Notes on being black
by Joseph Hope
I look out of a closed window
like a boy trapped inside
a burning house. Like the tail
of a rattlesnake, my mind
rattled restlessly. I listen to
rock 'n roll. I listen to the opposite
of restlessness. But it is no use
when you live inside the bowel
of the beast. A notification: he couldn't breathe, so he died
underneath the knees of a full-grown man— I flinch and
try to forget like how I forgot about
the little girl raped and killed in Pakistan last week,
girls trafficked into oblivion.
Rock 'n roll can't
cure this kind of sorrow. I've forgotten the
definition of home.
Martin Luther King Jr.: I have a dream—what does that mean?
I stretch and yawn like a wounded cat.
Is this the future? Pathetic.
No rainbow. No rainbow. Black lives don't matter.
Immigrants live in a cage. The girl
child is the victim. No flowers here. No flowers here.
Just thistles growing
from the bones of the massacred.
Just an earthquake.
Just bad politics.
Just climate change.
Just rumbling & rumbling & rumbling
& rumbling & rumbling & rumbling
& rumbling & rumbling & rumbling
inside the belly of the beast.
Joseph Hope writes from Nigeria, West Africa.
His works are forthcoming or already published in Reckoning Press, Timber ghost press, Evening Street Press, Zoetic Press, New Verse News, Praxis Magazine, Ubu, AfroPoetry, Gemini Spice Magazine, Spillwords, SprinNG, Writers Space Africa, Nthanda Magazine, 5th Chinua Achebe Anthology, Ariel Chart, Best "New" African Poets 2019 Anthology, and more. In addition, he's a reader for the reckoning press.
He was a fellow in the 2021 SprinNG Writing Fellowship.
1/7/2022 01:22:48 pm
I like how the poet established the poem's theme in the first lines, " I look out of a closed window
1/7/2022 06:09:49 pm
'thistles growing from the bones of the massacred " The lingering sorrow that stems from the death of our loved ones. A piece penned by a promising poet.
1/7/2022 09:27:33 pm
Interesting. Really loved how you established a lot of poetic element in this.
2/7/2022 08:35:32 pm
The author uses poetic expressions to describe the current happenings in countries, and how severe it gets that one can longer turn a blind eye. The hardships, desths, conflicts, cultural demeaning, and racism. These are all happening in our faces. No matter where we turn/run to, it's going down there. This chaos, we cannot run from it, here, in this 'bowel of the beast'.
24/7/2022 02:06:25 pm
The poet painted a picture that many eyes will want to hurriedly look over if it was showcased in an art gallery. Because it's saddening!
31/7/2022 05:27:12 pm
The writer starts with him looking outside a closed window ,"like a boy trapped in a burning house".The writer uses the simile to liken his situation to that of a boy in a burning house who can as well be said to be helpless and hopeless as there is no route for escape.Thr simile like is also used to emphasize him being restive as the tail of a rattlesnake.He tries to ease his restlessness by listening to rock 'n roll and listening to rest,but who gets rest in the bowel of a beast? Who gets rest when there is a notification of a man who couldn't breathe because he was held firmly underneath the knees of another man or when there is news of a girl raped and killed in Pakistan? Or of girls trafficked into oblivion?
3/8/2022 01:56:33 pm
This portrays the truth in our times with lovely poetic rhythms..I love how he paints with words
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