Tag Archives: Reflections

I am not a Beauty

5 Jan

I am not a Beauty
I am a Beast
There is a sadness in the air
Like Zombies walking, there is no care
No respect for the living
Forgotten are the dying
Dignity is the word of the past
The last one hundred years changed so fast
The World decaying, Love will not last.

I am not a Beauty
I am a Beast

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You’ll never find my face

5 Jan

You’ll never find my face on the cover of a magazine,
Rupert Murdoch and magnates are not keen
On portraying people of colour
With high self esteem
Rather show faces
Looking scarred and mean
“Look at the face of the second class race”
Never the achievements of black/brown face.

You’ll never find my face on the mainstream channel
Presenting the news or the Oscars panel
Winning an award
Like it’s a soiled white flannel
Marking the territory like a scared dog in its kennel
My scent might contaminate the all-white Chanel

You’ll never find my face representing LGBT
The gay community doesn’t redefine me
People of Colour or B.A.M.E
Dodging the bullets
Headlines fuel it
Prejudiced wars ready to buy it
Spreading lies and lies like bullshit

You’ll never find my face on a large billboard
Filling the screen like a media whore
Communities treated like an oozing sore
Stamped all over, spit at your door
A few black faces in mainly white spaces
Small minded opinions horrified
“Lessen the monoculture!” we cried
Let’s celebrate media diversified.

We Are All Human

Amber

23 Jun

As the golden globe of amber glow reflects on the dark glass

and the silent screams on the silver screen flicker black and white

and the low murmur of voices hum behind a wall of grain and stone

The darkest night drifts on and on

and a solitary man sits

on his own.

I am not my father but…

26 Feb

Today is a significant day for me. It is the fifth anniversary since my dad passed away. It is five years ago to the day that I received the call from my brother which changed my life. The day before, I had just started a new job as a Daycentre Manager for Older Adults with dementia. I had explained to my new staff team that I was expecting the imminent call to tell me that dad was no more. How do you know? they had asked. I can feel and sense death I said. I’d felt it for months. I predicted what would happen and told my friends that he’d either pass away the first or second day of me starting my new job. People wouldn’t believe me and thought I was being overtly dramatic.

On that day, Tuesday 26 February 2008, I woke up, went to work and within 10 minutes of my arrival, my brother called and told me not to rush!! I was in the taxi and on my way to the hospital when he spoke to me. I remember it all as clearly as if it was yesterday. The whole family met up at hospital. My main concern was mum and how she would cope. The reality of it all is, she didn’t. She was a broken woman and she just drifted through each passing day…

I was so angry, lost and emotionally mixed, I wrote a novella. It described my relationship with my dad and the associated memories I had growing up, intermingled with the events of the day of his funeral, the trauma and emotional aftermath that followed and how we attempted to pick up the debris of our shattered lives in the week that followed. It helped me cope with my grieving processes. It was incredibly cathartic at that time…

But now, five years later, I am not stronger. I am not feeling better for it. The saying “Time heals” is not necessarily true. It’s not time that heals. It’s the fact that I have to try and be practical and “get on with my own life” because if I did not, I’d probably end up having a breakdown of some sorts. There is work, bills and mortgage to pay, meals to prepare and cook, there are loved ones around me, friendships that I relied or depended on, and everyday tasks that we take for granted, have to be carried out. I know death affects people in many different ways. I know some people either receive counselling, or turn to other forms of “escape” like alcohol or drugs, some choose to withdraw from society. Others do end up having psychiatric care, treatment and therapy to help deal with their loss or manage their grief.

My way of coping was to write. And once I started to write, I couldn’t stop until all was out of my system. There were times when I sat on the train journey home from work and wrote notes in my diary. There were times when I wept silently. There were days when I didn’t want to get out of bed but I did because I had to work, and went to work to help me through the days. I created my own distractions and coping mechanisms. There were days when I would see or hear a word and it’ll get me all worked up, grief would wash over me like a wave and I would feel myself choking. There were days when I would be walking around and suddenly, I would see a man who would remind me of dad, an apparition that would stop me in my tracks, my heart leaping and a sharp intake of deep breath… An image or part of clothing would remind me of dad, a trilby, a Crombie coat, a white nylon shirt or beige trousers… even going into a charity shop would trigger things he would say, do or the memory of the items he would purchase and bring home. At the time, I would say they were tat but he would insist it might be worth keeping as a valuable item one day…

There are or were many things that used to irate or annoy me about dad. But now, years since he passed away, I find myself doing those exact same things. When I was growing up he would do the following:
1. He used to watch old movies and comment on the stage sets, costume and design which I thought was an intrusion of my viewing. Now, I find myself doing the same.
2. He used to visit charity shops, purchase items that might come in handy one day or clothes that he might wear one day, He never got around to doing either. I find myself sharing the same habit.
3. He used to write in the early hours of the morning, which sometimes annoyed my mother. Here I am sharing and replicating the same pattern and passion.
4. He used to try and create new South Asian curry dishes. He succeeded in creating over 1,000. I find I enjoy cooking and wish to explore further cooking skills/recipes.
5. He was a very sociable man and was compelled to join several socio-political groups, clubs and associations. As a teenager, I used to think he was wasting his time. But I now realise he was following what he believed to be a worthwhile course. In my 40’s, I find I am doing the same but on a smaller scale for now.
6. He started to go grey around the temples at the age of 28. So did I!

I used to think my dad and I were at opposite ends of the pole. But since I lost him, and took time to re-evaluate and re-assess my own life, I realise that I am more like dad now than ever before. When I used to wear a suit for work, people would remark how similar I was to dad…I recall about three months after dad passed away, I visited mum straight after work. I sat on the side of the sofa where dad used to sit. Not realising it, but I caught mum looking at me in deep thought. I asked her if everything was ok. She hesitated and said she was just looking and thinking… She didn’t have to say anymore. I knew. I knew that she caught sight of me and was going to say how much I looked like dad, sitting there in a suit, similar build, height and mannerisms. But she didn’t. She never made that comparison but the intention was there.

I wished I’d spent more time with dad. Just spoke more about his interests, hobbies, passions and motivations. I could’ve learnt more about his story, his written work(s), his accomplishments and achievements over the years. But I didn’t as we seemed so far away from each other… Yet we had so much more in common than he’ll ever know.

In “celebrating” the fifth year since the death of my father, what did I do but visit the cinema to watch ‘Song For Marion’. And watching the male protagonist, Arthur, brought home a lot of memories. I looked at him and remarked that he was dressed so similar to how dad used to dress, even with his thinning white hair and stubble reminded me of dad. His relationship with his son, restrained and estranged, a distance between them, reminded me of my relationship with dad. For whatever reason, I couldn’t get close to him. Not even as close as my other siblings could. I was like a breed apart… But when I watched that film today, my emotional gates just burst open and in such a public auditorium, I had to hold myself in check to prevent myself from breaking down in tears.

Just like Arthurs son, James, I held myself together because grown men don’t cry, do they?
I just wanted to say I’m proud of you dad, I’m proud to be your son and I’m proud to say I love you. I know you are looking down at me and with whatever I do, you will support me all the way.

The Learned Kat