Marshall Gass


Common Warrior


I'm not brave, never was and never will be
any scars I have are hidden in deep dungeons
somewhere in the vast open spaces of my mind
They are too deep to dig out and analyse. Even try.
There are no medals blistering my breast pocket

No name shouted from pulpit or podium
No one cheering academic prowess
scars of poverty or pain or orphan splendour
at tender twelve Christmases
all those scars buried under the skin, and swept out of sight
on the watching life. There were many watchers.

Not brave pushing boundaries
I learnt my visual language off
graffitied walls and bart simpson.

No I was not brave, when I arrived here
with a shirt on my back and a two dollar back pocket
bus ticket. Come on you got to be joking,
for switching countries, continents and communities
to earn a square meal.

See what I mean? I'm not brave, riding morning evening traffic
with ten thousand automissiles coming at me daily
I'm not brave when I scoff a whole chocolate
cake without counting the calories or checking that waistline
or watching Dr Oz rave on about nuts fruits balls and berries.
Its on the rare occasion I get brave and take notes!

No Im not brave at all. I'm a coward that hides behind brave people
who have 9-5 jobs, wear white skins to work, white collars
and smile behind white sparkling teeth with red ties
dripping in bloody racist jibes of inequality.
No I'm not brave being 65 and hiding 65 thousand racist comments
under scars covered by moisturisers
white shirts and dark glasses
in the searing heat of society.

I am brave when it comes to using
words that hide behind lace-like feathery
curtains of verses and rhythms
that sing along to everything I write.

Submitted: Monday, April 21, 2014
Edited: Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Author Notes

A critical look at society and how it functions between the layers of immigrants. Look under the skin to understand why we write poems, like we do. The harsher the social climate the more rugged are the desert rats it produces. History is full of such examples. This hierarchy will never change.
© Marshall Gass. All rights reserved.

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