Engrish for the Elites.

As people of colourimages if we’re going to say “We don’t owe anyone proper English” then we should stop belittling people when they struggle with English.
People like making these blanket statements when standing at points of privilege-those who speak “proper” English are the ones quick to use the “We don’t owe anyone English” while judging and belittling those who genuinely struggle with the language. Using English as a measurement of intelligence and totally disregarding the fact that there are many government schools(particularly in low income areas) that only offer English as a 1st Additional language(not on your Shakespearean level) and sometimes English is not even taught in English. And to avoid being ridiculed some people stick to their home language and people will still belittle.
Double standards.
Belittling won’t change the facts- it’s no secret that local schools are struggling to bridge the language gap. If bad English bothers you so much, take your proper English and tutor. Dear child, you first words to God were not in English. You place English above your native tongues, you place English above your mother’s tongue as if it was not her voice that comforted you time and time again- her language and the way it filled her mouth – when you speak your perfect English it feels like something is missing- like half of what you were supposed to say got stuck in your throat- lost in translation with the rest of your history that never made it into the textbooks. They say love as no language. In my opinion, hate has one.

Overwhelming

To the one who makes me feel like I am too much.

Baby do you ever look at the stars and think that it’s too much?
On cloudy nights is it not you who yearns to see atleast one star?
On clear nights is it not you who watches the stars so much, I can see them twinkle in your eyes.
what makes you think I’m anything less than a galaxy and I’m not made up of constellations?

Do you ever look at the ocean and think that there’s too much water?
I tried to be softer, to let you be the sea and I’d be the river returning to you endlessly.
But I became a flood- people like me aren’t meant to be small.

You treat me like I am too heavy.
Why did you attempt to carry someone who was born with wings.
See its this heaviness that anchors me-I will not sink.

You aren’t astonished by me because you have attained me now- you think captured things aren’t beautiful anymore.
You’re in love with the wild, but you try to tame everyone you meet.
Didn’t they teach you- you cannot shackle those that are free in spirit.

You think I’m yours because you travelled miles to meet me, to place your flag on me, to say that you were here?
Go back to your people and ask them on nights when I make the whole world stare at me, if they can see that you’ve been here?
– the moon.

I’m not the girl you forget.
My brown skin is your favourite colour.
I am made up of burning stars and I do not settle for a love that is lukewarm.
I am not too much. I am endless and infinite. And when I say forever, I know I can be it.

-Lethica Nair15253330_284484258620472_1370721396426014720_n

Skin

My melanin is a weapon.
I will never be unarmed.
The colour of my skin is the “crime” I committ everyday.
The colour of my skin is what I’m punished for everyday.
My skin carries negative stereotypes.
My skin carries intentions to kill, murder and steal
My skin is the greatest rebellion my body carries
My skin carries weapons only they see.
They exploit our gold, our oil, and most importantly- our skin
The foundation of all their wealth is made from our skin.
My skin carries an entire generation of poverty and sometimes I think its also carrying for the future.
You make us poor and then use our poverty against us.
And suddenly being poor robs me of my riches?
No, my skin is also dipped in the rich minerals of this country
Everything good that can be found in our soil, is found my skin- all that gold, all the copper, all that wealth.
That’s how you know I’m meant to be here.
To be black and Brown.
In a captalist country painted white,
is our greatest disadvantage.
Did you see, everything dark was taught to be associated with evil and unholiness.
They often say the white light is blinding and I couldn’t agree more.
They use the oppressed to oppress the oppressed.
I mean dear police officer,
the blue uniform does not take away the burdens your skin carry, they beat your heart and mind
black and blue so you put your legal duties before your moral ones.
Divide and conquer- colonialism tactics for our so called ‘freedom”
What’s freedom without equality?
Our lives are like apologies for not being white.
Everything unfair is “legal”
Now I should mention, South African Law stems from Roman Dutch and English Law.
How convenient to have our colonizers contribute to our legal system.
They’ll say “I’m racist.”
“I’m prejudiced.”
I’m “part of the problem”
“We need to move foward”
“We can’t dwell on the past”
People of colour can never be racist.
Racism is systematic oppression and so far the system has never been on our side.
I’m part of the problem created by you.
A step forward for you takes us 10 years backward.
We’re still fighting for the equality. We’re still…
Is it still the past if the oppressors are the same?

Tangled

Naturally, I seek you in every room
Effortlessly, I find myself entirely drawn to you
Eyes, thoughts, mind, body
Everything desires to gravitate towards you.
And when our eyes meet,
it’s like I’ve been set on fire, all this light flowing through my body,
I finally understand the concept of physical attraction.

Lately I find you in my constant thought.
The most effective drugs have heartbeats
You tangle my heartstrings
So my body plays foreign rhythms when you’re around
You make my mind travel, taking me places
No inhibitions. Eyes screaming intentions but
Lips sealed, only opening to receive yours.

I gave myself five days to forget you
But on all five days, thoughts of you became more vivid.
I’m steady on you.
See I can’t help thinking that maybe your hair is a reflection of your thoughts-
Spiralling, spilling and uncontrollable.
Your names means beautiful, but you’re so much more
Your language could easily become my favourite
As long as you’re the one that’s speaking it
You are the art in persuasion.

Reckless. We’re so reckless
A tsunami and a volcanic eruption in one place
Inevitable disaster.
But
Shallows seas seldom make waves
I learnt how to swim because I almost drowned
The danger area around a volcano is 32 km
But you’ve been closer
I think we’re good being disastrous, just not together
Spilling ourselves on each other
Throwing feelings in the air
I pray we never catch it.

We love living on the edge
Until one of us actually falls
Too late
They’ll ask me who you are
And since you look at me like I’m magical
A magician never tells.

Rea leboha (We thank you)

Rea leboha. We Thank You.
Because you didn’t just love me,
You loved my demons and all the skeletons of people I used to be

Rea leboha. On dark days,
The phone felt like the sun against my face
And your voice would fill me with light-
So if I couldn’t see around me, at least I could see within me

Rea leboha. You listened to my dreams and dreamt with me.
You taught me how plant seeds of hope in my garden of pain.
I learnt that pain is the most fertile soil for growth.
I am still learning to cultivate from it.

Rea leboha. We became infinite.
So even though this love has ended,
I know we won’t.

Rea leboha. Your mind was my galaxy.
We don’t need to see constellations to stargaze.
It’s said that the sun is one of the biggest stars in the milky-way
You and I are two suns who tried to co-exist.
No wonder we defied the distance in between us, I could always feel your light
We tried so hard to be together.

Rea leboha. You never failed to shine on me every day.
I am not too good with commitment.
See, my heart is too heavy and it falls all over the place.
It was in constant need of saving
Falling but never breaking because of your selflessness.

Rea leboha. You taught me a love that can never hate
A love so transcending, so spiritual and biblical-
You brought the dead parts of me back to life.
I had to love you so deep to show myself
What I can give to myself.
I had to love you to love myself.

Rea leboha. We don’t break after every fall
But the hardest part about falling in love-
Is the climb back.
Realeboha.

Running.

I’m on a treadmill of nostalgia

I keep running our lines over and over again

Wondering where we went wrong

What did I say to you that made you choose a different part?

I have to tie myself to the edges of my pride

So I do not fall for you every time I see you.

I have to shove my excitement down my throat

So my love doesn’t announce itself every time it meets your eyes

I think of you till I become unconscious

I’ve been writing about you ever since I’ve met you

I’ve been hoping that these words crawl out of the page

And hold your hand gently when you feel anxious

And kiss your lips softly when you’re unsure

And stare into your eyes deeply when you’re doubtful

But you already have all of that.

To you my words are

Forgettable

Insignificant

I keep running on the treadmill of longing that I have for you.