Sandra is back with a fascinating look at social history, seen through the singular lens of the Back Alley! Celebrating the recent changes made by her local community, that have brought the abandoned back alleys into communal use once more.
Landlocked The wood is polished walnut, warped by wind and waves, polished by sun, then jerry-rigged into place to make a built-in bunk, a low bench, a fold-down table, and bookshelves filled with paperbacks bought in newsagents and railway stations. A circular mirror reflects brass-rimmed portholes onto suburban shrubbery, and a gilded cage holds a … Continue reading Landlocked by Oz Hardwick
Our final poem chosen by Jane Burn for her 'Surviving Trauma' series is by Fran Lock. Fran Lock is a sometime itinerant dog-whisperer and the author of seven poetry collections, most recently the pamphlet Raptures and Captures (Culture Matters, 2019) in collaboration with collage artist Steev Burgess, and Contains Mild Peril (Out-Spoken Press, 2019). She is an associate … Continue reading Mania from Caoin by Fran Lock
Margaret's film is one of hope. Like many others, she has experienced fears and dark times in her life, when newborn family members were struggling for survival and when parents fell ill. She has translated her very relatable experiences into a meditation on how there is always light at the end of the tunnel, and … Continue reading A digital story by Margaret McClure
Please welcome Denni to the blog, with a poem that speaks simply and eloquently of how normal is forever altered by trauma and loss. Everywhere is always full of holes The pier at Southwold with the water clock we watched so long to see the hour, the amusements, and the beach huts bright and neat … Continue reading Everywhere is always full of holes by Denni Turp
Some of you may have read Sandra's verses kept as a Lockdown diary, which we featured earlier this summer. Sandra is a member of our monthly workshop group in Teesside, and she has put together this very moving tribute to a much-missed daughter. Thank you for watching this, it was created from love and faith.
Why she fell in love with doors is a poem that brilliantly works the idea of an eternity of opening and closing. Living with trauma is an eternity and though we might feel it more or less strongly on certain days, it remains there, like the poem’s wolf, lurking behind our everyday life. ‘She must … Continue reading Why She Fell In Love With Doors by Helen Kay
Grace is a very special member of our Middlesbrough workshop group. The film she's made will give you an insight into her life, and what she needs to secure a hopeful future. We're also delighted to bring you a poem by Grace, about her Grandma Edith who taught her how to bake. The Wedding Ring … Continue reading A digital story by Grace Turner-Thompson
"This poem scared the heck out of me - this is a poem of fairy-tale horrors, of quiet, claustrophobic menace, of fear that refuses to remain hidden. It is not a graphic depiction of sex ‘You part my lips with them, shut/my mouth with them,’ made me feel like the very trees were closing over … Continue reading Outdoor Sex by Natalie Crick
This poem is very real and raw. It breaks down the barriers of how frightening it can be to actually talk about illness and the inevitable deaths that may come - but talk we must. It runs breathlessly, without punctuation which helps convey the panic and terror hidden behind the ‘gallows humour’. Imagine selecting your … Continue reading All Prepared, Not Prepared by Rob Walton
This poem captures the sadness of feeling as if you have to maintain that ‘stiff upper lip’ and keep everything locked inside yourself. We are very lucky if we have never had to witness the effects and cruelties of war first hand and can never really imagine what it is like for those who have. … Continue reading Fire by Steve May
Give me a grave I can weep by. Give me a shrine to the girl that I was and the girl who came after. Give me a patch in the garden something I can dig my fists into to get to the root of it. Give me a map and a timeline. Point me to … Continue reading A poem by Bethany Rutt