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Goldsmiths' Official Student Magazine

“Sraet”, and other poems by Niquella Simpson-West

2 July 2020
A selection of poems by Niquella Simposn-West, including 'Sraet', 'PMS', '419', and 'Need'.


What’s the sense

In silencing


How sad to see

The spirit sour

Over snivels


So. What?

Smiles are

Sometimes sparing

Sweetness sparse

Some smear ‘scara

Sneeze, sniff. Still,

Shame, seizes

I see sorrow as

Softening the


Why silence


Suffering can be sustenance.




A pit of molten lava

Layers of flesh torn away like fresh pieces of naan bread

A pinch below the ribs like an impertinent aunt noting the weight you’ve put on

Strong hands kneeding at the muscles pressing at them like sourdough

Flames lick the insular layers of the flesh

Bile threatens, at teeters and the prescipice of the throat.

Waves of unease and uncertainty arise and collapse.

The senses cry out in process

As the flow of energy seeps out of a crack in the back of your head.



What’s it like to be a fraud?

To smile in your parent’s face and nod when they ask if you’re doing well in school

What’s it like to be a fraud?

To sit for hours checking emails and submitting forms

Masquerading under the guise of productivity

What’s it like to be a fraud?

Getting up early only to spend hours on your makeup and clothes and miss a lecture

What’s it like to be afraid?

How many days till that deadline? Five? Three?

Oh it’s tomorrow,




‘Give me time!’ He cried

Briefly, the clock glanced over its shoulder and then kept running

‘Give me patience!’ He cried

Without much acknowledgement Patience’s loose thread continued to unravel as rapidly as it had done before, as it had heard nothing

‘Give me love!’ He cried

Love, as elusive as ever stayed hidden in the shadows batting its eyelashes, it’s expression coy; hoping to be chased

Deflated, the man, fell silent.

Quietly, as he stood still peace snuck up behind him enveloping his body with hers.

‘Thank you,’ He said


Words, Niquella Simpson-West

Illustration, @chantayblue on Instagram