Four Poems About Pride (Introduced by Dean Atta)

Introduction 

By Dean Atta 

I’m delighted to introduce poems by Day Eve M Komet, Candy Campbell The Maroon Doll, Iesha Small and Rhyne Chambers from a workshop I ran for AZ Mag on 25th February 2021 called ‘Which Flag to Wave?’ 

As a queer, Black British person of dual heritage, I identify with many different flags, and that’s where the idea for this poetry workshop came from. In the workshop, we used flags as metaphors to discuss pride in various forms, including sexuality and nationality. We read and discussed poems around this subject (“Flag” by John Agard, “Acknowledgements” by Keith Jarrett and “My Mum’s Sari” by Bashabi Fraser) and then participants wrote their own poems. There was no pressure or expectation to share what was written in the workshop but these poets were keen for theirs to be seen. I commend their courage not only to write but also to share these personal and powerful poems. I hope they give you pause to reflect upon what pride means to you. Thank you to AZ Mag for having me, and thank you to the poets for being willing to discuss, write and share your truth! 

 

Pride  

by Day Eve M Komet

 

I am not a child of pride.  

Nothing to see.  

I am not a child of pride.  

Nothing to bleed.  

I am not a child of pride.  

Nothing to know.  

I am not a child of pride.  

Nothing to grow.  

 

I place a seed in my hand,  

Cocooning my head in the sand.  

 

The wind pushes me away. 

I fall into the tides.  

Chasing the seed in the chaos of its wake.  

 

I am not a child of pride.  

No motion to follow.  

No mountain to climb.  

No hill to conquer.  

 

Time.  

 

My mother laid me down –

Taking my hand and tucking me tight. 

Uttering words that haunt me every night.  

 

Do not worry child – 

There are no monsters under your bed. 

No monsters that will chew your bones.  

Only monsters that won’t accept no.  

 

I am not a child of pride.  

I am not a child,  

You see.  

 

I am a message, conceived.  

I am a tradition, untold. 

I am culture, with no home 

 

Bloody hands, 

Sink into the ocean.  

Shedding into hydrotropic weavings, 

Sieving.  

Dreaming.  

 

For the seed.  

That held the togetherness  

Of the land,  

I wish to be.

 

 

My Pride

By Candy Campbell The Maroon Doll 

 

My pride is my life 

My  pride it’s not just a flag you wave

My pride is the way I smile at every gaze  

 

My pride is my life

My pride is my heritage, my maroon heritage

My pride is my the way I shine everyday

 

My pride is my life

My pride is the definition of my name

My pride is when I’m dancing in the rain 

 

My pride is my life

I’m never ashamed 

My pride is me, calm, colourful and free as the ocean waves. 

 

Questions

By Iesha Small

 

What is my identity?

Black woman in exile from London

Proud to have Jamaican Heritage 

 

What is my identity?

Parent of a child telling her teacher she is 

Proud to have two mums

 

What is my identity?

Member of a community

Proud of its culture and slowly shrinking and disappearing from this island

 

What is my tribe?

My little home unit?

My extended family?

People born strangers but on my wavelength?

 

I am proud to ask questions.

 

3 Hours Away 

By Rhyne Chambers

 

I want to feel proud.

To be myself. To feel at home.

My family say they’re proud of me. When they waved me goodbye at uni, they said they felt pride.

But do I feel pride?

 

I guess, now, I have my own space,

3 hours away,

Stuck in Surrey, while they’re in the moody Midlands.

 

I could come into my own, 

Wear what I want to, live how I want to. 

Is this my Independence Day?

 

To feel a sense of belonging. 

I wanna know what that feels like.

I want to feel proud.

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