in these dark times......


so many things to write about so many issues to attack so many thoughts to defend at the moment- it can be overwhelming - i have had to limit my time on twitter and the internet for i find myself gathering snippets of sadness tragedy injustice and feeling so powerless to do anything about it- yes i can sign a petition retweet comment and they all play their part but after a while i feel like a bonfire with more and more wood more and more tyres being piled upon me flaming to the sky- it is good to take time out and reflect- i am no politician- some may say no writer! but i can write and have seen so many beautiful things flow out of words and sharing words that each day i am lucky enough to be able still, to write and to share others' words - running myriad writing sessions in nursing homes, prisons, mental health units, schools, dementia support groups and banks (no that was just a joke) i have been humbled by being allowed into other people's worlds other people's minds- when, for example, i begin to read w h davies' 'leisure' and the whole room recites the first two lines in unison or when a quiet woman at a dementia support group hands me a poem written in shorthand- you could not write these moments and they rebuild my faith in humanity against the vile landscape of hate bombs and maledicta their tongues pour solace across the silence. this poem is my quiet reflection on all those moments over the last year i have sat in a boiling hot nursing home or sat upon the grass with young people living with mental health issues or been faced with 12 heavily tattooed men who 'hate poetry' who slowly tell their stories...yes i shall go on writing....yes i shall go on listening........

'If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?' ~Rumi

where there is bile
return to lullaby

when there are fists
hold fast to flowers

when they throw you chains
knit a shawl

if it rains tongues of nails
become a hammer

When they staple our mouths
strum guitars

when they ask for selfishness
stand in solidarity

when they scream for death
scatter sunflower seeds

if they bring starvation
make a soup from your memories

As they sell you perfection
make a crack

When they build walls
design doors

when they preach paradise
close the door
it is here, inside

as they bellow me me me
whisper goldenly
we we we