It’s been 9 days since I ‘went on hiatus’. This blog has been on my mind every single day of that hiatus! It’s like my baby, I am always thinking about it. This isn’t a hectic blog post. Just sharing a short poem I wrote the other day in the library.
THE GOOD AND THE BLACK
Too dark for your comfort,
The black canvas of a night sky conceals his nefarious intentions
Intentions that are in your head more than in his
All made up, he is a criminal,
His crime? The colour of his skin
He commits another crime,
He stole, stole the heart of your little girl
You thought you had it,
but he picked it right out of your pocket
you thought you had locked it
Rather vanilla creams than chocies and other mixed flavours honey
You’ve let her know since she was tiny
You fabricate twisted philosophies
Bad things happen in the dark
Black epitomizes evil; white lie
The darker the berry, the bloodier the juice
The darker the berry, the more worms in it
Your English teacher lied.
For there are two kinds of people in this world:
The good and the black
PS: I recognise that race is a touchy subject, these are my thoughts, please avoid any nasty comments. And just for clarity, this satirises negative stereotypes of black people. But any good lover of poetry will recognise that and not need this ‘disclaimer’.
10 thoughts on “The Good and the Black”
I promised myself I would get some work done this morning and I really meant it, that is until I came across your brilliant blog. I love your poetry, the more I read, the more I want to read more! Also I really like this particular poem; I like what you did with those typical English proverbs. It’s strange how the concepts of colour, race and morality are all intertwined in a messy heap in language and consequently also in our minds. Our words say so much about our believes as a society and often they say very conflicting, contradictory things. As children we hear troublemakers being referred to as black sheep yet we are also taught the darker the berry the sweeter the juice.
P.S. seeing as you’re a romantic I though you might be interested to know black was the color worn by English romantic poets in the 19th century.
Aww, shucks, thank you for the compliment! I love it when I get feedback from fellow bloggers (non-bloggers too). I never really experienced race in Kenya but having lived in South Africa for 3 years, that’s all I see, everyday. It is in my face and it is revolting. I don’t write much poetry actually, I wish I did. Maybe I should
I remember the first time I came face to face with the ugly face of racism in England. My brother lives in Cape Town and he too is reviled by the constant racism he faces. It’s enough we tolerate it in Europe, seeing as its not our land, but I couldn’t imagine having the patience to do so in my own continent.
You definitely should write more poetry, you’ve clearly got a talent for it.
I do not think racism should be tolerated anywhere.
I live in Cape Town! what does your brother do here?
What a small world! He co-owns and works in a warehouse. Every time we talk I ask him about his customers and some of them sound truly awful! He tries to tone it down, I think to make me feel better. Nevertheless it seems dreadful; not just the white and black division but also the division between South African black people and other black people.
Do you experience that too as a Kenyan?
I had written a really long reply and now it’s gotten deleted! so annoying. haha. I won’t be able to rewrite everything.
Well, I haven’t experienced any direct racism. The whites at my university seem to like foreigners and don’t mind blacks from other African countries. They mind black South Africans. Black SAns on the other hand mostly hate other Africans because they believe that they are taking their opportunities. SA has had xenophobic attacks before, and xenophobia is still very real. They especially seem to hate Zimbabweans, Somalis and Malawians because there are so many and they are entrepreneuring and their businesses thrive. I hear in Johannesburg they hate Kenyans.
My uni strives for racial integration so while there aren’t any explicit racial issues, there are some subtleties. Like some white people will mock a Zimbabwean professor’s accent, but not say a thing about the Greek lecturer whose accent can’t be deciphered. Little things like that
Sometimes I find the little things the hardest to deal with. At least with outright racism you know precisely where you stand and how you should respond but subtler examples leave you unsure about how to react. A certain look or unfunny “joke” always leave me confused. Sometimes I spend days analysing and re-analysing what people have said to me and my own response. Was it a joke, and if it so, was it my fault I didn’t find it particularly funny? Am I too sensitive or should I have made it clear that I felt insulted? The little things are the worst!
It’s stupid and dangerous to have so many enemies in your own country. The SA should at least build bridges with the other Africans seeing as building bridges with the whites doesn’t seem to be a real possibility at the moment. We have so much in common. We’ve all experience the plight of imperialism and to this day we all bare the scars of it in our economy, in our shambolic politics and our xenophobic attitudes. So I can understand why Somalis and Zimbabweans are migrating to other countries considering the political instability and corruption of their countries. What I don’t understand is why the SA and other blacks are so unsympathetic towards each other!
Surely we should be each others’ allies?
thank you. 🙂