Educational Poems

You Can Do better Than This

You can do better than this
You were not born to be the victim
Of a man's fist
You can do better than this

So you've borne his seed
He has no right to make you bleed
You can do better than this

You're saying to your daughter
It's ok to get slaughtered
You can do better than this

To your son you give the go ahead
To bus' another sister's head
You can do better than this

Fist against flesh
Now your face is distressed
don't you think it's time
to get out of this mess
You can do better than this

You've given him the best years of your life
You say that you love him, that you are his wife
But you can do better than this
You can do better than this
You can do better than this! 

© Nicolette Gordon 1996


Take a step back from who you are today.
Remember yourself as a young hopeful child,
When everything was refreshingly new,
When there were no pressing responsibilities for you.

Remember when everything had to be done ‘then’
Remember trying your best to please,
Not always managing to succeed,
Always making a mistake…
Not knowing there were many more to make.

Remember the things you wanted to do, but couldn’t,
The things you did then, or do now, but shouldn’t,
Remember incessantly being told no!
All of the places you weren’t allowed to go.

Remember when everything you wanted to be,
Everything you wanted to do,
Was the opposite of what your parents wanted for you.
Remember the times you did just as you pleased?
The times you lied with relish and ease?
You wanted to grow up too soon,
But everything was so unfair,
And no-one seemed to care,
These are things all children go through,
Remember what it was like for you.

© August 1997 Nicolette Gordon

Message To A Bigot

what am I
if not another of god’s creatures?
yet you choose to mock me
negate me,
abuse me
all in the name of your rule.

bombarded with ever-changing labels:
if you never see me again
it will be too soon
afro this or that

how fortunate I am
to live in a place
where the colour of my skin
means I do not fit in
cannot fit in
in the system

I struggle just to keep afloat
I do not own a boat
and – I cannot swim
but I refuse to be a victim
of the system
see me for what I am
mother, father, sister, brother,
to my daughter
working hard to survive
wages barely keep me alive
in a supposedly well paid position

years at university
to study for a science degree
so I could be somebody’s lackey?

victim of a vicious circle of abuse
sometimes I feel I have no use
yet I continually refuse
to be a victim
of the system

look beyond the colour of my skin
take a moment – look within
I am after all
an amazing human being

© Nicolette Gordon, 1997, all rights reserved

This wonderful world (Envy, Greet, Hate)

I try to be good at all that I do
Why should this be of concern to you?
Have I done you wrong in my endeavours?
Or do you just wish that you were like me?


At work I have to compromise my integrity
Bend the truth so that there can be equity
For those that pay our wages
So this organisation won’t go to seed


Many gifts I was blessed with that I must hide
Leaving me to stifle what makes me inside
So that you can appease your ego
It pains you to see it so you just negate

Nicolette Gordon © 21 July 2003

Who's Stopping You?

Blame you
For the things you do not do
There’s no gun held to your head
Preventing you
No-one else will go out and earn your bread
Blame you

What shackles bind your hands and feet?
And keep you suffering this ‘defeat’ 
There is no reason for you to stay beat
Blame you

Go back to school, learn a trade
You will find out
It’s to your aid
Without effort
Your dream life will not be made
Blame you

© Nicolette Gordon 2005

I find that people mainly concentrate on the reasons why the cannot do something to help themselves rather than how they can overcome obstacles. It is easier to complain about something than to do something about it but only doing by doing something can we change our lives.


You do not know, you do not care
What you are putting in your hair
Heavy industrial cleaner, caustic soda
Cleans oven and buildings
Makes them like new
And you put it in your hair
Like it's right for you too
It cuts out your hair
But you don't care
You'll just trim it or plait it
To give it some length
And then
Start the destruction process again

You know what it's doing
But still you continue
And now you're abusing your children's hair too
It's not fair, it's not right and it's downright crazy
Processing your child's hair
It's bone idle and lazy
Take pride in our hair
Unique to us alone
With texture and body others try to clone
I am an Afrikan, I'm glad that I'm me
And I'm proud embracing
My God given naturality

© October 1997 Nicolette Gordon (Previously titled Are You a Relaxer Junkie)

It pains me that my daughter decided to take out her lovely locks which were so long and beautiful, but peer pressure is a powerful thing. Hopefully once she's had a chance to see what it does, she'll come back to natural! It's a shame that nearly all of the role models see fit to negate the beauty of our hair making it almost impossible for our young to love themselves as they are.

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