Tag Archives: 15.3.19

Poetry Shelf Monday poem: 15.3.19





This poem can hold the sky for you to see

you will fall into the wide blue of hope

and the wide blue of the next day and the day before


and you will see beauty and you will pause

at the sight of the plunging kereru


but this poem is different because it struggles to hold


the surge of grief and the loss of words so so

so poetry feels helpless because


what good a poem in the face of massacre

what good a poem against the home made unsafe

what good a poem in my white skin

what good a poem when my skin is crying

what good a poem when we feel so bad

what good a poem for the bereft families

what good a poem when life’s fabric changes

what good a poem for intolerance

what good a poem against the racist taunt

what good a poem when mothers fathers

grandparents children friends are dead


or when the Muslim family is detained at the airport

or when the young girl in hijab is abused on her way to school

or when a detained Muslim poet shares his dream

or when you are told to go back where you came from


which is here

which is home

which is where

your children

are born


and so and so

this poem is holding out you     a fragile pronoun

not knowing who will fit and who will agree

you and you and you and we are in mourning


and so and then

when our children marched for the good of the planet

and when we will all march for the good of the planet

and when we will all march and we will all speak for the good

of the beating heart of the planet which is you and you and we


and I am writing heart and we will keep writing heart

because the heart of the planet depends on

kindness and respect and love and open arms


and in this surge of tears and voices speaking

as we stand and sit and bow and pray in solidarity

and I hear National Radio

and I cannot stop listening

to Mohamed Hassan’s podcasts


and a Sikh taxi driver speaks of human solidarity

and a Muslim looks at his neighbours laying flowers

and they are all lost for words and he speaks

and the white flowers are laid and the family gathers

and the families gather and a nation gathers

and candles are lit and vows are made to


make this place home to make this our home and to

stand against racism and this is yes you and you and your

and we are heart to heart and I am holding out words

yes these words after making salty bread and spreading butter

and trying to move through the day and writing words

like white flowers like a wreath of sadness

like human warmth like human peace like hope for we



Paula Green