Photo above Kasia Rose Hrybowicz.
Joy ( string rope twine)
I love to sing. Flying and winging and singing.
Words and dance. Flight and Rhythm.
Tie them up with string for me. I need them.
A chance of happiness.
Unwinding my snags and snarls.
String rhymes with sing and wing.
I like that.
Twine rhymes with sublime and fine, rope with hope.
Useful and beautiful. Fixing things.
Tying up a gift, to send in the post.
Cats cradle, broken toys.
You can do a lot with string.
Khipu for the Inca, sailor – a knot.
Grandparents saved it – a lot.
Throw nothing away –
you will find it useful one day.
String – with its siblings, rope and twine
– make a bowline or hitch.
Washing line and Lobster pot.
Heart beating- mouth singing, hands weaving –
limbs responding, wrapping me up in the Joys of Life.
Don’t unwind my one ball of string –
Physical and metaphor –
Close to my heart and the muscles
deep down, embedded in the core –
of me – I will not fall.
I will have Song – Voice – Dance –
-wrapped and addressed to me, inside will be-
A pair of silver wings, glistening and sparkling, full of light.
I will fix the wings to my back with string. For life – for flight.
‘Oh no, they can’t take that away from me.’
PAIN A group of you’s – nameless and few-
In positions of power.
You – had no grace – when you erased my dignity:
My right to be .. me.
Your face was alarming in its intensity,
as you hurled your verbal blows at me.
You have harmed me.
You denied me a place in the community –
I was seeking to embrace.
To belong- somewhere in this new Town –
to be of the place – I found myself –
As a stranger.
Hoping for acceptance.
You – paid lip service to people who struggle with minds-
ill at ease.
But only if it suited you. I didn’t suit you.
The disease – can bring the sufferer –
down onto their knees. You know that.
I was new here. Anxious, but hopeful. Nervous, but willing.
As excited, as always, about the work I had done-
Lucky me. I had earned my living with the passions that are my-
– life’s blood.
Living precariously. I did it.
Providing a roof, food and clothing for me and my children –
Singing, writing and more – for our lives.
Travelling the world – magnificent adventures-
The bad times and the good times. Life.
You – trashed my very being, my heart-
my life’s blood – my identity.
Reduced me to dust, made me shrink –
underneath my skin.
Reduced to a non entity – in your opinion.
Made me invisible.
What did I do? What was so wrong?
You blamed me for crimes I had not committed,
You told me that I poisoned your work.
Yes, you used those words –
and many more: in order to place others
before me- to keep me out – put your people in.
I remain – excluded, ignored –
In your eyes, I am rubbed out. Gone.
You, who assaulted me with insults,
Those of you who felt that- it must not be me there.
denied me- entry to all that had been a part of my life.
How dare I be there? How dare I?
You made sure you made it hard for me-
undermined and insulted me.
You sabotaging my work, you– interrupting, you– loudly talking.
Mocking. Then -complaining to the little Gods up above in the
offices – the control of who is who. Who is in and who is out?
‘And it is not you!’ I hear you say.
Your impenetrable cliques, barred me in ways I will never understand-
You few – made my life here unbearable.
But! You do not know me.
Yet- You cast me as a nobody- a worthless invader-
‘Hi how are you? You say, with no real interest in your voice-
Not waiting for a reply. Not interested.
I have been expelled- excluded.
One by one, doors were closed in my face.
Unlike the others, those – who promised inclusion.
Those of you who came to my home, accepted my hospitality.
Meaningless-chat, chit, chat.
‘Send me your ideas. ‘
You must come and sing ? You must …??
This and that. Little did I know –
There was no truth in your vacuous talk.
No warmth in your eyes, as you walked away.
You did not bother to open those files.
Pretended not to know me-
when I had dared to venture out to an event –
looked through me, as I were a pane of glass.
Scattering those meaningless promises and intentions –
as dust on the winds –
Over the Sea and far away.
Over the Hills and dissapeared.
Devoid of any empathy – lost in the air –
hanging _ suspended – weightless flotsam & jetsam-
Porous and slippery, like my shredded, thinning skin-
As if those conversations were in my imagination?
Could you not be bothered?
Do I bleed like you? I do.
Do I shudder, when you be – little – me? I do.
Do I hurt, when you put your hand up to my my face?
Denying me inclusion? To you – I am an intrusion.
I shrug, and tell me, myself and I –
when people pour me the therapy talk-
speak and babble. Cod Phycology
‘Move on, don’t take it personally, get over it..
why are you so negative?’ etc and more.
Negative? When I received your No! Your dismissals.
‘We don’t like you,’ doors closed-
Was that not in itself, a negative?
‘Out you go, gird your loins, get a grip.’ I said to myself..
entering, tentatively, your territory –
you– poured insults into my ear- for my ears only-
in dulcet superior tones, letting me know that I was not acceptable.
‘I hope you have learned that we, the creative people here,
do things for ourselves.’
Walking past me as if we had never met,
with a subtle shadow of recognition, you know and I know,
which says simply –
‘I do not admit to knowing you,’
What plans? What promises? What emails?
I – Don’t wanna go there – if it does not please me
Don’t wanna be there – it makes me feel – uneasy.
I remember the child I was, in my long ago,
a school playground: a circle of children playing…
‘Go away, we don’t like you, you are not one of us.’
This is my legacy, my life battle.
Is it my age? Is it that I am a working class woman?
Not good enough?
Is it because I did well for you?
Before you got rid of me.
Is because I am down from London?
Is simply that- without knowing me, you disliked me?
I didn’t solicit your opinion.
I didn’t ask for your judgement.
But you gave it anyway.
When I was young, I found Music – it gave me my voice-
against all the odds.
I will not let you silence me. My voice and my life was hard won.
‘Oh no, they can’t take that away from me’
‘No, they can’t take that away from me.’
Some marvellous moments in life.
I love and I am loved.
My Children – their hands grown,
adult hands, still holding the same lines and shapes of childhood.
My friends, those still on Planet – and those who have passed
– still loved – always loved.
Rainbows, clouds sunshine: the breath and smiles of my beloveds.
My Cats Louis & Ella and Theo, who lives 3 doors down
-and who visits.
Animals, as I age, seem to hold a wisdom and purity –
– lacking in most humans.
My garden, my first earth-
Frogs, Toads, Butterflies, Bees, Moths, Worms, Dragonflies –
and -the musky smell of a Fox’
Planting- Potatoes, Treasure underground.
Tomatoes and Salad Leaves, Carrots and Beetroot,
Courgettes and Herbs, the bounty of my garden.
My hands in the soil, planting and nurturing –
waiting in anticipation- for the magic
to rise up from the earth – towards the light.
Cooking the food I have grown.
Good people around my kitchen table, wine, food and conversation.
The smell of the trees, the land and – City Streets after a storm.
Rain drops on my caravan roof in the 1970s –
My bed when, I arrived late at night, after a gig far away.
Clean sheets and the smell of Coffee on the brew –
in the morning – still yawning whilst listening to the radio –
as I do when I cannot sleep.
The shipping forecast, plays and stories.
Music and Poetry.
The pleasure of the creativity of others –
the teacher, back in 1948 who taught me to read –
a glorious gift.
Knowing that there is something to learn in every new day.
My books and treasures, collected over decades –
-moved with me on my many, many moves.
I moved here, late in life, not knowing that I would be
Swept aside. However –
I remember – I love and am loved.
The sea the Sky & you and I.
‘Oh no, you cant take that away from me.’
‘No, they cant take that away from me.’
A Final Statement.
I was born in 1944, a Good Friday, although a it was a crap day and not a good Friday.
The Blitz. War. Death. Bomb sites and broken families.
I was an illegitimate child, & spent a lot of my first 15 years in Children’s Homes or Foster care, & left a secondary modern school in the easter of 1959, 2 weeks before my 15th Birthday.
Out in the world as a fairly damaged child, looking out for myself.
On one of those occasions, out and about –
in the place I am now, one of ‘you’ hissed into my ear with cultivated & dulcet tones,
‘We here in the creative community, do things for ourselves,
2 days later I wanted to say to that person,
‘When you were still at school & living with your mummy and daddy, followed by some art school or university,
I was out there doing things for myself, since I was barely 15 years old.’
Too late. I have nor seen her since. She was one, of a few, who offered work -but never did open my file of proposals.
I could go on, there be many rejections.
I have a history of abuse, and, in the years I grew up, in were in the main, hidden, never came to light or were disbelieved.
I therefore have struggled with self confidence for most of my life. BUT!
The way for me was, to work with people holding similar pain-
a gain, both ways. I lived and learned.
I made it through, learned to release and let go, learned to accept and live alongside. In my case, those that harmed me are dead.
They cannot hurt me any more…?
But we are not Robots.
My son ‘s Father committed suicide in 2005.
We were long ago separated, but had remained close friends. I was the last person he called, before taking his life the following morning.
A terrible shock.
My Daughter had suffered from mental health problems.
she has come through, she is managing her life.
I am so very proud of my brave Kids..
We are made of strong stuff.
I moved here in 2010, after serious back surgery, following an accident during a rehearsal in Brighton 2 years previously, and not taken seriously by GP’s for 18 months.
I collapsed whilst working in Madrid.
I was pretty shot. Exhausted, but on the up. I was walking.
A new start, beside the sea. I have loved the sea all of my life.
I will always look on ‘The Bright side of Life”
As we age, that can be tough.
We lose dear ones, we have cricks and creaks.
Looking back I see the wonderful moments I have had the privileged to have experienced.
I feel sad that my last years are being spent in a place, that, for the most part, has in turn, spat me out.
Ignored me, ridiculed me and more. As if I am a non person.
I repeat, was it agesim? The inbred British class System?
If I had done a bad job! Well hell yea! Fire me.
But the few things I did here were not. Full houses, happy audience.
People making it a difficult as is possible to trip me up.
My last years of doing what I love and cherish: rejected.
I know we should not regret, however I do.
My last few precious years.
Have been pissed on.
‘Oh no, they cant take what came before away from me,
no, they can’t take that love away from me…’
And there is always the sea the sky and Nature as balm to the hurt soul.