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A LITTLE late but something had a hold on me…

14 Sep

I promised Anne inside my head that I would post this after a very interesting and reflective post SST5 session.

Praying at the East Circus St Wall

Ten to seven.  Nearly.

Poets line up all jaggedy

Wearing radical shades

Voices prepare to write

Lighting set to resonate

Microphone catches dimness

Family noises smile

Mantra for rice’n’peas

Echoes in places to hide

The stage is now set for

Callaloo and crisps



Gulliver The Poet’s view of his introduction to Mouthy Poets and Say Sumthin 5

3 Jul

One of our new friends came to join us at Say Sumthin 5… Michael, bearded-gentle-giant, our very own Frenchman. He shared his ever evolving Weeping Man workshop (we hope he can return and take us through a day long version some time soon).

As I drove him to the station he asked if he could read me a piece he had written about his experience… here it is for you to see:

I thought I’d lost it,
my mouth emptied out.
I thought it was gone,
my lips a tall dam
keeping in an empty lake of words,
in the mountains, at the end of winter, before the snow melts.

I thought I’d lost it
until I was touched
by talent, skill, warmth and hard work.


It started with a meal,
it always does.
Rice and beans,
curried chicken
hurried boys that do not clear their plates
and fifty odd mouths
going thoroughly through
arm deep pots of words.

If I counted all the grains of rice
I’d thrown down my throat, yesterday,
there would not be enough to tick and clock
all the words I gulped.
Good words too,
words that click.

Words like “the sun is a yellow clock on a blue table cloth”;
young words and old words;
words that are whispered in the ear,
and words that are kept at arm’s length;
heart felt words and words that you find on the floor.

Yesterday was a bit messy,
like all Revolutions are:
people running around without direction,
but running all the same,
until they run out of words to spare.


This morning, I wake up in a house so warm
I called it my home even just for one night.

I look up to a view of white brushed clouds
on a purple sky painted on the ceiling
and splurging out on the walls upholding it.

On my right there is an orange flickering light
with its cable cut out at the base.
(The ones that plumbers and road workers put on the top of their cars to impress their sons.)
 Well, it’s impressing me right now
and it does not do much: it just is.
Hanging on the window sill,
filtering through the Northern Sun,
maybe it’s my own personal sunrise.

This morning, I wake up in a house so warm
I called it my home even just for one night.
You will find fifty odd socks
spread out on every surface.
Random bits and bobs
on the carpeted floors,
cardboard corridors
like forts I made in the woods as a kid,
wobbly walls, doors
coming out of their hinges
for having been open to strangers
too many times.

At first glance, I thought the house was held together with stacks of books,
It turns out the house is held together by Anne.
She is the Queen of the Mess.
No time to hoover, she’s a mother of three
if you don’t count Freddie,
the overexcited bouncy terrier that
I am told pisses everywhere as protest…
and I lost the rest.

You know a dog is loved
when told, in the living room,
the best looking sit is assigned to him.[1]

You know a house is a home
when the nephews and the nieces
come all the way from the top of the hill
down to the house at the bottom of the hill
to talk about poetry.

You know a house is a home
when the heating is on in the middle of June.


I thought I’d lost it,
my mouth emptied out
I thought it was gone,
my lips a tall dam
keeping in an empty lake of words,
in the mountains, at the end of winter, before the snow melts.

I thought I’d lost it
until I was touched
by the searing heater that makes my insides melt.
I wonder what would happen if I opened my mouth.


[1] It makes me want to sell all my words
to give my Rosie a mansion and fields around it
so she can stop treating her cat like a dog and get one.

Did they hear me?

23 Jun

It had smelt like the promise of summer rain

in Turkmenistan.

Felt like the coffee meet ups weren’t enough.

I was fustrated people didn’t understand.


I woke up at seven, 2am midnights stained my eyes.

Yet the green room buzz fed me til midnight.

I had felt drowned and lost in a good way,

everything seemed so hectic ans stormy yet underneath, 

it was calming.


I closed my eyes, blinked twice

and found my palm pressing against the sweaty stage.

My eyes shining into the eyes of what felt like 200 people.

Today they will understand.


My breathe  hitched and trembled,

and I  summed up all my words.

My pulse reminded me how much I love making people


In that milli second,

all my brain can think of is how much I love staining paper with scribbles

and turning it into something of my best.

Then all I hear is the poem.


Throat cracks,

My lines hesitate,

sputter and spit.


All I see is the coffee shop this poem was bron.


and I am on a coach,

traveling far from Nottingham,



Did they even hear me?

400 people heard me.

I’m still not sure how that happened.



Not sure about a title yet..

28 May

By Chumbeh

Sitting at this soggy bench

staring at my crushed knuckles

How did it lead to this?


The glimpse of rain down my cheek

tears blocking my view


Flashes of my smile this morning

When i was filled with possibility

i knew the probability. i didn’t care

because it happened!! it happened!!


Any chance of disappointment:



Hours went by

people walking past with their lingering shadows

Faces reflecting sympathy

Whispering soothing words

Confusion started roaming through my brain

Retracing whispered words

I am sorry Chumbeh

It won’t happen


Anger, disappointment, resentment

started to feed from my blood stream

regret flushed through my head

how could i have been so stupid?


Scream urges in my throat

trying to forget the impossible chance i had

distancing myself from the one person, i wanted to share with


Being around him

made me feel disconnected

i didn’t like myself around him

everything was changing

i was changing, not the way i wanted

its funny how you can lose yourself so fast


I remember being told once

acceptance is the outcome without

shame, guilt , fear


life is unfair

its here to be battled with

so be ready to fight

SST5 Poem Bree…edited

20 May

Hi all! Here’s my poem – it’s an emotional journey that I experienced in a relationship (1 min 30 secs approx.). I still need to make it a bit clearer what the poem is actually about and how I came to realise certain things – still working on that. It’s the first poem I’ve ever really written so I would really appreciate some feedback, especially regarding the structure but any other feedback is also very much appreciated 🙂

Sorry if you don’t like my honesty

But I can’t take your lies

It might seem like a novelty to you

To hear the truth sometimes


You put yourself on a pedestal; the magnetism was hypnotic

I used to dance in lightning storms as a kid

Then, later… I was drawn to the storm in you


I was cast as your shadow; your emotions projected on to me

And the light could not reach, for me to be seen

I was on a different frequency… no one could see

Or hear the silent screams for you to stop it

My self-esteem hammered down like a nail into my own casket


I fought unconscious enemies in the dark hue of my mind

You coloured my perception black and blue

To admit how I’d failed in the face of such hardship

Was the hardest compromise I made for you


To gaze for so long into the eyes of another; I could have become a monster

I raged inside at the compromise that I had made to my integrity

Bowing to your authority; but that insanity called love took over


Like a parasite, you cheated me out of a love that you did not return to me

I looked into the window of your soul and realised that I did not want to be

The host to carry on your genes


The song that you sang was not the same as mine

You told me we could work – you just needed more time

To show me that you and I were meant to laugh…

But you were living life on my behalf


Like an artist with a brush to paint your lies

The impressionism was convincing for a while

But now the light has changed, things don’t look quite the same

And I know now that we will never be what we could have been

So, I think it’s time to say goodbye


And all you have left are those empty words

To console yourself with – now that I

Have painted a new picture where the sun shines free

I do a little sun dance, just for me

Important feedback needed for my SST 5 piece! (Maresa)

20 May

Hi everyone,

I’m sturggling to decide what’s best for my video for SST in terms of the two poems I have.

Should both the poems be included together or should I maybe focus on one instead? If both, which order works best for you?


My unruly hands are coiled around another’s
tendons and sinews working to expose the thought.

My body flounders, thrashing at the air.
Vocal cords screech. But the sound is transformed
by my hands, when coiled around another’s

their shape giving life to the thought tracked from mind to world.
The mute voice released by the two sets of hands.

Confusion is rife and tempers the line
I am a box, a container, a bomb wanting to go off,
my unruly hands coiled around another’s.

All you hear is the tap

my hand in another’s
close but distant
to touch or demolish.

My thoughts are my own
but when touched, connect.

I suspend the touch
disconnect in my head
the thoughts return

all you hear is the tap

Maresa Mackeith




Serita and Lila SST5

19 May


Lila:                                        1990 AGED 7 YEARS OLD:


Serita:                   I feel like when the stabilizers came off at 7 years old.

When the hands of the gentle giant let go I made my way I made my first journey on 100 yards of concrete.

I was free and a friend was born.

From that day I never let go of the steel circular tubes which became my vessel of choice.

There I was flying up kerbs and down kerbs around bends and through jitty ways.


Serita:                                   150 BC

Lila:                        They set off on what was about to become The Silk Road,

                           wrapped in a false sense of pink, buds moistening at the taste of new.

Feet cracked like the map of a desert trail, guiding them towards a new type of friendship.

The Middle East sent spices and herbs. Russia sent Furs. China sent silk.

It was hot. Naive tongues scraped across dry eager lips.

 ‘The Land of Death’ declared duels on traders with vicious sand storms.


Lila:                                                        1995: Aged 11 years old:

Serita:                   All across the shadow of Robin Hood’s stomping ground from the north tip of his hat to the east point of his arrow this was my compass.

Each morning this arrow landed and off I went on my adventure, long days peddling in the hot sunshine and sunset evenings.

I would examine my vessel like a mechanic knows his or her car

Every gear,

Every knot in the chain

                                                                              Every shred of rubber

Lila:                                                        Every camel loaded        

Serita:                                                   Every puncture that led to a flat

Lila:                                                        Every child kissed goodbye

Every handle bar dislocation to be tightened up with Mr Allen’s key.

Serita:                                                   140 BC

Lila:                        Skin flinched at the grasp of a homeless flea.

Ears flicked at relentless flies.

                                Understanding grew, starting from Universal natural instincts.

Serita:                   We needed each other.

Lila:                        A point or a shake of the head.

Then Maths. Dividing symbols of heritage for exchange in the towns along the road.

                                They found ways to barter, building relationships, based on the trust the other was not a bandit about to take back what he had just swapped – and more. A nod, until the Greeks introduced the hand shake. An action, which when two hands met peace was signified. Declaring they had no weapons.

Serita:                   Rust was the bandit of my bike.

Lila:                                        1997 AGED: 13:

Serita:                                   To the cooking oil used to quench a rusty chains thirst.

My vessel was my best friend my voyage companion There we were together learning new tricks I imagining there was an engine.

We were inseparable I thought we would never be apart.

Serita:                   10BC

Lila:        The sweet must of incense blocked the scent of greed, leaving space to share philosophies. Temples and tombs were built so traders could still pray; far from home. Buddhist monks mesmerised the path leading West; where Christianity thrived.

Lila:                        1999 Aged:  15:

Serita:                   Our journeys were magical ours journeys seemed to never end

Lila:                        Their journeys were indescribable discoveries of  fusing cultures.

Serita:                   … Until one day I didn’t feel like picking you up and taking you out today.

Pictures of boys (and girls) raced and peddled through my mind and adorned my bedroom wall as once you and I once did.

Now I would only grease you JUST IN CASE I had to run an Errand your cogs would squeak and splutter back to life as though being revived after almost drowning in a sea of grass.

 Serita:   date (need to work out)

Lila:        Hunger, phased out caravans and camels and horses from the long distance treks. They preferred the speed and cool salty sea breeze of ships, so new Maritime routes were opened. The subtle language of exchange changed, when maths became more than division, quality and inequality divided countries expansion of trade.

Lila:                        2001 Aged 17:

Serita:                   JOY! OF JOYS! I made new friends you were getting old and rusting I no longing examined you hurt my eyes to look at turning them as medusa would turn skin cells to stone with a mere glance of her cornea’s.

I no longer touched your soft rubber skin, the rain tore chunks of flesh of your body your tears of paint rolled, dripped and bled into the grass below.

I found alcohol, fake I.D’S and nightclubs

Lila:                        They found technology.

Serita:                   and text messages on mobile phones and found and lost a virginity of innocence.

Serita:   date (need to work out)

Lila:        And with technology the sun dried lips moistened, and  returned home to greet wives with silk that would sit on their shoulders and stroke their nape.

Serita:   I was leaving you

Lila:                        When robes became business suits, a spiral of technology transpired. Dragging your aching muscles in the search for black peppercorns, would no longer be required. The anticipation of a spicy firework intensifying on the tongue, corn clenched between molars, awaiting the explosion as they mounted horses, packed clippings of silk found on the dead, packed weapons and pulled up their boots could soon all be done in front of a computer.

Lila         2002 Aged 18:

Serita:   Right under my bedroom window you listened as I squealed with delight I was to leaving Garfield road to be leaving you to start a new life and education in another city.

The turning beating heart of your life force snapped in into brittle shards past summers of us together now long gone just a memory… like a sunset leaving this side of the planet as the illusion of going down takes a hold and took the breath from you in the process.

Serita:   2000

Lila:  Teenagers stood over their parents and watched their fumbling fingers searching for the correct letter key.

Serita:   We lost touch

Lila:  A lonely terrain of traders traversed the City of London – on mobiles. Kids chatted online.  Charities, looked after each other globally. Like the symbolism in the progression of language, it was painted onto bus stops, into phones, magazines.

                In English ‘avocado’, in Spanish Aguacate which comes from the Aztec word ‘ Aguactl’ – testicle. Symbolism is still cool, but not when a screen with XXX at the end of a text expresses more feeling than an awkward face to face meeting.

Lila:        21st of September 2002:

Serita:   This was the last day I it the car packed with boxes and the house voiceless and motionless there it was my best friend now it was skeleton a mere frame the grass had now drowned you it have creeped into your wheels around your delicate frame.

I said goodbye to every room in the house and then to you.

Serita: 2013

Lila:  Awareness, of . . . . .don’t  forget to put high definition into things that can feel (not sure what to do with this bit!

Lila                                                         June 2013 Aged 28:

A new chapter begins and a new friend with an engine


I had imagined all those years ago seeps between my fingertips

I feel aged 7 again…

Making my first journey upon 100 yards of concrete when the hands of the gentle giant let go

Hello, we thought as they both relate to communication we’d try and intertwine the 2. We’re thinking we need to work out bits to make them more closely related, we’ll be adding some bits in but be good to know whether you think this would work. Also Lila’as narrative towards the end loses its thread a bit so any tips on this. Thanks!