The Castle of Adolescence to Womanhood

My castle stood strong, so long
towering over green pastures







off more than I could count or contain
damage settled in,
leaks dripped from my eyes, unseen but rippling.

Wish I’d made time to restore my inner walls, build a fort
thick and firm with a watchtower to combat future attacks,
defend against enemy insecurity that had sieged then

Stormed in, firing cannons loaded with lack of confidence
flaming arrows lit with lack of self-belief
alongside an ally army that revelled in stealing hopes and dreams.





It took many years of rebuilding                   Let us rage against our inner enemies.
but my castle, newly restored                        Let us vanquish our voice of negativity.
is more resilient and beautiful                       Let us hold our turrets high in radiance.
than it could have been before.                    Let us never forget that we are enough.

Shaniqua Benjamin

Restoring Humanness to the Homeless

Talking to people like they’re people has morphed into a foreign concept for some.

Believing words need to be contorted from lips when bestowed
on those in a contrary situation to yours.
May as well inscribe the headline,
“No roof overhead strips you of humanity”
A story filled with anecdotes of invisibility, disconnect and interactive inability.

Don’t hide behind being insensitive,
Anyone with awareness and care will know not to put a foot in a muddy puddle and splash it in another’s face.
Fear of insensitivity, an excuse used to escape interaction
outside of moments that interaction’s door is not closed altogether,
shutting them out, when what is desired is to be let in to a sense of normality –
What is needed to be fed into every headline, so it ceases to be news reported.

No longer alien territory,
speaking to people in adverse conditions, like they are people, becomes home in your mouth,
Reacting to them as you would anyone else.
Reviving their feeling of humanity that had been lost in statistics
they had no hand in constructing.