Poetry and Vulnerability 

livingroom, Poetry, Wednesday writing prompt

I’ve been writing poetry more frequently for about seven years but only recently  taking it more seriously with a couple of poems in publications out later this year.  I found for me, generally poetry isn’t difficult to write, it’s can just sometimes be difficult to share.

Generally poetry is personal. Poems can be so personal that it’s difficult to get objective perspective on them.  Is the last line cheesy and predictable or poignant? Are the verses so swamped in figurative language that the message is lost to sea, unreachable to anyone? Or so literal that it becomes a shopping list that bores people away?  Is it a “good” poem….

A few years ago I shared a version of the poem below with a couple of friends to try and get some objective opinions.   The feedback was positive (my friends are lovely) but came with the advice that I should only share it when I was “Ready to have people all up in your business…” This was a fair point with everything that was going on at the time. Even though all poems are written with poetic licence, judgements and assumptions of the author are always made and I had no desire to invite people in to spectate and speculate.  I had become so concerned about who might read my poems that I had misunderstood poetry and why people share poems.

But times change.  Since then I’ve shared my poems with friends, family, publishers, editors and on social media.  I’ve realised that with vulnerability comes with freedom.  A freedom of expression and creativity that surpasses any fear or concern of judgement. A freedom and joy that cannot be taken by negative comments or even no comments or likes at all 😉 A freedom that is fulled by self love and absolute comfort in my own skin, choices, experience and expression. My poetry is my voice, my poetry is for me.

Thank you to all of my friends who have supported and encouraged me to write Xx

TBH

After the Ashes

The Phoenix gazed at her reflection

the warmth of the blaze felt like an old friend

a familiar embrace.

 

She had known it was time but

She had been afraid to ignite the flame

She knew she had needed to

But she was afraid that she would scorch in the heat

She had forgotten her nature.

 

Time passes

sparks dance in the air

the Phoenix finds her perfect Match

Who poked and kindled her insecurities and fears

With deceit and hope

to the point of combustion

Insatiable, they consumed her

abusive fires rage

Toxic smoke

clouds her brain

strangles her throat

and blinds her eyes

Isolated

The Phoenix cannot see her own reflection

Or light her transformation.

 

The wind changes

Sparks dance in the air

ember wings glimmer

heat fires her heart and clears her head

The Phoenix fights for survival.

She tastes the pain.

Drinks the humiliation,

and feeds from the silent whispers that had combined into chains to shakle her to the ground.

She releases her feathers of fire

The warmth from the blaze feels like an old flame

a familiar embrace

She is now strong enough to die

be reborn

She is now ready to live

Ready to fly

The Phoenix gazed lovingly at her glow and thanked the Match.

Why the Government needs PREVENT training.

demonstrations, education, livingroom, london, politics, protests, society, Wednesday writing prompt

Figures released today show that hate crime has risen in the last couple of years.  This comes as no surprise to anyone who has undertaken PREVENT training recently.

PREVENT is part of the Government’s counter terrorism initiatives which aims to prevent people from turning to terrorism.

The hypocracy of the iniative however, is hard to swallow.

Prevent is founded on the idea of protecting “British Values”. But how can the Government talk of mutual respect and tolerance being British Values? The former Foreign Secretary makes derogatory comments about Muslim women, the Home Office issue hostile immigration policies, and the Brexit campaign was based on scapegoating and falsehoods not dissimilar from Zach Goldsmith’s vile campaign for London mayor.

To be taken seriously, British Values should be heralded as HUMAN values- a way of life that we ALL need to follow especially by NOT except for the Government.  Then we could all work towards “protecting” them.

If the Government wants to prevent extremism in this country, perhaps it should explore the underlining issues causing the breakdown of our society, which results in the rise of hate crimes and other forms of terrorism.

Could you imagine the change it would make to “global terrorism” if the UK changed foreign policy away from the colonial dominance and resource grab approach, to a perspective that respects the rights and sovereignty of other (non white) countries and territories.

Imagine if the Government chose to invest in education, NHS, housing: restored workers rights, legal aid, scrapped employment tribunal fees and improved work conditions. The Far Right grooming cries of “They’re takin’ all ‘r jobs and hosital beds..” just wouldn’t have the same gravitas.

Imagine if the Government didn’t propagate and pander to media scapegoating and properganda about immigrants.

What a simple way to reduce the isolation and abuse that members of our society face due to their religion, skin colour or immigration status.  A way to build unity and community rather than fraction society.

But that is all very John Lennon. (Imagine)

But scapegoats are always useful.  So rather than irradicating the causes of fear and anger – we have PREVENT.

PREVENT with an approximate annual budget of £46 million.

That money partly used to “train” professionals like doctors, nurses, teachers etc to report any “vulnerable individuals” to local Government.  All the training in the world though, still leaves the system highly susceptible to personal bias.  Especially in a scapegoat saturated society.

Ask the average person to describe a “terrorist”.  You could probably accurately guess the description…

brown skin

beard

Very few would describe:

white skin

football shirt

and a pint of beer in hand…

So it is no surprise that in the PREVENT system there is a huge discrepancy between reports of Islamist terrorism concerns compared with Far Right reports. (Please note that every individual deemed requiring support is investigated by the police…)

Which is particularly condemning when you look at the current hate crimes statics which show a 50% increase in the rise hate crimes towards Muslims. Yet Muslim individuals are by far the largest group indentified and investigated under PREVENT. Something just isn’t working.

So yes of course I will continue to safeguard and prevent any harm to the upmost of my ability.  I only hope we elect a new government that will do the same.

If you want to help prevent the rise of The Far Right join the protest Saturday 17th November 2018 in central London.

 

 

 

 

What have you learnt from your biggest mistake?

livingroom, Wednesday writing prompt

I may not have had a lot of time (or mind space) to write in recent months but I’ve definitely had to do a lot of soul searching and reflecting, so when I saw this …

…. a blog post wrote itself (and then I had to rewrite it a million times 😉

Sometimes we choose the wrong path because we allow our deepest fears to guide us. When it all goes wrong we call it a mistake.

Some personal events this year have been horrendous…but sadly not unexpected. The cast may have switched roles, but the plot and lead remains the same.

The foreseeability of it all made me question myself. When an outcome is so predictable is it a mistake or a choice?

Sometimes we choose the wrong path because our ego whispers in our ear. When it all goes wrong we call it a mistake…but really we made a choice.

And the lesson?

That I can choose my own path and that decisions based on fear or ego will never lead to happiness

What is the best lesson your mistakes have taught you?

BH xx

3 quotes 3 days

bedroom, society, Wednesday writing prompt

On to lighten the mood a little.. I decided to accept the 3q3d challenge from the lovely Suze.  Full rules below X 

1.

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Once I understood this it changed my life and self perspective in ways I could never have imagined. 

 2.

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You have to be courageous to risk failure. This is something I realised only after failing and realising it wasn’t the end of the world, in fact it was just to the beginning. 

3.

Friendships. Relationships. Careers.  Whenever.  Thank you Nina xx

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3pscDRqkFro

 I nominate Voices Unsilenced

                        Broke Bella 

                        Dark Matters
                         

I look forward to reading yours! 
BH xx 
 

I just wanted to write a fun post….

Life Beyond The Kitchen Sink, Wednesday writing prompt

…But the world at the moment is playing out like a bad 90s disaster movie…  I mean Boris for Foreign Secretary? As in Mr Brexit Break It Don’t know How to fix it?  

And then we have the Labour Party trying to destroy the first true Labour leader (pronounced decent human) that it’s had in decades.  Apparently, democracy is only allowed if it supports the people on power..

FTS

Time to switch off..

If you need me, I’ll be here…


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qRC4Vk6kisY