Unkind

A reading of the following poem can be found at the following link: https://youtu.be/VueA9Dx49bM

I was told there is an Australian dream,
acquired in the classroom, but all I witness
are the twisted cadavers of scarred nightmares,
reflected in the irises of all who have been ostracized
for being exactly who they are.

First class education, running water,
electricity, the internet – these are not the definitions
of the beautiful, multi-cultural society we reside within.
Neither still is calling the young Iranian child
a terrorist; dubbing the Japanese exchange student
a slanty eyed Chink; labeling the young man,
who loves another, a disgusting faggot.

When I was in school, I was called a ‘cunt’
more often than I was called my name,
and the insults never stop for the future generations
I confront today. Our own Prime Minister
proclaimed, that those with mental illness
are a danger to society, the fear recited by the media
fueling the hatred encountered in school,
until being different is no longer a luxury:
it is a crime deemed punishable
with alienation and betrayal.

To this day, I spend my life the same way
I spend my lunchbreak – alone, yet hopeful
the young lady I have feelings for
might still notice me – but in the class,
there is no hope in the eyes of those
traumatized each day. What help
can a single man bestow upon a student
pondering self-harm, when those responsible
for the slander, the lies, and the assaults,
are allowed free reign to frequently commit atrocities,
without even the threat of suspension?

But because these few students may go on
to become our doctors, lawyers, soldiers,
scientists, politicians and teachers,
why should we care if they are in fact
broken inside? Their scars are well concealed
beneath the mask they so happily remove
after a six hour day that felt more like a lifetime,
and their tears stream forth for hours on end,
before they are forced to endure it all again.
They smile, and they wave, pretending
their lives are complete, when all they wish
is to be loved by another.

When a single sentence of kindness
is worth more than all the dollars of a bank vault,
those willing to speak such lines
of genuine, heartfelt dialogue,
truly are the richest in the world,
but they so often find themselves silenced
by those, who would rather taunt another human
to the point of suicide. Every drop
of adolescent blood is a travesty,
but we don’t speak of it. Education is mandatory,
even if it kills you – the problem is,
sometimes it really can.

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4 thoughts on “Unkind

  1. I was laughing to myself when I was watching your recording. Especially the part about the promises in the corner. But, in all seriousness. This is a heavy poem. Thanks for sharing it. Also, we are doing another reading on December 6th. Check your facebook for details. You probably have a million notifications from me because I kept messing up.

    1. Hey Holden! I’m glad some of it was amusing – I have a strange sense of humor…I agree, the poem is a bit heavy. Thank you for the kindly comments. I am interested in the poetry event – I won’t make any promises yet because I might be busy – might not be busy too. Do you know what the time difference is between Victoria and California?

        1. Yes, Monday! Again, I cannot predict my schedule yet…Moreover, is it 19 hours, or is it 15 hours? I really need to get this info right, else it will be quite an embarrassing occurrence…for me at least 🙂

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