He’s Got You

When the world is falling on your head,

your belly is empty and your account red,

when nothing makes sense,

when friend is foe,
and come means go,

when every hour brings another horror,

when white is right and black is a bullet,

when kids are chained and thieves are free,

when vanity is lauded and truth defrauded
Filth applauded,

When your strength is gone,
your body torn,

your hopes and dreams
in slow burn,

When what you want
doesn’t want you,
who you love won’t love you,

when you have no money
and places to go,

When life is all this and more,
Close your eyes,
take a deep breath
and know,

He is with you,

He has gone ahead of you,

He will keep and protect you,

and evermore

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.


Loving Farouk

“Dee, what do you think? Isn’t she beautiful?”

I looked up from my book and took Farouk’s phone with a slight smile. I already knew what I was going to see: some slender size 2 beauty with large luminous eyes,  and reflective fair skin. Farouk had a type. A slim, light-skinned, large eyed, type; that somehow never liked him as much as he liked her or somehow couldn’t keep his interest as longer than a month.

That I understood.  That I was glad about. As long as Farouk didn’t find anyone that kept his attention, as long as it was just a shallow physical attraction I had a chance.

A slim, stunted, gnarled chance but a chance still.

As I looked at the phone I realised that my chance was about to vapourise. I was about to lose Farouk for good unless I did something.
The problem was: I had no idea what to do.

“She is gorgeous.” I heard myself say. And it was true. The lady in the selfie couldn’t be more than 22. She was a dark shade of chocolate, curvy and her small eyes twinkled behind her cute glasses.

On cue my inner alarm rang. This wasn’t gorgeous. This was gorgeous trouble. Farouk was breaking from the mold–that meant he had found something. Something special.

With a wider smile I handed the phone back. “So what’s her name?”

“Her name is Zukaida,” he replied, “I hope to goodness that she is the one.”

The drive back from class was a quiet one. Farouk hummed along to some Yanni playing in the car while I stared into the darkness and tried to imagine life without him.

We had been classmates for just a year but it felt like we had known ourselves for a lifetime. We had so much in common: a love for cats, an interest in chunky novels,an aversion for onions, an addiction to chocolate cake.

Being around him was like being hooked to a giant cylinder of joy but now my tubes were about to be pulled.

I knew he didn’t feel the same way but that didn’t stop me from hoping or at worst enjoying what I had while it lasted.
Now all that was coming to an end.

He drove to my doorstep and waited for me to alight.  I stayed in the cat staring into the night then I turned, closed my eyes and kissed him on the lips.

He froze.
I opened my eyes and I knew I had made a mistake. His eyes were open and in them I saw shock, pain, disbelief and something uglier–pity.

I pulled away and dashed out of the car and into my house. Shame swallowed me whole. I was still sobbing when sleep came.

The next five days passed in a whirl. I avoided Farouk and braced myself for whatever was coming next. An engagement party. A wedding announcement.  A baby shower.

A week later I was making my way to the taxi park when someone grabbed my arm.
“Dee, we need to talk.”
My belly flipped and cold sweat trickled down my back.  Could it be? Was he going to say he felt the same way? Were the feelings mutual? Was love going to have a chance?

Of course not.
He wanted me to know that he understood how I felt and while he couldn’t consider us being more than friends he still respected me as a friend. Still wanted our friendship to continue. He recounted the great times we’d had together. He was till talking when I walked away.

I couldn’t bear to hear anymore.  I was a drift on a sea of needles and all of them pricked at once. I needed to get away, as far
away from him as possible.

I must have walked past the car park and on to the main road but I can’t remember that.

All I remember is the screeching  of tyres as the bus driver tried in vain to dodge me and the blissful darkness that followed.


Making Millions

The audition hall was like a fish market. Humans of every sex and size were talking, laughing, singing and nodding to inaudible music. Udeme hid his anxiety behind a stiff smile, found a spot on the line and let himself sink down on the orange and black rug.

He closed his eyes and his thoughts drifted to Duke Town. To the dusty wood and tin garage, where he practised his songs and worked on his beats while Grandpa fiddled with the new iPad and his friends made fun of him. One day they laughed so hard that their voices turned daggers and murdered his drive. He didn’t go near the garage for days.

Grandpa found him lying in bed, staring at the window.

“Koko, come and eat.” Grandpa had said.

“I am not hungry”

“Well come watch me eat then”

He dragged himself off the bed to the dining room. They ate together. When the meal of water-yam porridge was done and Peter, Grandpa’s steward had whisked away the empty plates, Grandpa held his hand.

“Koko, you have to be strong if you want to be an artist. You have to be stronger than the things that want to stop you.

You have to know that not everyone will like you and not everyone will hate you. Even God has enemies and the devil has friends.

The important thing is for you to like yourself and to keep making beautiful songs. To keep sharing and reaching for those people that do care about what you have. Those people that are hungry for what you share.”

And so he dragged himself back to the garage. He put locks on the doors tis time to keep stray humans out.

He sang for the wall geckos, the mice and the moths.

He sang till he lost his voice.

It came back again two weeks later, just in time for the Malta Live Idol auditions.

So here he was.

He wouldn’t make it to the next level. One judge thought he “had potential”, the other two looked too exhausted to care. The verdict was ‘No’.

In his rage he would burn his song books and his drums. And vow never to sing again.

But sing he would: at Grandpa’s burial, at a friend’s wedding then at a bar in a 5-star hotel where Steve Bruce was listening and loving what he heard.

He would get signed on. He would attend concerts and festivals in Belgium, Greece, Spain, America and Britain.

He would make millions.

And he would always say to himself,
“Udeme, it is the people that love you that count.”

Reasons Why I Left You.

I found out that the distance between my house and yours is the same from both ends.
I realised that love can not be earned.
I discovered that while insults can sound cute, they did nothing for my self esteem and I deserve better.
I don’t like sushi.

I saw the text you sent to your ex and the way you ogled that guy at the store.

I am tired of having you forget my birthday.

I need a companion not a trophy.

I refuse to compete with your imaginary perfect dates.

I am not perfect but I deserve to be treated like I am.

My Hands

My hands do a poor job
Of soaking up blood
And tucking intestines
Back where they belong,
They are worse still
At stopping bulldozers
From running over
My kiosk to make
Way for development,
They can’t protect my eyes
From the acid sting
Of tear gas,
Or my skull from the drumming
Of the police man’s baton,
They are no match for bombs.
Neither can they raise my son
Dead without a diagnosis,
In a dim hut,
My hands are useless,
Until now.
They find use
As a clenched fist
A declaration of faith
In the coming revolution,
A statement without words
And by God, will I raise them high.

Please Say Yes.

Here I am on one knee
Baby please,
Marry me.
I don’t have aircrafts,
Sometimes I am broke.
I don’t grow money
I am not a crook.
But girl I love you
More than the world
The sun and the moon
I love you with my soul
My blood and tears
I love you like the desert
Does rain
Like a cloud loves the sky
I will give you my. everything
And yet more,
I will make you my queen
And give you all you need
To be that amazing being
God breathed into life
Darling please say “Yes.”
Be my wife.