Oppression’s Child

This outer toughness
just conditioning
a baby alligator
that’s me

Raised in a swamp
Eat or be eaten!
family mantra, and
Deal with it!

I know it’s a lot
to take in
see the disbelief
in civilized eyes

Resistance to oppression
begets deeper wounds
Fear taught me well
Survival, they say, of the fittest.

(For Reena’s Xploration challenge: featured image is prompt.)



Why do I try to please
those whose motivation
is only self-serving, material
gain more important than
intrinsic rewards?

How is that I’ve tied
myself to the downtrodden,
dependent upon the nay-sayers –
those lacking imagination
incapable of celebration

settling for the mundane,
as if choices are limited?
I want to embrace each day,
dignify each moment,
regale the glory

life is miracles
and mystery, passages
and opportunity; and I yearn
to break through the walls
of limitation and rejoice

yet I am subjected
to the whims of others,
passion overridden by
disappointment, convinced
I am never enough.

(Image from pinterest)



Can’t Help But Wonder

What chief is this,
whose repetitive adolescent antics
labour over inconsequential details
whilst, as novice, he plies elimination
strategies, slashing former goals;
this non-monk of a man, inciting
global waves of dissention, padding
his ego with kin, lining up officials
disinclined to disrupt his pillage?

What nation is this
who believes social standing
equates with compassion,
who overlooks subterfuge,
projects ideals into commerce,
trusts debits and credits to
a host, whose obese pockets
are lined with the sweat of others
sacrificed for golden coffers?

What consequences lie
beyond the current distractions,
when tools of manipulation are
revealed and citizens, mired in the
waste of executive orders, rise
against oppression, upstanders
demanding a difference that
promotes, indeed ignites, a more
palatable future for all?

(Image: www.sandiegouniontribune.com)




Imagining Genius

Imagine befriending genius –
accepting social awkwardness
embracing habitual quirks as
incubation for enlightenment.

If I could strip down, release
preconceived notions, agendas,
lie naked, exposed, in shallow
waters, intimately entwined,

unencumbered by sexuality
or gender protocols, I would
shake this sensual impotency –
become one with creativity.

As my father, wounded, I
am inhibited by my feminine,
opting for compliance over
strength, a conditioned identity.

His mystery extends, flawless
sculpting, archetypal secrets,
pretense proclaiming normalcy,
usurping vitality, genius stifled.



A splash of icy water –
first personal assault
on an adopted persona –
marked each day’s start.

With military precision
the lie, perpetuated since
childhood, was carried out –
a ritualized euthanization.

Starched collar, tightly
knotted tie (hangman’s
accomplice), solidified
the tortured charade.

A stray, unyielding curl
atop neatly cropped hair –
lonely vestige – belied
the woman locked within.

Stiff comportment channelled
inner rage, buried beneath
driven pursuit of monetary
success professing normalcy.

Behind the mask, a gentler
soul watched, agonizingly
lonely – abandoned authenticity
imprisoned, denied expression.

Alcohol, sought to numb twisted
reality – exacerbated tensions,
propelled acts of violence, drowned
unwitting co-conspirators, diminished

hope – no viable solution – society
uncompromising – fantasies of death –
swift release – defined behaviours,
created a legacy, a prayer adopted

by a child left behind, incapacitated
by father’s anguish,  smothered
by ashes of incredulous tragedy,
awaiting the phoenix’s rising.