Tag Archives: Hard hitting poetry

We Never Learn

Dear readers,

I wrote this poem years ago, around about the time the second Gulf War began. As you’ll see, the first line of the poem includes the name of the poet Wilfred Owen, who I was studying at the time for my A-Levels. His poems boded well at the time; which highlighted the social class power struggles in the army, as well as the realities of war.

Enjoy!

We Never Learn

Wilfred Owen

Wrote many-a-poem

About the war to end all wars.

Yet a hundred years on,

Since the banks of the Somme,

We still commit the same blood-stained flaws.

Nothing has been learned

Yet everything has been lost

To the voice of power and a bullet from a gun.

Resentment grows

To where the blood and money flows,

Yet it’s a scene we re-run and re-run and re-run.

Arms are sold,

The pillars remain in place,

While the surviving cannon fodder saunter back to their abodes.

Grass grows back,

Bridges are rebuilt,

Then we wait for peace to again corrode.

Fangs are shown,

Flags are flown,

And the media drops bombs of sensationalism.

Rifles are loaded,

Battle lines are drawn,

As we return to the haunts of nihilism.

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La Conversación

Hi all

It’s been almost two weeks without an update. I’ve been very busy which I will tell you about in the next update. In this update, however, I’m going to include two poems that have been inspired by a couple of girls in Casa Alianza.

The first one is quite shocking with some similes that might offend, as well as a bit of swearing. If you are offended, I apologise. I wanted to make the poem to be as hard-hitting as possible to reflect the pain she’s been through. Yesterday, she told me a bit about her story and was understandably upset. She asked for my advice on a subject that may have left psychologists struggling to respond, never mind volunteers. Today I bought her a little journal to jot down her thoughts for the psychologists, as she felt she wasn’t as forthcoming as she should be about her feelings and experiences (she thought they might classify her as insane), and the journal might help her a release a lot of tension. She’s had an awful time, and like many children at Casa Alianza, she’s a survivor more than anything else. Here it is:

 

La Conversación (i)

Time ticks by, as well as thoughts in my mind,
Why am I ignored? Why are people blind?
Why is my family in this fucked up state?
How did I come to this dysfunctional fate?
Questions fill my loaded head,
I don’t want to be alive, I don’t want to be dead.
I’m always in transit, a stateless being,
And when people look at me, I’m afraid of what they’re seeing.
No one can advise me on what to do,
They’d run a mile, if they knew what I’d been through,
Maras and barras and drugs have fucked my life,
Making wrong decisions have left me cutting my wrists with a knife,
Violation to my body has fucked up my worn-out brain,
That night remains imprinted in my memory as my darkest, bloodiest stain.
Why has God given me this life and why does He hate me, hate me, hate me?
Why does He fuck me up and why can’t He let me be?
I don’t want to feel this sadness, nor do I want revenge,
I cannot change the past and I’m too weak to avenge.
I want peace, I want solace, I want to be listened to and be loved,
I don’t want to be left alone or punched or kicked or shoved.
Please gringo, help me out with my life,
Take away this pain, this ira, end this rife.

 

I am pleased to say one thing. After 30 mins of giving the journal, she’d filled in the first few pages and the psychologists have also thanked me. There’s nothing like giving yourself a pat on the back.

The second poem is in Spanish, and I imagine that Spanish speakers will find it a bit rusty and the grammar horrendous. The girl in question left Casa Alianza today after being there for about a month. She was quite mature for her age but she had problems with her behaviour and self-esteem. She did enjoy me teaching her English from time to time, and I have to admit, I will miss it too as she had a great sense of humour. I got her talking about her hopes and dreams and thoughts, which I always do during the interviews for the book. While she was talking, I jotted them down into a few stanzas. I write it in Spanish first and then in English below.

 

La Conversación (ii)
 
Triste tal vez, y felíz tambíen,
Acá una mes, mas o menos,
Para escapar la casa y mi madre,
Y sentir paz.
 
Voy a escribir un libro,
Todo sobre mi vida,
Ganaré mucho dinero,
Y reíré sobre los problemas que los tengo.
 
Tendré un nombre diferente,
Y seré una doctora,
Para salvar vidas con mis manos,
Y ayudar gente con su dolor.
 
Quiero ver el mundo,
Inglaterra, Estados Unidos, China,
Para saber India y disfrutar Australia,
Y aprender culturas y idiomas nuevas.
 
Ahorita quiero olvidar todos mis problemas,
Y no sentir triste sobre el pasado,
Para mirar en el futuro y sonreír,
Con esperanza.
 

In English:

La Conversación (ii)
 
Sometimes sad, happy too,
Been here for a month or so,
To escape the house and my mother,
And have the feeling of peace.

I’ll write a book,
All about my life,
Earn a lot of money,
And I will laugh about the problems that I have.

I will have a different name,
And I’ll be a doctor,
To save lives with my hands,
And helping people with their pain.

I want to see the world,
England, United States, China,
To know India and enjoy Australia,
And learn new cultures and languages​​.

Right now I forget all my problems,
And do not feel sad about the past,
To look into the future and smile,
With hope.

 

I think on the that note, I will end by playing the Smiths classic “There is a light that never goes out”, a song known for it’s intense lyrics (and for being a bit depressing – like this update!), but it’s still a favourite of mine. While finding this song on You Tube, I found the song sang in Spanish. It only seems fitting that I include it in this blog, so please find it below.