-fidence. A curious thing. Mine hasn’t completely gone, but it has burrowed down. Hibernating perhaps. The idea of confidence as a darting squirrel fits for me. Flitting around, sparkling briefly, then dashing off, spooked by a noise or image that even it isn’t sure exists.



This month brings an odd state of transition. Summer has definitely departed, and I am delighted to return to soup and enormous jumpers but uneasy about the dark days and cold gloom. More and more I find comfort is hollow in the face of the stream of distress and disquiet that grows stronger with each scroll of the page. This raises questions about purpose and value and the need for tiny poems. Is there something else I should be doing ?  Then of course I think of the words I have read and listened to and the comfort and power they bring, and the possibility of creating something similar has to become my goal.At the moment though,  I feel at an utter loss as to how make a valid change in the face of horror that unfolds daily.

I am uneasy around work that seeks to be overtly empathetic. I cannot know how it feels to be in the situations that flood my news feeds and media. I do not want to patronise, or offer emotional tourism. All I know is how watching injustice and feeling powerless grinds at my brain, raising questions of validity. So perhaps that is the thing to write about.  I am not so bold as to say that anything I write will be of influence or value, but the resurgence in spoken word and accessible poetry has to be a positive thing. Taking poetry away from being the preserve of those who know their villanelle from their sestina means confident voices and experimental strength. The more people who begin to consider writing and speaking out then the more people begin thinking about how they actually feel about what’s going on.  And if we all keep thinking and writing and speaking out, then things might just change.



Fear passes from man to man
As one leaf passes its shudder
To another.

All at once the whole tree is trembling,
And there is no sign of the wind.

Charles Simic




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