(hello x)

this period was shameless renewal. i prayed it would be and so it was. february was not happiness it was perfect joy, round and full and abundant and everything i needed it to be. it is my birthday month and i turn twenty one and so decide to provide myself with twenty one birthdays in the month. it is also my mother’s birthday- she gave birth to me on her birthday and this year i try and give more than i have ever. i travel to brussels with my best friend and have the type of fun that can only ever be partially narrated. i laughed a lot and found new beauty in my face in this month.

march left me ready for the actual new year. i was now ready for review and renewal and progress checks and to shed and grow at the same time as the leaves from the trees outside. we could do it together. my handwriting changed. i got calmer and consciously tried to stop rushing so it changed my writing too. this is the last month of obligatory classes and lectures. this semester i’m taking two separate shakespeare classes and it is different for me. i haven’t felt this misplaced in classes in a very long time. there is normally always a contemporary module that i have to fall back on, to save me from uncomfortable conversations and glances in seminars. this month i have taken to writing poems in the lectures that i feel are too micro-aggressively racist, too obviously dismissive of my presence or humanity in sixteenth century england. my dissertation is falling together nicely in this month too. i lie, it is not falling, at this point i am dragging it together and working towards personal deadlines. my dissertation saves me as a black woman in academia, i find very small corners, aisles, shelves in the library that make me feel safe. black women save me again and again, bell hooks, audre lorde, dolly aimee mcpherson, jamaica kincaid, my mother, my sister, all of them. i find brief romance (pure curiosity) which will flourish and die in the next month. by his recommendation i find fela. i sometimes still listen to fela. i watch and rewatch the Maya Angelou documentary, i share it with everyone and i nearly cry each time. i thank Maya so many times in this month. i end this month so tired and so strong.

 

1.

i have never met anyone so proud and afraid of their scars.
he never covers them.
he draws them out when noone demands it
he drags them out, slow.
slower than his accent
when he pauses
and hauls the words out of his mouth
and he divides up big words
slices them
with patience
like they’re as callous as the skin he lives in.

-drafting up characters | this is childhood love, untold.

2.

 

walk away.
walk away now.
with the type of urgency others can’t detect.

– it is no longer safe| self-preservation.

IMG_3548
the greatest, in digbeth.

3.

a dream i had 04 02 17, written in poetry:

I asked you to pick. So in one hand you picked up all of the stuff I recognised. All of the love and the mess and the laughs and the stress and the rest of the stuff that is too familiar and necessary to name. with the other hand you picked up a bunch of stuff I didn’t know was mine. I didn’t recognise any of it. But you held it firmly, you held it just as firmly as you held all of my other stuff in your other hand. I asked you for names and titles of what all of that stuff was. I wanted to know. You didn’t answer me. I thought it was just because I wasn’t listening so I asked you again. I asked you and listened hard this time. I tried really hard to figure it all out and then when I couldn’t hear anything I cried. I lost my vision through my tears and I lost my way and I couldn’t see any of it not even the stuff that I knew and loved in your other hand. I lost it all because I needed to know it all and I needed to know what you held on to it, not with loose hands. Sometimes my curiosity is good and it leads to good and it makes me feel lucky, like a day of sunshine in February. But then, sometimes I walk through doors I really cannot handle. And then I can’t find the handle to go back. and that is possibly the worst feeling. The irreversible. But you never leave me there, too long. You always let me out of the room without the door, the passage way, trap exits then nothing and just suddenly and inexplicably I’m out and free and I don’t ever have to go back there again. I don’t know what you are holding, why I can’t see it, what is behind the door why I can’t experience it with ease like my friends do but that’s okay. I’m okay to sit in my part-time silence and fill it, not with definitions and empty guesses posed delicately enough I am fine to just sit. And have time apart from all of it and know that I will decode it, maybe? At some point? I will have access to certain rooms and I won’t be intruding when I do and the door won’t even need opening.

4.

i figured it out,
on a train again, with tears that stain again,
that god is not what i was taught (s)he was.

-able to reflect now.

poem hands 2
we deserve to dwell. 

5.

It’s like
You stole
All of the warmth that was missing
From ex and could-be lovers smiles
And gave it all back to me
Like I earned it. Like you’d returned it. Like I’d finally deserved it. You gave it all back
And it was so blinding
And unfamiliarly inviting
i cried.

– writing poems in your sketch book | february.

IMG_3298

6.

being soft must hurt too
it must hurt more than being resilient. it seems that, atleast, comes naturally.
but to be soft,

to forcibly deny your malleability,
to be easily moulded and sculpted and to evolve at a pace slower than your body can absolve to
that must hurt,
that must be hard.

you must be hard

to pretend for so long and to claim cloudiness,

when it hurts.
to absorb bullets rather than deflect.
to dwell in soft walls that muffle your words when you project rather than deflect off concrete walls
that must make you hard,
to the centre

-tbc| the softeness.

 

7.

 

the weight of a man is not considered irksome for the woman who must carry the burden of the world in her mind.

-another proverb for our daughter.

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8.

i will continue to be who i was
before you began to stare.
before your eyes gave me
suspicion of even my own movements of defense.

ofcourse i am cautious.

how can i be anything but defensive,

historically
you are more monstrous than i
you are more monstrous than i
you are more monstrous than i

you are more monstrous than i

-coping mechanisms mid-lecture (only 40 minutes left, i can bare this)

IMG_3377
keep going, keep sharing | march mantras.

 

9.

ofcourse you can laugh light.
we laugh to heave
and to release noise.
to cry
unsuspiciously.
it’s heavy,
it’s a heavy kind of laughter.

-more (Mother Maya inspired)

 

10.

And so when the caged bird finally sings
And you hear it
Will you respond? Will you sing back and offer praises and will you smile a smile that hurts and explain that you’ve been waiting for so long
Waiting for the caged bird to find voice
To find the beauty in it’s own song
Will you celebrate?
Will we sit together and formulate the greatest way to pass this story down so they cannot fabricate this day and pretend it did not happen.
Let’s pray. Let’s pray that you do not join them in the not so faraway
Who sit and the table, this table, and insist this is the day that Yah has made and so they say we should rejoice and be glad in it
But there is no truth in it
They give no proof for it as they sip
And spit out compliments at the melodies that pour out of our caged bird like ancient memories sourced from the back of a land
Or songs that feel like remedies healing pain you never knew that you had.
The bird sings like you and i aren’t there but we stare
Like it’s a performance
But i know that you know that it’s not
That it’s not about you
That it’s never been about you
But ofcourse you centre it around you to make sense of it. Ofcorse you do.
Noone’s waiting for your approval or removal from this cage
This bird sings like ain’t no one taking me away from this stage that i built for myself
Like oh it’s getting very difficult to ignore me now
But you ignore me now
For your own sake
The song plays on loop over and over again:

don’t be confined in silence.
when you have a beautiful song in your mouth
sing
if only for the knowledge of what the song sounds like.

-to my favourites, the caged birds.

this poem was completely inspired by my dissertation, by Maya Angelou. i almost forgot that i wrote it but it is deffo a favourite piece of mine. my way of speaking back, being thankful.

 

-amara amaryah.

i thank you so much for reading what i share x

 

 

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