Morning is upon us, should be thanking God for another day of life,

Unsure if I’d earned it, if I even want it, lately it’s been a rough ride,

Two months later the wound remains raw, gonna take a whole lot to heal this open sore,

Can never erase the events of that night, got home following another hard grind,

She was standing there, should’ve been sleeping, could tell she was red-hot and steaming,

Huffing about matters unimportant, the impact wouldn’t have dented the fucking richter,

She gave too many fucks about ‘em, straight-up ducked and dodged my explaining,

Overtime followed by a long commute and I had to come home to this shit?

Can’t believe she stayed up late for it, I really wasn’t feeling it,

One thing led to another and we got to bickering, at first about the so-called issue at hand,

Then segued over to our recent history, from the beginning ‘til the present a startling contrast,

No more of that lovey-dovey rom-com thing, done eroded into something almost toxic,

Starting beef over the innocuous that should’ve quickly been forgotten,

Silent treatments would last for weeks if not months, how the fuck did it come to this?

When previously disagreements ended less than 24-hours later with a hug and a kiss.

And we’re here again, under the same roof but mentally stranded on our own islands,

Unwilling to call for help knowing that the other would be the one to come and get us,

But someone had to give, eventually, she lowered her defences first,

Tried to be the bigger person, extended the olive branch but I just wasn’t reaching for it,

Her apologies went unheard, her gestures of goodwill unaccepted,

Worked my ass off only to be bollocked and disrespected, playing with matches will get you incinerated,

She started it and I’m gonna finish it and I have every intention of extending it,

Hopefully to drive the message home, finally, that messing with me is one of life’s biggest follies,

One month deep now, this silent treatment, the longest that our cold wars had ever lasted,

‘Goodnight, My Love’ and all her other sentiments went unanswered save for contemptuous pre-sleep grunting.

The next day played out the same way with a continued deafening silence between us,

Up early but she’d left ahead of me, went on our respective hustles, to be unhappily reunited later,

That’s when the script was flipped, life ground to a screeching halt,

Just reached home, why wasn’t she around? Then came the fateful call,

Several unanswered calls in my phone, how did I miss ‘em? Face-palmed myself before addressing this latest caller,

It was her mother, hysterical on the other end,

A fool on the booze had crossed into her lane, the collision catastrophic and head to head,

The aftermath a big mess, traffic piling on both lanes,

The carnage left no survivors, time seemed to hit the brakes,

She ceased to exist, just like that, here this morning but gone later on,

The beef remains unresolved, no fences mended, the pain a special type of hell as you can imagine,

Can’t even recall what we’d gone to war over, it’s been more than a month ago,

In the grand scheme inconsequential, should’ve ended it but instead extended it, fuelled by pettiness and ego,

Blinded by pride, didn’t tell her I loved her the previous night, didn’t even kiss her good night,

I guess I was asking for it, the regret and heartbreak I’ll take them to my grave,

Sickening realisations following personal tragedy beating me down like Calzaghe did Lacy,

That I took her and our union for granted, failed to fulfil those vows,

To be there for one another, through good times and bad, she was a keeper, best I ever had, what will I do now?

Now two months later I’m still picking up the pieces,

Staring at the man in the mirror through eyes of bitterness and hatred,

Day by day cursing him for choosing feelings over what’s important, ‘fuck you and your fucking dramas, you selfish motherfucker!”

“She’s the best thing that ever happened to ya, a blessing that came your way like no other, you never deserved her and now you done lost her,”

A warning to you, Dear Reader, the words of Buddha stand the test of time,

‘Anger is like drinking poison but expecting the other to die,’

Grudges ain’t meant to be held for too long, better drop it quick if you wish to move on,

For grown adults such behaviour’s unbecoming, if you’re still prone to it you need some serious soul-searching,

Life gets shorter as your age grows longer, why dawdle in the same old chapters?

Time moves inexorably, best you keep up and move on swiftly,

Once it’s gone it’s gone forever, this ain’t no video game shit, no such thing as do-overs,

Tomorrow ain’t promised to anyone, that should motivate you to hug your loved ones,

Don’t let anything get between y’all, especially not the pointless and the trivial,

Never go to bed mad, especially at your fam, they’re the only ones you have, cherish their company while you can,

On that note I’ll soldier on, cold and forlorn, spare me your pity and scorn, I know I deserve to live the rest of my days alone.

Price Tag: Mr and Mrs Jones

Nice ride, somehow it looks familiar,

Owned by many a superstar, Mr and Mrs Jones ‘round the corner, wasn’t your last one a keeper?

Got you from point A to point B quite smoothly, an upgrade really wasn’t necessary,

So why this new toy that won’t appreciate and comes with a secret use-by date?

Seems you bought it out of peer pressure, believing it’ll make your image that much sweeter,

Trends are ever-changing, before you know it it’s out of fashion,

Nobody here hating, Friend, but that M.O slapped glittering on your sleeve,

Based your life’s choices and preferences on the actions of total strangers, it’s a fucked-up way to be.

Way to surrender your freedom and power, how does it feel to be held prisoner?

Got you blowing dough on useless shit for show, Struggle Street’s knocking but your dumb ass ain’t knowing it,

Taking paths that ain’t yours ‘cuz IG deemed your situation unexciting,

Came at the expense of your identity, now an amalgamation of those you’d been following,

The stars, icons, players and influencers, living enviable lives that’ll drive you bonkers,

Got a chokehold on the collective’s attention, somehow found yourself among them,

Gotta ask yourself some questions, address that proverbial white elephant,

Are your moves dictated by genuine want or fear of others’ judgment?

Wastes of space you’d parted ways with paper on, are you still enjoying ‘em?

How many are collecting dust in the shed? Has the sting of regret set up camp in your head?

Could’ve defied the mob but instead you’re a slave to ‘em, an unwinnable race you’re running, such a life can’t be fulfilling.

Maybe you don’t see it but yours is a major problem,

Letting others dictate choices, how the fuck is that liberating?

Perfection is but an illusion, the so-called famous, too, are flawed, they’re only human so quit revering ‘em like they’re gods,

Speaking of illusions, social media’s rife with ‘em, images can be doctored and locations manipulated,

So-called influencers tauntin’ and cappin’, not to mention gaslightin’,

Not all but most of ‘em, playing you like a fiddle same as their other victims,

A better life’s attainable if you play your cards right, shuffle the deck where necessary,

Press on forward, to hell with adversity, watch how fast your life’s enhanced, might build you a legacy,

A true badass is one that’s original, knows themselves like no other,

Rejecting white noise and useless chatter, opinions are like assholes and everybody’s got ‘em,

Ditch ‘em and live your own life, heed the wise words of Bruce,

“Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory,” insecurities and dissatisfaction manifesting in attempts at false praises and validation,

Take away their phones and access to the net and what do you get?

A bunch of entitled fools forced to be civilians, ill-equipped for what lies ahead,

Suddenly they ain’t so enviable, more than likely theirs was all an illusion,

Forced to start again, abandoned and forgotten, out of sight like the trends they started, how’s that for poetic justice?

Free yourself from their trap, go on treading your own path,

Embrace your true self, flaws and all, your lot ain’t so bad,

Focus on life’s true calling, scale you some mountains, the best investments you ever had,

Indulging what you don’t need for people you don’t need to please, kick ‘em to the side where they belong, they don’t own you anymore.

In Their Shoes

Been carrying this load now, weighed down for the longest time,

Shoulders slouched and knees tired, could’ve been a strong man but feeling just about fried,

Twin tormentors jockeying for position but equally loud and destructive,

Got your man running from one end of the proverbial spectrum right to the other,

Sights set on a particular path, planning and plotting to make it happen,

The outcome still uncertain but intuition dictates it’ll be worth it,

Just don’t tell that to the parents, loved ones too for that matter,

The script was written for me years ago, veering from it deemed acts of rebellion,

Standards and expectations, too, set from the moment of birth,

A metaphorical chokehold as far as I’m concerned, additional needless pressure,

Tried and failed so many times over, win-loss record favoring the latter,

Their prophecy unfulfilled with no contingencies, I must be a no-hoper,

Bad vibes permeating self-worth, nobody ‘round to talk it out with,

Why place trust in others capable of plunging daggers when you don’t expect it?

Every known relationship ever severed in the most unfavourable ways,

Barely a parting word exchanged, forget a sweet embrace, we’re talking bridges doused with petrol then setting it aflame,

Smiling through the pain, they won’t know shit this way,

But behind the mask an inverted smile, hovering over it the appeal of a self-inflicted demise. 

See you wandering about, your head up in the clouds,

Damn near bowling others over, they’re cussing at ya from right over their shoulders,

Looks like you’d had a heavy day or still stuck in the midst of it,

Word is you want out ‘cuz you can no longer take it,

Leave it to me to give you a dose of brutal reality, shit you need to hear,

That you’d never known true suffering, let alone absolute fear,

While your grown folks were upstanding mine were bottom of the barrel,

Drank, shot, snorted and swallowed what was within reach, passed their bad habits unto me,

Took my share of beatings at home and away, more than any kid deserved, certainly,

Just call me a heavy bag with legs, the shoe fits perfectly,

A lifelong nomad against my will, it was one eviction after another,

That was Mom and Pop’s way, I just inherited their traits,

Money was tight and it was my education or their vices,

Spoiler alert ahead, the latter took precedent,

The curse could’ve ended but fuck it the proverbial leaves ain’t turning,

Now I’m royally twisted like ‘em, draining every last fucking pay check,

Can’t live without the stash, though, no better way to numb the pain,

Experiences and inner torment just as potent as scarring from fighting and self-harming,

One thing lead to another and soon they made off with my lodgings,

Went through partners like used underwear, the little ones aren’t hearing it,

Now I’m here among the dregs, the ones the masses pretend don’t exist,

Can’t blame nothing or nobody, I’m programmed towards the self-destructive,

Desperate to fight back but untrained and too chicken-shit for it,

Stop and pay attention, Sir, this shit here be real life fucking problems.

You rail at feeling trapped, of expectations and needless pressure,

Because your parents believed you had it in you to achieve everlasting greatness,

Any idea how green many a face would be at that? That they cared enough to feed, clothe and raise your ass so you don’t fall right through the cracks?

If I’d had a taste of it I just might have become someone, but it remains a theory and always will be, just wanted a fighting chance but never was afforded one,

You grew up comfortably in a stable environment, finished school and now making a decent living,

Can afford to keep a roof overhead, to keep that belly fed, what others yearn for you take ‘em every day for granted,

Barely experienced the challenges others go through, daily,

Ever had to hide from murderers and thieves? Resort to drastic measures for lodgings and a decent feed? Sleep on the streets, come freezing cold or searing heat?

You ain’t been forced to survive the school of hard knocks and all her soul-searing tests,

Betrayed by your folks, stabbed figuratively and literally by so-called friends, tormented daily by even bigger demons than even the ones you think reside in your head,

Take a deep breath and venture out your cocoon, take a good look at the world around you,

That head been stuck so far up your ass that you don’t even have a clue,

Then you’ll realise the true depths of suffering, harden up and gain you some perspective,

Fuck your feelings and first-world problems, so much going for you but you choose to be blind to ‘em,

Hope that shit empowers you to be better, to count your blessings and be of service to others,

The ones for whom yours is an impossible dream, walk a mile in their shoes, it could’ve been worse for you, so pull your damn self together, Fool!


Woke up bright and early like it was another school day,

It’s anything but, come afternoon it’ll be time to graduate,

The magnitude hasn’t registered, all’s well on the plains, gotta enjoy summer break before knuckling down for seventh grade,

Had breakfast with the fam bam then ducked into the showers,

Changed into school uniform, yellow shirt and grey shorts, December weather ain’t suitable for trousers,

The opening salvo in a day of lasts fired, many little habits memorised to be performed a final time,

Morning drop-off completed, kissed Mom ‘see you later’, entered the school grounds to join fellow grade-sixers,

Seems we’re united in our indifference, the significance of it all remains elusive,

As a collective it’s all dry eyes, no internal drafting of good-byes,

Could change as the big show edges closer, guaranteed the dam will break once it’s over,

Final morning assembly failed to activate the feelings,

Though I’d be lying by claiming I didn’t feel stirrings during Principal’s morning message,

Then it was off to the classroom, no more lessons to be covered.

Time spent reminiscing with the teacher, pep talks galore about what lies in our near future,

The past seven years lead to this, 91 to 97, from kindergarten to grade six,

I was a year late to the party but these classmates kinda grew on me,

Not that I’d call ‘em bossom buddies, miss me with being weepy after the ceremony,

Got through recess in a reflective mood, blocking out the usual banter from the dudes, contemplating over my food,

Lunchtime was similar, chopped it up with young’uns while the homies played soccer,

Ones who looked up to me as a big brother, oblivious that I’ll soon be a goner,

The school bell chimed, the final meal break was over, back to class to prepare, a final request from the teacher,

Handed us pieces of paper, asked us to write our secret wishes, no need for a big reveal, write ‘em then fold ‘em before dropping ‘em in a bucket,

Before they’re stuffed inside helium balloons, their purpose will be revealed soon,

For now just sit back and relax, spend some quality time as one big group,

At another time multiple selfie-sessions would have been in order, pics and vids uploaded on the ‘Gram,

‘End of an era’, ‘moving on’, ‘the next chapter’, how are those for hashtags?

Soon it was time, bade one another farewell, expressed gratitude to teacher,

For her guidance and patience, for putting up with us, fulfilled her role with flying colours,

Looked around home base, desks tidy and chairs atop tables, ready to be cleaned,

Walls that had played host to charts, rules and students’ art works now a bare and austere shade of cream,

No cap and gown for us, just plain old school uniforms, took some shine off of the occasion, not that it really matters,

Lined up for the final time, marched like troopers towards the assembly area,

Students from grades below us and their teachers, school staff and our parents, patiently waiting as we were seated up front and centre,

Principal kicked off proceedings, tired old clichés she was regurgitating,

Stuff about personal growth and the next chapter, as we transition from children to teenagers,

School captains addressed their peers, handled it like professionals,

Even in the face of their friends’ subtle trolling while others’ eyes were wandering,

Even the parish priest had his say, this was Catholic school after all,

Then once the VIPs had rocked the mic it was on for the cringiest part of all,

Graduates turned to face their support crew to serenade them in song,

Call it our teachers’ retribution for the times we’d driven ‘em up the wall,

Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion, the theme from that movie Up Close And Personal,

An impromptu karaoke session, writers on Glee would have found this unusual,

To us it was cheese, new levels of cringy, worse than what Gal Gadot and her cronies mustered up during 2020.

Then it was onto the main event, certificates to be received, yours truly called up first, they just HAD to do this alphabetically,

Then joined by the kindergarten buddies assigned to us at year’s beginning, whom throughout the year we’d been mentoring,

Collected a helium balloon each, the ones that stored our secret wishes,

Never mind if we got ours specifically, either way they’re about to go flying,

Assembled at the dirt area, balloons in one hand and that of our buddies in the other, released the balloons skywards to rapturous applause, upon our teachers’ final orders,

Thus concluded the ceremony, in addition to our time in elementary,

Classmates now alumni, the term teachers now prefixed with ‘former,’ our roles as mentors for those kindergarteners well and truly over,

The day’s significance finally hit us as we said our goodbyes to one another,

Gotta laugh at the tears between friends who’ll be spending summer break together,

The occasion must’ve got to them, I suppose that’s understandable, most are heading to the same high school together, again it becomes laughable,

Half-promised to keep in touch with the homies, to hang out like old times, did we live up to ‘em? You’ll find out in a little while,

Finally split from the herd unnoticed, looking forward to hopefully greener pastures,

Re-joined my immediate family, who were chatting with the Principal, she wished me well for the future, then I gave Pops the signal,

It’s time to go, the summer break beckons, headed towards the gate, taking those final steps triumphant,

Only at this time did I feel that gut punch, finally,

That elementary’s now behind me and so is a life carefree, melancholy hitting me low-key,

Took a final look at the school grounds, surveyed the land before leaving,

Class was dismissed for the summer, other students had joined their parents,

Fellow graduates ain’t in a hurry, some of ‘em ran to the jungle gym excitedly,

Climbing and swinging like they did in kindergarten, one last grasp at childhood before high school comes calling,

School buses done arrived, time to close school for the season,

Grade seven awaits after the break, bring on teen years let’s see how I handle it.


No, your boy ain’t kept in touch with the homies, it wasn’t meant to be,

That’s just how fate scripted it, our ships sailed through different directions,

Most of ‘em now married with children, as are most of my former peers,

Some even became teachers, though not at our old stomping ground of seven years,

Most of ‘em ain’t changed, facially, can see traces of ‘em in their kiddies,

No telling what became of our kindy buddies, by now they’d reached early thirties,

With families and careers of their own, time sure has flown,

Seemed to last forever living it, in hindsight shouldn’t have taken it for granted,

The school I’d attended still standing, still in operation and thriving,

Uniforms largely remained unchanged, new buildings done upgraded the landscape,

No telling if younger teachers in the day are still plying their trade, though one older gent’s still doing his thing, still smoking despite surpassing retirement age,

Now to address the elephant in the room, as if you didn’t know,

That little note that ascended upwards, the little wish that I’d wrote,

Ain’t nothing ambitious or noble, some would say it’s shallow,

Gotta bear in mind, I was a chubby child, picked on by the others, their jabs were most unkind,

So prior to the proceedings, took out a pen and scrawled that I wished for a better body, to turn this softness into brawn,

Maybe wishes come true, achievement unlocked years later,

No drugs, supplements or gym, just hard work and dedication, choke on that one, hecklers!