by Yogesh Patel
Saddens me we are binary
to my skin.
Grandpa used to tell me a lie.
Prof Macaulay would throw
the answer papers in the air.
The ones landing on the table would pass!
There is no random indiscrimination
in most discriminations. Never for the skin.
They locked me up in Harmondsworth prison
because I was a coloured British Citizen!
It was the age of forced Brexit.
Now they vote for it!
Have you ever considered
to be a citizen of neither-here-nor-there land?
The doors would open to possibilities…
The art is liberal they say.
The literati are not.
They are binary!
A man knows only how to destroy statues.
Only the pigeon knows
how to insult it with its droppings…
Yogesh Patel has received MBE for literaturein the Queen’s New Year Honours list 2020. Internationally celebrated, he edits Skylark and runs Skylark Publications UK as well as a non-profit Word Masala project to promote South-Asian diaspora literature. Previously he has received the Freedom of the City of London. With LP records, films, radio, children’s book, fiction and non-fiction books, and three poetry collections to his credit, he is a recipient of many awards, including an honour in April 2019 at the New York University as a Poet-of-Honor. Amidst many venues, he has read in the House of Lords and at the National Poetry Library.
His writing has appeared in many important literary journals, including PN Review, The London Magazine, Asia Literary Review, Under the Radar, Shearsman, IOTA, Envoi, Understanding, Orbis, The Book Review, Confluence, on BBC TV and Radio, in newspapers, and more. His work also features in The National Curriculum anthology, MacMillan, Sahitya Akademi, and numerous anthologies across the world. By profession, Yogesh is a qualified optometrist and an accountant.