Friday, July 22, 2011

Inside/Out // Ndani/Nje -- July 19, 2011


The figures that we chasin’, aren’t matchin’ the sorrow caused by the disappearance of a father figure
But the presence of a woman called a mother in the image of a father with no figures
Is what made us brothers and not niggers…… go figure
The image on the mirror in the morning!
Is it the reflection of the beautiful soul that’s mourning?
Or just the image of invisible evil that’s growing
Look what we lust for and the numbers of the sins
The logic behind religion and what lies they bring
The separation of the regions and the segregation of the skin
So what are we fighting for HUH!?
Are we seeking the freedom or the corrupted kingdom is sick in the dome
They affiliate with suppliers of firearms and producers of chromes
Look the death stats and those kids with no homes
Destruction of the Mother Nature for the extraction of the oil
Bring mass confusion and everything turmoil
Intelligent fools through brainwashing education
With rented tools, soil washing our nation
With false treaties, deficit budgets hence poor are dying
So when I spit venom unlike python whether in a cam, corner or when Mic’s on
I’ll moon walk the surface of the earth and cast a show just to let them roll on.


Actors in a play of our own making. 
Which part do I play? What lines do I say? 
Director barks “Relax…. Just improvise!  
Look at each other, what do you see?”
Looking at me, looking at you, we look at
Each other – blank stares searching for the 
Correct face, for  we share a single play. 
Play born of a moment, different people
Living, breathing, now proving our worth.
What brought us to the same place, no one knows.
As we take our positions, ready for the entrance,
Feet kick up dust, footprints mingle in the dirt. 

Setting: workshop, the far end of a shop.
Director sets the scene: “Warmth lingers
In the air born of friendship and  laughter”.
Then, wanting to get on, impatient,
Director cries “Feel it – Be it -  
Stop whimpering about!”  then “ ACTION!”
Whilst dreaming of Hollywood, of bigger
Budgets, starry eyed,  wishing away this
Dusty workshop, wishing  away these
Ordinary actors and this ordinary play.

Enter: two immigration officers.
Me, I look up from my sea of warmth, but
Wait! Are we in different plays? Have I read the
Wrong script? Is Director having a joke?
Playing a trick? Have the immigration
Officers deviated from the page?
For from these actors mouths come words so strange!
They have a point that they won’t make.
Make a different point to which I can’t respond! 
I have come unstuck. I do not know my words.

Eyebrows raise on Director, fierce eyebrows that say - improvise.
I find my voice, I say what in truth
Resides in me, bursting forth in torrents,
But each time the eyebrows arch in fury.
I do my best, and then again, each
Time I say things less reasonable to me.
Eyebrows calm, I have the right lines now.
I am relieved.

Right lines? Too late anger bubbles in my chest.
I rage at Director “Eyebrows raised just at me?
Only I say lines different from my first?
It is just a play, they don’t believe in what they say!
What’s inside is not what’s coming out!”

Director booms “What living thing’s the same
Inside and out? I dare you name me one!
Oversized fur coats have skinny rappers
Underneath, puffer jackets provide the
Puff out on the streets.  Fierce words froth forth but 
It’s fear that lurks behind”. Director takes a
Breath, …is off again…”Peel a fruit, thick skin
Thin flesh, dull outside, lusty, lusciousness
Beneath, smells lick the nostrils hint only
At the pungency to come, sugar cane
Juice gives succour to the thirst, but chew on
It’s fat, you’ll end up with a sore jaw, and
Fibres in your Throat! -- Humph” Director says
“It’s -- How -- It -- Is.”


Tonight my story starts inside; with little crabs, blue flashing fishes,
In a warm rock pool filled up with tide, sandy feet, sun-kissed, delicious.
Dripping caves of coral mystery, the memories laid down decide,
A charming, happy childhood history, makes home the place you feel inside.
Inside, low murmur of voices at tea-time, bone-china tinkles.. lazy day.. buzzing fly,
Grandfather clock ticks to resonant hour-chime, dog yawns and stretches..dusty heat.. open sky.
The deep orange sunsets, the company cheers, the night sounds, the dawn and savannah so wide
Warm and nurtured, inspired, at peace, belonging, that’s what it feels like when you’re inside.

Then stepping out to cold outside - harsh breath of winter, frozen air in face,
Deep Devon lanes, sculptured snow either side, have to try to exist in this place.
Kikoi no longer caresses legs dancing to Reggae beat, now wrapped round neck protecting and warming,
But have to succeed, to make a life, find your feet - so enjoy bark of fox.. hoot of owl.. frosty morning.
Then outside builds, beyond first chills, and grows a life of adventure, challenge and fun,
Travel the world, uncover its thrills, discover yourself, love, chase the sun,
Confidence in work and play, have a ball, step out with clear, determined stride,
Take it on, jump right in, try it all - because everything’s possible in the world outside.

But there’s little glimpses back inside, like swallows fly south, each winter, yearly,
A growing voice can’t be denied, that knows it needs to be somewhere, dearly,
A tugging heartstring, annual and faithful, acknowledges that the time will be coming
The magnetic pull back to the people, the places, will bring full circle, that belonging.
And I don’t know why, it’s under the skin they say, this place imperfect, some sadness, pain,
But then there’s the smiles..prayer call opening the day..starry night..thunder of monsoon rain
You can journey far and you can change your sky, but your soul, your origin, you can’t set aside
As a daughter of Africa, I answered the cry, and now I’m happiest back deep inside.


Cry my baby it's a bad bad day
We're on the wrong side of this iron gate
We’re crowded in in such a bad bad way
just waitin' for the beginning of our fate.

In here looking out and down a naked hall
we see free men walk to and fro,
pressed up against our spartan three walls
and the closed gate shut constrains our sprawl.

Squeezed in like matchsticks are we all.
Hands up, outstretched so to steady our stand,
reaching out for the close low ceiling and walls
trying to stand straight erect, not crumple or fall.

The lock clicks open, it snaps, there’s a clang
The gate squeaks open, but just for a brief open gap.
One more guy squeezes in, tight among our sweaty gang
Squeak, clang, the lock clicks shut with a snap, again.

Each one knows why he is here pressed in,
some RB number for something done wrong.
Each one perchance did a thing that shouldn't have been.
Some may get lucky, get out and away from this throng
walk soon again free men and on their way so strong.

The stench here within is so unseemly to bear
the aromas of rank sweat permeates hot stifling air.
A close stagnant massala-mix without much want to compare
Mixed with feces, old urine, dirty clothes and group despair.

So many eyes looking out away and down the hall
We await friends and family who we hope will help and give a care and call
may we not await too long in this lonely crowded space
Where if you be forgotten, you might despair and disappear without a trace.

UNTITLED/Eleanor Griplas

This is my most inner inner
My all soul, my thin skin
My holdmybreath
My tender flesh
My ownest own my I

This is my most inner inner
My no see, my no touch
My protective shell
Which hides my past
To keep me safe from pain

This is my most inner inner
My no entry, my you stay away
My thoughts stash
My secret pandora box
My hidey hole for one

and what about my outer outer
my open soul, my tough skin,
My laugh out loud
Show my flesh
My good time girl outside

I can show you my outer outer
With a big grin, in my deep voice
My smiley face
The life and soul
Living for here and now

So who is the true me?
My inside self or
My outside front
My self assured thick skin
or the small girl trapped within

I am my whole self
My two parts are equal self
My libra scale balanced self
Often brave but always true to
My ownest own my I

A KING-CUM-SLAVE/Said Suleiman

How can a lion be a lion
only when he is in the jungle
but turn to a rabbit
when he is just a foot away from the jungle?
How can a King be a king
only when he is in the palace
but turn to a slave
when he is an hour out to say hi to a neighbor?
How can a country be a country
only when it is within a country
but turn to a province
when it is outside the country?
How can you be a sharp knife chopping potato
only when you are at the market
but turn to a potato being chopped by the same knife
when you are somewhere else?
But attention!
attention the King-Slave model!
there will come a time
when you can’t be the lion
in your own jungle
You can’t be the King
in your own palace
You can’t be the country
in your own country
You can’t be the sharp knife
you used to be at the market
There will come this time
if it hasn’t come yet
can’t you liberate yourself from your own fears?
so that you can liberate yourself from the hidden manacles
which long have set you back
from the long waited success
the success which is just feet away
but can’t be reached
for the hidden manacles triple your fears
when you just think of the attempt!
there will come a time
when you will neither be the King
nor the King-Slave
but just a slave in your own palace
a SLAVE of the slaves!

COMMON//Gerry Bukini (the Anonymous Poet)

It is so common
To think that we all have something in common
The most common things I see
Are pollutant-mind-destructing scenes
Common mind-deleting scenes
While the common sense lies dumb within
Outside; the common things happen again
The brainiacs; invents new world maniacs
Turning brains into miniatures
And thinking capacity as a no-culture
I disagree using my uncommon common brain
To most of these common things
Speaking from within
Coz outside; I am just a common being
Living in the same common ring
But thinking outside that common thing
Coz I know I have commonsense
And not every common thing makes sense
So my common sense
Deletes me from common things
Now I’m the uncommon common thing
Who thinks
Commonsense is not common to everyone

I see strangely; with my six senses
I seek sense; to reach my stances
To me common has to make sense
It’s just sense, not sensibility
To prove it you don’t need genius’s ability
Coz it’s within you
Outside is just utility
That leads you to your sensible reasoning
And drives you away from brain pneumonic vulnerability
Brain maturity and purity
The characters of uncommon common being
It’s not about reaching the HIGHER BEING
This is seeing the common-self from within
Outside of this common thing
Not every common thing makes sense
Free yourself from common things
Common sense is not common to everyone
You have got to use your commonsense