Tag Archives: confusion

#355 ~ I thought you was Grown

I thought the numerical value one attached to a name and a birth certificate naively equated to an internal growth. Yet men are still young boys desperately crying out to their own search and rescue party that is lost in the confusion of  ‘maturity.’ And as you spoke I could see in the shyness of your smile and the confidence of your approach a little boy, so young, fragile and tragically innocent, with wide brown eyes looking desperately, scaredly, for a sign. So young and so vulnerable, yet cloaked in a broken voice.

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#316 ~ Psalm Series. 20

I look at the law

All the legal requirements, the legislation, the loopholes like hang ropes

and it frightens me. It irritates me, it frustrates me

the law which is incomprehensible, which seems solely to elicit punishment and pain.

I wish the saline that pools around my eyes wouldn’t cloud my unfocused vision

but rather refract the lies and help me to see the wonder of your

mystical, confusing but ultimately upright

ways.

Psalm 119 vs 18 – Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. 

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#178 ~ CHAV

It was a byword that slipped into our daily vocabulary. A slur, a mild insult, a term to incite satirical comedy. With their burbery hats, hair extensions, jogging bottoms, tight tops and teenage pregnancies, this cohort of social outcasts were the main winners of the annual ASBO ceremonies. They had funny names like Charmaine and Dave, they didn’t have parties but raves. On benefits, scamming the system, Grandma and Grandpa, Mum and Dad, the brothers, the sisters, and the children they’d already had before GCSE’s, all lived in free housing with the newest collections of CD’s, DVD’s, iPods and iPads, the extravagant things that ‘honest’ middle-class children never had.

Foul mouthed, vulgar, vermin and trash, a drain on our social system like an uncomfortable rash. They deserved to be made a mockery of. Their fake tanned selves discoloured our social image as father spent his days in prison, mum binge drinking, the children in a never-ending Police presence schism. Council House and Vulgar, Council House and Violent, Council House Associated Vermin, a ditch into which all fires went.

However you want to phrase it, I find a slight problem with what it intimates.

Yes, there are problems with our welfare system. Yes, there is corruption in response to Public compassion. Yes, our streets are littered with foul-mouthed youths who are over fertile and under productive. But eliding one’s financial status with their moral compass, one’s ability to work with their levels of violence, is, in and of itself, a serious misdemeanour, class-system misguidance.

To make comedy out of poverty can lead to murky waters. It’s like saying people with HIV all sprung from the book of Leviticus. Circumstances shape people. Characteristics are not limited to Job centre visits.

I am afraid that in our desire to make a quick laugh, we confuse those who belong behind bars for social misconduct, with those who are struggling to overcome their financial demons.

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#136 ~ A Silent Circumcision

(A work in progress: Initial draft)

You think you know me?

You think you understand

what it feels like to feel rusty iron shoved up between your thighs

at the age of nine, crying until your eyes

turned rheumy red, mimicking the blindness that endorsed this

abomination masked as

enforced chastity.

You think you hear me?

You hear my cry, my voice, my silent holla

as I wave good-bye to you

standing under dappled streetlights, the pavement creaking under the weight

of my souls bereavement

the face that glares back at me from those sealed windows

tightly bolted doors

the curtains screwed together  – except i’m the better whore

That’s right. I thought you knew me? Or didn’t I give you my name?

Oh, you want to come up all inside me

Get to know  me, as if what counts is on the inside?

Well let me tell you what’s up in here. Twisted fallopian tubes, bruised intestines

pools of congealing blood mixing, mixing

choking, beating

sealed shut with stitches wound tight

dark skin, once soft and fleshy

drawn taut like a stretched leather hide

a tiny hole, not like the orifice you described

Just enough to let the trickle of urine strike the insides

of these interlocked thighs

But shhh – why you laughin’?

Don’t you know silence is the sign of a purified life

As we sit, separated by styrofoam walls

each crouched over porcelain bowls, holes in the creaking, cracking, fecal stained floors

Silence is the sound of my worth. So silently I scream giving birth to Ibrahim, Joseph, what ever it’s called

Silence is the sound of my worth. So silently I piss, not groaning in pain as though my uterus has compacted into a spiked ball, as UTI’s sear through my crouched and quivering form

Silence is the sound of my worth. So silently is how i sit, giving you blank stares as i sit in the clinic for African Mutilation, found in the Elizabeth Garret Anderson Ward off Tottenham Court

road, dumb to your question, oblivious to your silent gestures.

I wanted to cry when they thrust that rusted iron deep into my soul

Seared the pointed needles, kept me drunk on alcohol

I wanted to protest at what they thought was best for me and my chastity

But i didn’t have the words, didn’t have the voice to say, no, this isn’t for me

When you do it, it’s a sign of worth. A symbol of your status as a man of the cloth, a man of honor, virtue, clean and pure,

That scaly foreskin that slips off hardly leaves a dent in your, male principle

Hardly leaves a scar on your manly stature

But when you do it to me…

I am not emasculated – in fact there is no word

I simply cease to exist

I am no more – just a silently screaming hole with a botched up cover holding me together

Till you come to claim me, pin me down, impregnate me

and ignore, this silently screaming horror, like a toothless jaw, wrenched open to envelope your – to envelope you.

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#115 ~ Ineffable

Critics speak of the ineffability of God who, through sacred rhetoric, can be incarnated into the man-made word, the unknown made manifest in the image of his Son. Metaphor creates the vivacious image which ignites the imagination and enables the incommunicable desires of the heart to be expressed in the language of thought. This in turn distills a passionate desire within the Speaker which elicits a response from the Divine.

What happens, when you are trying to express all that, but it isn’t a part of sacred rhetoric or divine poetry, but an examination essay? How do you incarnate the ineffable ideas of a students mind into a coherent language?

Take time, and remember, you are more than just a class mark.

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#104 ~ One hundred words and a Photo : 4

They looked cheerfully edible. The attractively strange adjective combination drifted ponderously through his mind as he gazed curiously up at the Lady. A tentative hand stretched slowly, hovering between the baby pink button-ties and the lemony-yellow. He wondered if they tasted like sherbets. The tantalizing colorfulness of her attire rigorously shook up the overbearingly bland urban backdrop that shrouded her. Saliva drooled from his toothless orifice as the rich material was coupled with the rich flavors that poured incessantly into the archaic street, permeating every nook and cranny. He just didn’t understand why she looked so very sad.

Photo:

Victoria O, Copyrighted

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#97 ~ Passion

There are certain words that education experts implore one not to use when applying for university. Passion is one of them. It falls gracefully into the category of clichéd phrases so overused and under-meant that they have come to signify nothing else but a generic desire for an undefined something. The language of romance has fused it into a symbiotic relationship with the semantic field of carnality, sensuality, desire, temptation, an abandon to the physical senses which burns us up in side. I burn with a passion for you, spoken in a deep throbbing voice, has become the modern Lothario’s key to any woman’s locked bedroom. Yet the appropriation and re-appropriation of the word passion for a variety of uses suggests to me, that, bound up in the very root of the word, there still remains something pertinent, profound and compelling. The idea of a passion, being passionate, evokes a sincere and powerful feeling within us, even if it is received by staid ears.

Derived from the Ancient Greek pashko passion in fact, means to suffer. It is an intense and compelling emotion that over time has come to connote positivity. Yet its evocative nature is so because at its heart it is a description, a typographical signifier, of the act of suffering, and suffering is the clearest evocation of the humanity of man.

And here we are 97 days into this blog and approaching one of the most profound and renowned acts of passion known in human history. The passion of the Christ. The reminder that God who so loved the world, so loved his creation that his heart broke in distress at our brokeness that he incarnated himself into human form to suffer for us. To be a public expression of passion which would culminate in a public execution and resurrection.

These are words that I have had infused into my very brain from a young age. If my heart was a piece of WHSmith’s paper, it would be torn by the number of times I have, in absorbing this information,  had it ‘written’ on my heart. I know these words, I know these ideas and I confess myself to be a believer. Yet what does it mean to suffer, to have someone die for me. Though in rhetoric I profess to believe and to understand, I have neither physically felt the romantic passion that lures me into fantasy daydreams, nor have I experienced the rapturous passion of affective piety. I suppose I am also a passionless girl, having never suffered, never really suffered enough to evoke intense emotion in someone else.

Today, however, I stood in the temperamental weather that characterises British springtime, In Trafalgar Sq, Central London, in a hole-ridden jumper, green tights and an avant-garde fro-hawk (afro mohawk made using a variety of Boots clips) and watched the passion of  Jesus Christ re-enacted before my eyes, emblazoned on large screens to a crowd of thousands. I watched as ‘Jesus’ rode into Jerusalem to the shouts of Hosannah on a real donkey. I saw his kind eyes, his righteous anger in the money-changing Temple, I heard his cry in the garden of Gethsemane as he begged, in a raw voice for this Cup, this future to be taken from him. And the peaceful resignation of obedience which is to be a model to the way I live my life as a Christian, humbly accepting to the Father’s will, trusting in His goodness and righteousness. I heard the sound of the whip crack on his body, and then I watched as it was broken before me, before all of Central London to see, as they hung him from a cross and stabbed his side.

I knew all along it was an enactment. These were actors and actress reliving and re-telling the gospel story. I knew that the shredded, torn, battered and bruised skin that drew gasps from the multi-racial, multi-faith, multi-generational crowd was artistically applied prosthetic makeup. The blood that drenched his skin, streaked the sides of his limbs and tainted the fingertips of members of the audience who helped pick him up when he struggled under the weight of the real-life cross, was make-up, paint, in essence, fake. Yet in that moment, captured on television screens which so easily hold us captive with murder-mysteries, banality and the dark reminder of the news, I couldn’t maintain eye contact. I struggled to allow the truth that what this actor was enacting someone really did for me. Not because I don’t believe it isn’t real. But because I didn’t want to acknowledge that amount of suffering, a passion I could not comprehend.

Yet it ended with hope. The resurrected body, the love in the eyes and the final message that boomed from loud speakers, imploring us, the crowd of people from all walks of life, to be a light in this world. To love our neighbours, stand for peace, be bold, have faith, be and do love. To go out and be the good news in this world that is crying out for it. And at the end the Bishop of London came, giving a blessing, and calling for us, in whatever our mother tongue was, to say together, the Lord’s prayer.

For one of the few times in my life, this Easter, thanks to Ma, I shall be sitting down to delicately peel back thin layers of gold painted foil, revealing beneath, the fragile construction of a chocolate Lindt bunny. And I won’t be alone. Must of us will be delving into chocolate which, though we eat it regularly throughout the year, we suddenly feel a desperate need to eat more. Some of us will have eaten fish today, Good Friday, most probably won’t know why. A number will delve into lamb on Sunday, again most likely unsure why.

Even though I will and have partaken in all these cultural rituals to mark this Christian festival that, in terms of the annual calendar, was superimposed on a Pagan festival of new life and re-birth, there was something i experienced today watching that monumental act of sacrificial suffering. That concept of the utmost love played out with a sincere integrity. That someone could love me, love you, love the potential of this world so much, that they would sacrifice their life, and in that sacrifice proclaim to all the world, that Death, our greatest fear, has no power. Death which pushes so may people away from religion, Death which brings fear into the hearts of the young and old, Death that drives people to a superficial madness as they try to escape its clutches, Death, which breeds hate, destruction, anger, war, violence, Death which we feel is the final voice of doom in this ‘cursed’ world. It has no power. Love. That same word, like passion, which students are told to flee from, the way Paul tells us to flee from temptation. Love which has also been bastardised, over familiarised and commercialised. That other almost unidentifiable word, has conquered it. Love which didn’t ask for anything in return. Love that reinforces our sense of worth. Even those that have been condemned by the world, called promiscuous, damned, abominations in the eyes of God, outcasts, rejects, adulterous, murderous, the least of the least, yeah, that Love, died for us.

How can I comprehend that kind of passion? That passion which supersedes any mac-daddy’s romantic ‘gassing’, ‘breezing,’ sweet-nothings?

Only with the utmost nonplussed sense of awe, gratitude and confusion. But a happy, perplexed and grateful confusion all the same.

Greater love has no man than this – that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

I don’t know who you are, but he did it for you, as much as he did it for anyone who professes to believe. And he said, in all this darkness, you are loved and there is hope, there is new life. 

That’s my reason for the season. God Bless.

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