I am excited to launch the first in a series of children’s books in collaboration with a wonderful illustrator and friend.
Today a new colleague asked me : “Where are you from?”
and she told me that I don’t look Indian.
She shrugged off my reply and said: “What about your parents then?”
I told her: “From Bradford, second generation.”
An old colleague confuses me with the last Asian face
Alma’s been on maternity leave for nearly a year and my name is too hard to remember.
When I correct him he struggles to say Selina
and jokes that my name could be easier.
The prompt today reminds me I want to pay tribute to many people including one of my favourite poets: Muhammad Ali. I am working on a tribute. For now here’s my recreation of his Recipe for Life.
I tried to recreate Muhammad Ali’s recipe for Life
As yet I haven’t mastered it right.
I need more patience. My ingredients are running low.
I put in too much laughter, when it’s more concern I add to grow.
Faith is an acquired taste and can get a little tricky.
I keep a bagful with me, in case I need some quickly.
My friends use little and large between them and I ask for their advice.
I use more alone so as not to offend because I want to do it right.
It’s always there though not running spare as I don’t want to run out -
Noone can argue with love and happiness I freely spread them about.
needs filling up, I’m a few cups short of the recipe.
Concern and kindness are in large supply but my problem is the moderation.
Willingness is somewhere in the back, a few burns is what used up all my patience.
Once it’s perfected, upon reflection,
I can say I learnt from the greatest.
Am I a threat or threatened?
Even the walls have eyes and ears.
I walk through the interchange with fear of being feared.
What’s that I hear?
Grunts as they speak about me.
Can I believe what I see?
Parents grabbing hands, distinctly removing loved ones from me.
From my path.
Is it paranoia?
What is it that I possess?
You judge me from the way I dress.
From the beige in my face.
What a fall from grace.
If you look me up you’ll find I always lived by the book.
Suddenly my mind is over-conscious – I used to blend in, now do I even fit in?
Faith lost in pretenders.
Objective becomes selective.
Now more people look beyond a lens and a self-fulfilling agenda.
Amid soul searching and scrolling,
petitioning and polling.
The divide multiplies.
I walk through the interchange intolerable.
Eyes closed, music on.
Yesterday’s challenge from NaPoWriMo.net was to write a lune – a take on the Japenese haiku.
His smile pleases
Hers arouses suspicion and anger
Ignorance is dangerous.
They enforce fear
She must live a lie
Ignorance is intolerance.
She cuts her
It is never spoken about
ignorance is destined.
He bloodies him
He calls him a deviant
Ignorance drives hate.
They are labelled
Judged for facing their realities
Ignorance is prejudice.
She speaks up
Nobody knows how to help
Ignorance kills lives.
Forgive me –I broke the law,
But if you had walked in my shoes and saw what I saw,
You’d know my motives,
So my children can live,
a better life, and too, their kids.
A Mexican working hard in the US to support families,
south of the border, with no peace of mind - whether she’s been shot, by an Arizona ranger - whether he’s been jailed, by Operation Gatekeeper.
Lost across the Imperial Desert or over the mountains north of Tecate.
Mexicans drown in canals and rivers. While the army militarize the border…
A 30 hour coach journey, in the faith of living better.
Only to die of dehydration, hypothermia or xenophobia.
Busloads of Polish people, skilled in many trades,
make the journey from Warsaw to the land of opportunity, the UK.
Better healthcare, better pay, this is the European Union
Only to find themselves taken advantage of and spit upon for taking the jobs natives can’t or refuse to work in.
Was this the freedom envisaged?
Working 7 days a week, paid cheap for their keep.
Laws let goods and money freely cross borders, yet impose a form of class warfare against when it comes to workers.
Not free to move with changing economic conditions in the same manner that businesses can move their capital.
And that’s the bottom line, to cap it all.
Her questions are getting no answers and she has to ask them louder.
She’s given no explanation and her confusion is growing stronger.
She is alone, determined to survive. She has the energy, in her mind.
She is a fighter and there is so much to live for, that’s why she was born. She will honor it. Do not cause her any harm.
If she feeds her soul, do you fear she can outgrow you? Don’t forget, she can uphold you.
She’ll put a message in a bottle. She will not be unheard.
You cannot stop a force of nature, it will catch up with you, it already encapsulates you.
The force is too strong.
She has been standing up for centuries and she will not to be silenced.
There’s nothing that can stop her, not ancestry, not violence.
Not even judgment because she knows…
All she needs is one person, because that love is strong.
Love lasts for all time, no matter where she has gone.