Poet Jane Hirshfield said "... the feeling I have about poem-writing (is) that it is always an exploration, of discovering something I didn't already know.  Who I am shifts from moment to moment, year to year.  What I can perceive does as well.  A new poem peers into mystery, into whatever lies just beyond the edge of knowable ground."

I bring a different poem to the writing classes each week, not only to inspire but to introduce new poets to the group members.

STILL by Jackie Kay

So still, so still, still, still
My mother says down the line from Glasgow
As if, from her Care Home window,
She sees the eerie worry of the world; the chill,

The deserted squares, the empty streets,
The half-shut bars, sad theatres,
Packed hospitals, gold-dust ventilators
School kids in lockdown, no exams to meet…

The whole world is going down, she said,
And I’m not going to Hell. Well, still. 
We’ll have to take each day, be grateful
Thankful for small mercies, the three crows on the wall. 

See the silver linings till we meet again, she said,
Yes, I said, but she couldn’t hear a single thing I said,
Except when I shouted I love you. I love you, precious,
she said.  Then the line went dead. 

~ Copyright Jackie Kay  (Chancellor, University of Salford, 
in Manchester)


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