World Poetry Day: Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday

For my friends and loved ones, the Year 11 girl whose grandma passed away this weekend, and for anyone else this may comfort.

Here, have these blessed things,
carry them with you as you journey home.
This knowledge will make you feel safe,
though you don’t really have that kind of faith.
It is spring now, and though you are alone,
soon you’ll be a pair of birds spreading wings.

Sometimes life leaves you standing in the wings,
and you can’t think of your lines, amongst the many things
going on around you – so many people, yet so alone,
and you’re sure what to call “home”
and all these months you’ve had faith,
but they were the one who made you feel safe

and you’re old as slang saying good is “safe”,
ending nights out with chips, fried chicken wings,
garlic bread, the echo of dance tracks from Faith-
less, swimming through the airwaves, thinking things
would always be this way, that home
would always be there, with family, not alone.

Never has the word held more weight: alone
like scissors to the nets that kept you safe
and in the truest sense of the word, you’re not home-
less, but it’s like being forced to fly with clipped wings.
Trying to remember how you dreamt of so many things
and you know you have to embrace fear, have faith

that this life is possible with enough self-belief and faith,
that you will have to build walls of arms, so you’re not alone
and force yourself to remember all the things
that seem so painful now, that you will be safe
because there are angels spreading wings
to guide you, and where you land will be your home.

Follow your heart home, and you won’t be alone.
Papier-mâché your faith, and you will be safe
as you spread your wings, you’ll see so many things.

Acts of Kindness

After writing this post, I redrafted a poem from a couple of years ago (something I’m meaning to do with a lot of poems). The act of kindness described in this post made me think of a workshop with Deanna Rodger, where the prompt “what’s the kindest thing you’ve done?” inspired an earlier draft of the poem below. Let me know what you think.

The last kind thing I did was spending
money on something I had no interest in.
I did that for someone else.

Thinking about kindness now,
it’s tied up to money somehow:
an exchange. A smart black suit,

food and bills. After a month
I wanted to raise money for charity,
wanted to run further than I’d been before.

Lately, I’ve felt tension in my back;
weekends and 9-5s do not line up.
Because we all need money, don’t we?

And so it seems, I want my own
gratification more than I want
to help move things forward from this pain.