Poems by
Manas Jha

The Colour of Truth

a poem by Manas Jha

My mother bore me in the delta green,
Where only hatred and rage were to be seen.
And I lay in my mother’s arms,
She kept me safe, away from harm.

Every night, after the heat of day,
She would turn to me, and begin to say,
That we were here to lend a helping hand,
Making a hard living in this foreign land.

I used to hear about our home in Africa,
And here we lay in the heart of America,
And here we lay hungry still,
For a decent meal and a fear-free will.

I sometimes looked back at the years I spent,
I saw nothing but fear, and how we’d learnt to bend.
Hear me mom as I began to say,
I choose to live and not just fade away!

Robbed of all but pride, with tears hardened to stone;
In this pool of prejudice and hate, we had been drenched to the bone.
History was witness, we’d been fighting on arrival,
And now the time was ripe, we would fight for survival.

With youth in my hand, revolution in my soul,
Non-violence was my tongue, but the flame of freedom I hold.
I was the voice of all bereaved of light,
A voice too loud, so silenced by the white.

Here I lay again mom, like those innocent days;
But don’t you cry, for I only die today.
Whenever you hear a coloured cry to be free,
Look into their eyes mom, and you’ll see me, you’ll see me!