School: A Trauma

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Though all they could do was emulate and copy-write outdated originals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

On Words and Wisdom

poetry.jpg

 

MG

South Africa

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

Spencer

Spencer was new to school and hadn’t quite decided who to be. Having the benefit of a unisex name meant that Spencer had also chosen not to identify as ‘he’ nor ‘she’ but ‘it’ or ‘Spence’.

On the first day, Spence dressed in such a manner that its gender could not be identified at first glance. Short-ish hair but not entirely, hoody, jeans, sneakers, and body language that simply confused everyone.

Spence didn’t like being told who to be nor was It capable of mimicking what has already been done, so instead of trying to emulate the behavior of those around, It decided to merely experience people. This strategy was much more relaxing than trying to ‘keep up with appearances’, because all Spence had to do was either sit back and listen to what people seemed inspired by or initiate conversation and be aware of what emotions were evoked throughout the duration.

The first day was fun for Spence. Some of the classmates whispered to each other, “Is that a boy or girl? So weird…” This made Spence feel a little amused but also disappointed knowing that befriending this sector of the class would just cause misery throughout the term. Spence smirked a little and tuned-in to the group on the other side of the room.

“Dude you can’t say shit like that! I think the new kid is kinda awesome,” said one of the more charismatic figures in the class. Spence listened more, and heard another classmate say in a mocking tone, “Go say hi then!” To Spence’s surprise, the new friend actually walked over and said “Hi, I’m Evon. When an O.”

Spence liked this person’s energy—confident but not overpowering. “Oh!” bantered Spence, “As in O-V-A-N?”

Evon caught on quickly and chuckled. “Not ‘oven’. Evon. E-V-O-N.”

“I’m Spence. Like pence with an S,” Spence played along with the vibe.

“Ha!” Evon turned around and called out to the group, “This is Spence! Toldja the new kid is awesome!” The group walked over to meet Spence and introduced themselves.

The judgmental group from the first side of the classroom rolled their eyes and went back to mainstream mediocrity, gossiping about which teachers might end up dating each other or which Netflix characters should ‘soooo not be together’ (which could be heard from the hallway).

Evon’s group didn’t seem bothered by this, and frankly neither was Spence; what was noticeable though, was that the more Evon seemed to ignore them, the louder and more uncomfortable they seemed to become. Their eyes rolled more aggressively and their voices became more audible to the point where full conversations could be heard outside the classroom.

Spence turned back to Evon and the newly-made friends, grateful that this new school wasn’t entirely hopeless. Still, for a split second, Spence did feel bad for the conforming haters on the other side.

Everyone knew those were the kids who’d either die alone or become so miserable with insecurity that eventually they’d be intolerable.

Everyone knew.

Everyone, except themselves.

 

MG

We Were, Now We Aren’t

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)

The Narcissist and The Masochist

Such twisted bliss
A blissful twist
The masochist and the narcissist
She knows he will break her
Yet still lets him take her
For brokenness was all she had known
And heartlessness was where she had grown
Hopelessly alone, she drew her conclusions
It was a world without love, only illusions
A place overcome by untamed emotion
But her heart remained deep as an ocean
Seeking narcissistic love with its highs and lows
For that roller coaster is all she knows
Desperation, pain
Fear, and rage
On insecurities the narcissist feeds
Validating the ink that bleeds
Enabling the scars a masochist needs
Leaving wounds deeper than skin
Penance for her every sin
Until the day he bled her dry
And the masochist could no longer cry
For her evaporated tears left a stench
And the narcissist’s thirst no longer quenched
Thus he moved on, new prey to hunt
A planet with eight billion is more than enough
Masochists everywhere, they call themselves “humans”
Silver platter for the narcissist — salt, paprika, and cumin.

 

Collaboration MG and dichi_PoeTree

April 2018

After Your Ego Breaks

A letter to you, darling,

Since your mysterious disappearance, a lot has happened and changed. Not just externally, those are almost expected, but intrinsic transformation beyond even my wildest of imaginations.

It has been a year of adventure, of exploration, of growth. A few days ago, these words came to me and many unanswered questions finally found their resting places.

Real love remains even after your ego breaks.

While I’ve always known that ego has been my greatest challenge in life, meeting you is what taught me to stop leaning on it. To stop leaning on my own understanding and perception of reality. You and I had a few brief and deep conversations, we connected on a level that not many can do so naturally. There was definitely a form of chemistry between us, yet neither of us seemed to know what to do about it.

I battled myself for months, deliberating whether or not to make a move or contact you. I wanted to, each and every day.

But I knew that what you deserved, what you needed, and the type of understanding that you required was beyond my capabilities at the time. Much as I wanted to be strong enough for you emotionally, much as I wanted to give you the space you needed to grow, I couldn’t…

…because space is not a luxury I’ve been blessed with until more recently, and thus could not give what I did not have.

For this, I apologize, sincerely. I am sorry that I couldn’t give you what you asked for, that I couldn’t be who you needed me to be, and that I couldn’t see what it was you were trying to show.

Having come to terms with a neurological condition in recent years, learning how to integrate in an overwhelmingly temporary world, and moving past a series of repeated traumas in a few years whilst refusing to be victimized is honestly not an easy feat. Not easy, but still possible.

When we met, I was coming out of a dark hole, still crawling back to life. You met me when I was battered and bruised, torn and tethered. When I was nothing but a shriveled up patient in recovery who had just taken off a cast and had yet to relearn the functionality of those decayed muscles.

When we met, I was still in metaphorical rags.

I can understand why you left; I must’ve looked like a zombie coming after your brains. Maybe I was, figuratively speaking…

It was your soul.

It was your beautiful soul that drew me to you in the first place. I’d been living without one for so long that your radiance was an inevitable magnet to me; that bright light you see as you leave the tunnel of darkness.

I followed the light. I followed you…

By the time I’d finally made it out of the tunnel, you were gone!

Lost and displaced I was for a while, calling out to you and reaching out, not knowing why you’d disappeared.

Until now, I never figured it out. But I do love you, in the way you asked me to…

You wanted to be loved like the sun: from a distance, your light is lasting and appreciated. Up close, your passion burns so hot that you accidentally hurt those who overstep those boundaries. You pull away to protect the ones you love, not because you’re avoiding them, but because you want to keep them safe.

You, more than anyone, know your passions like no one else.

For that reason, you live your life the way you do, nomadic as a passenger. You don’t want to burden others because you know you can’t take on theirs either, yet you want to be loved nonetheless.

You deserve to be loved.

It has taken us this much distance for me to finally understand that. To understand how you want to be loved.

That, darling, is the love I can give you, because I don’t love anyone with the intention of ever “getting over” the person.

If I choose to love, then that love lasts; it doesn’t disappear, it merely transforms.

I do love you in the way you asked; it may not be what I had expected of myself, but it is what it is.

From the soul,

MG

 

Real love remains even after your ego breaks.
MG