‘We float through the smog’; new poetry from our Poet-in-Residence

‘We float through the smog’; new poetry from our Poet-in-Residence

Each week I’ll share writings that have come out of reading and thinking about my chosen topics. See three snippets this week’s of writing below   Untitled We float through the smog looking for roots to tether to hardness like lamposts and nationalism fly towards our foreheads in slow motion we are forever ducking and … Continue reading ‘We float through the smog’; new poetry from our Poet-in-Residence

19 May 2017  //  Remi Graves


Each week I’ll share writings that have come out of reading and thinking about my chosen topics. See three snippets this week’s of writing below

 

Untitled

We float through the smog

looking for roots to

tether to

hardness like lamposts and

nationalism fly towards our

foreheads in slow motion

we are forever ducking and diving

the birds sing dawn songs at dusk

and this victorian cloudy smog makes it hard to tell

which streets are home and which are

witch traps set to ensnare difference.

 

This freewrite was written listening to Radiohead’s The Gloaming, it got me thinking about the growing threat to marginalised communities under our current government. This sparked an image of eery Old St Roundabout smog and how it feels like we’re going back in time and how the birds seem just as confused as we do.

 

This list poem was born out me reading Kayo’s poem and thinking about which of my daily experiences could be seen as acts of resistance.

 

Minute mutinies

 

1.smiling when the day suggests

  there will be nothing to smile about

2.loving yourself when life suggests

  there will be no one else willing to

3.living in your body when the world

  wants you to build home in your head

4.not moving out of the way on the pavement

  for people who seem to see right through you

  1. twerking in the kitchen with your mother and sister

   in celebration of Miley Cyrus’ rejection of hiphop

  1. spending one hour and a half trawling the internet

   to find a film with a black queer main character

7.forgiving those who only know how to love you

  with calloused tongues and self delusion

8.talking in unhushed tones about race

   on a tube carriage of passengers prickled with discomfort

9.envisioning black people thriving in the future

   when the present is intent on our extinction

  1. refusing to calcify when daily the world asks

     bone of you

 

Reading over the list, I decided to expand on Minute mutiny no3, and the idea of living in the body rather than in our thoughts. Deep breathing exercises are a great way to do this and have become part of my daily routine over the last few years. The poem below explores the relief and regeneration brought about simply through breathing.

 

Three minute breathing space

 

feet kiss the floor

the way mother’s do their babies

 

barefoot and looking for roots

plant yourself soft and willing.

 

first breath    deep and committed

in through nostrils out through mouth

 

there is solace in repetition

each intake a coming home

 

a step closer to landing

from these hot air balloon

 

heights that have us stuck

in the grey of solid clouds

 

each exhale a crystal sigh

made from years of heavy.

 

you do this when you wake

which could not quite be called morning

 

and again before you lie down

which might not be called sleep

 

slipping two sacred seeds

into days of endlessly shallow breath

 

this is the start of

respiration.

 

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