Security Blanket

Your brimming eyes offer themselves in a silent plea to penetrate the
Red haze and instantly dissolves my anger.
You clamber into my lap and I cradle you as my heart
Breaks for the one who calls me

My child, I may be able to mend scraped knees but
No band-aid can fix a world that screams:
You Do Not Belong Here
Where every corner you turn is a reminder
That the brown of your skin condemns you to a life
Of suspicious, over-the-shoulder glances
And red is more than just the colour of rage.

I want to wrap you in all the lies that I wish
I could whisper to myself
So that at least one of us remains sheltered from a world that has
How to Love.
But everyday you are one step nearer to being
Uncloaked, to awakening into the painful consciousness
That there are some bodies that will always be controlled by the whims of

The greatest injustice of all was to
Birth you into a world
Where not even a security blanket can make you invisible
No matter how tightly wound.


White Noise

A question asked
And you always
Have the words to respond
Like thoughts that are aching
To be voiced.

You speak eloquently
Waiting for your due praise
Like a self-esteem aching
To be filled.

But there is never a
You have never needed
To stop and reflect
On the impact that those words
Coming from you
With your skin colour
May have on someone
Like me.

You have never even given thought
Never needed to
For your voice is always
And mine is always

Because you come from a place
Of white privilege
Which to me is
Nothing more
White noise.


Nothing Left to Lose

If only you could read
The language of the stars
If only you could understand
Their glowing murmurs
As they paint the night sky with their geometry
Maybe then you would know
They held a clandestine convention
Spanning across the light years
Simply to bring you forth into this world

If only you understood
How the universe realigned itself
For your arrival
You would also know
That the moon will adjust the tides for you
That the ocean will cradle you
And drift you back
To the surety of land
All to save you from sinking
Into your oblivion

And the galaxy will breathe into you new life
While the wind will whisper to you
The ultimate secret:
That when you are born of yourself
When you have grown into who
The universe conspired for you to be
It is then you will understand
The nothingness you feel
Is but a black hole for you
To experience your journey into this world
A rebirth so you can reach
The highest liberation


Poetry & Image by Natasha Somji, an Overseas Development Institute Fellow working in the Ministry of Education, Ghana, who finds respite in writing as a way to insert creativity into the everyday.