I wrote, Thou Shalt Not Kill, as I was really struck by how despite the fact that Stephen Lawrence was murdered, there is so much of him still alive somehow. And after spending a week in the Stephen Lawrence centre and seeing his pictures in the reception area, I wanted to pay tribute, not only to the people that pushed for Stephen’s case to be brought to media attention and to the centre, but also to the strength of the human spirit, that can still reign despite every injustice.

It’s so easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged after hearing about injustices such as the murder of Stephen Lawrence, mainly because it often is so overwhelming and discouraging. But I wanted to use this feeling and take inspiration from Stephen Lawrence to create a poem that highlights that together we can be much stronger than any gang, knife or racist crime and the injustices that arise as a consequence.  – Selina Nwulu

Thou Shalt Not Kill
 a  poem for Stephen Lawrence who would be 36 on 14th September 2010.

Here is the image of a man-child
Eyes wide,
Future Full
Black and white lines on his shirt
Snapped hope ‘93

Political gangsters
Squat on humanity
As it sinks further,     deep
In pain and misery
Swirls in red tape and the queen’s democracy

Democracy becomes
Blood drenched
Stabbed, five inches          deep
Justice made blind

Moral imposters
Banking on flimsy legislation
Minds behind those black and white lines
Blood on their hands,
Drip drops a trail on the ground
Swirls turn justice monochrome

Stephen Lawrence

You miss the colors
You miss the freedom love can bring
You miss
Everything an 18-year-old saw and you didn’t

Impotent fools
Loaded with steel hatred
Unaware that
The pen will forever trump the blade

The power you crave from that
Phallic metallic stick…
We are repelled
Powerless powerless fools

Thou shalt not kill
A battle waiting to be won
Thou shalt not kill
Words from a mother to a son
Thou shalt not kill
The wisdom to walk away
Thou shalt not kill…

My peace. Your Peace. Our Peace

Skip to content