P.R.I.D.E

Please
Raise
Imbecile
Ds
Exceptionally.

They’ve come crawling
Begging me to make them forget
Pleading with me to help them escape
And the money maker in me
Pretends to want to meet their needs.

Please
Raise
Imbecile
Ds
Exceptionally.

I hadn’t noticed how easily
It would have been to learn to hate
But they’ve taught me well
Moved me from making judgements
To spewing displeasing poisons.

Please
Raise
Imbecile
Ds
Exceptionally.

I must say thanks to them for
If it wasn’t for them
I’d be jobless
But they are as broken as Humpty Dumpty
And I don’t want to be the one to
Put them back together again.

Why must I fix them up
Just to send them on their merry way
To a woman whom they couldn’t
Talk to in the first place?

They reek of dishonesty
And their ability to objectify me
Is the biggest repellent of all times,

Please
Raise
Imbecile
Ds
Exceptionally.

Mothers attempt to raise men
But end up raising overgrown boys
Who’ve ended up marrying women.
These women still try their best
To change their boys into men
Who come to see me in the night
Whilst they try to conjure
The perfect excuse…

“Went to a bar with the lads…”
 
“Had a boys’ night out…”

Truth be told,
They were with me.
On their own.
Darkened room.
Liquor caressing their mind.
My body possessing their prime.
Their wallets as kind as ever.
I’m only doing my job.

Please
Raise
Imbecile
Ds
Exceptionally.

The physical men you are with
Are unable to attend to me
And see me as the woman I am.
Quick to say
But you’re only a stripper
But I beg to differ.

I’m a fitness instructor
Instructing your blood to rush downstairs
Instructing your mind to remain silent
Instructing your hands to attend to your needs

I’m only here to instruct

Yet he wants to rush us to the VIP room
In hopes that he and I can get down to nothing
That I may become one with him
But the collar on his finger
Stands out to me
To remind me that this person before me is a dog!

I’ve searched his soul
To see if you were alive inside
Instead, he’s shut the world off.
You’re no longer apart of his existence.

So I want you to raise your sons to be
Better men than their fathers could have ever been.
Tell them the truth about society.
Don’t tell them to ‘man up’
When they still have the mind set of a boy.

Teach them to cry when they’ve been broken
Console them when they’ve told you about their pain
Help them to see that they are allowed to feel weak
They just aren’t allowed to suffer alone.

This world wants us to raise men
Yet tells them they must have no heart.

Teach them about love.
Let them know that they are better
Than the women who will attempt to
Break their hearts.

Teach them about chivalry
Because chivalry is only dead
When a parent refuses to teach their son
About the true art in romance

Get them to trust you enough to
Believe that just because they are romantic
It doesn’t mean they are soft.
It simply means they too are humans
And are capable of showing their hearts.

Please
Raise
Innocent
Dudes
Exceptionally.

Their feathers can be beautiful
But if they are never taught to show it
They’ll forever drag its weight around.
I know its not every male who attends a strip club
Is a broken and lost soul
But they do exist.
They do require attention.

This is why you need to
Raise your sons well.
Teach them to be a proud peacock.
Start them from young
Get them to raise their feathers with pride
Let them be the handsome, respecting men
That you’ve always wanted them to be.

© Careen Lawrence 2016

Birthday Swerve

Brilliant bravery besotted by birthday songs he

Instigates intriguingly illogic images through his

Relaxed reflexes,

Taking my hand in his.

Handshake, exchanged with joy, my courtesy misread as

Directions defining delicate deviations

Angling my hand

Yearning to grace my skin with his

 

Slick, swindling, sneaky,

Waveringly wandering,

Ecstatically erogenous energy encased in a

Responsively

Volatile

Entrance.

 

He wanted to grace my skin

With his lips.

 

He wanted to place a kiss

On the back of my sweet hands

With his lips.

 

HE approached me,

Extended his right hand

Which was graced by my

Most polite reaction.

 

I gave him mine

Up and down they both went,

Two strangers meeting for the first time

Him, some many years old

Me… Only 26.

 

Yaaaas

Birthday girl in the house

Let’s get this party started,

He wanted to show his respect.

 

Up and down

And release…

 

Is what one would expect to

Happen after a handshake.

But I was conned

My mind froze as it tried to

Process what was going on.

 

My friends,

American male,

Twin British-Jamaican, Jamaican-British females

To the left of me watched in apprehension

 

What will happen next?

 

MY hand was cupped in his handS

Now turned subtly,

Confusing onlookers unaware

Of current occurrences,

 

Just as I.

 

No chill sent down my spine,

His head dipped

Involuntarily my hand removed itself

From his grasp.

 

My left hand understood what happened

It cupped my right to my chest.

My heart recovered from its cringe

My lips continuously apologising

I’m so sorry.

I’m really sorry.

I’m so sorry.

I’m so sorry.

 

My brain in overdrive

Revving itself up

Ignoring those around

Trying to understand what happened.

 

HE wanted to grace my hand

With his lips.

 

My rejection was greeted with

A lecture from him

A self-appointed Black King

Who only wanted to show a

Black Queen love,

 

Please love me from a distance

I don’t know you

I don’t mean to be rude

But back up a little

I just don’t know where ya mouth’s been.

 

I don’t eat from folks

I don’t drink from folks

Why do you think I’d then allow you

To place your lips on my hands?

 

I’ve never had to

Present a Birthday Swerve before.

But, I guess being 26

Invites these small treasures

To introduce themselves.

 

I guess being 26 means

I might have to see the world differently

And try to accept things

I didn’t allow when I was 25 or even 24?

 

Nah, I can’t do that.

I’m 26, but won’t change myself.

 

View me as stoosh all you want

I just can’t accept that.

 

My heart Cringed

My mind Panicked

My hand Reacted

 

A result of

My courtesy misunderstood

And he wanted to

Place his lips

On my hand.

 

© Careen Lawrence 2016

This Mess Dismissed

Has it yet been brought to your attention
That things aren’t how they should be?
Have you noticed that
We don’t even know what the world should be like
Because we’ve been brought up to know
Inferiority which has been placed on us?
Can you tell that
Your neighbour has only started accepting you
Because they’ve seen you enough times
And you’ve never displayed threatening behaviours?

We live in a screwed world,
Dystopia rests beneath utopia
But it’s not too far
It’s only masked
The same way we have come to say
Racism doesn’t exist
Because of its subtle appearance
And every white person we meet seems nice enough
So no, there is no racism…

Drips from mouths of scared beings
Not wanting to cause a fuss
Because a fuss means a push back
And a push back sends you
To the back of the bus
And no more partnerships in the office
But more “go fetch”
So mouths of blacks are kept shut
To pretend to be happy in the white world
For once you’ve left Africa
Once you’ve left the Caribbean
Once you’ve left your country and
Stepped foot in the land of the white man
You’ve entered a white world.

Don’t get me wrong,
They ain’t all bad
I’ve got some amazing white friends
They know that blacks backs are backed up to the wall
They know this world ain’t right
For the jewels have been stolen
And the key to the truth is locked away
Hidden like the treasure it is
But they don’t know what to do
For they haven’t got the power to change it all
But they know it starts with them… But that’s a small minority of the majority
Who have crushed us over the years

Because Willie Lynch made that plan
To turn us against each other
Infiltrating the minds of the weak
And no that wasn’t us
That was the slave masters who didn’t know
How to control us because our unified strength
Was too much to handle and they couldn’t understand
How these black things were able to cause so much havoc
So he intervened and told them the secret
To gain power over us
And we succumbed like scums
And it’s seeped into many generations

Now my generation is going through
Light skin vs dark skin
Good hair vs bad hair
Kiss ass to get paid
Because our forefathers were psychologically destroyed
And we can’t take that back
But we definitely want our lives back.

We wanna have the freedom to know
Our lives aren’t at risk
And people won’t judge us for our skins
I don’t mind if I’m hated
But let it not be because my skin is
Darker than yours
Let it not be because my hair is so thick
A comb can break just being run through it
Let it not be because your ignorance tells you
That I’m out to kill you…
Hate me because you feel jealous of me.

© Careen Lawrence 2016

Unwrapped

My skin cracks as she remakes herself to be lighter
Breaking the bonds of her melanin.
My skin cracks as her tears of fears removes her truth.

My eyes lose the vision they have
As she sees herself as worth nothing.
My eyes lose their hope in beauty because she’s forgotten it.

My lips run dry as he turns his back on black
Hating where he came from.
My lips run dry for he kisses another race to empower himself.

My heart shrivels when he tells me
Black ladies are overrated.
My heart shrivels when he ignores his brother who’s with a black woman.

My mirror tells me not to worry
Each moment my reflection uses its eyes to look over my skin
Its lips speak to my hidden heart to remind me I am beautiful.

My reflection’s lips tell me that my melanin needs nothing new
They tell me that there is a natural glow I own
Which let’s everyone know when this empress arrives. 

There was a guy who said something which made me happy
He recognised people don’t know how to admire a naturally black woman
Because we have been exploited or according to him… exploitated.

Black beauty is unrecognised in its natural form
So I fight to be seen and acknowledged
Because I refuse to present myself in any other form but natural.

I’ll be as raw as possible
So my king can love me as I am
Instead of with additions which have to be taken off and re-applied.

Wrapping myself in my own beauty
Is like a present given at Christmas
So each day my king can gleefully unwrap me.

I am 24-7 black
I am 365 beautiful
I am 24-7 365 black beauty.

I radiate what others lock away

My melanin upon my skin remains unbroken
My eyes see my worth
My lips kiss my king
My heart swells for him who rates my 360° beauty.

© Careen Lawrence 2015

M-G/S-J

Your tears are their strength

To them you are a superhero

No marvel character can steal your place

You’ve been their first love

Teaching them how to keep going

No matter how difficult things get

For you go above and beyond

Ensuring they have what they need.

 

I wish I was closer to you

Just so I could help you out

I would have cooked for you

Take your daughter to school

Helped out around your house

Just to ease your stress

So you wouldn’t be overworked.

 

It’s unfair you have to go through this

But please know you’re not alone

Though I don’t know what you’re going through

I do feel your pain

I do hope and pray that one of these days

You’ll be back to normal

But in the meantime

Don’t give up hope

For your children look up to you.

 

There are many lessons to be learnt

And I’m sure that your son and daughter

Are learning many from you

Your endurance is their hope

Your courage is their faith

And you, you’re learning to keep going.

 

The strength you have is immense

You’ve been through enough to break you

But what I’ve seen is, you

Being a rebranded woman

Never letting go

Though there have been times you’ve crumbled

You still manage to remake yourself

And return the sunshine you have.

 

©Careen Lawrence 2016

 

it was LOVE

The city sleeps as he reminisces,
the warmth from her house wraps him tightly
the kitchen produces flavours for a lifetime
it was LOVE which kept him returning.

Had she been able to see the future
would anything have been different?
would she have been kinder
or would she have failed to care?

I doubt it would have been the latter
her heart was in the right place
and she took him in as her own son
though he was only to be a tenant.

His children became her grandchildren
they didn’t know what to call her that very first time
and her senses informed her of this
so she said, ‘call me grandma’.

His wife became her daughter-in-law
and she with respect and gratitude
was happy to embrace the presence
of the woman who looked after her husband.

Her Guyanese accent as strong as their fresh Jamaican accent
a house of Islanders enjoying each others company
they became a unit in little to no time
because she treated him as her own.

He visited her quite often
Just as his mother back in Jamaica
He spent hours with her
Always coming home with roti and other Guyanese dishes.

He was only to be a tenant
But her heart was in the right place
She treated him as her own
So her love kept him returning.

His family didn’t celebrate Christmas
But he always bought her a card
Chocolates
And flowers or a bottle of wine

What more could he give
To the woman who mothered him
When he first set foot into England
With his wife and daughters in North London?

Gradually, she became poorly
Unable to move around as she once did
Her body began to fail her
She wasn’t the same as she was when they just met.

Then that Christmas came
He didn’t know it would have been the last
Now he’s been told
She may have less than a week to live.

‘My mom is dying’
Pierced his daughter’s heart
The elder of the two
But she didn’t know what to say or do.

It resonated within her for hours
Now she sits and writes this piece
Reminiscing on her father’s behalf
As the city sleeps.

I must visit her before she passes.
It’s only right.
He will visit her before her last breath is drawn.
His wife will stand by his side.

©Careen Lawrence 2016

#Tech

#UnfilteredBeauty
#AchievingGoals
#ToTheFuture
#NubianEmpress
#BlackLivesMatter
#PrayForParis
Hashtags after hashtags
Publicly declaring that
We’ve got substance
Our lives are exciting
Or even that,
Current events are riding our minds.

We’ve become connected
Yet remain disconnected
As we soar through life online
Flicking through the notebooks in our palms
Yet the motor actions from our fingers on our screens
Are unable to comfort those
In need of a warm touch.

We say they matter
Yet those next to us
Do not cross our minds
Nor do they get that
Word of encouragement we’ve got stored up
Because no-one will see it
And we won’t be publicly praised.

We crave the cyber attention
Wanting to be involved in a viral movement
Just to put on a show for the fan base created.
Quick to cry when something catastrophic happens
Which fades after a few days.
Then the selfish selfies return
As the moment of getting-involved-in-fame dies.

We now trace our fingers across screens
Instead of interlocking our fingers with each other.
We can’t seem to get away from the toxins we’ve ingested
So become zombies and prisoners to a system which
Drains the senses from our minds.

Our feet only take us to destinations we can’t reach through our phones
Yet our eyes are glued to the latest gossip from Facebook
Unwilling to really see what truly needs attention
And the lives at risk, remain buried under our nails.

Why can’t we send a simple text to uplift each other?
Instead of abusing others though we say
Black lives matter
And pray for Paris?

We hurl hatred to fit in
Not through anger
But through the need for popularity
Let’s rise to fame on the graves of others
And as soon as it disappears

We jump on the next bandwagon
In the form of
Something like #CondomChallenge…
Wasted seconds used on idle things
Just like this instead of research
To help change lives
To maintain fellow citizens
Long lost cousins
To whom we are attached
Who need our help

We are too wrapped up in the wrong things.
Warped individuals, poisoned.
Unaware of the good things we can achieve
If only we used what we have in the right way.

Why the hell do we have mobile phones anyway?

© Careen Lawrence 2015
#Tech

Me-Made-New

I’m stuck now,
The pressures of the world are getting to me.
Trying to understand where I need to get to
And how to get there
Has had me confused.

It’s this concept
I have little knowledge of
Yet my grasp of it
Is greater than my comprehension of it.

To many I may hold
Similarities to Nicodemus
Whose narrowsighted approach is physical.

My soul has yet to open its arms
But I know once all becomes clear
I will feel more settled within myself
Just to be able to live with hope
And less fear.

The issue, my way of life
The things I’ve chosen to do
Once the doors have been closed,
That no man may see.

I click my heals together
Hoping something magical would happen,
For I want to be changed in an instant
As the cracks in my life are somehow expanding.

I remember the day
Songs were sung on my behalf
The pool was ready
Waiting to devour my body
To show everyone
I chose to be a child of God.

Somehow I lost the substance
That key element of it
To help me to completely understand
To completely know
How to let go of my life
And let God
For I need me to be remade
And be new

That’s the whole point of a rebirth right?

© Careen Lawrence 2015

My Mind Her Body

For the first time in a mighty long time

I’ve fallen in love with a masterpiece.

My heart opened up

And without a question or thought

Swallowed you into the pit of it

Savouring your continuously dripping

And ever so enthusiastic mind.

Your mind… An open space filled

With elongated metaphors

And screaming imageries

Along with the provocative

Rhyming trees which leaves me

Astounded…

I’m… dumbfounded

And my body has found

Its resting place.

No longer am I hiding myself

For my barriers have fallen

At the drop of your mind.

My body has been lulled

Upon recognition that tonight

It’s been graced with a time out card

Time out for thought

As consideration has carefully

Been placed on the table between us.

Yet the oceans between my sisters and I

Have somehow managed to sneak in

Take it upon itself to

Pull me away from the soothing rhythms of you.

Worry now drowns the peace you created

Leaving me with a void

As I force myself to avoid recognising

The iron beaten truth

For my sisters are being forced

To become uncomfortable with their femininity.

The monsters you managed to crush

Rebuilds themselves stronger than before

Playing images of these men

Whom you do not resemble,

Destroying my sisters’ self-value.

I find myself standing barefooted

Watching as their mothers attempt to protect them

Banging against their bodies

Preventing natural occurrences from occurring.

She can’t physically afford to be

More than a flat chested babe

In hopes that she will not be seen as a woman

And won’t need to marry too young

As well as minimising the risk

Of her being raped.

Shhhh

Your mind puts me at ease once again

I remember that bodies are invisible to you,

My discomfort slips off

But my thoughts are still swinging

From the branches of my mind.

I see her,

Laying lifelessly on the dirt track

He dragged her to.

She is no longer a woman

She has been misrepresented.

Like an unwanted object

She was tossed aside

After he raped her body

And stole her mentality.

Trusting you is something I want to do

But could you possibly see things through my heart?

Knowing that a woman can’t be a woman

Because a man doesn’t know how to be a man

For he becomes governed by impoverished voices

Which doesn’t make him a schizophrenic

But drags him down the path

Towards insanity of another sort.

This misconstrued ideology of why we were created

Has led to the degradation of us as women.

Our bodies are to create sweet sounding music

When love is made to us.

Instead, we shriek and howl once the pain drives through our bodies

As we are being forced to undergo the removal

Of our clitoris through clitoridectomy

Or undergo excision, just to remove our labia

Better yet, just to supposedly protect ourselves

From the likes of the wolves with no control

We endure the pain from infibulation

Just to narrow our vaginal opening

Making us feel as though we must be ashamed to be a woman.

The men who are not you have tormented us over the years

Seen us as trophies to be collected for recognition

Amongst each other

To say how many of us they slaughtered

Or how they managed to destroy us

And how good they felt taking control.

But tonight,

Tonight you reminded me that not all men are like this

But what happens when we depart?

What happens to my sisters who are still being told

They are not allowed to get any bigger than an A cup?

I’ve got it good

But what happens to them?

Where does your mind leave them?

© Careen Lawrence 2015

Lingering Sobriety

Star light so bright

Watches as sobriety dances 

In the shadows of the moon’s light

The earth mixes with air

Engulfing shivers

As everyone sits silently

Silence resonates

As their ears wishes to hear

A voice long gone.

A voice which was silenced

For being

Me.

No more reason was needed

Just the inability to recognise

Me as a being.

Star light so bright

Watches as sobriety dances

In the shadows of the moon’s light

As I still scream

Hoping they hear

Everything I wish I could have said.

The treacherous ways used

Have broken my spirit

And muted my voice.

But there is still another

Which remains on my behalf

Hoping to shine the light above my grave.

My shadow dances

Next to the woman I gave my heart to

And she carries my child closer than before.

Star light so bright

Watches as sobriety dances

In the shadows of the moon’s light

Candles are lit

Their flames steady

Illuminating the smile on my face

I feel everyone’s pain

Their tears washes my spirit

They’ve all become a part of me.

I wish to meet their palms

I wish to be in their warm embrace

But this is no longer

For I have been stolen

And can now only watch

As though they were my favourite characters in a movie

Star light so bright

Watches as sobriety dances

In the shadows of the moon’s light

Never let them walk alone

Let their days be refilled with joy

Help them to find justice for me.

© Careen Lawrence 2015

Poetry is me. I live to write. I was born to write. It's the one way I know how to speak on behalf of others. I am a poet.