Biologically Related, Familially Strangers! - Poem by Stanley Collymore
By Stanley Collymore
You are the grandchildren whose presence I’m very much
aware of but who notwithstanding that you’re also the
grandchildren I’ve never seen or embraced; have
never communicated with or been given the
opportunity to welcome into this world
we currently share with each other
My biological offspring, most certainly, but that is all it
would appear to be as things presently stand. A very
awkward state of affairs to fin one’s self in I must
admit, and all because there have been no
overtures on the part of your parent, who ironically is
my own natural child that I love immensely and
forever will, to bury the hatchet respective
to our distant familial falling out and
as such prevents you from either
seeing or having anything
at all to do with me.
Of course I shall respect tough not condone this insufferable
action that has been foisted upon you and to which I’m
being subjected myself, as I have no wish to embroil
you in a matter that isn’t of your making; which
occurred long before your own parents even
knew about each other’s existence or you were yourselves
conceived and ultimately came into this world as fully
fledged members of the human race, but at the same
time as an inactive and involuntarily proscribed
part of mine and your own ancestral lineage.
But what you’re presented with as you look into
the mirror of life and unwittingly see only a
white Caucasian staring back at you is, I
must point out, analogous to the
viewing of well sculptured and impressively laid
out sand dunes strewn across an otherwise bleak
and desolate desert scene whose bewitchingly
captivating landscape can nevertheless so
easily conjure up, if one is not fully
cognisant of the inherent dangers
that lay within, the deceptive
imagery of something that
is entirely different from
what it purports to be.
Nevertheless, even the most treacherous of deserts
are known to facilitate an oasis or two, and it’s
to be hoped that in time with a much better
awareness and more accurate appreciation of who
you actually are that the Oasis of your African
and Afro-Caribbean lineage will no longer
be deliberately disguised as something
either to be ashamed of or summarily
dismissed as an irrelevance to be
completely but instead are most
welcomingly seen and fully
embraced as requisite
attributes of your
Assets, not hindrances, to be proudly and conscionably
put on display and, significantly, acting as a reliable
bulwark to stop you from needlessly and forlornly
floundering in a contrived desert of folly and
or insentient ignorance of who precisely
you are. And just to let you know I
shall be that welcoming Oasis
securely located in your Desert
of indiscernment and always
there for you whenever
you decide that
© Stanley V. Collymore
5 November 2013.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
Several years ago while living in the English Midlands and working there as a teacher I came across an article in the local media which essentially was advertising for grandparents to families that didn’t have any.
Having personally from the day I was born had and thoroughly enjoyed a superb relationship with both sets of my own grandparents who individually, jointly and continuously, even well into my adulthood, played an instrumental, pivotal and absolutely constructive role in my life, I instinctively thought how sad that the children being inferred to in that media plea weren’t as fortunate as me.
Initially I assumed the request was made because the biological grandparents had either passed away or there were some intrinsic and sound reasons why those who were alive weren’t being encouraged or allowed to be involved in their grandchildren’s lives. So the journalistic side of me matched by my own curiosity decided to investigate the matter.
What I discovered when I did really shocked me I must admit. Not least the astonishing revelations that most of the biological grandparents were alive alright and desperately wanted to see their grandchildren, those who knew for certain that they had any such offspring that is, but the most ridiculous and even iniquitous of circumstances I also found out had cruelly conspired against them doing so.
Laziness on the part of the children’s biological parents who’d migrated from different parts of the UK, met in the Midlands, had fashioned lifestyles for themselves there, didn’t bother for a diversity of reasons to keep in touch with Mom, Dad or both of them, or even other close family members come to that, had in the interim period produced children of their own and so the cycle continued unabated. However belatedly realizing how much, and crucially so, their own children were missing out in familial terms by not having grandparents in their lives, sometimes too late as their own parents had died or because acute embarrassment had precluded them from sensibly seeking to bridge the chasmal gap of separation created over the years with those still very much alive but all the same were now desperately attempting for the sake of these grandparent-devoid children to make amends, even if that meant resorting to acquiring manufactured ones.
That was one contributory factor; but there were others, some of them particularly nefarious and even outright pernicious. Parents and now de facto grandparents who’d worked their socks off to give their children the very best start in life that they could realistically afford and in their desire and even obsession to achieve this selflessly neglecting their own personal and material interests in the process for the overall good of their children, had after all that sacrifice found themselves hurtfully forced to stand back and watch these children of theirs with university degrees and their materialistically acquired Middle Class status and ambitions wilfully and inexcusably shut out of their lives.
This having been done because of their parents working class or perceived socially inferior status when set beside that of their newfound and so-called upwardly mobile friends, work colleagues, even acquaintances and the like who they very much want to impress and feel that having their parents around, that’s provided of course they ever mentioned them or the true social background of these parents in the first place, which more often than not they don’t and in the rare cases that they did hugely and lyingly elaborated on, would be a social embarrassment, humiliation or even worst still a major impediment to the consolidation of themselves within the social milieu which they’ve adopted for themselves as well as scuppering prospect, they believe, to their chances of making it further up the social ladder of their self-centred dreams.
Ring a bell with any of you?
However more reprehensible than that, as if that isn’t sickening enough on its own, is the squalid practice of such children premeditatedly choosing sexual or spousal partners of a different race to themselves with the explicit purpose through having children with these people of visibly though superficially so in my opinion of breeding out the genetic composition of what makes them who and what they are; and because these individuals are either too brainwashed or else permanently brain-dead to really think for themselves and resoundingly reject the bigoted and idiotic narrative prescribed by these racist and moronic supremacists, they predictably fall for their garbage hook line and sinker every time. Therefore if you’re someone who is so likeminded and have even one parent and a potential grandparent who doesn’t fit that particular colour scheme, why would you want that parent around?
Over the years there has been a dramatic shift in Britain from the extended family environment to what’s undeniably now a process of ingrained and even endemic dysfunctionalism that affects the entire fabric of British life right up to the very top of our hierarchical societal tree and rather inescapably it would seem even in the 21st Century that we’re in, at least it was so the last time I checked, our deeply embedded class structure too. And when as reported on Sky on Wednesday 6 November 2013 that for a multiplicity of lame, incompetent, utterly ridiculous and thoroughly obtuse reasons hugely significant numbers of UK parents don’t know how to or claim they don’t have the time to play with their own children, no lack of enthusiasm evidenced of them breeding though and quite often so to the financial impediment of genuinely responsible and conscientious individuals who also inhabit these shores, one surely must ask what next?
We were none of us brought into this world we’re currently in complete isolation or through our own doing, however arrogantly or idiotically one might choose to think so; and we should never lose track of that!
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