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there is a battlefield
clashing
within our parents

on opposite sides
two separate lands

as they are stuck
in the no mans land
between

-war
Izzy Aghahowa Feb 24
i don’t belong on the sidelines of sandy roads
for they hold a frightened child without bold identity
i don’t belong in-between the warm sheets of the sun
for anywhere that pours down in misty sunlight
reminds me of the roots of the smoke-filled life i once fed

they fed me outgrown words and prayers
they were burned in their undistllled culture
and they ate presumed expectations of behaviour
that my whole body challenged
in slow pulsing waves of rage

i don’t hear my voice when i speak
nor the voices of my mother or father
but rather one i have created out of my new blood
for the one i had was made of shallow waters
and dry, dry ground that shook at night
i bear the hand of my lost head
as it shuffles across the world
and into one that will shake it and transfer
its notions into it, to form one
in-between two worlds divided
and separated

this white light is distilled
i surrender to its drinking water
and with it came the echo of the frightened child
it came in screaming as its tears turned into grime
i still see wiped away tears on my palms
even after all these years of a bold identity
Antino Art Nov 2018
Raised
in this floating
world, forever
deep.
You can’t drain the ocean

Decidedly from down
south of here
You can’t un-trace the roots.

You can’t lie and say,
“This isn’t where I grew up”
You can’t deny the fruits
of what was planted two generations ago
when your grandpatents arrived from the Philippines, seeds in tow
soil for the taking
You can’t confiscate what they claimed
when they planted their flags
into the moon-white sand of a beach in Florida
on a far side of the planet
their forefarthers have never seen

You can’t say those flags weren’t there
when wind came
You can't ***** out that pride
of country,
cut off its native tongue and its acquired taste, or pass up the plate of fried lumpia and rice passed down from the kitchen of your Daddylol
feeding seven kids day in and out with tomatoes he planted,
chickens he raised, Malonggay leaves he grew
with thumbs so green they wrote in the papers about it
He was a farmer
Your grandmother, a nurse
And i was writer
And this is our story

You can’t erase the letters of your name,
your lineage written all over it
like a map
of everywhere we been
You can’t take back the words in Tagalog and Chavacano
your Lola Shirley must have sang your mother to sleep with
You can’t take their dreams

You can't just wake up one day and undo
the ripple effects their moves
created across waters 10,000 miles east of here,
the rolling waves they curled into
or the faraway shores they washed up upon
Bottled messages in hand
Our legends held within
You can’t say centuries from now that they won’t feel it
when their feet hit the sand of their own frontier
beside the waves we stayed making
a history written in deep water
for those who come after you
to sail above and beyond.
For Nali
Breon Nov 2018
It seems so innocuous the first few times,
An innocence and an unknowing. It's fine.
"But, I mean, where is your FAMILY from?"
Sure. And I'll explain: that is complicated.

My patience wears out pretty fast nowadays
So I try to bite back all the bitterness
When faced with the expectant empathy
A vivisectionist might spare the dead.
So I dissect myself with a practiced ease:

My mother came from Guyana, a bounty land
She fled so long ago. I never ask her why.
My father wasn't much of one. We don't talk.
Me? I'm from the most hated place on this Earth:
New Jersey. They always seem to expect that.

A simple answer for a simple question,
And I know they only asked because they meant
"How come you don't look like me, so tall and dark?"
And I'd smile if they were honest about it.
The title refers to one way I've heard my skin described. Maybe it's supposed to be like how pessimism and optimism can synthesize to arrive at realism, if realism was a skin color.
Aditya Oct 2018
A teary farewell at the Airport,
Fake 'good'bye's from heavy Hearts,
Bags filled with memories from the Past,
Cruising over the seven Seas,
A new journey with emotions Galore.

A land promising a colorful Future,
fulfilling every need and Desire,
In exchange of a simple Contract,
Unlearn the ways of the land I Belong,
For I am the square peg in the round Hole.

Burning the midnight Oil,
Stale bread and a cup Noodles,
Celebrating festivals through a tiny screen,
a fake smile masking every tear,
Where's the silver lining amid the toil ?

Oh how the hard work has flourished,
certified successful as defined by society,
smiling at the acquired Possessions,
To realize materials never smiled back,
I am now the round peg without a Soul.
While the term global citizen is frequently used by millions who live abroad, how meaningful is this term really ?
Is there genuine acceptance of thought, culture, race, ***, religion, beliefs or is it merely disregarded based on one's nationality ?

While it's a beautiful experience when one moves across the seven seas to learn and adapt to new ways of living, but it sometimes also entails a complete unlearning of the past. 

Let's stop the labeling and try to live in a world where borders exist only for the maps, not for the hearts !
Alfa Oct 2018
I carve myself out of a cardboard cutout,
I wish I wasn't empty,
stuck between two worlds that do not want me.

I am like the globe,
shattered.

Rushing blood gurgles through my veins to my head, my
words sound like Russian out my hot mouth
"so spicy"
they say it cause I'm foreign to them.
My blood pressure rises,
makes
the tea kettle screams,
on the perfect pictured home oven,
i am fuming.

I look out at the white picket fence,
raised oppressed gates,
overtaxed, overcharged, overfed, rising still.

The fury builds inside me,
I stomp the fence,
break the oven,
crash the globe,
and weep at the **** I was made out of.

we will never win.

but, it doesn't matter if we're the minority or majority,
the darker you are,
the faster you talk,
the farther away from the home land
  ...                                                       ­     

they'll still give you the gun.

           But, they'll blame you for everything that happens after.
A comment on American societies mental illness, health crisis, racial racism/stereotyping, gun laws, my own identity as a first generation american from immigrant parents, and how chaotic, hopeless, and dissociated I feel about my own self. How apart I feel from America's "dream" and what America really is today... thank you for reading.
Anya Oct 2018
My parents...
are immigrants
Yet, why is it I,
so strongly
reject
their once,
homeland?
...
Perhaps,
the cause
it rooted at
my dad's cynical
comments
and critics
...
Perhaps,
it's my own visits
stifling relatives
horrible traffic
definitely
less, comfortable
...
Maybe,
it's the rejection
of such a gripping
religion
when I myself,
am an atheist
...
Maybe it's
the stereotypes
Chaining me
enclosing me
irritating me
...
...
...
Whatever the case,
it's there

I can be whoever I want to be
what-blood-****?

Go far back enough,
and we're all related

The only links I have,
are my visits
and influence
of my parents
who once lived there
...
It's not a bad place...
at all...
...
That's not the problem
...
Is there one even?
...
...
...
I,
can be
who
I want
to
be
Eleanor Sep 2018
Emilee, her memory
The child within her television tv
The last standing immigrant of Chile
And a standstill on the blooming lilies
Flowers don't sprout in the withering hot
And babies are mourned when the cradle drops
Water is set free, along with the husbands
Someone, dear god, allow us to keep this bun in the oven
mother's poem about her deceased, child, daughter, and her cries for safety for her baby in the war torn comical country
Graff1980 Jul 2018
People move
in fear,
migrating from
the dangerous militia
chasing them
with death’s gleam
in their eyes,
fathers carry
their daughter,
mothers urge
their sons
to move on
as miles pass.

Strangers
and
family members
are tightly packed
and stacked on top
of one another
as a world of choppy water
moves them forward
to a harbor they hope
is safer than the home
that they ran from.

Thin tired faces
hungry and anxious
hoping to escape this
nightmare,
easily inches from death,
move to march
across soft lands
and desert sands
seeking something
us soft bellied
cheeseburger
loving sedentary
men and woman
could not comprehend.

I hear the horrible hate speech
screeching out at me,
beer bellies bulging dangerously
with prechewed stupidity
denying the humanity
of these struggling human beings.
Tears of strained patience
crease my age lined face
as I try to explain
the reality of another being
who is suffering.

My peers do not hear me
instead they promote fear greedily,
But I see some strangers
holding up signs of love
speaking the same truth
that I eschew
to show all of you
that refugees do not walk
without a reason,
and we have enough resources
to be decent human beings.
Daisy Marrow Jun 2018
American dreamer.
Southern border divide,
holding me back.
A new hope,
I dream to seek.
An escape from the land I once knew,
A place that just isn't meant for me.

Strange views,
The mainland holds.
Keeping me from something new.
I promise I'm not here to take anything from you.
I understand laws.
I understand policies.
But I'll give you anything for a hand.

Strange views.
Your word doesn't match your action.
How terrible for my copper skin brothers and sisters.
Not a chance for them to live.
Not a change for them to believe in a new.
So take our land
and take our food.
Take our love
and our culture.
But leave us in cages left to rust.

Strange views
of babies in tears
and the smell of fear
coming from grieving mothers and fathers.
As their babies are now out of sight,
separated.
What a strange view to see.
Why does this seem so familiar to me?
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