This is my first week of part-time working and my mind is on events for National Poetry Day in three weeks time. I noticed a call-out for poems on a theme of truth, fronted by Tony Walsh and others, whereby submissions would be uploaded to YouTube accompanied by the hashtag #SpeakYourTruthPoem. It just so happens I’d written something for a Verve Poetry competition on the same theme and so I’ve done a very naughty thing and simultaneously submitted it to both … but don’t worry folks, it’ll never win 😉
A child’s sun finds a dream in young eyes.
In blinks of dandelion eclipses,
refracted light reflects on retinas
holding warmth in ragged leaves
below a flower standing up and out.
Ryegrass and foxtail for company,
a golden head of petals,
swaying and slight,
is there and gone and there again.
The wings of friends unfold to test the air
with thoughts aloft in stretching skies,
days that lift and soar with matchless views.
They seek what hawks perceive as truth
yet still count the faces that look familiar.
And dipping hands in search of clues,
a box of sights,
of scent and sound,
they choose a shade and wear a skin,
fit in and lose themselves as one of many.
But this child blinks dandelion eclipses;
hawkbit tinctures bathing open eyes
with picture sun now placed behind an ear
while looking up and out.
A trust in truth is not weighed as cost
and light in ragged leaves endures.
as scythes descend and sweep the dream,
it will not fail at dusk.
Note: The National Poetry Day competition required an introduction explaining the ‘truth’ being addressed in the poem; I have concerns about an education system driven by targets, data and conformity at the expense of, in my opinion, individuality, creativity and a celebration of difference. Schools either play the “league table/look at us, we’re outstanding” game or suffer the consequences of shaming by OfStEd and an unrelenting, destructive scrutiny that follows. I’m quite happy for our educational establishments to be accountable, but the way it has been enforced over the last twenty five years has had the effect of narrowing the curriculum and raising anxiety in the teaching and learning community. That’s my truth. There, I’ve said it now … #SpeakYourTruth
Picture credit: Hawkbit by Armand Turpel (wikicommons)