Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Boonaa Mohammed

Featured Poem:

Green Card

Enlarge poem

We are the children of hope.
Folks came here floating on a big plane or small boat.
From the banana republics and rainforest cafes,
saving up their little pay just to see some better days.
I am the first.
Born on to this land I navigate with ease,
for my parents sake I will survive by any means.
If that means physics, bio, calculus and chemistry.
These boring subjects encompass their every single dream.
At 15 I translate between the judge and the jury.
My teacher says I’m doing bad, I tell my dad not to worry,
plus I can’t translate all the hate that she gives me.
Racist curriculum I’m not dumb and don’t need your pity.
Maniacs rule your cities while geniuses drive your cabs.
And I’ve had to work twice as hard for every single thing that I’ve had.
From selling from my stash, trying to make that quick and easy cash.
Dead end jobs that can leave you dead on the job.
Poverty is like love, it makes you do some crazy things.
Like using a fake gun to stick up the stick up kids.
Babylon system leaving no options.
So it’s get rich or die trying either that or just dying.
Or you work, and you work and you work for jerks.
Bosses who don’t see people but see profits.
And not the holy kind, I’m talking dollar signs,
and I begin to see why poverty like love is blind.
Or maybe just colour blind?
A tiny inconvenient truth about labour groups,
and the masses of the working classes.
But then again some people say that race doesn’t even exist.
Tell that to the trees still sore from hanging lynches.
But during this day and age,
we have fresh new waves of semi-paid slaves,
willing to work for less than our minimal wage.
And these foreigners don’t understand these foreign concepts,
they thought they were Canadian, but slowly dismissed that nonsense.
And I hate to be the one to say it, but, I mean this is it.
This is your stinking land of dreams,
a place where you can still live 3rd world in a first world country.
Love has cupid and poverty has stupid
This is a place where we can grow up to learn nothing about ourselves.
This is a place where they insist that sex should sell.
This a place where we can grow up to want the things we definitely do not need.
This is a place where your kids can become addicted to alcohol and weed.
And I bet they didn’t tell you this on your immigration application.
Because sadly this may still be better than your former locations.
So if you won’t say it, than I guess I’ll have to say it for you,
besides I’m used to translating your dreams and hopes too.
Aside from on America’s most wanted, we are not wanted, here.
Because my colour and last name still spark fear.
The same kind that can easily become violent.
And you can’t be protected by studying science,
because even our nerds aren’t good enough for them,
I was born here and I’m screwed, but you, you have an accent.
You get the same respect as fat kids in gym class,
first to get cut and always picked last.
But don’t get mad, because you’re doing the best that you can.
And I love you because you were not afraid to take a chance.
So the next time someone tells you to go back to where you came from,
tell them we should all go back, and finally let the natives have some fun.
In Solidarity.

Boonaa Mohammed

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (2)
  • Pride (2)
  • Optimism (2)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (3)
  • Inspiration (4)
  • Reflection (2)
  • Captivation (1)
  • Peace (2)
  • Amusement (2)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (3)
  • Fear (1)
  • Jubilation (1)

Comments

Your email address will not be published.

Biography

Dubbed the “voice of a generation,” Boonaa Mohammed is a critically acclaimed award winning writer and performer with accolades including a playwright residency at Theatre Passe Muraille, a short story published in a Penguin Canada anthology called Piece by Piece and various slam poetry titles including winner of the 2007 CBC Poetry Face-Off “Best New Artist” award. As an Artist he has toured and traveled across the world and frequently conducts writing workshops and seminars, sharing his experience and expertise in social justice based story telling with mainly youth from all walks of life.

Boonaa Mohammed

Boonaa Mohammed
Boonaa Mohammed

Biography

Dubbed the “voice of a generation,” Boonaa Mohammed is a critically acclaimed award winning writer and performer with accolades including a playwright residency at Theatre Passe Muraille, a short story published in a Penguin Canada anthology called Piece by Piece and various slam poetry titles including winner of the 2007 CBC Poetry Face-Off “Best New Artist” award. As an Artist he has toured and traveled across the world and frequently conducts writing workshops and seminars, sharing his experience and expertise in social justice based story telling with mainly youth from all walks of life.

Featured Poem:

Green Card

Enlarge poem

We are the children of hope.
Folks came here floating on a big plane or small boat.
From the banana republics and rainforest cafes,
saving up their little pay just to see some better days.
I am the first.
Born on to this land I navigate with ease,
for my parents sake I will survive by any means.
If that means physics, bio, calculus and chemistry.
These boring subjects encompass their every single dream.
At 15 I translate between the judge and the jury.
My teacher says I’m doing bad, I tell my dad not to worry,
plus I can’t translate all the hate that she gives me.
Racist curriculum I’m not dumb and don’t need your pity.
Maniacs rule your cities while geniuses drive your cabs.
And I’ve had to work twice as hard for every single thing that I’ve had.
From selling from my stash, trying to make that quick and easy cash.
Dead end jobs that can leave you dead on the job.
Poverty is like love, it makes you do some crazy things.
Like using a fake gun to stick up the stick up kids.
Babylon system leaving no options.
So it’s get rich or die trying either that or just dying.
Or you work, and you work and you work for jerks.
Bosses who don’t see people but see profits.
And not the holy kind, I’m talking dollar signs,
and I begin to see why poverty like love is blind.
Or maybe just colour blind?
A tiny inconvenient truth about labour groups,
and the masses of the working classes.
But then again some people say that race doesn’t even exist.
Tell that to the trees still sore from hanging lynches.
But during this day and age,
we have fresh new waves of semi-paid slaves,
willing to work for less than our minimal wage.
And these foreigners don’t understand these foreign concepts,
they thought they were Canadian, but slowly dismissed that nonsense.
And I hate to be the one to say it, but, I mean this is it.
This is your stinking land of dreams,
a place where you can still live 3rd world in a first world country.
Love has cupid and poverty has stupid
This is a place where we can grow up to learn nothing about ourselves.
This is a place where they insist that sex should sell.
This a place where we can grow up to want the things we definitely do not need.
This is a place where your kids can become addicted to alcohol and weed.
And I bet they didn’t tell you this on your immigration application.
Because sadly this may still be better than your former locations.
So if you won’t say it, than I guess I’ll have to say it for you,
besides I’m used to translating your dreams and hopes too.
Aside from on America’s most wanted, we are not wanted, here.
Because my colour and last name still spark fear.
The same kind that can easily become violent.
And you can’t be protected by studying science,
because even our nerds aren’t good enough for them,
I was born here and I’m screwed, but you, you have an accent.
You get the same respect as fat kids in gym class,
first to get cut and always picked last.
But don’t get mad, because you’re doing the best that you can.
And I love you because you were not afraid to take a chance.
So the next time someone tells you to go back to where you came from,
tell them we should all go back, and finally let the natives have some fun.
In Solidarity.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (2)
  • Pride (2)
  • Optimism (2)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (3)
  • Inspiration (4)
  • Reflection (2)
  • Captivation (1)
  • Peace (2)
  • Amusement (2)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (3)
  • Fear (1)
  • Jubilation (1)

Comments

Your email address will not be published.