A few of my favourite 'page poems', chosen for their hopefulness.
I saw you once at the site of an earthquake.
A woman lay in the rubble,
her panic filling the air thick as brick dust
and strangers’ hands, arms, heaved to free her
strangers’ brows furrowed, rolled with fresh sweat
strangers’ lips blossomed with whispered hope
and there you were.
In the pulse of blood through thickened veins,
in the drop of sweat that darkened dust,
you. There you were.
I saw you on the slave ship
in the soothing hush of mothers’ shush,
the warm and murmured lullabies
I saw you in the death camps;
you were the last morsel, torn in half
proffered with knotted, knuckled hands.
In these darkest of places
I have to remember:
you. You still survive
in the clutched embraces
and the tears of grief,
you sit, so quietly,
Illustration by Kate Copeland.
A poem written for the volunteers at Ministry of Stories on the occasion of the charity's 5th birthday.
IN PRAISE OF SMALLNESS
In a world of sweeping suffering
and acres of hatred
and rolling news like black waves
that seem endless, senseless,
it can feel like goodness
is such a small spark,
a pin-prick in dark,
But those hands that brought mugs of steaming tea,
the weight of bulging buggies,
those legs that bent down
to the height of a child,
they make up one body
All those small, kind words
take flight like flocks of birds
and fill the air
all those small kind smiles
glow like fires
and light the night,
all those small acts
patch us together,
we are more than the sum of our hearts .
This poem was written in response to Theresa May's speech at the Conservative Party conference, 2016. This is also the title of my first collection, which I’m excited to announce that you can buy very soon!
CITIZEN OF NOWHERE
“If you believe yourself to be a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere” Theresa May 2016
I am a citizen of nowhere,
my two palms pressed together for a passport
I am a citizen of nowhere, naked
as the wind that sings in leafless branches
I am a citizen of nowhere
made from dust,
from coal, fossils curled
into my bones,
my veins are rivers of light ,
my skin is black space mottled with stars,
I carry nothing, no luggage, no baggage,
I am the sky that yawns around me,
I am the water that rushes around me,
I am the sun that warms,
the day that dawns,
I am one
with every exploding everything ever.