Updated: Jun 13, 2018
Towards the end of last year, a poem I had just written was added to the Maps and Lives project at the Phoenix Art Centre in Brighton. Little did I know as I completed the poem, on a windy Brighton pier looking towards Kemptown, that the enormous wealth that had built many of the grander buildings in the area came from the slave trade - currently refugees are being housed there.
It made my short poem resonate as I placed it onto the map, near the pier drawn on the art gallery floor, between the slave trade information and current refugee accounts. When I returned a week later to see how the project had progressed a group of little pebbles had been placed under my poem:
Pebble with a Cause
Secretly tucked away in an everyday pocket deeply hidden
the pebble smooth and reassuring
held with memories in my hand
as calming as the lines of poetry walking me to a restful land.
Then grasped in a moment,
like shingle spilling, crashing with the tide,
verses splash with many colours their power lifts my soul into the wind, call of the wild.
Without prejudice they speak to all who feel them,
their words are blind and so is love.
Writers write “Open your eyes!
Tenderness and empathy come alive,
weave your way through clouds and skies,
blow wind blow."
and ink drops fall like summer rain in the desert.
Michelle, November 2017
Further info: https://www.phoenixbrighton.org/events/maps-and-lives/