Indulgent Carnivore (OR Fats)

I was vegetarian until I was sixteen years old and this is about that. It’s also inspired by ‘Beleaguered Vegan‘ by Dominic Berry.

Once upon a time, I was vegetarian and I think it’s time I went back. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy the poem.


I love food, it’s effing bliss
but when I’m out with the relatives
they’re analysing my dish
you know that West Indian mission
like back when I was vegetarian
when I was more egalitarian
meat and two veg (eat healthy) they’d convey
but say yes to Appleton and Old Wray

greens and pastas, no meat for Master Tré
quorn, cheese, Weetabix
whilst they would say
gimme a bite, just a little bit
they acted like they were all dietitians
that’s how they got their kicks
so many Caribbeans have PhDs in nutrition

now, I’m asked
what’s that you got there?
I’ve eaten the flesh of mares
and those meaty pizzas
fantastic beasts and where to find them
cold carcasses of chickens and cows
animals we’re fine putting into our mouths
lamb shank and curry kids. Try Bolognese,
a bacon butty and BBQ ribs

Photo Credit: Lukas Budimaier On Unsplash

but forget about cats, dogs and a horse’s hide
we are British, that would sully our pride
and back then in the ripe old days of 2005
I was too difficult to please
because I wouldn’t eat animal corpses
I would rather bits of kale, crackers and cheese
just not the bones of executions on a platter

I was a child. I wasn’t raised rude
I was just deemed too sensitive to eat dead food
like pigs in blankets and turkey breast
on the Christmas Dinner table
but that is now past, one day, I was tempted
by those Caribbean fables
of fried fish, stewed chicken

yes, I now love meat
but you won’t see me bashing veganism
with hashtags and tweets
as I eat vegan food too, I don’t discriminate
open the hatch, down the shoot
some call me a human dustbin,
and I couldn’t live without
burgers, beers and BBQ chicken
salt fish fritters, breadfruit and chocolate cakes
macaroni, rice and peas and Grandma’s fried bakes

popcorn, roti, and all you can eat buffets on a boat
my gravestone will read death by curry goat
there’s so much food I adore with passion
and I’m not so keen on dessert
but under the covers, right down below
you might find me wrist deep
in a saccharine sweet Black Forest Gateaux

my family were boggled at my choice
but before I was an omnivore, I was a veggie
they thought my food habits were a phase
if a phase was a craze of sixteen years of being kinda edgy

I don’t need to eat meat
but I do, I like it, what I won’t endorse
is torture upon cows, goats
for milk packaged to feed the 7bn
when there’s alternatives like rice and soya
why do we drink other animal’s milk
is this some kinda effed up human paranoia?

Photo Credit: Ja Ma On Unsplash

we do unto people what we do to animals
field beasts supposedly done no harm
people abusing people in FGM and human-trafficking farms
prisoners packed side by side like slaves making our clothes
behind bars rights disposed, brains comatose
systematic abuse industrialised for the masses
to feed us, the working and bourgeois consuming classes

if there really was strength in numbers
the animals would have long rebelled
maybe it’s time I became vegetarian again
and consoled my conscience until the end.

Dear God Of Mosquitoes (After Mike van Berkum)

I wrote this poem inspired from “Dear God of Hiccups” by Rebeca Mae on Button Poetry. I really enjoyed the whole performance aspect of it.

Also, it sounds like a really salty letter in the way she repeats “Dear God of Hiccups” every so often.  I think that’s really cool.

This poem also derives from my international travels. When I went to  India in June 2016, the local mosquito population decided to pay me a visit.

Moreover, when I went to Amsterdam in February 2018, fellow poet Mike van Berkum performed  his poem  “Mosquito.” It’s all about mozzies  in the tropics.


Dear God of Mosquitoes…

I pray to you now on my knees, waving my white flag of surrender. Please rid my legs of these tiny embers. At least within  the next ten seconds. My shins are inflamed eggshells.

Dear God of Mosquitoes…

I forget how much you burn. How much you itch, punishing me in these fast seconds, more holy than the woes after the Last Supper. I slap at you with the anger of grinding tectonic plates. I watch you leave, cackling like hyenas in the Pridelands. Then you return for some more. Gotcha!

Dear God of Mosquitoes…

I feel you whilst I sleep. All the air in my body is just blood to you. My skin is sandpaper when you’re around. I know this is you saying hello to this outlander.

And one day you will say goodbye. One day is the last day for anything. The first day you bit me. The first day you get caught in my swatter. The last day you lived to tell your friends about this foreign feast.

Dear God of Mosquitoes…

How perfectly annoying you are and you don’t even notice. I catch you in my hands. I talk at you about English winters. I tell you about wind, showers and January snowfall. You die at the thought.

Dear God of Mosquitoes…

I eulogise the future. It’s these last moments that are so brief, like you God of Mosquitoes; like you mighty mozzie; like you Pan and Gaea; mother earth partying in my soul or sending those bitches to break my skin.

It’s these last days that are important – in conversation with gods and monsters, like those Hyderabadi statues down the street. I’m sorry I killed you Mosquito. And a bunch of your brethren too. But you bit me in the ass.

Karma.

The last time I say Mosquito out loud it rolls off my tongue – easily like the whoosh of my hand when they land on my skin in the night. Bam! Dead. I don’t even feel bad.

Dear God of Mosquitoes…

Forgive this foreigner. I’m no killer. Just don’t bite me. Thank you for your hospitality. Thank you for welcoming me to India. Thank you for reminding me to appreciate peace when you are gone.

Good riddance.