Tag Archives: male

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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Filed under Just Living

Old vs New Man

To some, the new man seems more feminine. They seem too sensitive, soft, more cushions and curtains tan grit and graft. They don’t know where man has gone. This new man isn’t real man. They don’t fit, they’re the ones fighting for acceptance. They find fewer outlets for their kind of guy.

Is this new man an evolution? Is it the standard for men to come? Or is it just a phase that will go full circle? How does sensitive man teach the toughness that manhood is known for?

I see this so-called new man as more of an expansion to the existing property rather than a standalone building. It is an exciting addition to the stoic menu of masculinity. Our base instincts to build, conquer, fix will always be there. It is simply that we have better ways to protect ourselves. Better ways to heal.

Protection from being honest and open. Protection by knowing what our fights really are. Allowing ourselves the chance to heal properly and become stronger for it.

It is also about better day-to-day maintenance of the man mentally and physically. We have access to greater resources than ever before. Can we trust ourselves to use them?

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Filed under Just Living, Non Poetic Blogs

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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Lady not a Woman

Subscribe to junk male, they get junk males, then junk males because they want a man with all the tools not drunk nails.
Dressed like hello kitty make it quack, give up duck tails, having a party for your pit, no more drive, ruck fails.
Mind in the box, nobody listens, hard walls. Reality’s a foreign sport, odd ball, their onboard with mogwai, bandwagon.
No man is an island but woman shouldn’t be, another, whole, enough to keep her flag in, stead of his

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Waste man’s world

I need a new concept and I know that its ridiculous

Excuse me lady can I take your particulars

You know I’m God’s gift a smoother St Nicholas

Say I’ll take you to the moon or nowhere in particular

Can I get in to your knickers love ah damn my shame

Your hole’s my goal so now you know my aim

If I put my hands on your frame I’ll get in to your brain

Tell you to to picture us and how we’ll be loves reign

Fill you with becoming though I’m no more than a cum stain

I’m a good man’s nemesis you’l be the mess that he gains

See I need a new concept and I know that its ridiculous

If I achieve my goal I promise I’ll stick to us

Screw and move my honesty wasn’t meant to be pernicious

It’s a dog eat dog world but your meat will be delicious

Cos I’m a fool

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B.A.Nning Order

Still by my skin tone I should have a sports team or a ring tone

Yet for years I was skin and bone because I walked to work unable to afford the bus home

But I am not your broke ass negro

When it comes to relations I’ve been alone

Disowned by my own

Made to feel a sell out because I didn’t buy into narrow minded sing-a-longs

I like chocolate vanilla and cinnamon

But I am not your broke ass negro

The walls are speaking I feel them breathing

My life leaves some grieving about underachievement

I’ve had to patch and weave things to survive and feed me

They snipe and lead me like a big cat to the Zambezi

Try to drown me in comparison, liken me to Audley Harrison

But I am not, your broke ass negro

I am not your broke ass negro I am that brother fighting to live

Not your gym class hero, just a lover dying to give

My equities zero but I’m nouveau riche

Just capitalist minds won’t measure me on the populist list

Yet I seek to better me

Some just want a better me, while others try to feather me

Tickle my ego, stick in the needle be infused with my substance as here we go

Get off on my supply and leave me to die,

A reluctant broke ass negro

If I was broke I’d be dead but my heart is still beating

I’ve taken some beating but this egg will be an omelette when it’s done heating

See along the way I’ve had to go to some wild places and gain some flavours

I’ve had to up my skill level, change some behaviours

I’m aware of my flaws I want to be loved for my plus points

Instead of being derided for being an urban myth, a great man that never wasr

Don’t take this as unsubstantiated moans cause

I’ve learned to be patient but I wont tolerate the

Lack of respect for the struggles I face the, position in my race

In my lane I keep the pace

I’m not working at your favourite pizza place

I’m not sitting on my backside with 4 kids by 3 women playing Xbox

I’m not hustling my number none hit at the train station with the immortal question

Yo blood, do you like hip hop

I respect the hustle and I don’t feel a hero

But I’ve got 2 degrees with the strength to keep knocking on the door of a career so don’t you dare label me a broke ass negro

Don’t say it with your eyes, with your heart, with any of your body language

I want to be able to do more than treat myself to a subway sandwich

See I’ve planned my years around career progression

Avoided holidays like science homework then we’ve hit recession

Hit the rocks of stress but never sunk into depression

So to the guys with relatives who say when folk ask what you do – don’t tell them

To the guys that work hard and don’t get the recognition they deserve I hope you have or find someone that makes you happy and helps you be your best

To the guys that regardless of how hard life hits them they get up strengthened

Hear my expression and adopt or lengthen

I am not your broken negro

You need to mend your ego, give it an abortion

I refuse to be a broken man, I strive for bigger portions

For I AM ME

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Every Man

While you hold me to his debt I’m not every man you ever met
Yes my appetite you whet as you’re a classier name than prêt a manger
But your not meat on the bread of a moment of lustful throbbing
As I’m not every man you ever met I want to take the opportunity without threat
To know your nature and spirit and earn respect creating a sense of your loyalty and longing

Because I’m not every man you ever met
If first dates are a performance make yours a tight set
My hook will sink to your minds depths and make your mind sweat just to see if we can be anchored before I start the learn the lines that make you writhe all wet
I want to know if this could be a long term holding rather than just room to let

If I’m not every man you’ve met should that concept of us be tainted to the point of regret?
See between my boys and I we’ve been heart broken, done the heart breaking
But you’re not the devil and yes its pain staking that I’m claiming not to be every man you’ve ever met but it is a gamble and I can’t afford lose this bet because I am not….every man you’ve met

See now if you were every woman I’ve met I’d be your full time ego massager, self-confidence builder, find your self parlour, good man experience, game simulator, half-heart magnet, status elevator and so you want to say its because all men have commitment issues
If you’re every woman I’ve met I might need security just to miss you when you’re not around
I prefer to think every woman is profoundly different so I take every one I meet as a lesson in the art of perfecting my manhood

A man should know himself and have a stronger desire to make him better than to make you wetter.
Bad times I’m not dead to , but if I’m every man you’ve met you should know how to handle me, untangle me, get the upper hand on me, be a better man than me
Know how blessed I be, exactly what my best will be and how to get he best of me
I’m already praising God for how blessed we’ll be, it’ll be perfect…

Or… when we have peace will you create war because you’re bored
As I’m every man you’ve ever met, would you want to know more?
Why should I be the one you adore, can’t you find someone you’ve never met so I can be free of his, his and his debt or am I your reason number 2004 to be lesbian

You aren’t every girl I’ve ever met, but I’ll meet  someone else I’ve never met so that I can be male but as far out of your range I’ll ever get because I’m not your target practice

My glass is half empty and I want someone to match this mentality I practice while your confidence gets you a King size bed with a queen size mattress
Or a doormat instead of me because I’ll never be every man you met and as your next will never be as good as I get
You can have this poem as my reason why

See you could be my bird but you aren’t so fly and besides…
I’m grounded

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