Community·Poetry Club

East Coast Poetry Club: Kanaar Bell

Each week, East Coast Poetry Club will share a piece of writing from a local poet, spoken word artist, or musician. First up is Halifax’s Kanaar Bell.

Join us weekly for a poetry feature from an East Coast artist

(CBC East Coast)

Welcome to the East Coast Poetry Club, your destination for a weekly dose of words that might stir your heart, provoke profound thought, or simply float through your mind like a gentle breeze. 

Each week, we'll be sharing a new piece from an East Coast poet, musician, or spoken word artist. 

(Greg Guy for CBC)

Kicking things off is Halifax spoken word artist Kanaar Bell. A few months ago, we shared Kanaar Bell's "Raw" as a collaborative visual project. Now he's back with "Make Your Own Noise", a piece he originally performed early on in his career. 

"I was inspired to create 'Make Your Own Noise' as a call to my fellow people to return to self," Kanaar  says. "The piece begins by introducing the element of trust – a virtue in which many of us have scars, even if we can't admit it to ourselves."

"I believe that intuition is one of humanity's greatest gifts, but when a situation doesn't occur how we had envisioned we may begin to distrust the voice that whispers advice, direction, and reaffirming sentiments," he says. "The mind can become a dark place if we don't nurture it."

"The second part of the poem focuses on investing in yourself and defining your own excellence as opposed to trying to match up to the world's examples of such."

Appreciate your shadow as much as your light, then you will have the power to influence your life.- Kanaar Bell

Here are some questions to consider once you've read the poem: 

  • What does intuition look like to you?
  • Has it been easier or harder to hear your inner voice during quarantine?
  • Which verse from the poem stands out the most to you? Why?
  • How can we return to the wild dreams of our youth?
  • What is fear stopping you from?

Make Your Own Noise 

How many of us can say we truly trust ourselves? 
Ain't that the biggest battle? 

But once you do, You feel more like you
than you've ever felt, As you, Learn to
take strength in your roots, And, Stand in
your truth. 

See your acceptance is only the starting point to blazing your personal path aligned with where you truly need to be. 

It's when we feel good about ourselves, Notice
what made us feel that way, And take full ​
responsibility to keep that up, That we stumble
upon that dream deterred. And put it back on
track because this time around – We got more

So rather than following,
We lead. 

'Cause what's for me will never be for someone
else, And what's for them will never be for me. 

But a statement like that can still resonate so
differently, Sad to accept that I'll never have it like
them, That wasn't meant for me. 

I guess I am
just normal. 

"Man, when we were kids, We really
did have the wildest dreams" – We're
living a lot more formal. 

But listen here,
You were born. 

Just like anyone else, You are a
living, breathing, feeling being, You
have the answers, You know you do,
So what's stopping you!? 


Am I really good
enough? Can I really
become, That? 
Do I have it in me? 

And take note of how the messages you give
yourself, Are different from what you receive. 

Because the only true
limitation: Is our very selves. 

But we spend too much time,
Trying way too hard, To
become something we're not. 

Idolizing the lifestyles of those in the limelight deemed,
Upper-echelon by society, If we ain't got it, Well then,
We're just your average working ants within the colony,
Carrying our own sh*t, (shhh) And remembering a time
when we used to have hopes & dreams. 

But it wasn't realistic to actualize something you thought was
so great, Because the world had roughed you up a bit and sat
you in your place. 

So we don't honor our own shine,
Because that's childish. 

We live in the real world,
Where we got bills to
pay, And mouths to feed,
The clock is ticking. 

So why take a risk to achieve a
dream, When security promises a
pension, Hey, As long as you're

A willing piece of you left in the work you
do, Tell me why we should live in

'Cause when the dust sweeps in, Bringing
your life to an end, I hope regret ain't on your
mind as you fade away. 

Wishing you took a risk, To overcome the barriers that
forced you to live a life of restraint. 

See, I believe the true test, Is how much you're willing
to push for what you really want, For what you envision. 

It's gonna be a long
And you might be told "no",
But to win this battle – You
gotta keep digging. 

When's the last time you felt your true

Do you even believe such a thing

And not the type to exert over someone
else, But, The power that lies within. 

Well, I'm here to tell you that you
got it. 

Believe it or not, That's
your own choice. 

We stay in line trying to pick up the steps too
often, Step out and make your own noise.