The Curious Adventures of Gordan's Thoughts

This is to the teachers who put me on a pedestal
The only ‘justification’ they used bordered cultural and racial
This is to the classmates who sectioned off by sex
With girls to the right and boys to the left
This is to the headmasters who signed off on those papers
Took bribes from the parents of bullies and of haters
This is to the schools who employed psychos and sociopaths
Who used professional jargon and OCD to disguise narcissistic wrath

This is to my primary years when they used my childhood as role-model
Simply because of my efforts in becoming fluently bilingual
Only to have the second-language suppressed by dominant-race
Even though my native-tongue was one they could not embrace
They forced me to mimic their language and failed to educate
They could not teach etymology and when asked ‘why’ they couldn’t explain
Yet on paper they were marketed as highly-educated professionals
Though all they could do was emulate and copy-write outdated originals

This is to my secondary years when I finally learned about bullies
As it started from the head of school, then leaders, teachers, faculties
Colonial caucasians exploiting money from local families
Written off by those with smiles playing God as they stole society’s money
Then invested it in schools abroad and bought over those same brand names
Built capitalist institutions here and confused ‘school’ with ‘money to be made’
They enforced this competition on the innocence of youth
And when students refused to cater then we were mentally abused

Tip of the ice-berg, it gets worse, so read on if you dare
And don’t say I didn’t warn you — I did my part to care
Nonetheless if you must continue then be braced for the truth
Of what actually happened all those years in an atrocity of a school
That was sold on the premise that the highest-paying students would succeed
But it’s twenty-plus years of debt and scars that till this day still bleed
Parents sold their properties and skipped meals for their kids
Just to get them an enrollment that was later listed for bids

Corporate debentures per student is six times the annual salary
Of an average working-class resident who’s trying to raise a family
But those debentures are returned for it is money from the company
Whereas personal debentures are what bureaucrats use for their own properties
So to the parents of that school who never got what was paid for
I’m sorry to say but you were all ripped off by a school charging more
Than the typical secular international schools that are actually known globally
And not just recognized by one curriculum in one far-off remote country

Now we’d love to keep this civil and not make it a national issue
Unfortunately The School crossed that line when they stole cultural values
Warped it into an institution that they disguised with fake theology
Not the real experience of God or Christ, not even the Trinity
All they did was find a translation of whichever colonial edition
Worked into a white-male patriarchy that exploited this local system
None of the teachers even bothered learning to speak our languages
No, they just gave detention or punishment because THEY felt ignorant

When confronted on injustice by both students and parents
Then the teachers would kick up a fuss by whining and playing victim
Using a technique absolving them from all blame
But now that arrogance and classism is all over the school name
Alumni are still traumatized from homophobes and racists
Twenty-year-olds on anti-depressants trying to heal from such bullshit
Students are forced to listen to teachers ‘praying away the gay’
Then to ‘justify’ the homophobia they also discriminated gender and race

Till now, you still employ teachers, whose word-choice is so poor
That students couldn’t learn from them, our thesauruses taught us more
Teachers who were so small-minded that even eight-year-olds
Had more exposure and life experience than their indoctrinated hold
Your teachers asked minority students if parents were flight attendants
Your teachers did not critique the anti-semitism in Merchant of Venice 
Your teachers told us that ‘gay’ was a synonym for ‘stupid’ or ‘dumb’
Your teachers stood up for the bullies and constantly blamed the victims

It’s 2020 and you’re trying to rebuild amidst a global pandemic
Trying to recover your losses as if the only liability is economic
No, no, it doesn’t work that way, remember what you preached?
The notion of ‘loving money breeds evil’ is what you teach
Yet the moment teachers are asked to sacrifice and reduce their salaries
Then all hell breaks loose within the school then leaders raise the fees
All the while employing faculty who ‘claim’ the same philosophy
Of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, compassion, sacrifice, and of humility

Is any of that true for you or is that just your PR department
Writing on the website in order to acquire a pay-check?
If you call yourself a school then why are your teachers indoctrinated
By corruption, by colonialism, by caucasian expectation?
If you call yourself international then why do you only speak English?
Then ask students to expand yet serve detention for alternative language?
If you brand yourself on education then why has there been no change
In the experiences and memories of countless students who’ve left that place?

You, old school, are founded on nothing but lies
Painting your walls and buildings as if Prince of Darkness can be disguised
Then buying ideas from nations where you have never even been
Paraphrasing ideals from people you’d never make an effort to meet
You sit there in your glass office so insecure you need security
But if you’ve done nothing wrong then why install CCTVs?
Or do you think you’re so valuable that people would rob you?
Sorry to state the obvious but even thieves deem you no value

You’ve got multiple departments who are paid to grow your accounts
As the lawsuits and liabilities left you with unpayable amounts
All hidden behind the smiles of students you exploit
Families you manipulate in order to enjoy
The popularity and fame that was founded on lies and hate
On the pains of all who built your brand so you and your teachers could procreate
So employees could marry and populate an already over-populated city
All the while imposing such values on continuously-struggling families

You’re so far gone from discipleship that you’ve worded it as ‘followers’
Etching and engraving names of capitalistic corporate investors
Placing trophies, certificates, achievements on your walls and on your shelves
As if you’re building a seminary, not school, forgetting your God only had twelve
Twelve disciples completely committed to ensuring love, truth, justice
But your teachers got so caught up ‘in love’ they engaged in dysfunctional romance
You’ve all lost sight and ignore the truth just to stay ‘in love’
Then deflect using colonial theology saying ‘God’s given more than enough’

That same colonial theology that is misinterpreted by pharisees
Whose lives and lifestyles and choices they make are pure hypocrisy
You claim to follow a trinity who was made human and walked around in rags
Who spent more time in pubs and brothels having dialogues, not shags
Then you yourself dress up in Channel or Dior and even approve of H&M
Even though the theology you preach goes against such exploitation
So here we all are, wondering, do you actually know your theology
Or was that just interpreted with synonyms so you’d get a moment on TV?

Do you, as a multi-cultural international school, accept students from all classes and cultures?
Or do you view students of other religion and income as ‘contaminated vultures’?
Are you taking money from the same people you shun and call it a ‘conversion’?
And aside from converting currencies did you also convert the conversation?
Did you walk away from the fundamental truth that Christ is a spirit, not a person?
That God is the extroverted quality and introverted Jesus came as human?
Have you ever learned to read other languages, philosophies, or religions?
Or did you take advantage of Grace and Mercy to avoid rather than fight your demons?

Have you forgotten that in an international school there are people from other countries
Who speak multiple languages and bring values from different cultures
Whose families and ancestry likely have much history
Histories more vast, much deeper than your country’s
So please, just quit your ignorance and stop selling naivety
Even your white-washed theology intercepted the nativity
Your curricula is already scrutinized for suppressing the indigenous
And at present in 2020 you do the same to this city’s natives

So if you’ve any dignity and even a shred of integrity
Then you’d know your hands are tied so why do you insist on trying to lead?
How can you guide (y)o(u)r lead ‘da’ ship into righteousness, away from all this competition?
What moral compass misguided your direction and set your sails against God’s winds?
For years you’ve sought and leaders have come but were only faced with rejection
Because you were not ready to face the battles against your Satanic demons
So you employed only those who spoke your language but knew nothing of oppression
You didn’t even realize that you literally just translated an existing system

The irony in all this is that the school was worried about student depression
When it already had our sympathy and pity for whoever justified its discrimination
Teachers thought they cared about children but really used us as deflections
Unwilling to get therapy for teachers, the school just put students on medication
Essentially, those teachers have little concern for learners’ education
If anything, they’re more influenced by ‘conversion’ and ‘eradication’
For some egotistic reason they truly ‘believe’ that they’re so different
As if they’re the only institution selling outdated white-evangelism

You and them stood on stage singing “Break every Chain”
Well, y’all broke your chain of command, mate
You broke the chain that bound you to Christ
Then ran off into the dark of the night
You took your own vision out of your mission
And instead building students you focused on building pensions
The moment your heart, souls, and minds made that flip
Well… that’s exactly when it all began to slip

See, “Blessed are the persecuted” does not mean “persecute in order to bless”
Nor is “do unto others as you’d have them do” a reflection of karmic process
You even misconstrued “fear” for “respect” when it’s “respect of God” and not “fear”
Because perfect Love casts out all insecurity so why are you so scared?
God is the Head does not mean Man is the head, for God is an ungendered spiritual entity
Christ is an experience and experiences can’t be forced, yet your school is now a seminary
So can you please rethink and reassess what you sell because you’ve no right to preach
You’re not Jesus nor do you’ve theological licensing so… stick to your M.Ed and. just. teach.

 

MG

I come from a nation large and strong
Where we raise our voices in song
Sing praises unto the heavens and earth
With a dozen languages of different words

Our people, we know of tragedy and pain
We know more of loss than of gain
Yet we seek not to dominate
We seek a commitment to cultivate

We have the land, the labour, the love
We have sun and moon, is that not enough?
We have seeds sown all over our nation
So why, may I ask, are we still in recession?

Since 94 we have overthrown Apartheid
We are living legacies of Mandela’s fight
Our existence in itself is what makes us free
So why are people suddenly chasing money?

All of you South Africans are smart enough to
Stand there and tell me Zuma did this to you
And if we as a People claim to fight corruption
Then is not desire for wealth simply giving up our freedom?

I say this to you, my country, we do not need money right now
We will need it in the future, but first take a look around
You see that backyard of yours, that you forgot was even there?
Well that’s a perfect spot for a home garden, use the sunshine and the air

You there, standing by the window with nothing in your hand,
Go to your yard and look around, find a plot of sand
Take your fingers and your palm and lay them on the ground
Now you can draw a picture there by wiggling your hand around

And you, Mr, Mrs, Miss whoever you are
With your fancy trucks and empty unused cars
Why don’t you get up and register those wheels
To collect soap, food, and deliver some meals

We as a nation, we have been through much
And this lockdown has been a little tough
But remember, we’ve also overcome much more
Than just staying home and closing a door

For all the sacrifices our ancestors have made
We must have compassion, we should not complain
We as a nation have only one mission
To consider and respect each other’s fight for freedom

I have only one request today, my beloved South Africa
That we take one minute to remember Nelson Mandela
Think about why he pushed Equality instead of money
The fundamental philosophy of what it costs to be Free

South Africa, my people, my nation, my land
I wish we could help each other understand
That there is only one way to overcome mass corruption
We must be fully committed to tackling our own oppression

We must become open to change and transformation
We must set a good example for the new generations
We must become cooperative, constructive, and creative
We must focus on being productive, only in sports are we competitive

Slowly as we build ourselves, our skills, and our souls
We will see progress within the nation, and then we can make goals
We must, as People, take some responsibility
We within ourselves must have accountability

South Africa, my beloved, I pray for all of us
But mere prayers are not going to be enough
South Africa, my love, let us unite as one
Let us keep living and striving for our free-dom

 

MG

 

 

South African Freedom Day 427

How does one write
rather how does one type
on a stereotype
in the form of a hype
trendsetters surround
generating sounds
flooding all around
coming from outta town
now I don’t mean immigrants
I’m talkin ‘bout expats n’ tourists
with commercial interest
bearing the label “capitalist”

The few who were impressed
returned to invest
at the materialist’s bequest
a thirst that can’t be quenched

see the downside to this notion
that they term “capitalism”
is the constant hunger for more
for meagre life’s a chore
a need to compensate
with objects on their plates
that constantly seek upgrade
and engage in debate
about the technological change
about foreign stock exchange
about our nuclear weapons’ range
the ones blasted up on stage
the faces of diplomats
glorified doormats
they might have nicer habitats
but still use the same laundromats

Speeches are drafted and read
edited before they’re said
don’t want the people to be misled
rephrase the lies they spread
yet e’ryday People get out of bed
are drawn to the metaphorical Red
log on to hot topics n’ threads
to catch up with the trend
but on the other end
there are beggars who can’t pay rent
their problems aren’t concerning where their right to vote went
but surviving on less than a tenth
of the income most of us get
and let ourselves forget
the roots from which we were bred

 

MG

 

 

(freeverse / spoken word — July 2019)

What do we do when the enemy cries?
Do we mock their pains, or empathise?

What do we do when the racists scream
that they want to conserve their liberties?

What do we do when classists steal
from those who have less material?

What do we do when sexists refuse
to embrace others as human but then make excuses?

What do we do when homophobes whine
about the fear of being ‘hit on’ all the time?

What do we do when ageists enforce ideals
not to address them by name but instead by title?

What do we do when religious indoctrination
is interpreted with arrogance and not with empowerment?

What do we do when any other human
believes it’s acceptable to compete for validation?

What do we do when abusers run towards weapons,
provoke violence, get beaten, then play ‘victim’?

What do we do when the enemy cries?
Do we mock their pains, or empathize?

 

MG

 

 

 

 

Inspired by Hong Kong 

The bird wanted the fish to feel
How free it was to fly
He plucked the fish from the sea
And got angry when it died…

MG

 

 

 

[Moral]
Acceptance and cooperation
The bird is freest when flying in the sky, whereas the fish is freest in the water.
The bird imposed its own understanding of freedom on the fish then was disappointed that the fish could not fly.

[Lesson]
The problem was that the bird did not adjust its expectation, but the solution was that the bird could adapt.
It just ate the dead fish.

One day, two world leaders got together
To discuss a deal that would benefit each other

One said, “I’ll paint my country as heaven
but really it will be hell.
People will flock from all over
to drink from our immortal well.”

The other replied, “I’ll canvas mine as hell
but really it will be heaven.
No one will dare draw near;
no humans means no pollution.”

The first leader smiled, “I’ll build factories for the humans,
teach them the bare minimum
and ensure cheap production,
then I’ll sell them to your nation.”

The second smirked and said, “I’ll drench them with education
and dictate the laws of freedom,
They’ll design our ammunition
and set up our revolution.”

The first raised an eyebrow, “You think you can take us on?
Your ego is not that strong.
You’re weak with humanity and empathy,
you will have a crumbled economy.”

The second laughed and replied, “Depends what you define as economy.
To you, it’s the paper trail of money,
To your people, it’s multiple properties.
To us, money is simply
but a tool to enhance our humanity.”

The first was enraged by this plan
for he did not understand
what it meant to be loved, to be respected, to be free;
he was oppressed by his own beliefs.

The second was not too scared,
for there weren’t many who needed his care.
He provided the tools and let them pave a way,
then reveled in delight of what they’d made.

~MG~

“How has your writing been lately?” she asked.

“Not so good…” he said.

“Why’s that?” she took an interest.

“Writer’s Block…” he played victim, blaming state-of-mind.

She feigned ignorance, trying hard to empathize. “What’s that?” she responded with a question.

“When a writer is blocked and can’t think of ideas,” he didn’t pick up on her sarcasm.

“What’s it like to be blocked for ideas?” This was not rhetorical.

As a writer, Olivia had never found it hard to come up with ideas to write about; whether those ideas are well-received is another matter altogether. However, the sheer simplicity of generating an idea has never been an impossibility for her, so as much as she had wanted to relate, Olivia was nonetheless faced with inability to truly understand Oliver’s struggle.

In the minute it had taken Oliver to express himself, Olivia’s mind had elicited about five realizations. One, it was that she took herself for granted far too often. Two, it was gratitude of not being plagued with Oliver’s brand of “struggle”. Three, she felt bad for her friend, who could not seem to overcome a mental block. Four, she thanked her younger self for the discipline that had been instilled in her life as well as her writing. Last but not least, it was in this small moment that she realized the true power in self-commitment.

One minute.
Five revelations.

His whining was her enlightenment.

MG

Space,
as in the place
in our universe
where the planets
are placed?

Space,
as in the pauses
between sentences
where the spaces
are placed?

Space,
as in the boxes
of rooms we pay for
where the economy
defines our place?

Space,
as in the metaphorical oxygen
you need in order to breathe
because you’ve been suffocated by
a partner who doesn’t
know her place?

Space,
as in the physical reflection
of a human ego,
the amount one needs
so that they can grow?

Space,
as in conceptual nothingness
to remind you of everything
you now realise is meaningless
all because you wanted this thing…

…called space?

Space.

 

MG

 

Huxley instead of Hardy
Tolstoy rather than Tolkien
Why Dickens when we’ve Dostoevsky?
Oi, Kafka! Not Kerouac!
Get more Wilde then chill with the Wordsworth
Bring in Forster and replace Faulkner

…so maybe, just maybe, we could have a generation with jobs instead of “socialist warriors”.

 

#ReviseHowYouTeachLiterature

 

 

MG

I once was young and I was naïve
I dreamed of a future where we would be
Together we’d fight, you with me
Hand in hand so sturdily

We pushed each other to rise above
The hatred thrown by the world at us
Together we fought them using our love
The assumption that it would simply be enough

Slowly we pushed each other to grow
To become… (whatever we are now)…I don’t know
We pushed so hard our unity broke
Here we both are, standing alone

Perhaps at one point we were the same
Pushed ourselves then each other away
You led me to believe we were on the same page
Yet your words were rehearsed and our fights were staged

Did you know it would come to this?
Did you know it when we first kissed?
Was this my doing, or is this your wish?
Is there still a chance, even just a bit…?

 

MG
(Narration of an observed journey)

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