Illusion.

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The closer I get to my centre

The more it dawns on me

That what I expect to find

And what is actually there,

Are anything but.

 

I always thought the stronger I got

The more the flame at my core would rise

Pushing away the darkness

With nothing but my presence.

 

But, that is not the case

Strength is not having an abundance of light

To use against the darkness

Strength is not based on some metric between you

And whoever you think is at the top.

 

Rather, strength is finding fulfilment

 At fighting the relentlessness of the darkness

With nothing but cinder as a weapon.

 

– O.D. ©2018

 

Art by: chateaugrief

 

 

 

Once More (collaboration)

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My contribution to a collaborative poem by Neha from the blog, ForgottenMeadows

You can participate in the collaboration here

 

*******

 

Once more, we become one

Penning our thoughts and words,

Watch them flow seamlessly

Through this conduit, we call poetry.

 

Fortunately or unfortunately,

It will take this and probably, many more pieces

Before they put it all together and see

That the life we weave far bypasses

The containment of Earth’s narrative.

 

– O.D. ©2018

 

Art by: arisechicken117

 

 

 

Di·ve·rsion

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Not listening to you prattle on 

Is not entirely intentional;

I am a poet by terrestrial definition

My rich imagination and intricate inner world

Are my most appreciated occupational hazard.

Daydreaming percolates into this over-arching reality

Serving as a most necessary diversion. 

 

 – O.D. ©2018

 

Art by:  yuumei

Pain.

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In a bid to avoid pain entirely

We only serve to empower it

I would rather revel in the heartache

Battle scars mark my stripes

Pain from that existential grind makes victory

That much sweeter.

 

– O.D. ©2018

 

Art by:  ryky

 

 

Con·nois·seur

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Tell me,

What do you want from me?

The cheery, jovial soul?

Or perhaps a side dish of the hard hitter

– uncensored truth giver?

 

Or maybe, perchance you would rather have

The self-confident ink slinger?

Who stirs words to the point of delicious

Although,

Others would rather describe his style as

“Teetering on braggadocious”

 

Fact is, I inhabit all of these sides,

I daresay there may be many more I have yet to see

There may be one you prefer more than the other

But in the end,

I am not a menu, from which you pick and choose

What makes you feel good.

In the end, it falls to me, to be me,

Without the assistance of a world that has no shortage 

Of character based gourmet chefs.

 

– O.D. ©2018

 

Art by: yuumei

 

 

 

Me·tic·u·lous

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At the end of the day

What is my collection of poems except,

Meticulously dissected streams of a singular thought

Allocated with frames relative to the moment.

 

– O.D. ©2018

 

Art by: ryky

The Real.

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No, you will never understand

What it feels like to walk a mile in my shoes,

So hold your tongue

When you feel the urge to ask me

Whether it’s now okay to use the N-word.

 

All I have ever known is being a foreigner

I would love to say the stares get a little easier

And at times, it feels like no one can get to you

But when a community singles you out 

For the way you look, you’re bound to get taken off balance

Feeling the unofficial divide between you and them.

 

Do I need to keep reminding them

That I worked for everything I have?

Maybe give them some proof?

That being black does not entail every solution I see

Lies behind a cocked gun?

And that is where the problem is; approval,

I do not need to explain myself to you or anyone else

Contrary to your sphere of understanding

It is not my life mission for you to make me feel included.

 

– O.D. ©2018

 

Art by: Paginacero

 

Working in a foreign country can indeed have its benefits. On the flip side, however, it is notably much easier to feel like an outsider. I’m in Thailand right now and where I work I’m the only black person, it’s a pretty cool place, and I truly appreciate some of the co-workers I have come to call friends. Here’s the thing though, when I initially started working there my abilities were constantly put into question; most of the higher ups wondered if I was up to the task (they were not really subtle about it).

My line of work needs people with great proficiency in the English language, and it was only when I showed my certificates that they started to take me seriously. Many might think I’m reading too much into this, I would agree if other employees went under such rigorous scrutiny. My friend (from Russia) was surprised when he heard how everyone was questioning my skill; considering how he relies on my help at times. You should have seen their faces when I showed them my qualifications, they could not believe it, their perception shifted entirely. A black person with more skill than his boss, unbelievable.

“People here are afraid of black people because of what they see in the movies” verbatim from a co-worker; she was right. Even my neighbour, really lovely old lady, I used to greet her every morning. I say ‘used to’ because I eventually stopped when I realized that she is actually afraid of me. She is so afraid to the point where, if we are about to cross paths, she walks in the opposite direction to avoid coming into contact with me. At first, I thought I was just being crazy, but when I saw that happen five or so times, in a row, I knew there was something fishy going on.

And these are some of the things I encounter on a daily. I am generally positive, but it’s these lingering issues that take a toll on me, and in all honesty, I have run out of excuses to give others. I do appreciate all the people who see me regardless of my ethnicity, and those are the only people I associate with. Those are the only people I use my time and energy on.

These poems I write about being black, they come from a real place. I’m not asking for sympathy but expressing my thoughts to those that take the time to read what goes on in my mind. It’s not easy being black, but at the same time, I would never choose to be anything else.

 

 

 

W_ave

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Oh, don’t mind me,

I’m just an intellectual phantom

Surfing on the tidal wave

That is my creativity.

 

– O.D. ©2018

 

Art by: yuumei

Appease.

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Contrary to your makeshift doctrine 

And that insatiable Messiah complex;

Choosing not to follow your will

Does not,

Make me a coward.

 

– O.D. ©2018

 

Art by: yuumei

S_tellar

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In a bid to prove his state of mind

As being stellar – if not superior,

He overexerted his attempts to stand out

… Going full circle, like clockwork.

 

Long story short:

Unforeseen yet self-imposed machinations

Now tie the knot between him

And the inevitable re-engagement 

With the lane of the derivative.

 

– O.D. ©2018

 

Art by:  yuumei