Smash! …a poem by Poet Laureate, Miles Chambers!


Smash! Miles Chambers


That’s what the two twins did with glass they stabbed in my face
 I was fighting them both. They were, aggressive and cold
My Bro came out and “battered” the two of them
, see… I was a little boy; I was just 6 years old
I had to fight… I grew up in Hartcliffe what else could you do, 
I still speak to them now, don’t hold grudges, hatred will kill you!
I felt scared from that age, loads of chores to do to keep my Mum sweet! Clean both rooms, wash my own clothes, help cook the food, else I get beat.
I admit I was angry I smashed things up, I’d steal things – alright I was a little wild. 
I had to hoover the whole house as well. “I ask you would you do that to your own child?”
If you ask my Mom’s she’d swear blind it didn’t happen that way. 
I was there, Mom, It happened, I remember as if it was yesterday!

Racist abuse was in my area, one time I had a fight I put someone in hospital… I was fine. 
Just before I turned 7 my Mum and Dad got a divorce they were arguing all the time
On that day Mum walked out, after Mum beat Dad up with the morning post.
 I mean vicious paper cuts like a bread knife cutting toast.
I use to blame myself for them breaking up that’s how twisted it became
, my brother would spend 24 hours in his room playing his video game. 

My sister left to live with her boyfriend I thought everyone was leaving me. Some of the stuff Mum did, I still cant sleep at night, my brother reacted differently…
I used hear screams in my dreams, visualise being trapped
, wake with blood coming out of nose.
I used to hear creaks on the landing, voices in my head,
 but I could have been high, who knows?
I’m not gonna lie, I couldn’t communicate with Mum I was scare of her
many mornings she sent me to school after she beat me black and blue

. I looked so bad I’d d tell my mates I was jumped by loads of kids
. One morning she followed me down and said to the teachers:
“YES I beat my son, what’s it to do with you?”
Social services were called, told them everything how home was such a hostile climate.
Your Mums crazy, just say the word we’ll section her, but… I just couldn’t do it.

Come here Joker, face the corner boy, Stand their watch the other kids play I don’t care if you fingers in a cast, finish your work Boy! WHAT DID I SAY?
I was angry I was scared I was lost I was unloved you could see it in my eyes
I’d come into school and say “This days a write off I’m just coming in to terrorise!”
I got kick out of school for beating up a supply teacher who rugby tackle me to the floor, 
I got kick out of school for shouting and swearing at teachers and a little more.
I got kick out of school for smashing windows and doing anything I thought was wrong
. I got arrested outside of school, for singing NWA “F**k Tha Police” a reasonably innocent song.
I used to carry a knife to school, “Don’t touch me or your gonna get wet believe me I might take crap from family, I ain’t taking it from anyone else, I aint no P**sy!
 When I went to the referral unit the teacher talk out of bringing it into the vicinity
My Bro handled it differently he kept his feelings in, took some of his anger out on me, quashed my passion, destroyed my affinity my love felt dead even though we’re family…
Were we in a cartoon, like Tom and Jerry? Playing cat and mouse with my body.. You put on different voices confusing my reality.. 
beating me up when none could see,
 cruelly tormenting me, Dad didn’t stop you he was apprehensive about the possibility.. 
but you couldn’t break me mentally!
Sat there while your mate beat up on me… 
I know were were going through the same hell reality.. Got kicked out for standing up to Mum’s brutality.. 
You were suppose to look out for me.. We’re family
!! Bruv!!! You were suppose to love me!
Neatly pressed shirts and clean dry suites holding hands and walking in a line 
Gospel songs and Bible stories and the promise that Jesus will make you feel fine.
I remember Dad took us to church when we were little that the stuff he liked to do
 Dad only ever smacked me once, I was rude to his girlfriend, and it wasn’t till I was black and blue.
Dad worked at the council, he was in charge of parking for the whole city
He was the boss when parking was good, and you could get a space quite easily
Dad is a clever man, intelligent, a leader, creative and full ideas but… I couldn’t tell you how would act when confronted with his fears
I couldn’t tell you when his birthday is or what present would really like
 I couldn’t tell you his favourite colour if as a child he rode a bike.
I couldn’t tell you what guidance I was taught to discern between good and bad
I couldn’t even tell how may hours we spent together, why the hell weren’t you their Dad?
Beaten by my Mother, Tormented by my brother. 
Racially abused by my mates.
I used to write I hate my life on my arm I used to punch & head butt concrete walls
When the course rope bruised my neck and burned my crimson skin
When I closed my eyes took my last breathe I should of asked my Dad’s Jesus if there’s a heaven will he let me in?
Perhaps if I had listen carefully I’d of heard my father’s God say
“I got a plan, I love you, I’ll be your friend!!!!”
Perhaps as I hung there thinking of nothing, He’d of said
“Hold onto your pain, be strong, this is not how I want you to end”
Twice I tried to end it all.. that’s it I just couldn’t cope. But My purple face was still alive hanging from the rope.
I guess death was not option,
 this is my life and I must drink from this cup. 
I guess I’ve reached rock bottom, now the only way is up.

Martial Arts arts was where the seed was planted for my life to take a positive turn  immediately my sensie said stop smoking weed.
Develop myself in a positive manner have self discipline help others never abuse or offend this was our Creed.
His words of wisdom affected my life like he was waving a magic wand
You can’t control what happened you in life but you can control how you respond.
When I met my girlfriend we fell in love in a few days I realised I was lovable for the very first time. I told her everything she listened and she accepted me. She was positive. I liked that she was at Uni studying law and she was mine.
We were together for 3 years, I got into 222, got an A* in Chinese Mandalin, completed an apprenticeship in carpentry, I plan to go Uni, I just want to do more.
It also the freaky similarities of my sister fiancé that gave me a positive influence which I never noticed before.
I’m Cam, He’s Cam. We’re both carpenters, we both like motorbikes, 
we like doing the same stuff, he was my guardian Angel Mentor.
The day I had my interview for apprentice I sat there and told the the guy the truth. I told him if he gave me a chance my results would go through the roof
I did get tops marks in the class I started working earning shed loads of money.
Its not about F**ing about. Its not about the streets. It is not about getting in trouble. Its about making yourself the best you can be.
Bless you Nan, full of charm and speeches you were the joy in all the strife. 
I miss you Nan, you were the only resemblance of unconditional love in my life.
When my gran was ill and my Mum and I nursed till she passed away. 
I realised that my parents would need me to do the same one day.

Lets get this straight I don’t regret one thing that happen to me I would change one act, one event no way.
It’s because of all the negative experiences I’m the positive person I am today.
If you don’t let go, it will consume you the past will never go away.

The Rain drops falling heavily on our face, 
carrying shopping in the Morrison’s car park.
Elderly couple struggling to get in the car
the mans helping the woman but he’s, shaking bizarre.
I go over to help them to get in, 
I realise the old man trying to help his mother
. I make him grin

, hesitation didn’t ask me twice
. My mates puzzled why I would be so nice.

Its little things like that that I live for

Motor cyclist crashed I thought he was dead
. I go over and rest his head.
Paramedic tells me what to do. I know first aid so I pursue
He has a fit while he’s in my grip.
 The man’s heavy, holding him, I daren’t slip. 

I know I made the right decision
 to Save his life, put him in the recover position.

Its little things like that that I live for…

Tell them I like what your wearing, looks good on you, I like your smile. When your teeth shine through, say things with a wink, take time to dance.

See a positive future, help someone to advance
Its little things like that that I live for…
Its little things like that that I live for…
Its little things like that that I live for…



This poem is Cameron’s personal story, one of the young people who Babbasa have worked with, written by Bristol’s Poet Laureate Miles Chambers.
Help Babbasa to support 300 young people just like Cameron by donating to Change 300 Futures