Free verse, Poem

Day 44: Culture

Am I defined by the words on this page,
Or through the hands with which I write them?
My pen traces the curves and lines,
Of colonial words used to erase history.

My understanding of “Eastern knowledge
A smörgåsbord of people, ideas, and terms,
You did not understand,
Yet teach me about myself.

I pray to a religion created,
From a forceful weaving of rituals, practices and beliefs,
A basket forged of stolen gold, and rubies,
Appropriated idols and haphazard wisdom.

My past remains a mystery,
Familiar stories told in foreign expressions,
My terms of reference,
Situated in letters and words,
Which are not my people.

Yet knowledge seeps through the holes,
Like escaping dreams of a dead man’s sleep,
Where intent and belief could not
Be reconciled and stories claimed.

© Manivillie Kanagasabapathy

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