© 2017 by Emma Joliffe. 

A few of my favourite 'page poems', chosen for their hopefulness.
'To Love' was published in Popshot's 6th issue, The Love Issue,
TO LOVE
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, 
underneath.

POETRY

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,

infinitesimal glint,

a pin-prick in dark,

 

But those hands that brought mugs of steaming tea,

those arms

just lugging

the weight of bulging buggies,

those legs that bent down

to the height of a child,

to listen,

together,

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,

this tapestry

knits humanity;

 

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.