She breathed the room alight,
Potential burning bright.
Her steaming mind of might
Saw a future taking flight.
Peers of Potential’s past
Watched cadets raise the mast.
And so a journey they thought would last
Showed no signal of ‘Avast’.
Victory was her taking,
O’ the history she’d be making.
But cruel Fate had been faking,
And soon Potential’s heart was breaking.
She went as far as Fate allowed her.
Flames extinguished blessed power.
And so Fate and The Man did cower
As Potential died up in the tower.
This poem is a tribute to Firdaws Kedir, the 12-year-old who was awarded the winning ‘Debate Mate’ prize by Bill Gates, before dying in Grenfell Tower months later.
Self-belief; it purges my speech.
Ripples my words when I want a smooth stream.
But how can I speak any more coherent,
When those around me keep kicking the current?
Forced into the frame of socially-incapable,
But it’s alright mate; your appearance is somewhat serviceable.
But I’m more than that, I have so much to say –
I’m not a still image; I’m a video struggling to play.
So many years, they disrupted my signal.
Spinning me round on a buffering circle.
But I managed to find a better connection,
But the update was never going to be a smooth expansion.
Constantly remoulding and reshaping the model,
Hoping for distraction from the software internal.
This isn’t right, where’s the pride in introversion?
Is it there, or is the answer physical compensation?
Nerves are the enemy; confidence the cure.
Former prevents the latter; a paradox I endure.
But you think that subtle alienation’s going to stop me?
You’ll be the one who’ll first face my fixed personality.
Except, do I even need to be fixed?
Succumbing to all of conformity’s tricks.
You stick by those who embrace your flaws and your grit.
I’m damaged and I’m strange – Fucking deal with it.