Note to the son: 1

I saw you today.
deep in my happy-time dream
as the sun shone through the clouds
landing on the lavender covered fields,
and the re-greening branches,
and the brown carpet
magnificently laid across the woods,
and the silver barbed wire fence,
and the tarmac.

You smiled,
with a face I recognised but forget,
increasing my longing with your call to play.
running from bark to fresh bark
at a pace my bones can’t follow.
past the border of our clearing,
into the deep away,
enticing yet fraying the dream.

Once beaming, I frowned,
crowning my hearts love for you
with the anguish of waiting,
assailed by the strengthening anxiety
that actually – and far from your fiction:
my affliction may indeed be
that you may never come.

I slay the beast with mortal weapons,
he heals and rises up again,
casting his shadow with a cloud
over the discoloured lavender,
chocking the daffodils with rain,
drenching the forest floor so
that ir’s muddy snares slow my bones
as they attempt –
as they attempt –
as they attempt –
to run after you.

Fingertips away from bark,
ears to the lark.
vision spurning in the blackness of waking,
of half empty chalices,
and poorly marked tarmac.

But…
I saw you!

© Denis Adide 2013

Crimson tide!

Driving up the A40 into london I held my breath while under the Hanger lane bypass. This junction between the A406 and the A40 marks the border between the inner and the outer city. Countless times I’ve driven through there with my younger charges who’ve all urged me to hold my breath as we went through the tunnel which like a portal ushers you from the first world into the busy one. You can tell the difference by the significant increase in traffic lights and billboards. It is to the latter that my attention today is drawn.

As I exhaled, emerging out from the tunnel, my thoughts were on how foolish I felt to have done that while alone in the car. Embarrassed but happy I reflected on how the littlest and most childish things gave me the most joy when done. My thoughts were interrupted by two images on the billboards ahead. They were of a half naked woman with crimson lipstick provocatively postured. I immediately ceased being a child and read what it advertised – a ‘gentlemen’s club’. It was 10 o’clock in the morning.

I find it interesting that the link has been created between a disregard for the dignity of women and the sense of manliness. The link is so strong that it has created an industry for itself. Sex, sexuality, and their power is such a potent thing that if mishandled can yield great pain. We live in a world that tries it’s hardest – and succeeds – in convincing the majority of that it is okay and actually quite ‘gentlemanly’ (or manly indeed) to see women as mere objects to be gaped at, wolf whistled, picked up and dropped off once used. Evidence for this is the billboard in question which, for me, surmised the commercialisation of what should be a gift. What’s more tragic is that the machinery has been at play for so long that some women have taken to it, mastered it and now use it effectively; perpetuating the problem. The yield is a generation, or two, for whom femininity and sexualisation for women, and masculinity and infidelity for men are tied.

There is a fine balance to be struck between collective responsibility (legislation) and personal responsibility (response ability) when it comes to this issue. We can all stand and watch while the generations that follow spiral further into a warped – and warping – planet, blind to the truth of healthy sexuality. That world where intimacy and commitment are continuously choked and sex – which should be a by product of good relationship (in the balanced diet with intimacy and commitment) – is heralded as fast food. We can indeed stand and watch…. Or change.

http://www.mumsnet.com/campaigns/let-girls-be-girls

 

 

WORD!

“Words are thoughts in action” Kobna Holdbrook Smith

“Logos is a son, then, a son that would be destroyed in his very presence without the present attendance of his father” Derrida.

“In contrast to writing, living logos is alive in that it has a living father (whereas the orphan is already half dead), a father that is present, standing near it, behind it, within it, sustaining it with his rectitude, attending it in person in his own name”  Derrida

How well do you own what you say? Sustaining it, nurturing it, living it?

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The End

“We don’t do any other sizes but the standard one.”

This the response I recieved from the man behind the counter at the pret i’m currently seated in. I had asked for a mega sized hazelnut both pointing to the amount of time I was going to spend in the cafe writing this article, but also a reflection of the sigh I needed after my ordeal at the apple store.

The winter of 2008 was one of fresh self discovery, I had just spent a good year out of university and was at the begining of the course in creative writing that I had enroled on. My first two years of University were spent trying to study Aerospace engineering, a dream that was not mine though carried as though it was. ‘Who would care about English as a subject when the whole world spoke it?’. This the question that tethered me to the mast while the sirens (Sassoon, Wordsworth, Plath, Coleridge, Armitage, amongst many others) called out to me with the sweet melody of prose: where words and their signifiers danced effortlessly with philosophy and sentience. I had made the break, unhooked the tether and embarked on the journey that ultimately finds me here.

Convinced that I needed it for the study, and happy with the new found sense of self, I walked into an apple store in search of a character defining machine. I didn’t care so much for reasoning, all I wanted was something that was mine for no other reason than I wanted it. That was when I saw her. Her black skin, like my own, in the vast sea of white, stood out against the backdrop of light wood, glass and whitewash walls. She was crisp, open, and calling. I was thirsty for what she oozed and was almost mystically drawn to the potential of what we could achieve once twined. I chose her, paid for her (think what you will of me, she was mine for the taking and needed liberation). Pleased with my purchase, I carried the white bag – it’s emblem (the bitten apple) speaking volumes about the sense of internal indignation mixed with excitement that coursed with the adrenaline through my capillaries.

These five odd years since then have passed quickly. Countless lecture notes, short films, articles, and a dissertation have been mused and written in her presence. I had to forgive my little sister for breaking her screen (which proved very expensive to replace) and recently my wife for liberating one of her keys. Slowly, and almost inevitably, she grew old and weary. Her contemporaries died and were replaced by new models but she pressed on: I persevered with her (loyal). Even when the thinner younger version was made available (ipad2), I still did the bulk of my work with her.

So it was with a deep sadness that I brought her in to the store for a final repair and received the words ”won’t be worth fixin’ mate” from the ‘genius behind the bar’ (there is plenty I could say about the ill treatment I recieved in the apple store but that would be undignifying for the moment). Mourning and indignant, I wrapped her in the bag they gave me, unwilling to let her be seen in their store, held her close and gently carried her to the car – where she rests till we get back home.

….

How existential can one get about a computer dying?

….

I may be the only one who has particular points to which they can pin the beginning of a positive change in their lives. What I contemplate now as I have the last sips of what is a cold late (thanks to this long post) is the death of a symbol. My Macbook was, and represented, the break from homogeny. It presents (presented – sad times) the moment I took stock of the uniqueness of my fingerprint, the moment I realised I had a voice to explore and discover, the moment I became Adide (in all it’s complexities known or unknown). Her slow death, which has began, represents an end: the end of my physical tether to that pinpoint (it evaporates into a memory – unreliable as that is).

As I type this on my iPad, she sits in a cold boot. I sit in a warm cafe. A catalyst to my becoming shed as in the stages of rocket launch. It is a sad moment that is coupled to a wellspring of hope.

I leave you now so that I may grieve. Hopefully to return happier.

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After the silence

“… An awful lot of coming and going and swooping round of Christmas presents and the young rushing down to the shops for last minute things; at the moment there are quite a number of boxes of sweets, etc, here… That’s all very well here, but who are we bombing this Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve, who are we bombing on Christmas night, when the snow lies thick on the ground oh? This bloody silly war”.

Naomi Mitchinson

 

Worth a thought no?

The Forgotten

We exist,
Far from pebbled streets,
Castles, boats, and the great stream.
Far from the high walls lit up by screens,
From crowns, kings, queen and politics,
We are the only things
They honestly cast aside.
Like a gum wrapper or a flyer from the 4th Sainsburys down the street.
They built it over the ruins of the old library, Which they had first converted into a pub.
Our worth receeding as the companies
Saw fit to freeze the books for drinks,
Then drinks for the chance to squeeze the last pennies
From the emptying streets.
Underneath whose dim lights we exist.

Like the prison, they walled US in.
Slowly we forgot the dreams they sealed,
Visions and hopes tinned between
The tall – wall to wall – blocks that seem
To keep even the slightest glimmer of hope at bay.
the Light of day is rarely seen.
In darkness mothers turned to teens,
And fathers into ghosts – unseen.
Beep
Beep
Beep
Sold the age old heresy
That in these dejected seams
The colours of skins divide.
But we, who in these covered schemes reside
Quietly recite the chants and sing
Knowing that here,
where the forgotten swim,
the truth – like we – exist.

© Denis Adide 2012

 

 

Play the game

I will give you all this if you bow down and worship me

It is with a great disappointment, especially in myself, that I find this being the mode of the world: that in some cases, honesty – and all the vulnerability it requires – yields pain, sorrow, and failure. Tomorrow I face an interesting situation, the heart says break and be true, the mind says be as true as you can without breaking. The heart says be honest and yeild control, the mind says control and be safe. Deep down there is the knowledge that controlling is actually unsafe because it takes power away from heaven – whose loving heart yearns only for my Good (or at least I hope). Voices, externally and internally however, have made their opinions known: this world isn’t ideal and has no patience for optimistic (what they call naive) idealists.

It will quickly chew up and spit out what is not bone

Have you ever felt the fear of being known – understood – and not rejected? Scared by the idea that your scars would not repel? Or that what you may receive for your openness is an embrace? This is the place where true choice – the determinant of character – resides: in the decision to manage what you know, or step into the unknown (or rather the un-experienced – because you already know it).

Maelstroms (see picture) can either destroy or propel depending on the sailor. Confidence, skill, and grace are key.

In the desert He knew Himself

I’m unable to sleep out of pure anxiety. Seek me tomorrow and see if hope was victorious over fear.