What is the True Color of Pain?


root - Posted on 29 July 2002

A Bayview resident has authored a beautiful book of poetry on Child Abuse..

by PNN staff

What is the true color of pain…

Pain is the same color as rain…..

"I started writing a book on child abuse in November of 1999 – when I was appointed by god to write the book by two little boys who were my godsons. They were abused by a family member- I was also abused when I was a kid coming up."

Byron Gafford is a poet, a storyteller, a child abuse survivor, or like he would tell it, Appointed by God. When Byron contacted POOR a few weeks ago, he asked if we could help him get the word out about his book of poetry entitled "Through the eyes of a Child.. we were intrigued and invited him into Community Newsroom, when he opened his mouth to tell his story, the whole room became intrigued.. "God gave me the inspiration to write the book to focus on not just children, but adult victims who were once children"

Byron’s tall, lanky body draped over the Newsroom chair. As he spoke, his large deep brown eyes looked straight ahead, focused on his vision. His voice was deep and yet lyrical, like a soft wind traveling through the room, " All my poetry are testimonials… they came from my own experiences, my family and interviews I have done with people who are victims of abuse. I translate their stories through poetry.. I am 23 poems away from 1400 poems on child abuse….I am currently working on Volume 7"

" I was born and raised in the Double Rock Projects (in Hunters Point) – and in my community you don’t hear about the beatings- the issue of abuse is on the hush–hush noone wants to talk about it, people in my community are starting to come out on the issue, but just barely. I work in a drug treatment center and out of 800 clients that I deal with –from so many ethnic communities, cultures and nationalities – they all have shared the experience of abuse and they have never even talked about it – since I have started doing the interviews for the book, they have all started opening up to their own experience with abuse.

Byron was asked by one of the POOR staff if he had traveled to other areas, " When I first started writing the book on child abuse – I didn’t really need to travel because my soul was taken out of my body by God and God let me see around the world- He let me see the abuse of all children… and in my book I touch on issues from abuse in our communities to domestic violence, abuse from priests, teachers and other authority figures"

As Byron’s presentation came to a close Dee Gray from POOR summed up how the whole Newsroom staff felt about this inspiring young man, " I can’t find the words to describe how brilliant your book project is, as not just a work of literature but a work of art…"

What is the true color of pain

Pain is the same color as rain…..

Pain is the color so deep within.

Its not just the color, its the freedom of skin

Pain is the emotion of something that’s felt

Pain is the feeling that’s brought on by the belt

And when someone puts pain on you

The tears you cry has a color too-


Excerpt from Through the Eyes of a Child by Byron Gafford

Byron Gafford is looking for a publisher for his book; Through the Eyes of a Child. If you would like to get a copy of his book or have any ideas for him contact POOR at (415) 863-6306.

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