found myself holding my bag tighter, I didn’t want any bulges that told you where things were on me. I was wary of anyone in sports or casual clothing that wasn’t in line with particular looks. Wary of being in confined spaces (lifts, tube etc) with them

At the top of my suspicion list were people that looked like me, followed by other ethnicities, those who spoke English and those that didn’t. At the bottom of the list lay predominantly white professionals.

As I returned from dinner during the middle of the week it dawned on me that, I was possibly projecting. Projecting fears that never manifested themselves. Those people didn’t (and still don’t) need my stereotyping, they don’t deserve to be looked at as potential thieves or muggers who might injure me for saying no their intentions.

I recognise that I was once a young black male who was seeking to avoid being seen that way. The overall majority of people are law-abiding folk looking to get from A to B. Who am I to think the way I did? I questioned my automatic suspicion of black males as being the perpetrators. Why didn’t I think that it was simply an opportunist? Why did I think that they, along with non-English speakers to be the biggest threat to my safety?

In truth, humans will do terrible things by choice or by accident at any given point. Not everyone can afford to hire security to protect them from what may never happen. We can only take a limited number of actions to protect ourselves. Beyond that, we are at risk of damaging our own mental health by living in fear. Fear that causes anxiety by magnifying the smallest possibility of negativity. Fears that lead to words and actions that could cause harm to those we are fearful of.

Pre-emptive strikes against someone who has no intention to hurt you is your problem, not theirs.

 

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Brothers in Season

If you listen to the movies, life happens when you don’t make plans. Materially successful people will sell you a book that tells you to make plans for your plans.

If I’d had my way I would have changed career and left this city long ago. It would all have been on my terms and conditions, there wouldn’t be any of this, beyond your control malarkey.

When the mist of Christmas cleared, I was thrust into a spiral that at times became a whirlwind of despair and frustration. There were days when I couldn’t face the mirror let alone the world, days where I didn’t want to hear my own thoughts or superficial well-wishing. Give me what I need or leave me alone was the sentiment. I believed I had to roll with the punches and keep the scars hidden. The blessing in the storm was that for my sanity, I wasn’t allowed to do that.

For me, the darkness that descended occupied 3 out 4 seasons this year. Despite the fears, the tears, the rants and the rejections I find myself grateful for the unexpected brotherhoods that have developed. Support networks of guys who somehow appeared when I’ve needed them to keep the light on for me.

I’m thankful for the school friend who introduced me to a global group of like-minded guys who were open about their struggles and gave each other support.

I’m thankful for the Man Up project which has given me a greater understanding of the journeys to and through masculinity. I’ve been able to drop a mask or two and find acceptance waiting for me. I have learned that masculinity cannot truly be taught from one-dimension.

I’m thankful for my brother CJ who has been the general on the ground who doesn’t use “how are you?” as a greeting.

By the end of August, I will have told my story to a few hundred strangers. At some point, I’ll have new colleagues to create new stories with. It may take time to recognise all the lessons that this season within seasons has taught me.

However, the one I resonate with the most is that life is a team effort. As we understand each other, we grow, we become ourselves, we fly higher and sew into new teams.

For this, I am thankful.

 

Photo credit: Rob Mcleod

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Home Is A Diving Board

diving board

Trapped between the sound of splashing and touching water

Wearing fanfares to allay fear

Fostering first finishes from ticks glimmering

They say…

Stand within ear shot of the gun to know your target

Is clapping the fruit of the harvest?

Drown, and become a compass from a floating carcass.

Another one who did the math only to make up the numbers

Saddled with sackcloth, shame and numbness

Straddling feint margins, seeking waves as markers.

Struggling to strum the melody of the barking.

Seeking to beat this with heartstrings.

A war-torn dome is only enlightened by stillness.

Choose your weapon before tumbleweed kills you.

Strike with every breath, release gold or reach home.

Time the trapeze, then reach and step.

Let your soul know this was a good body to rent.

 

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Boy in the corner

Trade your suit and glasses for sackcloth and ashes

Remain pure to your past self, unmasked and passive

Stay sophomoric and tragic, take slap shots, and don’t panic!

Affray? We’ll wreak havoc, you’ll be a mascot for the moribund

Stay savvy, trade your muses and nuance for fame and famine

Pyramid schemes for your dreams, is it fair?, oh you’ll manage

Imagine what we fashion when we see through your glasses.

Tape your education through conversation then charge you for classes

We’ll rape your souls in the marriage bed and claim it never happened.

So what will it be, your roots or our fruits?

The trenches or the barracks?

Do you believe anything will stick if we hold the field of carrots?

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Dovedale (52/39)

Amidst the clapping trees and booming hills
She stood

Frozen like taxes until her interest rate rose
Trying to catch the note of the strumming stream

As the whispering wind started rumours
She believed
She’d fall
Pregnant with fear
Her comfort zone was born

Bairns skipping over stepping stones
Each step changing tones
By this river I have known
She stood

Humming the note of the strumming stream
Thawing out thoughts of why

This filly affiliated with feeling afraid
Her feelings were frayed yet
She walked over water like cobbled stones were her disciples

Stepping out like her faith says
Converting the unbeliever inside her
Drowned in joy, I was

We sang the song of stepping stones in harmony
For admist the clapping trees, above the roaring hills
She soared

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Filed under 52 Week Challenge, Random Poetics

Admission Fee

I’ve been that over zealous Casanova
My supernova’s sleeping on me
Now the flow’s diluted with copious suspicion
Can Jesus still save me if I abort this mission?
I screen time hoping my fears stop watching me
I need those collard greens to replenish my pasture
I’m pastoring my reasoning, preaching prosperity to my pondering
Drowning in the flood of next steps
I am the last breath of a frog prince
The kiss of death may be my only hope
If resurrection is for believers am I agnostic?
I’m weaving memorials with prophecy like a cross-stitch
Cull me or crown me, I’ll live or learn what loss is

I am a badger calling a spade a spade in a game of hearts
I’m on a bored walk hoping cupid can re-tip that dart
I am 180 degrees of honesty on reflection so I know in part
I impart jewels of liberation like engagement rings through inception
Is the kiss of death classed as a public sign of affection?
If so I’m collecting autographs hoping to sell them to the highest bidder
Storage wars rumble on and if I lose I’m a sinner, if I win I’m a saint
Without honour in defeat there’ll be a new past to date
So I watch and wait for that one six o’ eight

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