african map
Author's Voice

Master taught us daily, voice raised with his cane,
Humans are designed according to the land.

'Whites denote clear skies, proximity to God.
Blacks', he pointed at the class. 'You are wild.

Abandoned forests men like me must tame.'
Here, he stroked his cane as if it was a pet,

continued with conviction in his voice,
'White men are the mountain top. Blacks are lost

terrain. Regard the map. Africa lies
underneath, therefore your colour is of soil.'

His eyes bore into me, water thrown into a well.
I was meant to drown in those green pools.

Instead, I looked down at my hands, saw
they had the strength to take back stolen land.

I've won several poetry competitions, most recently the Folklore Prize and a Bread and Roses Award; and I'm also a Forward Prize nominee for Best Single Poem. A best-selling debut collection, Her Lost Language, is One of 44 Poetry Books for 2019 (Poetry Wales), and a Jhalak Prize #bookwelove recommendation. My second collection, Map of a Plantation, is published by Indigo Dreams.