Walter Kadiki: Two Poems

The first poem I’m going to share with
you today is called ‘Plod Along is What I Must’. Though in the midst of this
unfriendly throng high, my shoulders may be low and cramped down. Painful sighs and
groans may shriek silently. And though I may cower against those piteous gazes, plod along is what I must. Though this ill wind may howl, may gnaw,
snarl, taunt – though it may toss me around and around and around, with its fangs of
malice sending incessant cold slithering shivers of pain through my spine, plod
along is what I must. Though my human rights may be bound,
imprisoned, trampled down, confined in a dark, silent hollow, and a curse and a frown may be shackled
upon my soul, and a warm shoulder non-existent though in this black hole I may lament plod along is what I must. The second poem I’d like to share with you is called ‘A Deaf Plague’. Look there!
Over there! Look over there at that Deaf man Where? Over there! That man staring blankly at the wall Look how he stands Mute and unresponsive. Oh, how rude and brazen throwing his hands in tantrums squeaking, unintelligible
yet pretending he heard my call and yet stands mute with shameless grin and … Ha! He gestures for a paper and pen Scribbles a meaningless word or two See how unlettered, unintelligible and
shameless they come Oh no – now look at that Deaf man Look there! Over there! Look over there! That Deaf woman a pram in hand. Oh no, a poor baby A poor little soul Unfortunate, imprisoned in the clutches of a Deaf woman A tender mother’s love lacking someone to sing that poor baby a lullaby a melodious, motherly ode to sleep filled with tales of princely quests Someone to soothe those cries with a
gentle hush Oh, poor child. Oh no – look at that Deaf woman Look there!
Over there, look over there at that Deaf couple Hand-in-hand Oh no, a plague to society incapable of human intelligence a burden to those who bore them see how they squeak incessantly a thousand ugly faces in one yet unresponsive to my voice still Oh no, look at that Deaf couple Look there, over there – look over there at
that Deaf horde Oh no, an outbreak! Oh no: a cursed Deaf
plague. What shall we do about this plague? What shall we do, brothers in arms? Oh no, look – look over there at that Deaf horde. 10 of thousand feet high, wide and strong
a quarantine let’s build Oh no, look at that Deaf horde A Deaf plague. Oh no. Okay, so my name is Walter Kadiki, and I’m
a poet writer. I’ve done that for a long time. Growing up, I guess one of the
things that made me start is I really felt like I had a lot of things that I
needed to express, and they sort of really boiled over onto the page, and
that’s what began my journey as a poet. And i think most of my poetry really
actually isn’t written as a Deaf person, so I probably don’t really have a
distinctive style in terms of writing – but definitely in terms of my hands, you
know, that is the the medium I use to get my poetry out, and it’s obviously very
visual. I signed two poems today – one of them is ‘Plod Along is What I Must’ and the other
one is ‘A Deaf Plague’. And I guess a lot of that is from the experiences I’ve had
growing up every day. Some of the things that I’ve encountered and some of those
have been quite hurtful, and that lead me to really putting those pieces
together. And with ‘Plod Along is What I Must’, I think that the real theme is that
regardless of what happens and how people might look at you or put you
down, you know, you just have to … you just have to keep going and move on. So the
second poem, ‘A Deaf Plague,’ is again come from my real life experiences growing up.
And I think for the first time when I meet somebody, they don’t know what to do
with me as a Deaf person. They often have a very negative view of deafness, and I
guess what they fail to understand is that you know deaf people are the same
as hearing people. We have the same hopes and dreams, and the same emotions, and
it’s just something that has happened to me throughout my life and experiencing
that sort of oppression and those sorts of negative attitudes,
you know, I guess really inspired me to put this piece together. And I guess I do
tend to write a little bit about grief and despair but I do have romantic
works as well, and I do have, you know, happier works and I really hope that
you enjoy the poems that I’ve shared for you today.

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