Not okay

It’s not okay to just grab us,
Not okay to wade on in,
To pace and parade across our path,
With hard eyes and a lecherous grin.

It’s not okay to run your hand down our backs,
Not okay to pull our clothes.
To laugh and taunt when we pull away,
With your un-daunted hopes.

It’s not okay to jeer and jaunt,
Not okay to ignore our protests to go.
To keep pushing, grabbing and calling out,
With no regard for our unanimous “no”.

This is a message to the men,
Who do this again and again,
Not a generalisation as a whole or a slight –
To the boys who cause fear,
Whilst we’re frozen over the years,
Feeling powerless to stop this or to fight.

It’s not okay, to protest that clothes provoke this,
Not okay, this obnoxious, invasive abuse;
With this kind of man, being predatory –
Can seem to use gender as an excuse.

It’s not okay, that this is okay.
Not okay that you’re all content with your choices,
To keep imposing your desires on us, as-and-when,
With no consequence, landing us with no voices.

Soundlessness

So unfamiliar with this feeling –

It’s got no name, no colour, no sound,

But it’s under my skin;

Creeping, scratching, gnawing around.

I see the way their entitlement lifts them,

To do what they want with disregard,

The paralysis of the trigger they’ve hit

Without any intent, I’m completely disarmed;

I can’t move to protest,

I can’t speak to alarm.

Without any contact,

Their behaviour causes harm.

I think that it’s anger;

This scratching that gnaws –

At; myself, my past,

At; the trigger and the cause.

At; how dare they do what they please,

With our stuff, with our presence, even with our bodies.

At; how easy it is for them to parade, un challenged,

As the people who fear them are looped in their damage.

At; them assuming control and laughing in its wake,

And all I can do is sit, my mind racing as I shake.

I can see what might happen,

Which is shaped by my past –

My ghost is gone, yet omnipresent –

How long will this last?

My words have no power,

My voice has no weight,

Thinking I had a handle on this,

Was a fundamental mistake.

But above all I’m lost;

In the fact I can’t feel –

Yet this nameless, colourless, soundlessness…

Is overwhelmingly real.