Longlisted Poem 2014

Biba Kang

Henrietta Barnet School, London

Broken News

I went out this morning, I was looking for news,
But the stuff I could find was too sad, or too rude.
And a rag says a lad mag is going to be sued –
It’s for a man being libelled, but a woman in the nude
Is sprawled on it without any hair ‘cept the stuff on her head,
Nothing to show she’s been alive, or ever bled.
But it doesn’t really seem that anyone cares,
She nestles there blankly amongst foreign affairs.
I scan the broader sheets, to find some news in yards of grey,
But to me just seems the same stuff’s happening every day –
Whether it’s banks or tanks they’re just ruining lives,
And to check on my theory I jump in the archives.
It’s sorta upsetting there – so I go on a spree,
Remove the evidence of our colonial history;
Try to gather up pictures of Marilyn Monroe
But they pop up so often, I don’t know where to go!
I see depression, depression, economy and illness,
Movement, movement, quietness then stillness.
Got outta the archives, went back out on the street
Felt I’d been hoodwinked, felt it was a cheat.
And a man on the corner tried to hand me a leaflet –
I told him God was old news and he should just try to forget it.
Came home and my pa asks ‘What’s new?’
He’s reading the paper and listening to Radio 2.
I said ‘you tell me’ because I couldn’t see through
The waves of the radio and the paper ink fumes.
But he didn’t tell me nothing, just left me to squirm,
Said ‘You’re too young to get what’s out in the world’.
Well I don’t get it or get it, I got nothing that’s mine,
Things just happen to other people all the time.
I should open my brain but I can’t find the door,
I should feel all their pain, but it must hurt them more;
And see I got this pain in my heart I gotta fix,
So I just don’t have time for them criminals and convicts.
And it’s one big trick anyway, any time
I listen to stories there’s no reason or rhyme
To why they happen.  Fine, something’s moved in the earth,
People are dying, people are hurt.
and I think maybe I’ll pray for them, but I didn’t take my leaflet.
Or maybe I’m one of them and haven’t felt my grief yet.
©Biba Kang

Project Details

  • Date February 10, 2015
  • Tags 2014 News - Longlisted Poems