Living through the pain of the Jim Crow laws

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, Atlanta, Georgia. Source.

Not having grown up in the United States and completely overwhelmed by the inhumaneness of inherent and systemic racism, I’ve begun reading up on the history of racial discrimination in the U.S.

At this moment in time, we have the medial “in your face” examples of institutionalised racism and its effects. This has led to an increased awareness here in Europe of individual countries’ own dark history and a stronger voicing of grievances among black European communities.

I have a lot of Nigerian family members, including my brother, living in the U.S. Many married, as my brother did, into Black…

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

Between Worlds

I yearned
I dreamt
I planned

Hopes were high
The move

I settled into
A new belonging

But still I wander
A soul suspended
Betwixt these ragged times

After having lived over forty years in Germany and raised a family, I finally took the plunge and moved back to Ireland three and a half years ago. This had always been my intention. I moved to Cork where my mother came from, where I went to secondary school, and a city I know well. I have family and friends here. My intention was to live in Cork for about…

Image by press 👍 and ⭐ from Pixabay

The Two-Man Saw

Warnings unheeded, we couldn’t withstand
the call of the shed with its treasures at hand.
It was my cousin’s idea, and I promise not mine
to behold the new saw, a fool’s tool for the blind
the trouble you’ll see was I was ten and he nine.
We entered the shed as the door was unlocked
and lo and behold there it lay, oh so sweet
in its bow-like splendour and ferocious sharp teeth.

The lure was too strong not to give it a try and there’s a fire to light, thought both Seanie and I. One furtive look back…

Stanislav Ferrao on Unsplash

Mixed Emotions

I’m in a dream. I’m on a plane and talking to Erika. She’s a friend of mine with whom, in the real world, I had spoken to on the phone a few hours before going to bed. The topic of flying had cropped up in our conversation when she’d told me about her husband’s temporary loss of hearing due to an infection he’d contracted in Florida. The flight back to Germany had exacerbated his suffering.

We continued our conversation in my sleep.

Suddenly, there was a loud bang and still holding the phone to my ear, I began to panic.

Matthew Prior

The Sum Of Small Joys, Ikigai

I am not afraid
impermanence is good
nothing is static
not a blade of grass
a flower, a tree, the sea…

Creating Empathy in Both the Protagonist and Antagonist

Photo by ia huh on Unsplash

The other day, I came across a different kind of prompt. A call to write two monologues from the perspective of two characters in a given scenario with the goal to create empathy in the reader for each character.

I chose the Refugee Migration scenario in which, Maya, a 32-year-old mother of three, fleeing from widespread violence in Honduras is caught trying to cross the Mexico-Arizona border illegally. Along with other migrants, she and her children are apprehended by US Border Patrol agents, one of which is Santiago, 49, himself a third-generation Mexican-American. …


Another Of Nature’s Wonders

In ancient oceans deep and dark
for years ignored lie gardens
hidden way below in folded silence
on slopes of volcanic mountains.

Thriving in the basalt furrows
of these extinct volcanos is a wealth
of submarine abundance
drawn to the sunlit surface of the sea.

From these depths in suspension
float the nourishment for life above —
an intricate ecosystem home to sponges
and deep-sea corals, verily a treasure trove

As secretive as Babylon’s gardens
seamounts need protection from destruction
through coral mining and deep sea trawling —
a loss which leaves indelible scaring

When I saw the prompt for…

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay


Born into the dawning of a new age
A blank on a sacred colourless page
Persevering with humdrum habitude
You grasp the known and trudge the platitude
A subject to man’s struggling mortal strife
You pause one day and sniff the scent of life

A stir in the depth of your unknown
calls to embrace imperfections

and so you unmute and write
a note in retrospect —

an exposure of talent, a balancing
act daring you to make

the break and lay bare your mind
and syphon the stains

into a fecundity of powerful speech —
no longer an ally

Sylvia Wohlfarth

An Irish-Nigerian soul living in Ireland after 40 years in Germany. A social anthropologist, English teacher, and more. With stories to share; and an opinion…

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