thistles stretch their prickly arms afar
Ushiku Crisafulli is a poet, playwright, actor, artist, musician, and founder of the OpenMind Collective. He co-wrote and starred in the January 2008 Manchester Playwrights Forum production of A Last Cry at Contact Theatre. He is part of the Contact Young Actors’ Company Alumni and was Manchester’s representative in Contact Theatre’s Contacting The World Festival Youth Leadership summit in 2010. He was winner of the penultimate Poetry Pillow as his ‘Bidaman’ persona, O2 Think Big funding for OpenMind project, and the Prince’s Trust Community Cash Award funding for OpenMind project. He is also a member the LGBT arts organisations Young Enigma and VADA, as well as writing for the LGBT Magazine also called VADA. His poetry publications include The Robin Hood Book, Poems for Freedom, Skive Magazine, Retail Woes and Recession, Depression and Economic Reflection by Local Gems Poetry Press New York, Best of Manchester Poetry Volume 3 by Puppywolf, Fiesta of Love and Moods and Moments (India).
The Death of DUMBocracy
These dark thoughts are like prowling piranhas
feasting on optimism and eroding self-worth.
Even when worries about one's past are subdued
the future is already behind me,
the picture in my mind's eye a desolate wasteland
wrought by a cerebral civil war
and the mindlessness of DUMBocracy.
Those that are elected do us harm,
and those that are not would do more if permitted
- and they will be.
I worry for my life and for all life,
I'm a Citizen of Earth.
We were once the chosen children
of Mother Nature and Father Time
now like Oedipus we fuck this planet
and destroy that which gave us life.
This contaminated world is my Kryptonite,
I'm born of it though it now destroys me.
Now I'm green too
as fears crystallise in my consciousness.
I question the hardships I've endured,
and those to come
dumbfounded at those actively chosen...
Yet I've performed and been published...
I can call myself an international artist
whose soul has touched 3 continents
and wishes to enrich the entire universe.
I've been told I'm a keeper by a woman of great quality...
yet I am quick to deny my own qualities.
Always fearful of sabotage or shortlived happiness.
Ironically acknowledging the greatest enemy is myself
no person, nation or corporation could hurt me
more than I hurt myself.
My arms are bare but my heart is shredded
as stitches burst at the seams
from slights suffered as young as 5.
Treating a child like a suspect
cos his birth parents were schizophrenic
and his new family likes to gossip...
how else did the other kids call me schizo?
It's not like I broadcasted what my appointments were for.
After 9 years of being a lab rat fed on mouldy cheese
they told me I was fine.
I may not be schizophrenic
but I am far from fine.
Mental illness can be manufactured
whether by propaganda or cruelty...
and then you see how deeply even their words
are entrenched in our cultural psyche.
A corrupted consciousness is mind washed,
as if their poison is intellectual disinfectant...
and a poor man who finds wealth is
"working class made good".
Working class IS GOOD.
All life is sacred,
the self-declared elites do not ascend to Godhood
but descend still from their own humanity
a Darkspawn delusion
that rivals the Venatori of the Tevinter Imperium
though this isn't a computer game...
We cannot switch off from challenges we all face
individually nor collectively yet we do.
If "politicians are all the same" what of the people?
We all oppose evil yet what is done practically?
No more "I'm just doing my job"
No more "it's just company policy"
No more "what are you doing here?"
I ask all defenders of tyranny what are YOU doing here?
My passport says England,
my baptismal certificate honours Italy and Africa,
my heart says America,
and my Martian red blood trickles the same
as all others residing in Gaia's Garden.
A desecrated Eden that can be revived
and revitalised by our conscious choice.
But before we slay the Dragons that pose as Gods
we must first slay the demons that reside in our own minds.
The greatest battle is not an exterior one.
That is one part of a wider war.
The greatest battle is with apathy.
So the question we all share...
the question that demands an answer is this:
Will you pick up your sword... or RUN?