1# New writing takeover | Karishma Young

27th July 2020

1# New writing takeover | Karishma Young

Heading into the Summer break we posted a call out on Social Media for a new series of writing to be hosted on our blog. We want to use our platform to lift and showcase all voices, perspectives and stories and allow students, past and present, and industry professionals to share stories, opinion and news that is personal to them. The first new piece of writing comes from Graduate student, Karishma Young.

As a response to the Black Lives Matter movement, I decided to write a poem. Like many people, I was ignorant of the inherent systemic racism specifically towards black people within our society. I started to educate myself as much as possible, by watching documentaries and listening to people’s stories. This poem was heavily influenced by the Netflix documentary “When they see us”.


-Karishma Young-

Good bye son,
Have a lark
Be back home before dark. 
You don’t want to be caught 
By the headlights of the shark
As it roams the neighbourhood 
Be good!
Keep your hood down
Keep your head down
Or those headlights will drown you. 
They will blind you
And confuse you
When you look at them
Remove that frown,
Or they WILL find a reason
To harm you. 

When he steps out on the street,
He fears to see,
A cop walking by on the other side. 
Reminding him he needs to abide. 
By what? you ask
The laws. 
Just pause. 
The laws created by white men. 
For a white cause. 

The shark with the jaws
Filled with teeth
Breathing laws. 
Once they see you they stab you,
Those jaws they will grab you,
With words they will lie to you,
Coerce you
And Force you,
Those words will become you. 
Your story. 
Who are you? they ask,
There’s no glory in the mouth of the shark. 
Who are you? they ask,
There’s no bravery in the mouth of the shark. 
Who are you? they ask,
You are who they tell you you are. 

His hood is down, his head is down 
He’s walking fast
Cos he knows he’s brown. 
So his mum taught him how
To remove the frown,
Only now,
He’s the clown
The eye of the town
By the headlights. 

Of the shark.
They’re stark
White for a white cause,
White for the white laws
He’s a black pause
In its daily chores
A black pause the town will ignore
The country will ignore
Cos he’s brown and poor and impure and unsure. 

Of what to do
What did he do?
The lights are blinding,
The breath is stifling, 
The teeth they stab him
And drag him
And slam him to the ground.  
Where he belongs they say. 
“Look what I’ve found!” The shark jeers
He’s winds up his gears
The boy chokes on his fears
The tears
They stream down his face 
As he tries to replace
His face with his feet
To be brave and greet—
There’s no greeting in the mouth of the shark. 

As it drives to the jail 
The boy on its tail
He’s crying and crying and crying for his mother,
His brother,
They sit him down and tell him his rights. 
All he can see are the blinding white lights. 

That overlook his age
But inject him with rage
And out comes the tongue
Accusing him of wrong
How he longs
To be gone
But the tongue, 
How it lashes and thrashes 
On the table it crashes. 
He lifts his hand to his head
And It comes back red
“Am I dead?”

He is scared and frightened
His fear has heightened
But they won’t leave him alone
“Why has my memory blown?”
He can clearly remember he did nothing wrong
So how did he get here?
To his swan song. 

Good bye son,
I miss you now you’ve gone
You couldn’t escape the shark
I’ll be waiting in the dark. 


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