Friday, November 1, 2019

Wild Fridays: Thought Provokers





















Imagination

We need to review our past to fix the broken cast that we all need to heal
The seal that is always broken that needs to be forespoken
To make everyone awoken
That our imaginations are limitless
If we come together it will be bigger than ever
If we collide as one, when we are done
We can see what we have become

Before one expression can lead to depression
The pressure of being yourself has made you feel left behind.

Being kind is not a self act, it’s a selfless movement
This containment needs to be released as if it was our relief
From our so called ugly self image
Our disapprovals our negative thoughts
I’m not being figurative, the damage of us hurting ourselves
Has changed us as a whole as if someone made the wrong fold.

Now tilt the container.
Do you feel a sense of calmness and relaxation?
As if that fracture has been repaired but left a scar.

If you don’t that’s OK
All you have to remember is time isn’t now and you’ll feel it one day
But sometimes that’s what keeps us going of the fuel to power our minds to steal our sadness away
To conquer our imaginations
Don’t stay how you are now
Work on yourself even if that means bending yourself down to pull others up
Because if we all do that then who will be down?

When you look at your property do you realise that others are living in poverty?

In school there are people who think they are cool
But what they don’t realise is that in a time scale smaller than a cup
Starting from the word 'sup' makes the ones the majority thinks aren’t cool feel lower than a stool.

Don’t be a fool to be proud of someone who is down and think it’s hard
That is how it is now
What we all need and know is that this generation can quickly turn foul.

– By Jasmine Logan


It's a time when the young are speaking up with powerful voices. Sherry gave us a great example in her last 'I Wish I'd Written This', featuring Shane Koyczan on bullying.

I admire the way this poem, too, while deploring the nastiness some young people can engage in, also urges the positive values of kindness and imagination.

Jasmine Logan, pictured sharing this poem at a recent 'Poets Out Loud' event in Murwillumbah, Australia, is 13 – the youngest participant in these local readings. Soon to turn 80, I may well be the oldest. 


A very confident performer, Jasmine came in second to me in one of our recent slams; I beat her by only 0.2 of a point. It was the only slam I've ever been in, so I was pretty chuffed to win; but, until the announcement, I was actually sure she had it won, and I told her so afterwards. Now the oldest and youngest local poets have become friends, and I asked if she would let me share her words here. 

At this stage she is very much writing for performance, so you need to 'hear' the sound and the rhythm as you read her words – or even better, try them aloud.

In the photo, Jasmine is wearing the colours of the Australian Aboriginal flag. I asked her to explain what the t-shirt says, because I was sure that otherwise someone would be bound to ask. She replied:

'Free the Flag', the t-shirt says.

It’s because the Aboriginal artist (Harold Thomas) has sold the flag to a non-Indigenous company who are Aboriginal art frauds. Now they have got rights to use it while everyone else has to pay. We just want to use our flag like every other Australian.


You can read the history of this flag – one of the officially proclaimed flags of Australia – including the situation she mentions, here if you're interested. (I think most Australians are already aware.) I asked her if she would like to say something about being an Indigenous Australian. She said:

Being Indigenous has made me really connected to culture and this land, although it comes with a cost. It is so upsetting to see people climb Uluru and Wollumbin.

[These are sacred mountains; the second is local. The indigenous custodians have recently ended the climbing of Uluru.]

Jasmine also finds it upsetting to contemplate the Stolen Generation.

My cousins were stolen, and my dad, aunties and uncles had to hide in my nan’s house until it was safe.

Here is one of Jasmine's most recent poems, on this subject:

Staring back at me was the Stolen Generation

I looked in the mirror and found a great mystery
Staring back at me was my people's history

Its name was a generation stolen
Sad event with children taken away
Many aboriginals had fallen
Mums are home anxiously every day

Terrified and NO parents of their own
Forbidden to learn about their people
Strange people around, feels like you're alone
Silence all around, besides one beetle

Forced to sing for the boss, they were made slaves
NO dreams, they were made to be maids when they grow
Least they tried, run back because they were brave
Blindfolded taken feels like it is slow

Mixed heritage identity unknown
Imagine that’s you. See! Are your minds blown?



She says: It breaks my heart to know how much racism there is in Australia ALONE, but I’m proud to call myself Indigenous.

May her strong voice be widely heard!



Material shared in this post is presented for study and review. Poems, photos, and other writings and images remain the property of the copyright owners, usually the authors. This photo of Jasmine is © Sarah Temporal 2019.








Note:
Sanaa's 'Wild Fridays' title is too good to waste – even though Sanaa herself won't be using it any more. Instead, she and Magaly will be taking turns to host our Sundays, now that Mary and Sherry have stepped down.

We think the title fits the way all sorts of topics pop up on Fridays, in random order. So we're making it the overall title, now, for all the Friday posts. This banner is Sherry's photo of wild waves in her glorious home environment, used with her permission – an acknowledgment of our original Wild Woman of Poets United! 


Ros

17 comments:

  1. My goodness! It's to note that incredible that Jasmine is only thirteen years old at this point where her voice is strong and palpable so much so as to reach directly into heart and bone!

    I am absolutely in awe of her spirit and determination .. like you mention Rosemary "May her strong voice be widely heard."❤️


    Thank you so much for featuring her this week and sharing her thoughts and yours.. with us all!

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    1. She is awesome, isn't she? Not only for her talent but her character and her passion. Her mother is thrilled that the local poetry community has warmly welcomed her – but how could we not? She is so clearly one of us.

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  2. This girl is a Wise Old Soul. She speaks so eloquently, far in advance of her years - a born talent. I am so glad she is performing her work at spoken word events, as her voice is powerful and her message needs to be heard. I love that you both performed at the same event. I am in awe of her talent and love that such a strong aboriginal voice is being recognized early on. Her second poem reminds me of the film The Rabbit Proof Fence, true story of three children's long trek back home after running away from state-imposed "boarding school". Two of them made it. This was wonderful, Rosemary, and I love that Fridays are now wild!

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    1. Oh yes, glad you picked up the Rabbit Proof Fence allusion, Sherry. I haven't actually asked Jasmine if she had that in mind , because I am so certain she did. (Very well-known movie in Australia, of course, and based on a true story.) We are likely to continue seeing each other at the local (monthly) spoken word event. I should have added that her parents and grandmother are always with her there, supporting her, and I also sought her mum's approval for this feature and its content.

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    2. Jasmine has now told me:
      Oh yea I watched the rabbit proof fence twice and of course I cried both times

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  3. I totally agree with Sanaa. It is an honor and a treat to read these poems. I wish we had recordings, too, because as you noted, the performance and reading of poetry are too different things. So, because of that, it is especially brave of Jasmine to put these words in print. My mind IS blown. Thank you and thank her. "May her strong voice be widely heard!" And I want you to know, Rosemary, that I love the Wild Fridays designation!

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    1. There was a recording made on the night she won the slam, but the quality wasn't wonderful so I didn't include it. But stick around! I'm sure she's going on to bigger and better things and there will be more recordings.

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  4. Wow! What an amazing person and writer. The flame certainly burns brightly in this young one.

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    1. Yes, and it's such a delight and privilege to witness this beginning of her journey.

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  5. Thank you for sharing this wonderful poet, Rosemary! Her young voice is so refreshing, honest and strong. Winning a poetry slam at her age is encouraging and empowering, an example for other young poets.

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    1. Well she didn't quite win, but it was very, very close. I'm sure she'll win many in the future.

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  6. Thank you, Rosemary~ I so, enjoyed the premise of honoring the past with a young person's perspective... Wow, she is going to illuminate awareness with poetry! So, beautiful!

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  7. It's refreshing to see young talent used to create awareness of injustice. I enjoyed reading the passion and truth expressed in this young poet's writing.
    It's so nice of you to honor her and acknowledge your close competition. Congratulations to both of you.

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    1. It's always great to meet exciting new poets. And Jasmine is a very nice girl as well as a very talented one.

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  8. Jasmine has asked me to say thank you to you all for the comments. (She doesn't have access to do so herself, but she is able to read them.)

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