Adam Raffel

Multicultural Poems


I walk in the sweltering heat to school
Wearing a uniform designed for temperate conditions
Passing beggars and vendors bear bodied in sarongs
Selling mangoes
I pass her in the park
Under the baniyan tree
Where she sits on her haunches
Her mouth red with beetle nut
She turns her head to her side
Like a dancer revealing her young profile
She spits a red globule that lands on the dusty pavement
As I ask a question about her age
She replies „fourteen“
I answer „thirteen“
She tells me to buy some chickpeas
I ask her why she’s not in school
She replies with a red toothed laugh telling me to get fucked
She points at me
Her arms outstretched revealing her rough palm
Screaming „I can’t afford to“
I stare at her
She rolls in laughter slapping the base of the baniyan tree
Placing her fingers covering her mouth
She gets ready for another spit
Making that indescribable noise
She spits a big red beauty in front of me just missing my shoes
I ran to school
I left her laughing under the baniyan tree.


I am so lucky I cannot be a revolutionary
Because I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth
Never having to fight for my next meal
I can never really know the freedom fighters in my tropical isle
As I have never walked bear feet in rice fields in sarongs
Carrying stolen shotguns through snake infested jungles
I can never know about the unsatisfied pangs of hunger
As my hunger was satisfied at every occasion by opening a fridge door
And grabbing yesterday’s curry wrapped in foil
I am not a true child of the third world because
I am sipping decaf in Paddington
Fascinated by the latest movie
Made by a third world director about slums in a far away land
I still feel lucky when I receive a salivary greeting of a neo-nazi
Being told to go back to the trees where I came from
That I „speak funny“ and being punched in the face
While chatting up white women
I sort of feel lucky.


Ranjith wants to be
A blonde bikie hunk
To impress the chicks
Like Murphy the surfie spunk

Ranjith is not Kathy’s type
But she’s curious
To find out
What he’s like

Ranjith and Kathy
Fuck in silence after school
He’s no different
Just like the other dudes

Same adolescent eagerness
To get it over with
First to come
In order to go

„Ranjith you’ve got great skin
Wish I had a tan like you
But what’ll Kylie and Debbie think
Me bonking the only darkie in school?“


Earth goddess
Giving birth
To fertile fields
Where farmers prayed
To her statues
Rites of spring
The new birth
Of our essential energy

Summer sun god
Deity with many arms
Philosopher and seducer
Dancing the cosmic dance
Waltzing and twisting
Trampling demons
He is three faced
Each face carved in stone
Symbolising the recycling universe

Autumnal Mother goddess
Preparing and nurturing
Our food for harvest
Her handiwork
Ready for reaping
Nourishing and warming us
For the long cold
Journey to rebirth

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