This time I was planning to talk about something else. I couldn’t. Something stronger hit me, ate me,consumed me, asked me till the nervous breakdown.
I would have talked about the haiku and the “tweet” (I’m not sure about the connection anymore!).
Norwich is going to be my issue today. Norwich and our (mine and yours, dear reader) experience here.
Here I have tried the battle of the emigration, the everyday annoyances to live (not survive, fortunately!). Easy, for a European.
After few days I heard voices. Voices speaking so loudly but naturally, even constantly increasing in volume.
And all these voices were about something else, someone else, something good.
The final effect, in me, was to feel as I felt bombed by the other people’s struggles and fights, by the other creatures. The ultimate effect in me, was a mind’ stretch , a neck’ revolution, a change of prospective.
It seemed as the homeless were discreet and the migrants lost in a cynical shadow: here, they did not seem to exist. And how funny was to think that I saw first the helper and then the helped. And of course the poetry was on it’s way.
Because also Andrew Motion, laureate poet, had to stop writing indulgent poems for the royal family. He was overpowered by these voices too. Voices all around:
Take William, or Will
As he has become,
stripped of his name
and his safe estate
now the rush of loss
has dumped him down
in the freezing gap
of doorways and steps
among the others the same,
all fallen from grace
with rates and foxes
and event those codgers
the stinking badgers
who lost their place
among fields and farms
so went to earth
in a shanty town
of cardboard boxes
might sometimes throw
a word or coins,
and later dream
at home and warm
they hear a spine
curve round and creak
against the rain
or ice-threads snap
when a fuddled head
on its pavement-bed
lifts, then settles back.
(Andrew Motion, “What is given”)
On trains, on buses and on some fliers given from the stand there near the Forum, I could not see anything but bees, bees, bees and only bees: a large front and advertising campaigns to preserve this little hero and the beekeeping.
Then, at the afternoon poetry reading in the Greenhouse, I sat by my little wooden table, with my poetry, with my tea and cookie, and the walls bloomed of draws and paintings… full of bees.
Then I embraced the issue, a buzzing shout:
To sweeten infusions,
for instance, with the syrupy
product distilled by
teamwork, is this final goal,
the whole meaning of life,
for one who can fly?
A constant honeymoon,
with the sweet scents
of an entire season,
ought it not to suffice
even for one who detests
the hive and the honeycomb?
(Antonello Borra, “The Bee”)
My journey was fine, a great stroll that forced me to walk between advertising, poems rich in all of these heroes; I was between strangers, bloody injuries.
This was fine for me, but was devastating for someone else: somebody seemed merely asking: “Why do I have to watch all of that? Homeless are unlucky, bees are just annoying insects, migrants… well, they should have stayed in their creepy homes!”. This was such a great therapy for both, me and him. Forced to watch, like the one in Clockwork Orange.
Forced to watch REAL horror:
(oh black mothers whose children have departed)
you taught me to wait and hope
as you have done through the disastrous hours
But in me
life has killed that mysterious hope
I wait no more
it is I who am awaited
Hope is ourselves
travelling towards a faith that feeds life
We the naked children of the bush sanzalas
unschooled urchins who play with balls of rags
on the noonday plains
hired to burn out our lives in coffee fields
ignorant black men
who must respect the whites
and fear the rich
we are your children of the native quarters
which the electricity never reaches
men dying drunk
abandoned to the rhythm of death’s tom-toms
who are ashamed to call you mother
who are afraid to cross the streets
who are afraid of men
It is ourselves
the hope of life recovered.
(Augustinho Neto, “Farewell at the moment of parting”)
Oh God. What if there was something that all of us could do. What if the whole mass media’ food chain (tv, newspaper, cook book, magazines, advertising) gently started to to inject all of these issues, the thoughts could change.
Then I woke up.