“A mother’s cry” – a spokenword poem

My son
If I could I would
Birth you into a world where the only colour that mattered was red
The red scotch bonnet in the iron pot
The red poppies in green fields
The red ketchup covered chips
The red blood that breathes life into you
Makes you you
A life formed in my womb
My firstborn son

I still remember
When we first met
I buried my nose into your
Neck and smelt your creases
Stared at your mouth
Your fingers
Your hair and a warmth consumed me
All I wanted to do was to protect you fiercely
A mother warrior rocking that biblical automatic
A spiritual fanatic

Silencing those who’ll hurt you
Hurt me
Hurt us
Paving your way with boxing gloves
Prayer bombs and side kicks
Building fighting sticks
Around you
Shielding you
Safeguarding you
You my son

My heart bleeds
I have to prepare you for a hatred
Of the skin that covers you
Because at some point you’ll be in situations where
All they’ll see is brown and afro
They won’t care about your internal bro
They’ll mentally try and hang you like strange fruit

The names you’ll be called under the sun
Punching gun powdered rimmed holes into your identity Messing with your destiny
Twisting your mentality
Face spat words and behind you they’ll smile at you and through clenched teeth they’ll call you
Like bullets shot at your back
You black
You black
You black
Black being the first word that comes before the cuss word
Black being the swear word more potent than the f word
Black being the only word that comes to their mind Because to them black is dirt and
Trodden on and
Monkey cries ringing out in the jungle
Do you hear the sounds in the concrete jungle
Do you hear the sounds in the football jungle
Do you hear the sounds in social media jungle
Do you hear the sounds

I am so tired

Tired of schools systems undermining black greatness Slavery is not the start
Middle or end
There’s so much more that needs to he celebrated

I am tired that paths to manhood is an education of a world where
You are the most wanted
The most hated the most deleted
Neglected and defeated.

Now go and be something great amongst the abusers
The bullies
The perverts
The dealers
The drug users

Hear my hearts cry my son

Seasons will come and go
Though you’ll fight your whole life
Strife won’t blind you for
Warrior is your name for reasons foretold
Making you bold are the promises covering your path
They hold you
God told you
Spiritually and emotionally able to overcome
Leading and trendsetting from whatever you come from
No form of negativity will hold you down son
Mum has your back fighting with you alongside you
On bended knee behind you

The is the mother cries and each tear drop that dries turns into prayer cries until the mother dies

Copyright © 2023 Traysi Benjamin-Matthew
All rights reserved. No portion of this post may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or by otherwise without the express written permission from Traysi Benjamin-Matthew

My poetry: real love

A few weeks ago I was asked to write a spoken word piece based on the Bible scripture 1 Corinthians chapter 13. This I performed at the Wellspring during a talk about “Real Love.”

1 Corinthians Chapter 13 Love
One of the popular scriptures about love
Love bears all things and never gives up 
In every circumstance it remains
Roots dug deep in storms
Where failures transform into new things
Overcoming life’s hurdles
Ducking and diving dilemmas
Unexpected and foreseen
Steadfast it stays
For days
For years
Enduring it all
Never giving up

Love never loses faith
Continues believing
Seeing beyond human mind-sets
And current situations
Seeing the best
Protects with a shield that surrounds and trusts
The glue in all relationships
Patiently bringing peace in the waiting

Outshining anything man made and thought of
Intertwining into life so gracefully
Cutting through concealed places
Heavy spaces where things seem lost

Love stays strong
Never weakening
Never dwindling
Never fails
Fades or ends
Just flows out of those who know
What it means to be loved and
To love
Growing out of God's love
Filled with a real love
Out of a heart fully submitted
Births something so beautiful

An understanding that
God is love
God is love and
All who live in love live in God and
This love is the greatest
The most powerful

Where every cell of our body pours out love
Where every action and
Reaction begins and ends with love
Where every language spoken is in the language of love
And we are nothing if we haven't loved

We can have a faith that moves mountains
Speak in tongues of angles
Have the gift of prophecy and
Can fathom all mysteries and
We can give all to the poor and do all the things we think God has called us to do
Leave a life of legacy lasting for generations and generations
We can do and overcome amazing things both big and small
All in the name of the lord
And still not love

Seasons will come and go
Prophesy will cease
Tongues will be stilled
Knowledge will pass away
Like dust disappearing in the wind and despite all these endings
Only three things will remain
Faith hope and love
And the greatest of these is love

Copyright © 2022 Traysi Benjamin-Matthew
All rights reserved. No portion of this post may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or by otherwise without the express written permission from Traysi Benjamin-Matthew

Windrush Day 22nd June

The first Windrush Day was celebrated in the UK on 22 June 2019. This day acknowledes the generation of people from the Caribbean, who came over to the UK by invitation to help rebuild Britain after the World War Two.

But when 500 migrants from the Caribbean arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex in 1948 to live and work in the UK, they were met with racism, prejudice and hostility.

My parents came over from Grenada in the early 70’s, after the Windrush generation. It pains me that decades after Windrush they were mistreated. And decades after thatWindrush Scandal hit the news in 2018.

Over the years I have written various spoken word/ poetry pieces exploring racism, identity and culture. I have shared some of these pieces below.

My poetry dedication to Windrush Day

They beat sticks – an audio recording of a poem from my book Warrior.

Go back to your country – an audio recording

Still enslaved (aka ‘we rose out of freedom’) – an audio recording