#metoo in Liberia; The MTM Story

Your voice is silenced by the thought that nobody will believe you.

I read thisย article recently, authored by Finlay Young in Time Magazine. It is a long, sad, shocking story about trust misplaced, dreams deferred and very heartbreaking #metoo moments. The events happened in Liberia, a place where I once lived a decade ago, where I learned how to surf. The country, at that time, was still reeling from the after effects of the war. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was rebuilding her country, but the remnants of war showed themselves in the stumps of amputees and machete victims in downtown Monrovia. Buildings were still blown out from the war, and families had settled as squatters into these dilapidated buildings; some had huge gaping holes and Continue reading

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Pendulum

I’ve touched both the sky and the depths

of a fiery hell, fire licking at a strained heart,

pushed to the limit with a pendulum of emotions.

I have swung high up on a high wire with no net,

and stuck my tongue out in glee, catching those

snowflakes of happiness, icy with promise;

pricks of crystal sharp joy elevating me further up

into a brilliantly azure sky welcoming my ascent.

Then I dipped into the smoky and dark pits,

lit only by the flashes of brimstone and hellfire, Continue reading

Our Boy/Their Man

The newspaper said he was a man.

But he is or was a boy.

He had barely gone past the larger double digits

that marked his second decade of life.

The newspaper called him a man.

His papa called him Junior,

and he looked like he was all of 12.

The newspaper called him a man,

when they reported on his death.

Strike that, not death, murder.

They murdered a little boy,

who was barely a man,

with a life stretched out ahead of him

for the taking and making.

22. Gone. Life snuffed out

by the blade of an anonymous knife.

The newspaper called him a man.

We shall bury

our boy.

Pinked Out

Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There is pink everywhere. And it gives this feeling of light airy joy. The posters encouraging women to get their mammograms are full of happy, smiling women. You can see that light, airy thread suspended in their smiles. The NFL games in the US are ‘pinked out’ for October; my friend in France shares a photo of a downtown street in Toulouse adorned with small pink umbrellas.

Pink. We associate this color with femininity. Well, traditionally. Because of my job, I now associate this color with strength.ย  Continue reading

Exist

So many in draft,

covering up so much,

offering a free space

where none exists.

 

The hurt is clear,

the way forward not,

bringing tons to surface,

where nobody should exist.

 

So much ‘I don’t know’,

ripping out a heart,

in this free world,

where love should exist.