Bear

Last week, my family and I went to an ocean park. We didn’t know what to expect because we went with a tour group and it was frequently referred to as a water park. In hindsight, if we knew what was in store, we wouldn’t have gone.

Over time, I have come to have a strong opposition against circuses (although I have never been to one) because I believe it is cruel to force animals to act against nature. This opposition is rapidly extending to zoos and ‘ocean parks’. The animals are in small enclosures, much smaller than that of where they would be in the wild. This results in the animals being very stressed and thus affecting their health. In addition, they mostly look very sad. 

Hence, this poem in hopes of starting a conversation on this issue. I would love to hear your stand.  

 

 

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              Bear in the Ocean Park                           credit: Ayodele-Oja    

I am a grizzly bear.

A dark-brown usually 180kg salmon eating beast.

Yet, here I am

In this small place where the hundreds of kilometres

I walk is now back and forth in a small enclosure.

I myself aren’t surprised that my skin is slowly drooping.

It’s the same way I am losing my gusto.

The 3 inches long claws I have are being put to waste

As I am fed sweet potatoes by tourists whose targets aren’t accurate enough to reach me.

In addition, the 3 metres I can stand to is now simply a tourist attraction.

I am not sure where I came from,

But I am sure I cannot go back to the wild.

Still, this pain, this suffering, for the entertainment of others, is not what I deserve.

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Bear enclosure in the Ocean Park                                    credit: Ayodele-Oja 

So, do you agree or disagree with my opposition against ocean parks? Why and why not? Do leave your comments!

3.50AM

At 3.50 am in the morning,

I am awaken by a loud wail.

The foreign sounds of someone who doesn’t often shed.

Although clear that it is sincere, I am bewildered that it sounds fake.

What is wrong with emotion?

Why put up a tough front and wrap it with pride when truly,

No one wants you to,

Especially when no one wants you to?

Why succumb yourself to such torture when it’s so much pain?

My, the trouble and the difficulty.

I am not ignorant.

I see both sides and thus wake,

I wake at 3.50am in the morning.

Aflame-d

Nothing could have prepared me for what I had to do next. I ran into the woods and towards the soccer field, running uphill with only the vaguest sense of direction. In the dark, fallen branches and moss-covered rocks appeared. There was a fuliginous fog thick in the air giving an eerie feeling.

An omen of what was to come.

I tripped and fell repeatedly and worried but I have never felt so sure of doing something before, not ever since the accident. I ran. I ran like I had golden shoes.

Five minutes later, I was crouched behind the trees fifty feet from the soccer field. My heart thumped like a techno drum-beat.

The plan? Simple. Light and run.

It lit with a sizzle that reminded me of every July Fourth spent with her. I was mesmerised. The pooping started. The fireworks bangbangbang in sync with my heartbeat. When the firecrackers finished, I heard, “STOP OR I’LL CALL THE POLICE!”

I mentally cursed. I should have ran before the firecrackers ended. Regrettably, the distraction had failed. I doubled my speed, my heartbeat that of someone suffering from asphyxia. I avoided the brightly lit areas, moving zigzag, wishing that the overweight security guard would not catch up with me.

I finally reached the stairway. Taking two steps at a time, I traveled to the third floor science lab. As foreseen, the doors to the lab were locked. The fire extinguisher near the lab aided me in breaking in.

Upon entering, my nostrils were attacked by the fetid lab. I walked straight in, passing through the labyrinth of cabinets with bottles of chemicals to turn on the gas chamber.

I walked to a table bent down, took a Bunsen burner from the cabinet, connected it to the gas pipe and turned it on. The flames came alive and I was instantaneously hypnotised. I chortled and then came the waterworks.

The addiction began exactly a year ago today after I drove my best friend into a truck that had jackknifed. I was in the thousand -yard state of intoxication, we both were, but common sense had flew through the window when I entered the car turning me namby-pamby. She fell into a deep slumber to the highway’s monotonous lullaby while my right-side burnt.

For a year now, I have failed to comprehend my survival. I think of her every moment and see her in my dreams, the exact identical dream each night. Her weight falls dead on me, crushing my chest, stealing my breath, and she is cold and wet, like melting ice. Her head is split in half and a pink – gray sludge oozes from the fracture in her skull and drips down my face, and she reeks of formaldehyde and rotting meat.

Guilt, cold wrenching guilt had formed deep in my heart, thus the need for warmth.

Thus the need to finish the job.

I walked back to the cabinet full of chemical, picked bottles labelled with ethanol and splashed them around the lab. I got another bottle this time labelled methanol and watered myself with it. With a hand full of wooden splints and the Bunsen burner, the science lab is aflamed.

I laid on the table in the middle of the lab and waited for the fire to engulf me. Second thoughts began to leak into my head but I did not move an inch. As I watched the ceiling, I played back the accident, replaying how I killed someone and lost half myself in the span of seconds.

Footsteps and shouting resonated through the corridor as I had begun to lose consciousness but it was too late.

At least, I hoped I would have been dragged out to sea by the undertow before they arrived.

“Whether or not you believe in Fate comes down to one thing: who you blame when something goes wrong. Do you think it’s your fault – that if you’d tried better, or worked harder, it wouldn’t happen? Or do you just chalk it up to circumstance? I know people who’ll hear about the people who died, and will say it was God’s will. I know people who’ll say it was bad luck. And then there’s my personal favourite: They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Then again, you could say the same thing about me, couldn’t you?”
– Nineteen Minutes, Jodi Picoult

The Chibok Girls

April 14th, was the third anniversary of the kidnapping of 276 girls, from the Government Girls Secondary School, school dormitories, in Chibok, Nigeria.

This poem is a cry for the safe return of the rest of the 195 girls that have yet to return.

It’s been three years now. Three years since the 276 girls were taken by force, in the dark of the night from the place that was the foundation of their aspirations. It’s been three years since 195 girls have last seen their families.

It is hard to comprehend. Always has been. It is difficult comprehending how people said to be human beings could celebrate the kidnapping of girls on the path of a better future. It is difficult comprehending why the government has yet to rescue the 195 of them. However, it’s a luxury for those whose problem is in comprehending how such an evil could happen and not in how it had happened to them.

There are things many of us will fail to fully understand. The emotion the parents feel when the next girl, who was managed to make it back home, isn’t their daughter. The emotion a mother feels when her daughter comes back with a baby although she is almost half the age, her Mother was when she had her first child. The agony some of the girls felt losing their babies while escaping.

However, despite the mess, a few thing are clear. Justice shall prevail, we are not afraid, and we shall #BringBackOurGirls.

World Poetry Day Special~

In celebration of World Poetry Day and as a lover of poetry, I created a simple presentation for school, in hopes of encouraging students to write and perform poetry too. I would like to remove the stereotype that people have about poetry, that it is boring and hard and share with them the wonders of poetry.

I hope that after the presentation, students shall have a more positive opinion of poetry and be able to see how simple and beautiful it is.

Here is the power point presentation:

World Poetry Day

Of course, here is an original poem to celebrate the day:

Let’s Talk

Let’s talk about things we don’t usually talk about.

Let’s talk about the pain people hide beneath the cuts.  

Let’s talk about the secrets students bury because they are afraid to talk.

Let’s talk about the dust that old hunchback cleaners with warm smiles sweep out of classrooms, creating sandstorms.

Let’s talk about the whispers flown miles away from circles of teenagers.

Let’s talk about the books we are dying to read but won’t discuss.

Let’s talk about the corrupt we motivate.

Let’s talk about the things we hate, that boil our blood underneath the skins we dread.

Let’s talk about the sky. 

Let’s talk about death and how the unknown prevents us from sleeping.

Let’s talk about the spirits within us that are begging, begging to take over.

Let’s talk about the words we said, didn’t mean to say, wanted to say, couldn’t say, wished to say, lived to say, and died trying to say.

Let’s talk about the future we hope to see in a crystal ball.

Let’s talk about those dodging bullets and bracing violent waves.

Let’s talk about the dreams that have shattered and have yet to be reborn.

Let’s talk about those without a place to call home.

Let’s talk about love and how we all secretly wish for it.

Let’s talk about how selfish and greedy we all are.

Let’s talk about how cruel we’ve made the world and how we are going to make all of it stop.

A Wronged Soul

A bruise is how the body remembers it has been wronged.

The hands that spread across
my neck and the handprints
that have stained me will soon
start to define me.

I will continuously wipe
sorrow off my face only
for my hands to be smeared
with blood.

I will roll my eyes
back once my head hits
the bed due to the
recollection that
lives in my head.

My stomach will start to disappear
and my body will
cave in
forming a bowl that would
collect the water, I refused
to drink.

However, there is nothing that
leaves you as thirsty as hate.
The more I drink, the
more I long for it.
The more I scream for it.

Darkness has overcome me.
It has become my second skin.
I claw at it furiously
only to have scars that could
be mistaken for tattoos.

It has come to the point that
the pain that spreads across my
soul has started to spread
across the body that holds it.

There is nothing more frightening
than a soul remembering
that it has been wronged.

Pain

The emptiness of ones heart can only be
Defined by that of the person.
No pain or extent of ones pain can
Be felt by another.
Every inch of it is different and
Shaped for everybody.
Each nerve senses it differently.
Thus, I cannot and I do not expect
You to feel my pain or to even be able
To understand it.
But I ask that you listen and trust when
I say that it’s too much.
So that I can breathe,
Take in oxygen like any other human.

21/10/16