Monday, 27 December 2010

Pearl in the Shell

Aint it funny
How a cut of fabric can shape your mind
Cloud your judgement
Fool your eyes
Failing to look beyond the medias lies
Branding me as oppressed 
But you fail to see what's inside

My body is under lock and key
But my soul?
My soul is free
You see
I dont know what's got you believing what you believe
If freedom lies in wearing skirts about my knees
Displaying my God-Given beauty
For hungry eyes to seize
Then what more than an object of desire does that make me?
When i pace the room
Its not the sway of my hips that have them looking
The stroke of my hair
Or the way i'm walking
It's the composure as a muslim woman I'm holding
It's the way I express my faith through my clothing
I let my personality do the talking

This was given as a blessing.

By Zibz Hilwa, photographer, student and poet.  Also member of youth poetry collective 'Words Apart' 

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Poetry Lunch at the South Bank centre

For the South Bank Centre's Poetry Lunch last month during Poetry International.  'Words Apart' were invited to read some of our individual pieces at the South Bank Centre's Royal Festival Hall.

Here some of the photo's:

'Words Apart' with Irish Poet Catherine Brogan (centre, left) and Palestinian poet Sawsan Abu Qare (Centre, right) and Brooklyn based American-Palestinian poet and activist Remi Kanazi

Monday, 20 December 2010

Get out, get lost, you oxymoron!

Father you have been my mother
My all, my everything
My none my nothing
You’ve really gone and done it now, father.

Rather than admit and quit while you were ahead
Now I’m too tired to sleep
As you put me to bed
I’m too sad to weep
So you cry instead, father.

Father, we’ve been through so much together
Chelsea’s blues are our colour
No matter the weather
You pretended you’d be there for me.
You send me mad, father.

Father, what’s your problem
Probably, you’re mine.
But what? You’re not.
We’re not complete us too. You are
A cripple who is whole. I’m too subtle for that.
You cripple me father.

Father, at times our connection feels cut.
All clutter and clatter
What's the matter?
Can't cut it? Cut it out
Don't utter, because you'll stutter
It's a pity, now they don't glitter
Epitomising the staccato pitter, patter of my mettle
Words no longer melt and dance for you
Like butter, father.

Father, I’m not getting to the cause
I’m just spitting out the symptoms. Don’t
Doubt, rather know, those names you called me
Hurt, like the worms eating holes in my heart, father

Father, why do you hate me? I’m not a boy,
I’M NOT A TOY. No boys. But I’m close
I tried for you, rather, you just destroyed me.
It’s touching . Our relationship is like a malnourished
Tramp trying to steal a car. It’s not going to work.
So much love for you. I just want
To love you, father.

Heart-carver, how is it that you can hurt me
And be a better person still. It’s ill-advised to cross you
So I cross you in style. I have become an eternal doom
In your eyes. The gloom in your surprise,
Shows how hard it is for soldier not to die
But to love, father

Father, I wish you could see me now. Bearing
The semblance of regularity. Breaking the
Mould. Stretching, polarity raging here with
Unbalanced power of this icy inferno
You stink now or rather you smell.
Well, I think it’s time you get out
And get lost, father!

By Poet, Actress and Playwright and member of youth Poetry collective Words Apart: Comfort Nwabia

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Like the snow in Britain, he came too quick

And I was not prepared for the scale of his bits

And no grit could help with this shit

So I’m stuck with his seed, while his out with some chicks

And he’s up in the club, and I’m watching a flick

And I swear, an abortion is looking so good right now

But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from all of this, is that what looks good

Hell, it ain’t

And it leaves you messed up like carpet and paint

You can wash it away, but it’s still shit after

They tell me that the best medicine is laughter.

And so I,

Turn on the TV to try to block it out of my brain

Until I realise it is that same device that got me giving brain

All the things I have seen I cannot retract

I was too caught up in this box to educate myself with the real facts

And I’m looking at nappies, sitting on the shelf, man

I’m not ready to be a mum. I’m just a kid myself, and I’m

Not ready for this responsibility.

Shit, I’m twelve

I can’t even vote, I can’t even smoke, I can’t even drink and of all the

Illegal shit I had to do it just had to be this

The one thing where I’m not just responsible for me, but also this

But this isn’t how I envisioned it

Where’s my husband, my dog, my house and my picket fence?

I guess it’s where my virginity is, gone, torn

It has died, and now this must be born

It’s a vicious cycle, but I drew it

I had a decent life, but I threw it

And all cause all the kids on the block ‘do it’

The lack of love I was given I thought I could find at the end of a man

I wish I knew that no man deserved me, that no man could desert me

Because I could never be alone if God is with me

Now I am focussed on my seeds

That I will raise to be mothers and fathers

Helen Kellers and Che Guevaras

They might not have a dad,

But I will be their Father

Their sole providers

Their soul riders

And I will love them with one condition

That they love each other

And they will never treat another

How their dad treated their Mother.

By Young, Talented Poet Samira Musa based In Islington. WATCH THIS SPACE!

Friday, 17 December 2010

My Country

How many lives were lost?

The ground bled red

With innocent blood

Slave masters, governors even king and queens

Orchestrating mass murder in their serene scenes

Imagine a mother,

wife and daughter’s cries of pain and frustration

Over bloody wars fought for the freedom of a nation

But not just on the battlefield politically as well

The appearance of this land epitomises hell

so the urge to progress independently

and become a country that can stand on its own

I speak critically for those who died before me

Their injustice were never told only

Because of an unimaginable tyranny

Trying to take one people’s hope to be free

I can never know

How many lives were lost?

The ground bled red

With innocent blood

I refuse to shun

The unimaginable truth

That whilst innocent people where being slaughtered

It made the wicked more financially supported

National heroes tried to defy this

And some executed in the process:

Samuel Sharpe, George William Gordon and Paul Bogle

All were men born in slavery and are notably noble

Who contributed to its abolishment as a whole

Where their stories and their role will forever be known

Den ova to de wuman, de Obeah wuman known as Nanny,

She herself freed over 800 slaves

her ferocious Maroons, feared by the British for what they displayed

they were untamed lions strong as mount Zion

whilst Marcus Garvey renown as he fought to outline

The abuse of Africans at the time

Norman Manley and Sir Alexander Bustamente

Involved in the struggle against colonial rule

Fought using their political tools

Took advantage of an empire going downhill

U see dem yout mi a talk bout

Mi av’ nuf respect fi dem cause

fe dem role in a de liberation of a country

that belongs to me

I will never know

How many lives were lost?

That turned the ground red

With innocent blood

Can warfare be used to release the oppressed into peace?

This dilemma we discuss on the news and the street

But the truth I believe is not in what we perceive

but in what we do

Like heroes in Jamaica did for me and you.

By Tajhame 'TJ" Jackson a poet, playwright and actor

Tajhame spent his childhood in Kingston, Jamaica until the age of 9 when he moved to North London. This poem was inspired by Jamaican history and his experiences there.

A clip of TJ performing this poem will appear on the blog soon!

Sunday, 12 December 2010


In 1945 the US arrived.
Bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
Killing thousands upon thousands.
Now i fast forward 65 years
Still bloodshed in the political sphere,
By the military volunteer,
Hearing shit through the vestibule of his ear.
Everyone hopeful of peace but we aint nowhere near.

The mission, the repetition, obama deception,
The western Influence and the Eastern resistance.
The Saudi King and Arab word's puppet pittance.
Sucked up by America's New World Order,
With Karzai saying "I'm just protecting my borders",
Bullshit, he is sucking his people dry,
Like the Indus River in the month of July.
All slaves to the bureaucracy, open hell mutiny.
A chance for Taliban to execute their battle plan,
But the War isn't over cos they still curse the city man.

But you notice all this cos of BBC news,
On repetition slowly moulding your views.

2/3 of the world has deterring education,
Constant striving of 3rd world nations,
So the rich can fulfil their gluttony,
They should be locked up for 1st degree felony,
Smart suits but no intelligent policy.
I turn to Mali, world's lowest rate of literacy.

99' they deploy the British Army to Sierra Leone,
Where kids die forever searching the shiny bloodstone,
But that's what's on the hands of America,
Till this day expanding military bases in Africa,
To deter violence and uphold the UN resolution.
But 2003 you invade Iraq, how is that a solution?
You say it was to bring democracy,
Don't feed us that bullshit it's all hypocrisy.

Time travelling but our views may disagree,
for a moment of peace but there's no guarantee.
You may run from honesty but can't hide from the truth i speak.
Open you eyes cos your mind is weak,
So now you see there is more to life than your Prada and Burberry,
I do what Malcolm X said, "By any means necessary",
cos I believe.

By Poet, SOAS Law student, part time model, writer, actress, and playwright Azkaa Hassam

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Act*Sane*But*Outstand (A.S.B.O)

More drink
More smoke
Crack a another joke
Take another toke
All got money
Yet all broke
Paralysed is being a bloke
Making people glad
If you act like a lad
More to decanter
Cause its just banter
Smiles on faces
Looking for new places
On a saturday night
All wanna shine so bright
We need a flashing light
Let us be emotionally
And socially epileptic
Text message talk
Leaves us dyslexic
But do you think we care?
We care
About swagger and hair
And if we walk with flair
Without a doubt we'll glare
At the boys on the estate
With no debate
To show we're hard
Eating reshaped lard
The time is no sign
As we shape another line
Make every crime
Till we feel like grime
Noses bleeding
Condoms needing
To be deseeding
Females are our feeding
Impressing the peers
With fake jewels in ears
Loudest music
Is amusing
Not knowing what drugs we're using
What drink we're boozing
But we're never loosing
With a text
With in for sex
Come and go
Nothing complex
Worship the man behind decks
Next morning blues
Vomit on shoes
Must have a been a good one
Yeh really fun
Throat like sand
No money in hand
Inpregnanted a girl
Which was planned
By she was peng and tanned
So fuck it
Front window shatters
Nothing ever matters
Pockets filled
Of un-billed
Broken joint
But that's the point
Living like dirt
But make it grand

Remember act sane but oustand

Rebel generation
Binged out nation
In need nothing lended
Left broke nothing mended

Russian vodka in throat
Left on the same boat
As all her girls
Who are the best looking in the world
And with another drink
She'll sink
To the floor
And left raw
Tongues behind the door
She wants no one to see
But everyone to know
That for him she went low
And made him a man
For the start that was he plan
Sober she's prudent
An A star student
But she wants to act stupid
So she can exploit cupid
But we just laugh
Love bite hidden by a scarf
Sucked till a cut
Called a sket, hoe and a slut
Her slates been painted and tainted
And she can't wipe it
But deep down she likes it
Party girl
Little miss rave
To be left in a daze
For days
Under her allure and haze
That's the mission
To get boys wishing
And dreaming
To get them flirting
And scheming
Until she starts screaming
And masscara starts to run
But she'll make the boys come
And speak highly
The objective is grimey
To find the stimulant
To get intimate
In for the kill
And she's on the pill
Fumble in the dark
We don't need protection
Fake hair, nails and unreal complexion
Never happy at her reflection
But let the party go on
One night we'll forget where we're from
Dance all night
Till the morning light

Rebel generation
Binged out nation
In need nothing lended
Left broke nothing mended

Its all about the nightlife
No strife
Weekend fun loving
Clit strumming
Girls cumming
Kind of fun
So we can snort and bun
And never repent
To our hearts content
The aim
Is to make our name
And let it ring across the land
Remember we gotta act sane but try and oustand

Seri Kholi also a hip hop artist and emcee by the name of Seri Skay and member of the Poetry collective: 'Words Apart'