Dreams of Children
Walking up the hill to the poetry class,
talking to myself as if a mad man, of how
tonight I will encourage the students
to write vivid and historical verse.
I’m trying to remember the words
to Strange Fruit and also to turn
my willpower over to a god of my
own understanding. It’s hard work.
I note the hope of cheap Christmas lights
that pulse the November houses. The miners
hours long given away to call centres,
the credit peddlers, the dreams of children.
And if Christ is the redeemer, then look down
and hang a Woman’s deeds. The one who
groomed this South Yorkshire town from
pride to prejudice, from hope to heroin.
Hang them in the windows,
the churches and the pit heads.
Hang them for all the atheists, the
heretics, the bad blooded too!
Ralph Dartford studied poetry at Birkbeck College, London under the tutelage of Michael Donaghy. His work has appeared in the Guardian, Pulp Faction, Stirring (US), WordLife and London Territories amongst many other publications. His first volume of poetry, ‘Cigarettes, Beer and Love’ received wide acclaim, and his second, ‘Dirty Needle Rain’ will hopefully see the light of day in 2019. Ralph is currently touring his spoken word show, ‘Recovery Songs’ throughout the UK.