Joshua Harrison

The System Taught Me to Write, That Was Their Final Mistake

This poem is a call to arms.
There you go, you have your meaning.
‘Class you can finish there.’
You have no need for intervening.

This isn’t a poem to be broken down,
‘Till every metaphor is stripped like gilding.
Please don’t anatomise my poem,
You’re judging the bricks in a 30 foot building.

My technique could use some work,
However most bricks are chipped and bland.
But each one was laid by me,
By a bruised and calloused hand.

This poem is for the hearts:
That beat out of fear of one day not.
That beat for necessity,
Not the buzz in the air or the friends that you’ve got.

If a car park is abandoned,
Does the streetlamp make a glow?
If a dream is never shared,
Can the dream ever grow?

We can’t see the trees fall,
But we can listen for the sound.
We don’t see corrupt systems,
Till we tear them to the ground.

To every starving mother,
Popping the ivory tower’s pills.
Hooked on the flavour of the month,
Poverty not tiredness kills.

So send me the generation,
May these words be my loudest call.
Give me your hands not your wallets,
I will make soldiers of you all.

Help me soothe your violence,
Raise your voices not your sticks.
Take the education they will give you,
A shield can’t save you from politics.

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