Lets get real about black lives

You remain oblivious
For it does not touch you
Its parts to let you pass
But not for me
Tentacles reach out
Grab and ensnare.

Myself at a young age
Lets get real about black lives
Do you think 
Because you do not see
Do not feel it
That it’s not 
Our nation’s heritage?
That it’s not 
Truly here?

But I do
For I know it 
For I feel its brunt
Since birth
Its macabre company
Intertwined for life.

You remain oblivious
For it does not touch you
Its parts to let you pass
But not for me
Tentacles reach out 
Grab and ensnare.

I feel in in my core 
When you say Abbo
Or Paki, Lebbo,
Muslim, Nigger, Chink
Or pull a face in mockery.

I hear it in remarks
Of politicians knowingly 
Pandering to constituents 
Debasing themselves
I see in greetings
In that spontaneous instant 
Unwitting reactions 
In micro-gestures 
A slight double take
In wary eyes
As try not to stare.

Do not think 
We are blind
To this oppression
Do not think 
That we agree
With the status quo
Your expectations
For a nice nice voice.

Do not cause trouble
Do not ruffle features
Fit in
Be a nice boy
A good boy
Nod your head
Know your station
Be silent
Be a parody 
Of a middle class white man.

But I never did learn
To speak as you
Your etiquette
Politely looking down
From a boys club 
I will never belong to 
My lack of social niceties
I’m from a 
Different part of town.

Do you think 
I’ve forgotten those times?
As a young child
Day after day
My daily punishment
Forced to stand in a brown line up.
Relegated to comedy?

Teachers wilfully 
Ignoring our shame
Our lot in life 
Antipathy and ignorance
The order for the day.

Do you think I’ve forgotten?
With others of colour 
Bullied and tormented
By young fascists.

The shame and humiliation
Unable to bare the truth
To my own parents.
The least I could do 
To spare them anguish
The least I could do
To gift them

But I grew up resilient 
I had no choice
One ceiling I broke though
Though many others remain.
Don’t you know
It affected me 
Help set in my life’s trajectory
Set me afloat
How I response to the world
I do not accept racist attitudes
Or platitudes
I am impatient for change
Not delay or bullshit.

And to you racists
Growing in number
Wallowing in ignorance
Eyes closed to justice.

Well fuck you
And your disdain.


The video intersperses photos from US racism protests stemming from the death of George Floyd with young boys from different ethnic groups, implying the innocence of youth about to be tainted by a lifetime of racism.

Towards the end you’ll see pictures of Southall, where I grew up in a largely Indian neighbourhood. Blair Peach was murdered by police in 1979 while protesting against a intentionally provocative National Front rally in that town.

The abstract illustration of the video suggest bullet holes as well as eyes mourning.

You can find an accompanying article on racism that I wrote here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/lets-real-black-lives-vinod-ralh/

He wandered his whole life between galaxies

He wandered his whole life between galaxies. Parents, brothers and sisters lost in space.

He wandered his whole life

Between galaxies

Parents, brothers and sister lost in space

They dropped away

Voices silenced

Across the years

Sorrow ever present

Eyes dulled

Their shadows dimming

Fading away one by one

Between countries

Losing out against

Warring tribes committing depraved travesties

Outdoing their own barbarity

For fear continues to be the universal currency

To be bartered and traded with others ignominy.

Years of life crawl so slowly by

At the edge of civilisation

In nowhere land

Behind rusty, wire caged fences

In paltry shanty towns full of strangers

Of ghosts

In a waiting game

In no man’s land

Languishing in uncertainty

In the incessant heat

With swirling dust storms for company

But even though he endures the passage of time

He remains hopeful…

For now

For now he has won the lottery!

For now

Away from his shanty town

To make Australia home!

For there are no wars!

In that strange bountiful land

Where everyone smiles

Until jaws ache

In that land

A land full of kind, white people

A land of cricket, football and “she’ll be right mate”

And so many opportunities


In that oh so lucky country.

But joy in his new home

Soon takes a different turn

That bountiful land

Turns away her grace

And shows a far more insidious face.

The county’s initial embrace,

It’s seductive kiss,

With all its charm

That intoxicated him

That blinded him

Says an untimely farewell

And he is left again with his old friend

An old acquaintance he knows too well


Hope turns to sadness and despair

For as he realises that his new white brothers

Do not feel as he does

And they turn their backs


Shrug their shoulders

And walk away.

Do not fear me”- he cries

Do not cross the road

Because you do not know me

But no one is listening.

“Oh my father, my mother, my dear, darling sister!

Why did you have to leave me?

Why did you abandon me?

For I now have no one

But fear by my side

For I am alone in a world full of strangers.

What is to become of me?”

He cries.

And so he is left alone basking in mediocrity

To start a new life

At the fringes of urban dwelling

Left to languish anew

Scraping at the edges

Hungering now not for food

But for connection

For purpose and meaning

Working for a pittance

His dreams unfulfilled

His potential unseen

Testing his resolve

His resilience

Our wanderer

Our traveller of galaxies.

For the cycle continues

Despite all our good intentions.