Autobiography: Awhereness

A Poetic Journey
By Damian Lopes

Share Article

i am both colonised & coloniser
one passport from a coloniser & one from a colony

a citizen of both passing ports
but never stopping
like passing go
i feel no split
my mother too is colonised & coloniser
her mother was Scottish & her father english
but she as was her mother
was born in india
six years before independence
she has been more colonised
than coloniser from childhood
my father's parents were both
from a differently colonised part of india
but he was not born there
his parents went to tanganyika as colonisers
he was born under the british protectorate
emigrating before independence
i was born in Scotland & taken away soon after
do not speak to me of dispossession
of unhousement

i experienced that countless times before i was born
then i was born & taken away again
i have no memory of Scotland
going back it was new to me
the empress of Canada

a temporary home in the water
i do not remember that either
then an apartment that means nothing to me
though it a part of me somewhere
then a suburban house a converted duplex

now one house with two master bedrooms & two kitchens
a way station for my father's brothers & their families as they left homes to come to Canada
one from east africa & then another from scotland with stepchildren then my father's parents
when my mother left i was left two homes

one ex-duplex & one two bedroom basement apartment
puzzled about what a home apart meant
owning & renting landlord & tenant my pair rents
assuming & subsuming a different apartment & the meanings change

& then two houses two homes new changes & i move to a wooden house
then back to the second which had changed when i went back to the first it was a house
i made it mine until the summer & then

left all of them & began a new language

Frieze and handprint design by Sherazad Jamal.
Redux Handprint
Damian Lopes
Damian Lopes contributed to Rungh Volume 2 Number 1 & 2.
Rungh Redux Winner 2022 Award of Merit Innovative Practice
Rungh Redux Winner 2022 Award of Merit Innovative Practice
Britannia Art Gallery
Britannia Art Gallery
Bookhug Press
Bookhug Press
Plantation Memories
Plantation Memories
Alternator Centre