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07 October 2022

Posted by Susmita Bhattacharya

National Poetry Day

 Photo by Trust "Tru" Katsande on Unsplash

Our October meeting coincided with National Poetry Day. The theme for this year is the environment, and according to the website

'Our call to action this year is for audiences to find or write a poem that speaks about something you’d like to change or praise about the environment...'

So we did that! There was a lot of discussion around this topic. We thought about our relationship with nature, with our environment and sometimes the lack of connection, the exhaustion of consumerism. We wrote two poems, one responding to Brian Bilston's poem, 'Every Day the Planet Burns a Little More' and the other poem was from the National Poetry Day website called Decimation by Louis Reid. We wrote protest poems responding to that.
Here are a few poems created in our Thursday morning session"

Plastic Poppies by Ester Spiller

The day I realised, 

If we were in The Hunger Games

Where I stand is District One

I am the ridiculous effigy to excess

When the ground beneath me bursts and burns

What would sprout from the barren soil?

 Plastic Poppies

Grow outside the school

To teach the young about an old war

We forget the uneasy addendum

You will have to fight too

Against things the powerful say they will change but never do

The day I realised

We can only win

If we are willing to fight. 

2 poems by Kate Reeves:

I am just one person
beset by the demands of others,
their needs, their expectations.
How can I find my truth,
my voice in this white noise?
I am pushed and pulled
by desires, dreams seeping into me
insidiously through a screen.
I am just one pebble
jostling against a million others,
each content to be itself.
Here and now I am this pebble
one stonesong in the shushing of the shore.
I am pushed and pulled
by time, by tide
but will always, even when sand, be enough.

Bearing Witness
They're doing it again
and I glimpse
through the apathetic crowds
a still figure
watching intently.
'I see you,' the eyes say.
You are one human being
and I another
and we both know that what you're doing is wrong.
It is a primal thing:
we rebuke the fault
parent, tribe.
We stare it down,
shame it,
without violence, forgiveness
a natural attendant to remorse.
But the figure stands alone,
the witnessing a power that we all recognise
but are too ashmed ourselves to mimic.
I stand, another naughty child
and dream of saying 'I am here, and I see you too,'
and weep that this dream should seem incredible.
[For context, I used to do campaigning with Greenpeace, which uses the old Quaker philosophy of 'Bearing Witness' to wrongdoing.]


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