When did we get into this tight space?

When did we get into this tight space?

A Poem by Glennise Ayuk

What lies on the the other side of stigmatization and greed, is beautiful. Let's not be desensitized by the saddening trends.


When did we get into this tight space?

I’m barely standing. Inside my head is spinning in circles.

My heart distraught and bleeding frozen tears as I wonder

Is “brother” just another fancy word voiced

without any spirit of comradeship whatsoever?

It’s bad, so bad the slave marks are inflicted by our own.

Cracked ribs from chain whips slashed

against my skin by one of mine. What are country borders

if not tiny waters between land? Waters we can wade in if we’re

holding each others’ hands. Why empower trivialities like difference

in language, nationality, place of worship, or skin colour to rise in

strength and stature and defile the elemental substances that unite us?


How close will my children have to build their walls?

Tell me, how close?

For it is my sister who perpetuates their destruction

my brother is the spiller of their blood.

See, the enemies now live within my house. 

So I can’t surmise how to recover from blows given at such close range

or fight back when the neck I’ll be strangling will be my daughter’s own?

The ones who rape us, to our horror are not random bush bandits

but good friends we opened the doors of our homes to

the acquaintances we welcomed with a smile.

How come all these coarse ugly scars and bruises on my skin were carved

by the man who says he cares for me? And I live with a different face

because the acid that did the job was poured by my best friend?


Since when did I become the person who doesn’t believe in me?

Starkly blind to my value and beauty?

Strange that it is I myself who tortures my heart by subjecting it

willingly to rejection and excuses? What excuses can I give for that?

My flesh craves the things that haunt my spirit.

They pull at each other. I’m at war within

so can I even make peace with my brother?

Who abuses my rights?

You’ll think it is, but it isn’t the overseas TV.

It’s the one I voted, the commander I entrusted with my life and welfare.

Deprivation of education is the foreplay of the ones

who claim to be delivering me from the oppressor.

So I am barely translated from one handicap entrapment to the other.

Division, striking to kill, sheer hate, animosity, resentment

between families, races, genders, parties and governments

who all are apparently building a better tomorrow.

We may keep super busy preventing death

by researching diseases and innovating technology

but we will still die young at each other’s hands  

if we aren’t taught to love.


And love.

When did it become an idle word we mostly hear

in music videos with naked people and purple Ferraris?

Since when did I, being above not instinctively

reach down to raise my brother? Instead I smash his head again and again,

pound hard, push him further down.

And when I’m not at that, I’m deriding his opinions

rubbishing his dignity, snubbing him before the children.

Beyond the veil and the trim-cut suit of the newlyweds, there’s cold

calculation and summation of personal turnover.

Our children never get to learn the giving and sharing

that was to be the basis of it all.

When did we really just loose hold of it? Just loose it?

For now we have become a people who are proud of hate, not guilty,

ashamed of love, not proud,

acclaimed for disrespect, not chastised

befriended for corruption, not disciplined,

cavaliered by wealth, not rendered generous,

silenced for truth, not dignified,

and we have surrendered to currency the power above

everything in this our beautiful world, even peace.

The latter is apparently the prayer of the minority because

if she weren’t, we would all be sharing hugs and seeking her.


A thousand questions, someone help me find answers.

Or do you ask these questions too?

There’s dire need for that light of hope in the neighborhood, your home

on the streets, at work and school, the marketplace, the mall and theatres,

in society, to the weak, in your country, spread the love, speak the truth!

Keep the promises when you get to hold the power coin.

I hail every gracious soul who has stood for kindness,

been a channel of hope or put a smile on a stranger’s face.

Like them, let us try love.

We have so far seen violence and strife break us into worthless

bitter pieces scattered to suffer in the wind.

So let’s take love. Let each of us try love.

Beginning from now.


© 2017 Glennise Ayuk

Author's Note

Glennise Ayuk
I'm trying out spoken word poetry to pass the message.

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Added on December 24, 2017
Last Updated on December 24, 2017
Tags: #outlivinghate, #poem, #poetry, #lovethistime, #spokenword, #spokenwordpoetry