Derwent Water

Suleman Hadi

Upon the Derwent I shall row
You sit in stern, and I in bow
Let’s drift away then wave by wave,
Play hide and seek in high and low.

I whisper, things I dare not say,
You blush, you smile, and look away,
Our eyes meet in waves beneath,
And this is how we play, all day.

While holding hands we walk the lakes,
We ramble breathless lost on tracks,
In wilderness we disappear,
Oh, what is there for looking back?

I wish we could for once allow,
Our wild thoughts an untamed flow,
Like waterfalls, and gushing streams,
Like dancing birds put up a show.

We did long, too long, for this dream,
For waters turquoise, woodlands green,
A little cottage by the lake,
Just you and I, nothing between.

Alas, I stand again alone!
At dusk by Derwent, awaiting dawn,
With nothing but this treasured dream,
Of you with me, on the Derwent throne.

The White Privilege

Sahera Patel

A cherished childhood spent cocooned in my inward-looking community,
Protected me from the indoctrination of a white-privileged history.
But when I stepped into a world where brown was under-represented
My identity…Was molested.
My speech, skin, hair and dress, seemed to cause the white man stress.
And brown was a tan on the white man’s skin,
But brown on a brown man stirred anger from within.
My thoughts and views were misaligned, with rooted, selective, historical lies.
My identity…Was compromised.
I was now paradoxically an exotic delight, a shameful pressure to apologise
For the privilege of living in the civilised world, where white and West comfortably merge.
My education spoke of no oppressive past, the Normans and Saxons, unequivocal facts.
No mention of my ancestors, murdered. Indigenous peoples, exploited, slaughtered.
Building privilege through the strength of tyranny,
Calculated villainy.
White privilege, invisible to the white, naked eye. Yet it lives in every coloured breath,
In every silent cry.
I have lived with an unseen claim, that white is right and everything else is to blame.
But lessons in life inspired me to rise and pronounce myself with an internal pride.
To name and shame the blood-stained colonialist, the callous, indifferent, imperialist.

And from their murderous history, rose the modern man insecurity,
The truth, the bloody, brutal, truth, that is the black man’s reality.

Still evident today is a strong disinclination, reflected in the ignorance of the nation
To admit that their historical success, was moralistically, humanely, a bloody mess.

But not all should hang their head in shame…it’s not you but your past that is to blame.
Yet the consequences of those crimes, have won you privilege and power through time.
And the legacy of the other: disadvantage, subjugation, intimidation, domination.

And still they make subconscious judgements, of my backward, other, non-conformist views.
A stubbornness in accepting and respecting the path that I decide to choose.
Delve deep into your history, open up your subliminal mind,
And ask the difficult questions, seek, unfeigned, with loosened pride.

A Community Picnic

Mohamed Saloo

He’s my dad
He’s my son
I’m full of energy
I’m all done
There’s food to be had
True that be
I’ll walk it off
It’s Gaviscon for me!

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Broken

Marie Niland

I know broken,
where insanity nearly takes over,
life of torment & no one to ever hold you.
I know broken ,
when you cry yourself to sleep each night,
when eggshells is your life.
I know broken ,
when you feel like the biggest mistake,
never ends, there each time you wake…
I know broken,
bruises that you count, like its a game,
trying so hard to block out the pain.
I know broken,
a life of false promises and fakes,
giving all just to feel love for god sake.
I know broken,
each time I look into my children’s eyes,
the love and protection i feel, should of also happened for me!!,
so small and there was nothing…just lies & misery,
I have climbed so many mountains,
and fallen down them all,
I’ve cried rivers and all the seas,
used, abused & left in bits,
love…no! Never, nor genuine honesty.
My pieces now I gather one by one,
to put me back together again,
I know broken…he was my only friend,
broken I don’t want to be friends no more
Everything comes to an end…
I want peace now not more war.

Paper Is A Good Listener

Mohamed Saloo

Paper is a good listener
With an eloquence serene
The scrawling nib that writes
The thoughts of what I mean

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New Day

Justine Young

What will we wake up to, tomorrow?
Can the sun bear to shine on a new, fresh sorrow?
Where will be hurting?
Who will be crying?
What breed of hate will make sense of the dying?

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The Running Bug

Tahera Mayat

I lost my Parkrun newbie badge
At Oakwell Hall Parkrun in Birstall
It was the day before my birthday
So I was looking forward to cake

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I Am Being Haunted By Cake

Bilal Saloo

I am being haunted by cake.

In the morning when I wake,
I can taste it on the tip of my tongue

I’m woken to the smell of coffee and toffee cakes,
of lemon drizzle, chocolate puddings, red-velvet, ice-cream, battenberg…

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