I performed my poem in St Paul’s Cathedral, 13 October 2019, for the launch of National Hate Crime Awareness Week.
The video of the performance can be found here on Youtube.
Remember the London Nail Bomb Attacks?
3 bombs over 3 consecutive April weekends.
Each bomb packed with a thousand nails
Each explosion wounding, maiming…murderous.
Its aim was to incite fear and hatred
In Afro-Caribbean, Bangladeshi and LGBT places.
Targeting people just going about their business.
Ordinary, extraordinary people, like you and me.
In Brixton, people were shopping,
Thinking about what to cook for dinner.
Popping out, to pick up a paper.
Chatting in the street with a neighbour.
In Brick Lane, people were relaxing.
Eating dinner in local restaurants.
Planning their family’s weekend.
Repairing their car.
In Soho, people were Celebrating.
Having a drink en route to the Theatre.
Meeting up for the start of the weekend.
Hanging out, in a safe Gay space.
We commemorate those unfortunate people
In the wrong place, at the wrong time.
The shocked, injured, wounded, dying.
Who showed great fortitude and courage
Those bombs incited acts of individual heroism.
Kindness and generosity between strangers
A public outcry of outrage and horror
Immediate, professional support.
Our diverse Communities enrich society
We were not. Are not. Will not ever be
Diminished by hatred and evil
We stand united in our humanity, and love.
Celebrating 100 years since women got the partial vote at Incite@The Phoenix
We are the hands that rocked the cradle,
Administered to the needs of those affected.
Comforted the shocked and confused,
Nursed the sick and dying.
Women and AIDS go hand in hand.
We were infected by husbands and lovers,
By a half forgotten one night stand.
By a not forgotten rapist.
By people, who didn’t know they had it.
Our babies were born with AIDS.
Because we had a blood transfusion,
Or were registered hemophiliacs.
Because we were ignorant and careless,
Or junkies, desperate for a fix.
Women are 52 percent of those who survived
Remember those women who lost their lives
Celebrate those that survive.
The mothers. Sisters. Aunties. Friends,
Who now stand, hand in hand, with the men.
Stepping out of the darkness
Moving into the light.
Witney’s Winter Wonderland,
Dazzles and delights.
In this ancient holy place,
We decorate the bough.
That represents eternal life,
Redemption, then and now.
Winter, season of reflection,
Of darkness and despair.
Look in the stable of your soul,
Love, lies sleeping there.
Let’s celebrate Love’s diversity
With this festival of light.
Open up our hearts to all
That is beautiful and bright.