1# New writing takeover | Karishma Young
27th July 2020
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”.
BLACK LIVES MATTER -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 But, 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 Drowned By the headlights. Of the shark. They’re stark White. White. 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. 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, Anyone. 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.