Madrid in poems

A month ago I travelled to Spain for a few days to visit family. I often feel the need to travel during winter and Madrid is beautiful in the winter. I wrote some poems while I was there.

Madrid

It is like stepping into a different world 🌎
where people say it’s cold when it’s 16°C
and shops are open at 21:30
Teenagers are out and about
loud and happy and young
very late into the evening
There are mariachi in the square
And small shops
around the corner from
my mum’s house
where people still know me
Being here is at once
an escape
and a homecoming
I belong in the warmth
of the February sun
but I also belong

elsewhere

El concierto

A red-haired woman and
a bearded man kiss passionately
Among strangers
*Probando sonido*
I sip my gin and tonic
whilst some tall people pose for selfies
with a giant glass of beer
There will be music in a minute
and I will dance with my latin hips
like nobody is watching
but like everyone is watching
at the same time
Because that is how I dance anyway

 

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The King

You linger
in my thoughts
and in my habits.
I don’t know you anymore.

I don’t know that
the rain is sent from you
or that there is a hint
of your voice in thunder.

You are an idea
or worse…
something
someone that once lived
in my heart
and my writing
and my soul.

The rain just comes and goes
without reason
or sender.

Thunder booms
without majestic words.

On the EU Referendum result

This would’ve been an essay but there is an abundance of political commentary out there. So I deleted my 1000+ word piece and wrote the following:

There is too much noise
for a small voice to be heard;
too much anger and bitterness
and gloating.
Too much division
for feelings of empathy

What do you do
when you are caught in a crossfire of accusations
and suffer the consequences
of a decision you weren’t allowed to make?

I am choosing to heed
words of wisdom
Be calm. Be still. Move on.

Often emotions don’t follow
and things fall apart
and it all seems pointless.

In the past few days,
I have felt anger
disillusionment
fear
and above all
uncertainty

It may not be for everyone
But even with emotions rattled
foundations shaken
and the crushing uncertainty…
Instead of casting blame,
I am choosing to look for wisdom.

 

Today I lost a poem

Today I lost a poem –
it might have gone down the drain in the shower
or alongside the dirty washing up water
Come to think of it, maybe it got thrown out
of my pocket along with old receipts…

There were some lines about longing
and England and the trees
and wondering where life is going
and whether calling myself a writer is suitable
or pretentious
or simply untrue
Because I don’t do it as often as I used to,
because the things I think about nowadays are hidden,
embarrassing even!
Because writing happened the most when I was unwell
and now that I’m better, is there anything left to say?

The poem might have escaped when I was busy at work
or maybe it just got tired of waiting.

No job title to my name.

these days
life moves in cycles
of positivity– wonder,
a certain hope
apathy
(jealousy, sometimes)
something close
to desperation
and unassuming happiness

I write answers
to testing questions
wonder if it’s all for nothing
study my keyboard
listen to lectures
consider all the possibilities
arrive at meaningless conclusions
quietly dance with the darkness I used to know
only to come back because there’s nothing there.
Nothing.
How many others have felt like this?

I question the value
of my existence
without a job title
to my name.

Media//Questions

I stay home
whilst nature takes revenge outside
With the world
pouring out from my screen
incoherent
wild
compassionate
angry
senseless

Would it be better
to go out into the storm?

Would my mind find refuge
from the stream
of images
of war?

Is it worth knowing
what happens,
if only for those
few
stories of hope?

The Med

I swim in the Mediterranean on a sunny day
its waters are warm
pleasantly, they rock me to and fro–
I lie on my back,
basking in the sunshine,
soaking up the experience
of swimming in this
expanse of water.

Miles away others lie face down
immobile
after their Herculean strife to
make it to this continent
in the pursuit of a dream.

Europe, you have become my home
but when this happens I am reminded
that I am an unwanted presence.

Je suis une migrante
And if it weren’t for a piece of paper:
I’d be un sin papeles
illegal
a target for unlimited detention
and deportation.

Today I am just another person
swimming in the Med
I travel across the Continent
without thinking of fences
and borders;
without fearing La Guardia
or the Home Office
But there was a time
when Dutch police
seemed intimidating to a gut-wrenching degree
And there are times when newspaper articles,
government campaigns and uninformed opinions
remind me that I don’t belong.

But it is much bigger than I am.
I wonder if I would still be human
were I trying to jump the fence in Melilla
or on a dinghy on my way to Lampedusa.

What does it take to belong?
What does it take to be seen?
Not as a victim or part of a crisis,
not as a number, not as a burden…
but as a person.