Thursday, 8 May 2014

The people that prefer to write how they feel.

Words and words and words create,
In my head a fate, fıguratıvely
We date through abstract words
They mate, lıke frusrated lovers
That waıt, for the glow of moonlıght
The sun ıs late, reluctant to leave,
So ıt drags ıts weight  on the earth, 

Forms a crımson shadow on you, 
then smıles because it will take a while to get this poem.

It waıts.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

For Yinka

Last  night, I went to an open mic event hoping to read this out to my dearest friend. Stars didn't align.

For Yinka

How do you tell a friend tell friend that you love her
Till the end till the end you deserve her
She’s the growth of you
We grew together
She showed you what you were to suppose to do
I use to write poetry for her
Sociology classes; time never moved more sweeter
I swear I could’ve loved her
Like a real brother would
No man could ever be good enough for my sister
So secretly I revel when she complains about the lack of brothers out there
I tell her to bide her time
Don’t you know you have Gods waiting for you?
Your path’s not even an ordinary one
Just like your name
You drive curiosity
How do you tell a friend tell a friend you adore her
You’d happily go before her to make sure the path was safe
No path could ever be safer
I’ve watched you glide across Atlantic oceans as much as I have
Our creative flights colliding whenever it can
You’ve inspired the inner child in me
You stand firm; unwavering
Like a true sister should
How do you tell a friend tell a friend tell a friend
You don’t want her to go
Tell a friend tell a friend
You need one more year to show
How much you appreciate her
How sweeter life hummed when you had her near
Or at least it felt like you had her near
That you fear
Losing her
Having her become a distant memory
Something that fades
Leaves a subtle trace
Of times when we could afford to dream
When we were still young
And we’d drive teachers crazy
And we weren’t afraid
To tell a friend tell a friend
You love and need her
More than you knew
More than she knew.
How do you tell a friend.

Monday, 19 August 2013

If I was your man

If I was your man things would be so much easier, sun will set and the moon will rise with a gentler ease,
They will cease to tease one another over fluid conversations about alternate realities...
Things will gently fall into place, like two autumn leaves cascading ever so gallingly
They will spend a love-time suspended in the air, an old woman in the park will wonder which will touch the ground first.
Her patience wears thin before either does.
The leaves would dance and spin around each other to the sweet humming of the wind.
They’d nestle as they plunge, you can see their hands as they clasp each other
The grip will be desperate; both play martyr as they toss and turn, trying to stop the other from hitting the ground first.
If I was your boyfriend you’d know how that feels
The sacrifice it takes to hold back even though the inside cries you could love her more...
You’d be the naive part of her
The one that inspires when she’s in a rot, she’d be able to plunge into every night with you
Both explore the mind’s forest, you’d be each other’s secrets
She’d try to hide you even from herself
You’d marry her
She’d be your wife
You would both snuggle into each other under the tree
The wind will play your wedding song
First dance will be your last
She’d cry, you’d dry her tears
She’d wish for the times she was still a blossom
And you were young enough brush against her on the branches
We use to wait for everyone else to fall asleep
Under the glow of the moon we’d share metaphors
You’d wish you were bolder
She’d wish you both fell from the branches sooner.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Why I Rate Luther

I must concede, I was late-comer in the drove of revellers who gathered on social networks on Tuesday evenings, they would dance around my timeline, two stepping a stream of ‘Why Luther’ ‘Don’t Luther’, one over-emotional online social reveller quipped; ‘No LUTHER...I HATE YOU...AND I LOVE YOU...SO CONFLICTED!!!’   I never really quite understood why ...

Quite recently I decided to join this proverbial wagon, after all I love crime thrillers,  as a fan of the genre I remember being heavily engrossed as a youngster in John Grisham novels and gothic comic  flicks about capped crusaders dishing out ‘my kind of justice’.  I’ve always found narratives that delve into the perversion of law by those seemingly charge with upholding going against those hell bent on opposing  it very fascinating, I guess when one really explores them you’re posed with this conceptual, alternative and often more proficient  way of approaching law and order. I guess the fascination is all so common because television and film in the past decade has been overwhelmed with variations of crusaders and conflicted do-gooders dishing out what I can only again call ‘my kind of justice’. ‘Dexter’ a popular series by Showtime conveys such narrative, a man consumed with the need to killing channelling his demons towards more deserving victims; criminals who have side stepped the clumsy clutches of the law. If only there was a Dexter in Florida in this moment in wouldn’t that be something.  Luther is a series that not only ticks this box, it does so ever so refreshingly, I was sceptical prior to watching Luther that the BBC series would fall short,  the opening scenes of Luther alone suggested scepticism were unjust, by the end of the first season I was a ‘believer’.

Now what makes Luther interesting is not only the concept; maverick Black law enforcer hell bent on taking three steps backwards before making one gigantic leap to clear his obstacles, the production value and writing is also superb, Neil Cross the man that was also behind another BBC series ‘Spooks’ has a way of presenting shocking crime scenes with an air of fairy tale innocence,  the big bad wolf is the latest perpetrator and the pretty little white girls are...well pretty little white women.  This brief visitation to early childhood scary stories mixed with very modern and very real crimes leaves you in an eerie state of disillusion, you watch on as recognisable London settings are transformed into a playground of doom and tragedy, a vision you realise isn’t as strange and surreal as you might like to think. The constant shift in plot is compelling, all the main characters matter and some come back to haunt the narrative, this makes Luther a unique viewing and is one of the reasons why many herald it as ‘dark, daft and dazzling’, the Heritage after predicting it would be a flop recanted, going on to say it was a ‘slightly sillier Silence of the Lambs’, anyone who has seen the Jonathan Demme’s film will know how huge of a compliment this is.   

Art imitates life and in a more digital age life is beginning to replicate art, we are being sucked into this cyclical whirlwind where what we see on popular media educates the masses on how this shapes how we judge and interact with one another. Luther is a great show because it is a popular and successful BBC series that has a Black man sitting atop it’s mantle, Idris Elba rose to prominence after playing ‘Stinger Bell’ in the infamous HBO crime drama ‘The Wire’, since then he has gone on to star in many more shows and films before returning to London to head the cast in this eponymous series. The image of Luther alone is a triumph, unlike his predecessor ‘Mickey Bricks’ played by Adrian Lester he wasn’t a Black man previously incarcerated, a Black man who makes a living from being a con artist and evading the clumsy clutch of the law (which is becoming increasingly thematic I might add) Luther, the character is a distinguished man of the law, someone who shows almost near abnormal strength and intelligence when it comes to outsmarting the sadistic men he crosses path with. His character explores spaces and ideas we’re not use to associating with Black men, he is charge with heading a predominantly white crime unit, he is an ex husband who is presented as a constant emotional obstacle to his white ex wife’s pursuit of a more normal stable passionless relationship with a new man, he also has a paternal relationship with a sexually troubled white girl – ultimately cohabiting with her acting as a guardian and protector, these are all unfamiliar territory for Black men – well so we are told. Luther allows us to engage in discussions about how Black men are perceived in society and to really analyse this theory of their ever evolving roles in society in direct collision and contradiction to a very stagnate reality. A friend of mine succinctly summarised his opinion of Luther in his Facebook status;
Over the last week I finally decided to see what all this Luther stuff was about and watched the first two series - in conclusion, Luther saves white women, gets slapped by white men, gets bad people like an unstable donkey. Vaguely interesting TV. I'm hooked.
This statement invited an interesting discussion on the conceptual and cultural (or lack of) themes around Luther we discussed whether or not Luther the character was written as a white man or a Black man, did Idris Elba benefit from the process of colour-blind casting.  If the character of Luther indeed was written for a white man then how valid can any claim we have to the moral victory of the character be, equally are Black men exonerated from being synonymously condemned by an ills Luther might commit in the show, it will be futile to resist the notion that with millions of impressionable British viewers watching, whatever the character of Luther does on screen will have a level of influence on how Black men are perceived.   

What we can take from Luther is that it allows us to discuss, we explore the content and context suitably, I extol the series and all those involved in creating a brilliant product, however unfinished or unfurnished Luther’s character development might be, we can commend their commitment to the genre, we watch on us we hope the writers can fill us in and address the cultural blanks, until then continue to enjoy Elba’s brilliant performance, he really is in his element when he plays Luther and his portrayal is the biggest triumph here and an inspiration to any London based actor. He shows immense talent has he manages to evolve this Luther character into this singular fusion of Jekyll and Hyde and we watch on nervously just like the other characters around him, never quite sure what Luther we’re going to get.

Whether Luther was written to be white, Black or other a friend of mine provided a more interesting perspective, he said and I loosely quote; ‘Luther is a Londoner first...everything else falls secondary’.
If you don’t already watch the series, I suggest you book a day off and get up to speed. 

Luther can be seen online if you look hard enough, also on LoveFilm and I think it's on Netflix.

Friday, 22 March 2013


Are you ever reminscent of sunnier summer breaks?
Bike rides furiously on estate curbs
And there she was;
Young Sophia
Freckled skin hides behind large framed lenses
Hair in innocent ponytail
She's Dominican?
Island girl
Her mum was aunty Bessy, her brother my best friend;
Sofia was my first crush, first love
Ode to Sophia
Can we journey back in time when it all seemed so easy
I won her heart from dangerous manouevres 
I'd peddle in great speed towards her
Then just before she and I thought love will collide in a fateful tragedy
Right hand break will swerve into a gradual skid
I'd smile
Never lost that boyish charm of mine
She'd offer me her hand to kiss.

I never did kiss it
I was never noble enough to kiss my Sophia
Sophia was dream to boys who star gazed at night
Their nocturnal ways obstructing visions of true love
They'd lay still at night feeling echoes of her absence
It vibrates gently on their back
Soothes them even
Ode to Sophia 
A gentle lullaby
Until one night they can fall asleep again
The patient dream Sophia waits.


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

The Beat - Song for Ife

It’s all in the hips she said
How the swaying leads to the dips she said
Like the way there’s a curve in our lips she said
When one prepares for a kiss she said
Now I know it’s one of those that must be said
When an African muses on the drum she said
There’s a spiritual evoke it provokes she said
The finesse in the balance in the stroke she saidSee the secret is in me she said
Way before I knew me was me she said
I guess my mother knew, she must have knew she said
The way she crept in the shadows and she stared she said
Mother had the fear she said
The fear that man couldn’t comprehend she said
Their eyes on my guise and their lies she said
Mother said it’s about time I realised she said
And that aroused a pain in me she said
It’s like I was to blame she blamed me she said
That her husband came after me she said
Old husband wanted me and not her she said
Every night it was me she said
And every cry was from me she said
I would close my eyes and ask mother why she said
Why she crept in the shadows and just watched she said
And I knew she was watching she said
Her eyes were unnerved as she watched she said
and her fist ooo her fist they were clutching she said
And when it was all over mother said NOTHING she said
so it’s one of those things that must be said
When an African muses on the drum she said
A young girl muses on the drum she said
An old man plays the beats on the drum she said

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Umoja - Review

The show opens with a salvo of drum patterns, huge men beat ferociously as if the decades of oppression they endured were now bundled into the hollow depths of this instrument they played.

This is "Umoja" we're told by our narrator Gregory Mkhabla, a man who I can only liken to a sub Saharan Morgan Freeman with his deeply melancholy voice, he goes on to explain; " it is a word from Swahili meaning togetherness", and there was a familial togetherness on stage as we had glimpses of a past Zulu nation, a nation that roared with sheer vigour and power. The men, spear in one hand and shield in the other leapt and tumbled, their chests pounded with intent and they grappled each other for respect and honour. The women, exposed to the world were vivid, their guise tempting and voices rejoiced in unison as they beautifully harmonised the spirit of togetherness through musical number and dance. Occasionally they will spill out into the auditorium in full glory, unapologetic, vibrant and intimidating as if to reclaim a land that once belonged to them; this was evident in the wildness in their eyes.

Many are aware of the story of Apartheid and political fraction in South Africa; Film, Art and Theatre have all played their part in contributing to this discourse. I remember none more fondly than Sarafina; a musical by Mbongeni Ngema depicting students involved in the Soweto Riots, in opposition to apartheid. Umoja, however doesn't fall into that category, in fact, it did everything it possibly could to sway away from the politics and harsh reality of living in South Africa, instead what we have is the optimist's approach, satirical reflection of mainstream South African culture and the decision to revel in wondrous discovery of Sheebebs underground clubs where, we're told, the likes of Miriam Makeba and the Soul Brothers careers were birthed.

Todd Twala's choreography although engaging at first became repetitive and all too predictable, the music seemed at its best in the first half when the richness of African voices flowed easily and with cadence to traditional music, the transition into contemporary Kwaito seemed unnatural and the Gospel explosion turned our spirited songstress into Sister Mary Clarence.

This didn't matter however, what we saw was a new nation celebrating its history, their spirit relentless and passion uninhibited. Their message was clear and poignant; it's the past and present that makes us great, the spirit of Umoja travels through time and on a night where sub zero temperature battered the streets of London, I was at least grateful to be transported to a warmer climate.

Booking until February 19, Box Office: 0844 412 4300