How Brown Skin Behaved In The Heat


There was a heat wave in England last week

it was all too much sunshine for me

Coming from Africa recently

but after a while I came out wondering what I would see

I met enough feminine flesh to make a good Muslim flee!

Or make a black man happy

Give them a break

it’s just how they were raised

It’s called cultural relativity

They were told women were evil

encouraged to rape any female they find too revealing

They were told she’ll stir up the devil in Him

So they wrapped her up and blamed her for sin

Built her a cage and a prison to safely reside

made her swallow her pride

Told her the laws can’t withstand

the frenzied lust of an unrestrained man

Men are powerless, pliant and weak

in the palm of a feminine hand

Surely the Queen shouldn’t let such brutes into her land

Because her subjects aren’t allowed to surrender

to mere notions of gender

When the sun shines they’re allowed to submit to the heat

encouraged to bare

Miles of pale limbs in shorts and no hair!

Shorts everywhere! Shorts here and there

Short shorts. Bum shorts.  Cut off shorts. Bermuda shorts. Baggy shorts

Male and female shorts.

Actually, I snort

they are male and white female shorts

When a brown woman strides past purposefully

I can see she’s not on a spree

She and her daughter dressed similarly

dressed like the winter is near

I expect innocence to find it queer

and ask ‘Mama, why are we the only ones covered here?’

‘The End is coming against the infidels dear. The Jihad is here.’

So youth and goodness is indoctrinated

mis-educated, alienated, contaminated

Truism and individualism besieged by cynicism

populism, culturism, religionism

For the free, many a crisis there’ll be

till the seed finally grows into that mighty tree

Meanwhile it seems to be

that brown skin is hiding from me

covered in Modesty

A legacy of Victorian hypocrisy

a story full of chicanery, travesty and tragedy

Brown skin hides nervously

in ignominy and suddenly my pale skin fills me with Superiority

Because it privileges me, apparently, it could be the key

It lets me display my brown skin with pride

why should I hide

when pale skin sits in the light

Trying to be superficially brown

while my brown sister tries to be superficially white

And Brown skin hides

Saying I am retiring. I am religious. I am righteous. I am right

See brown sisters hold their men tight

ever ready to fight

for the right to share in his plight

While pale bodies go on display for a warm summer day

Looking for bargains to trade

The young, the old, the not so beautiful

bodies in all attitudes

are here on parade

Even age refuses to wrap itself in a charade

while Brown skin shouts ‘I’m no longer for sale!’

My brown brother can’t look away

taught to feel yearning but not what to say

The change is complete

who is naked walking the street?

Where is the justice of peace?

Take me home

this is too much temptation for me

I haven’t learnt to be free

I rather live in the safety of my false piety

or even blame my weakness on thee

Rather than take responsibility

for my sexuality

I will hide my brown skin in a black maxi

I’m from Nigeria across the sea

conservative and free

a reactionary rebels in me

My Brown skin is still searching for yours truly

still asking itself “Who I be?”

Lesley Agams, Brighton, Summer 2013

heatwave 1

What Must be Said by Gunter Grass (A Translation)

What must be said


Why have I been silent, silent for so long?,

Our generals have gamed it out,

Confident the west will survive.

We people have not even been considered.

What is this right to “preventive war”?

A war that could erase the Iranian people.

Dominated by it’s neighbor, pulsing with righteousness

Smug in the fact that it is they, not Iran,
Who have the Bomb.

Why have I so far avoided to identify Israel by it’s name?,

Israel and it’s ever increasing nuclear arsenal,

Beyond reproach, Uncontrolled, uninspected.

We all know these things

Yet we all remain silent, fearful of being labeled:

Considering Germany’s past these labels stick
So we call is “business”, “reparation” take your pick,

As we deliver yet another submarine.

As we provide to Israel the means to deliver annihilation.

I say what must be said.

Why did I stay silent until now?

Because I’m German, of course.

I’m tainted by a stain I cannot wash out

I’m silent because I want so badly to make it right

To put my sins in the past and leave them silently there.

Why did I wait to say it until now?

And write these words with the last of my ink?

Declaring that Israel threatens world peace?

Because it is true and it must be said,

Tomorrow will be too late.

We Germans now carry a new burden of sin on our shoulders

Through the weapons we have sold

We are helping to carry out this foreseeable tragedy

No excuse will remove our stain of complicity.

It must be said. I won’t be silent

I’ve had enough of the hypocrisy;

Please shed the silence with me,

The consequences are all too predictable.

It’s time to demand free and permanent control
of BOTH Israel’s nuclear arsenal
AND Iran’s nuclear facilities
enforced with international supervision.

It’s the only way, in a land convulsed with insanity,
Israelis, Palestinians, everybody, will survive.

And we too, will survive.

Posted by MzAgams with WordPress for BlackBerry.