34/2017: Death of the Rain Maker

I constantly live in a state of “it’s better than…”

It’s better than nothing
It’s better than death
It’s better than there
It’s better than…

I don’t want to live
comparing myself to those
who are seen to be failing.
I want to fly higher than
the expectations I gave myself
when I dreamed in secret
and imagined I was…

Mata Hari
and Rosa Parks
all in one.

I was the change maker,
the beacon in the night,
that none would cross for
fear of being burned by my light.
I held the world in my hand
and commanded the will of men.
Demanding they be better –
we be better.
Instead, I exist…

in a place that is better than…

© Manivillie Kanagasabapathy


Image from Pixabay: Artist – Flachovatereza https://pixabay.com/en/users/Flachovatereza-448286/


Day 320: Hey, White Person

I refuse to let the politics of fear,
begin to divide the love between us.
So much has happened this past year,
I get the sway of a blank canvas.

Sometimes the choices may seem unclear,
but really what’s left of justice?
Is your view from my shoes, sincere?
Or is it easy to pretend to be blameless?

I choose to think this is a smear,
a move to spin the emotional axis,
until we believe things so severe,
that all people are only their bias.

I know you are more than fear,
and not some words that are faceless.
Because you also have a conversation to steer,
in unmasking the myth of progress.

© Manivillie Kanagasabapathy

AN: A response to these posters that have started showing up across East York part of the City of Toronto.  

Also on another note – sometimes it takes a community to write a poem:) Thank you to Janny, Jenn, Manimolie, Sandra and Wendy, for always having insight and answering my many many many questions! 


Day 314: Politicking States

By tomorrow I will remember
it wasn’t all Americans
or a landslide victory.

Tomorrow I will remember
that the American spirit
is one that fights and rebels.

Tomorrow I will remember
that America is the biggest influencer
of social change
even as when it commits
the worst acts.

Tomorrow I will remember
America is flawed but honest.


I am allowing myself time to process
all the worst case scenarios playing
in my head and heart.

© Manivillie Kanagasabapathy

AN: This poem came from a conversation with my friend Thiviyaa. I was speaking – let’s be honest, ranting, about all the things I was worried about as the outcome of the very divisive USA election. When she said “Ya but that doesn’t mean it’s over.”

She reminded me that just because something unexpected happened doesn’t mean you don’t keep pushing for changes in things that are flawed. That said, though, I need today just to react :). So thanks Thiviyaa for the inspiration and hope.

Day 310: Snow

How many generations until my brown skin turns white as snow?
My black hair golden, shining in the summer’s sun,
my brown eyes the shade of the Kokanee glacial waters reflecting the sky
my Canadian born accent, the same as my Canadian neighbor
my words English and not Tamlish
How many generations before I am Canadian?

© Manivillie Kanagasabapathy

AN: My second submission for CBC – There were 4 poem in total that were submitted under the title Identity.

Day 76: Can of Worms

I wonder if it began like this
The reason we flew
“Harmless” words and names
Thrown with purposeful intent.
A belief in humanity
Our compassion to overcome
Divisive acts of terror
Cloaked in political showmanship.
Theatrical smoke and mirrors
Smoky hazes to hide empty performances
Of morality and concern
Gilded tongues of spoilt men
Mute voices of the “others”
Convincing them that they don’t matter
Their safety renounced
To reclaim the glory of a nation
“Of the people, by the people, for the people”

© Manivillie Kanagasabapathy

AN: I think it’s impossible not to be influenced by the elections in the USA right now. As one of the most powerful, if not the powerful, nation right now, every decision taken by the citizens has implications for all nation-states. Makes me remember that all dissension began with a few divisive voices.