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Shallow Oct 2022
Your flag
Your pride
Your accent and voice
The way you dress
The way you greet others
Your money

Your hair
Your face
Your tongue and the language it speaks
How you trip over words
Of a language which isn’t yours

But not too much
We already know your name
And your story
All by one look
All before you’re granted a chance to speak

Our children will stare at the gringa who passes
Whose tongue flicks with an anglicized mark
And crowds will glare with eyes of disgust
And shield our children from the alien before us

But we will also stop you in our streets to speak with you
But not because we care what you have to say
Rather because we want to practice your language
And make it ours
So we may criticize you in a way you’ll understand

But you’re here to study
And here to learn
And we want your money but not you in our schools
You take classes with your own kind
And speak with your own kind
And suffer with your own kind

We try to keep you all contained.

You can try to speak Castellano
Or learn how we think
But it doesn’t matter what you do
Every action is already explained
By the fact you’re a foreigner.

Where do you come from?
You couldn’t tell she’s American
By her flag, her pride, her accent and voice?
Your country seems like a different planet
Are you sure you came by plane?

Are you an alien person?
But it isn’t a question of your place of origin
It is of your humanity.
Are you an alien person?


Your name is too American
Write it like this.
Never mind that, it is too hard to say.
Here is a new one.
You only have one surname.
What did you do to disgrace your mother?

Come observe a new culture, never participating.
But we will observe you from across the Atlantic.
And your semi-barbaric ways
Because we know if the choice was ours
We’d house the lady
And you the tiger.

Come to our country where we may serve you poisoned fruit
And send you to our prison-hospitals
Where you will stay in your cell until yellow swims around your ankles
And you cry loud enough to be an annoyance
And when your bill arrives, te haremos confundido por Castellano
Never offering you el lujo a entender
Never offering ni paz ni amistad.

But you chose to come here
You cannot be surprised to you pay thousands to clean your blood off our floors
When you chose to spread your enslavement and war.
You are all so violent to spill so much blood
So barbaric.

Who will believe you if you say you don’t fight?
We see the news of you failing to protect your children
And how Oedipus permeates your state of mind
And the permanence of a confederacy keen on killing Kenyans
You walk your streets ready to spill your brother’s blood
And the blood of a million foreigners as you have done before

You circumcise your sons the moment they cry
And just stop there?
Why not cut off the rest
So your kind may never reproduce?
And your brother may live in awe of you

But we never enslaved nor conquered
Nor cut the hands or feet of any right-doer
Nor colonized, evangelized, or spoke a wrong word
We stayed neutral in war, fighting civil for the civil
Our history is filled with the taste of sweet sugar
Curated by the hands of people who adored us
Violence is all too western
And by that we mean American.

You chose to abandon your land
To study here
And to learn here
To hunt for our money and spend it on alcohol
So you may drunkenly stumble with your own kind
And speak with your own kind
And suffer with your own kind
And play the most dangerous game

A gamble with your money
A gamble with the law
A gamble with your freedom
All contained in a troublesome roulette

Because here the game is always rigged against you.

You are giants
Coarse, crude, and caustic
Who infect every perfect thing you touch
Turning our fine shores to gravel lots
Spitting oil in our seas
And turning our precious wine to water
All for the sake of bettering your newborn nation
Which ***** on the *** of its European predecessors

Wipe your streets with the blood of your children
And the blood of your women
And the blood of every barbarian who dares to hold a gun in the name of freedom
And there will be no one left to sing your anthem

We will eat you and your country alive
And burn your body among our forgotten tyranny
With the victims of our cultural dictatorship
And your country will pay no mind
And your death will be not so much as tragedy as a mere statistic.

Because to you it is life and death.
But to us it is a bet
How long will the gringa last?
Before xenophobia eats her alive
And her last words fall victim to a false deafness
Because this language should not be hers?

Yes, this is a ballad to your loss
The coming of a new era
When the gringa hangs on her cross
With the ashes of white and blue behind her
As her blood spills red
And she looks up to the stars
As her guts spill out
Striped with the acid of her nation

And we will watch as she sells her guts to afford her surgeon
In that country which pays her no mind
In that country which sees her as meat to be hunted
In that country which plays the most dangerous game
In her country who wins the most dangerous game
In her country who saved her life
In her country who she calls home
In her country who wants her home.

And she will cry waving her bloodied flag
Screaming “I’m American!”
Because her heart lies in her imperfect land
In her imperfect home
With her imperfect people
And she has an unfathomable love for her flag
Stained with the blood of a million foreigners.
A commentary on my personal experience with Spanish xenophobia
Man Mar 2021
you leave your home
because of oppression
and in your new country
you flourish, doing well in this life

generations on
they have forgotten your struggles
as they learned hate
they have forgotten their origins
as they learned what it is
to be the xenophobe
to be the oppressor

to see your triumphs tarnished

you begotten fortunates
taking all you have for granted
slanted views, courtesy of that you've been taught
so some say it isn't your fault
but we know better, eh?
all your wealth could not stuff the gaping maw
that your soul cries out to fill
and so this is what you reap
when seeds of suffering do you sow
Clara Jan 2021
All your perfect squares and circles line up, like prisoners shackled one behind the other
like dominoes or mosaics or tiles on expensive bathroom walls,
not the kind you find in petrol pump stations or airports or immigration buildings
Then comes along a splurge of me
A boundless, non-conforming freak of clashing culture and ridiculous rhythm to all of you
My sound translates into your snickers and slurred speech
You think I am so slow you imitate drunkards and children
My ****** tongue may tie itself into knots on account of these strange new rhythms
but my eyes see and ears hear just as well if not better
I have what my mother gave me and what she gave to have me here
I am more than one I am my mothers gift to a foreign land
I am may not fit into the box that you have left for me but that is okay
I prefer to bend and shape at will, like the crash and chaos of culture that I am.
Julia Barrell Aug 2020
“Stranded Strangers”

The life raft rocked from one
Careless wave to another,
As I drowsily lay
On the damp floor and ponder,
Helplessly holding
My heavy, eternal sin.
My sin of originating in a country
Careless of my life expectancy.
My sin of coming from a country
Where it’s illegal to be free.
My sin of fleeing a country
Where war rages on every street.
My sin of not belonging to a family
That could spare me from this barbarity.
So I ran.
I ran with
my bare soles
to the shore,
with the hope
that this boat
Would save me.
From the inhumanity.
But the indifferent sea
Will not guarantee
A secure journey.
This isn’t a sacrifice for me.
For my country ruthlessly robbed
Everything that was of value to me.
My family and my identity.  

But I’m afraid.
Much more than you will ever be
Of me. You see,
I have no power.
I can’t chose my future,
Like you chose to shoot our heads,
Like you chose to turn your head,
When you see us drowning at sea,
Land only meters ahead.
Yes I am afraid.
That no one will set us free
From this strangling tyranny.
You know it’s a bleeding tragedy,
But you turn your head,
And shoot our heads,
And deny. Dare deny
This clandestine genocide.

So I float between countries,
Balancing on cold water,
A stranded stranger
Begging to belong.

Millions of hefty diamonds
In the deadly silent nightfall
Are scattered on the unreachable  
Celestial crown.
They look down
on us with disdain,
All proud and pretentious.
My muddy skin,
My blistered soles,
My ragged clothes,
My ruffled hair,
My hollow cheeks.
As if to remind me,
Of the riches I’ll never see,
Of the happiness I’ll never feel,
Of  the safety I’ll never get,
Of the home I’ll never have,

So dear cherished official,
I am a stranded stranger.
You could easily be me.
But I’ll never be you anymore.

‘Cause I’m Discomfort, and you’re Warmth.
I’m Sorrow, and you’re Hope.
I’m Fear, and you’re Peace.
I’m Servitude, and you’re Freedom.
But I’m also a Crisis, and you’re also Ignorance.
Because I am Muhammad Gulzar, and you are a Greek official.

So I float between countries,
Balancing on cold water,
A stranded stranger
Begging to belong.

All this to say, I’ll never be safe from here on,  
No matter where I run,
They only care ‘bout where I come from.
A burden I got no control upon.
Rooted before I could even say “Mum”,
Why do we run? On and on?

Why do such meager differences
Develop colossal separation,
An impenetrable iron wall
Between Us and Them?
Why are you more worthy
Because you stand on the other side of the sea?

I wondered who, over there,
Understood the horrors we saw,
When they don’t seem to  know more
Than what the dividers of mankind
Instilled in their minds,
To form such cruel people.
Do we have to be rivals?
Just tell me your cause!
Is it because fate willed me to be born
On the other side of the wall?
And is it because fate willed me
To have a different complexion?
And is it because of my weird religion?
Oh, you think I don’t know your intention?

I’m a victim of the imperialist wars
To control oils, and other raw materials.
You exploited, oppressed and devastated my land
Simply to expand your sphere of command.
Where are your morals?

You western imperialists
Bear a decisive responsibility.
And I will not cross you off my list
Until you have done your duty.

Greek officials robbed and beat 30 migrants yesterday.
1000 others were abandoned off Greece’s bay.
And 8300 are gonna be thrown away
From their homes in greece. Did you hear?
Boris.J wants to legalise sending away
Refugees who reach the UK.
But today, I want to see you change your twisted ways.

But today, my last handful of air
Was taken away.
My body’s too bony
To hold a head so heavy.
I collapsed into the cold sea.
Weighted thoughts dragged me.
Sinking into eternity,
I did not dare to break free.
I was finally reaching Heaven
To join my long lost family.
There at least I would belong,
It had ached too much and too long
To to be abandoned by a world,
Drifting from country to country,
Begging to belong.

‘Cause you stuffed your words into my mouth
Since as long as I can recall.
There was no space for my own.
So they scratched my throat
As they tried to climb up
Desperately reaching for the door,
Ready to inform you
How much it wounds
To be nothing,
To be a phantom figure,
Worse, to be a number.
But they never get to the exit.
And time turns them
Into a bitter taste.
Until we suffocate,
In our unsaid words.
We die from remaining unheard.

So you’ll probably think it’s absurd.
But in these forgiving waters,
I am free
of  your merciless grip.
Quite ironically,
I can finally breathe
Out. The unsaid words stream
Out of my lips.
Role into the current.
They sing in the sea
The pitiful story
Of my suffering existence
Of unacceptance.
But still,
These words
Will never be heard
By your oblivious ear,
Dear cherished official.
How many more bodies like mine will it take,
To make you understand what is at stake.
Lives are not living,
Because of your domineering
Xenophobic habits.
You’re tearing the world to bits.
Tell me,
Where is your humanity?

‘Cause dear cherished official,
I’m all the innocent bodies
Sunken in the depths of the sea.
I’m all the stranded strangers,
Who ran away from danger.
You could easily be us,
But we will never be you anymore.
So you can turn your head,
But our world will not move ahead
Until you acknowledge your responsibility
And accomplish your duty accordingly.
Only then will our bodies
Rest in peace.
So Prove,
Prove to us you’re capable of humanity.

{A stranded stranger’s closing contemplations}
- A poem by Julia Barrell
This is a poem I wrote, dedicated to the Greek soldiers and all the countless others who mistreat migrants, in hope that they be held accountable for their crimes.

This is a tribute to all the refugees who lost their lives on their way to a safer land.

This is a reminder that it’s not the refugee’s fault if he is running for safety in your country, nor is it his choice. It is the fault of his government, our governments, of the western imperialist countries, who fail to admit their fair share of responsibility.

This is a plea for acknowledgement of the horrors happening all over the globe to refugees in search of a safe home. LET THEM BE HEARD.

This scenario could happen to anyone. So this concerns everyone.
He washed his hands until they bled
And then a little more

He bolted every window
And he locked every door

Through the cracks he peered out at his neighbors
And said “oh for heaven’s sake!

Those bat-eating chinks
We outta burn them at the stake”

Like that no-good ****** Yang
They’re infecting our country

UBI’s for lazy *****!”
Though he could really use the money…

Cause he’s been out of work for days
And has not received a raise

For the last 10 years
Amid corporate fears
of the left’s socialist craze

Yet he still angrily paces
Says “I don't mean to be racist

But they’ve gotta go - all of ‘em!”
As his face turns pale and fever runs

Poor sick thing, he doesn't know
That the hate is just for show

A trick, a guise, a twisted rouse
To turn me against you

Amidst  our misguided attacks
They extort and contort the facts -  

Our communities decay
We rot and waste away

You think it’d gone undetected?
We were always infected
WA West Mar 2020
My blank mouth,
Mummering half-words and compressed sentences,
Triggering his hate,
All a misunderstanding really
His patience convulsing
These things can be a trigger to less enviable states,
Is it drastic that I want to end?
A forest floor and some last restful thoughts,
Body layen out like tinned goods,
Some kind of logic to do with presentability,
My organs works of macabre art not yet returned to the earth,
Birds sorting through my body like archivist from gods,
Dre Poetry Sep 2019
A disease downed on African land, streams of blood low
Down the valley of pain not one not two
Swords falling on their tongues
Bullets penetrating their skins
Through their heart.

A meadow falling short of sweetness
African Earth turned African hell
Tears that flood the rivers
Add up day by day
It's ****** phobia
Stripping and strapping the black
Skin, drops of blood that's black facing
The ground.

Bodies of loving innocent soul
Laid on the floor of African land,
The land of honey now sour
Seats are thorny, hot and
Burns our buttocks
Why all these?
No black is stranger in Africa
No, not black man!
Dre Poetry Sep 2019
The light shade
The skin invisible
Sword blown in air
And necks splash blood
The land of beauty filled with blood
All over the ground
Not spears nor arrows
Sword nor machetes
Not bullet nor bombs
Lives shading and fading away.

The African world losing sight
Losing unity and love
It's been turned on to a shadow of pain
Striking hardworking souls
On the heads
Bodies lay on the tarmacs
Turning it red
Blood flood the way
Why this Africa?
Lost love here here.
It's not that I'm silent I'm, rather,
lost for words
Because this series of events are the worst I've heard,
In a minute.

this is more than simply "under the weather" because this is a divine tragedy.
A story ,of the battles, of vassals,  retainers and traitors;
heavens tribulations and its resounding failures.
Shocked; What took days, now hours.

The pettiest wrath is one born from wanting, fraudulent men exhibiting the worst of fruedian plans
and add a Hate:
born from nations divided, in ways outsiders decided: for the pay;
to make use of the weak till this day,

I can't comprehend this.
It's like the collective consciousness has taken cyanid the: matricide, fratricide, parricide and pedicide; is this an attempt of suicide?
Can't imagine terras eyes, Being terrorized by the homies side
blighting it's own kin, queens and this King's pride.

Is this blaze worth it's years to come when you burn away the blood that flows through us all and purge the graces we won,blessed with a unity, cursed by sub division, the delusions they built dictate how we liv'in.

I can't lie, at times like these I can only try an fly
forced to contemplate the irreconcilable and the priceless how can I evaluate the hate when I know it's love that elevates, so...
how can I;
I'm on the hated and hatful side, oh my what a time, what a time, to be alive.
There's a lot going on in South Africa and I've been shocked out of my wits to say the least. Can only hope for the best...
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