I didn't enjoy education, I felt suffocated and frustrated by the classical class room situation, in return my actions and outbursts of disruptive behaviour caused a disconnect in my relationship with teachers. I felt completely distant from them. I'm sure they tried as hard as they could to connect with me but in the midst of all the other students, targets to meet and boxes to tick our relationship never really grew healthily. I've been thinking about teaching, though. About how I thought you needed a room of 30 pupils before you could begin. I realise how carless that thinking is. How naive it is of me to not realise that I teach every single day. I teach. Standing before a sea of disgruntled and confused faces, passing on knowledge passed through the ages is a vocation I honour and admire, it's front line work but it's also not the only time we teach people.
The way that I treat people teaches them how to view themselves, it teaches them about their worth and their value. It teaches them about who they are.
This new poem "Naked Flesh" that I am excited to share with you captures a lesson I have been learning my whole life. I grew up with three beautiful sisters and a mother, all of whom I still count as my best friends, sources of comfort and council and joy. I learnt about how to treat the other woman in my life through my relationships with them. I found it immensely difficult to join in with disrespectful conversations about girls at school, how they look, what the other guys would want to do to them, what they would change about them because I knew, although they we're spoken of like objects, barbies that could be moulded and contorted to fit a fantasy, they were in reality someone's sister or daughter. I didn't always succeed. I didn't always hold my tongue. I didn't always walk away from situations that I now wish I had, but the magnetic north on my moral compass always pointed towards honour, which made the moments of failure even harder to face.
This poem is dedicated to my three sisters because without you; Hannah, Bethany and Phoebe I wouldn't be the man or husband that I am today. I adore you and it is my great pride to use my craft to uphold and honour you. This poem is also dedicated to my brothers, the billions of men around the world that I'll never meet and the one's not yet born who I will never know. This poem is a cry to rally us. Not in a militant manner of gathering soldiers but with arms of love beckoning Sons, Fathers and Brothers to be the men we were born to be, to follow the compass of honour instead of desire gone mad.
We've forgotten who we are. We put our brothers behind bars and We gave our sisters scars
And in trying to become stars we have trampled on our Sons,
So our Solar Systems became Soulless and our spirits became numb, Our hearts, they became empty.
For without honour we have nothing, even in the land of plenty.