Charlie’s SST10 Draft 2

7 Jan

Thank you for the amazing feedback everyone gave me on my first draft, literally couldn’t have done this draft without you!

So at the moment the running time is about 2 and a half minutes (but may vary a bit with how I practice performing it so give or take about 10 seconds)
I’ve played around with the idea of having some candles on stage around me (battery ones probably, so that I dont burn down the stage) – but I’m open for suggestions if anyone has any ideas!

In terms of feedback, I basically welcome anything, although I’d really love to know what people initially feel/think the poem is about, and also the relationship between the two characters
Some of the lines might be quite  generic, but I DID try to include some specificity, just sometimes I felt that it really didn’t make sense in that particular context
Also, lineation – that may be something I have to work on 1-to-1 with someone, but has it improved?
Oh, and also, do people get a sense of light from it?
(also “Habibtaa” means ‘my love/my darling’ in Arabic)

Here’s the actual poem:

You were born to a world on the brink of burning

To a room

Of nine other babes

that will die before their first lit candle.

This half-lived life is built on

ghosts that bleed through bricks,

But whilst warmth breathes through you, Habibtaa

My child, you are alive

Which is all that matters.


Be ignorant through innocence,

be blissful but blind to the

towers you bring down with your

closed-eye melodies.

But hold on

To the colours you see

To rouge the hopscotch nightmares that chalk our streets



Deafened by bloodshed dreams that

Plague your lullabies, I’m sorry, my child, for the

Endless nights of

tiger-eye raindrops

that rage across a grazed horizon.

But one day, Habibtaa, I promise you will see

the stars from my sky, not these that

fall and burn around us.


Count the spaces between my

fingers, match them with yours and I’ll

keep you safe from the

window through which you watch this world

Come inside, Habibtaa, stay indoors

For puzzles come in pieces

not parts

of a body, divided in alleyways.


Believe me when I say

a good heart triumphs true

and yours is pure

and so was hers

But some men cannot see

the way they see their own little girls

The same dress and the

same smile and the

same heart

Won’t cover the darkness that engraves your face

And your tarnished skin will

forever bring them knocking


I’m sorry

For no child should bear witness to her friend,

Her best friend,

Pulled from the rubble, leaving behind

Red-buckle shoes and

feet still fastened inside.


And I’m sorry, Habibtaa,

These hands cannot hold you when the

silhouetted masakh

play peril in the night

Be brave

Creep under the floorboards

just like I said, wait

For the shots to sound no more

Until footfall fades and blood

slows to a drip

and this world keeps on burning

Now my ghost of my

half-lived life

bleeds through the bricks


But whilst warmth breathes through you, Habibtaa

My child, you are alive

And that is all that matters to me.


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