Having grown up with “muslim” parents, I always found the topic of gender frustrating and I still do.  I hate gender stereotypes but at the same time they affect my thoughts and actions.  I have moments of anger towards men, frustration towards women, forgetfulness about other genders or confusion at why I feel this way, even though it opposes my beliefs.  As I use poetry for release and exploration, it give me a space to say things I know are wrong and let their wrongness sound out and become obvious, reminding me to check my beliefs.

Not For Boys

Click for spoken YouTube poem

This one is not for boys;
No talk of action toys,
No guns, no gory bits,
No selfie with huge tits.
No make-up, no short dress,
And she couldn’t care less.
Her mind is busy working,
Real life worries lurking.
Who has time for mirrors?
Or cooking organic dinners?
When there’s money to be made,
And bills and rent to be paid.
And inbetween that race
She’s supposed to put on a show?
Put make up on her face?
And pretend there is no woe?

But woe is clingy, sticky,
And hiding it is tricky.
It can overwhelm the senses-
Leave no room for pretences.

And the chest- tightens.
And the head- lightens.
Tingles in the skin…
Patience wearing thin…
Fight or flight alarm…
Losing any charm.

But she notices too late.
Then cowers to her fate.
The day is now tainted
With crap she has it painted.
And boys would run and hide,
Leaving her aside.

But when she feels hope-
That maybe she could cope,
She thinks of love and she thinks of good.
She thinks of how strong she stood.
That girls that glared in evils face;
She was spared though left disgraced.
She has her own path to find.
She will not be left behind.
She will rise yet again.
She will trudge through the rain.

Just men hear through that noise;
This woman is not for boys.


I wrote this poem whilst struggling to make ends meet in the town where I grew up. Thanks to this government’s inhumane austerity measures, once my partner was injured and could no longer work, we had to move out of London. That’s when I added the final eight lines which completed the poem.

CLICK for Spoken Word version on YouTube


Takes no pity

Green and bricks and

Sitting pretty

No Man’s Land

London City

Leaves me dizzy.

Rain: hair frizzy

Sun out: bikini

Crowded: lonely

Rich? If only

Tax man owes me

D-head tows me

Landlord throws me

No one below me.

Debt ass-biting

Court inviting

Bull S citing

Fight in writing

I’m tired fighting.

Takes no pity

Lights and robots

Sitting pretty

Rich man’s land

London City

Leaves me dizzy.

Unicorn homes

Flying cars

Wasted dome

Invisible stars

Prejudiced cash

Lost children

Quick and rash


Lost in the system

No one missed them

And now they

Finally ask

For help

Denied in the past

But who the f is bleedin arsed

To give the weak a measly pass?

Takes no pity

Banks and pigs and

Sitting pretty

One man’s land

London City

Left me dizzy

Forced me to flee

Despite that London hold on me.

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