Strange Light.jpeg
Created from a page of J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan

So the past couple weeks in lockdown have been difficult. My plan was to try and utilise the time in lockdown  to knuckle down to some Deep Work (using Cal Newport term to describe meaningful work. He’s written a book entitled Deep Work that I’m currently reading *), in my case writing poems, short stories and making poetry films. But I’m keep being interrupted- by life but mainly by by own sabotaging brain. Blackout poems or for me, a bit like doing a word search or colouring in, it helps calm a racing mind.

One interruption which I could not ignore, was a series of screams, and torrent verbal abuse on my street. A man dangling his three month old daughter in front of her mother. The man  had beaten the Mother, kicked her out the house (the house that belongs to the woman) bare foot and was now verbally abusing her.  The woman fearing for the safety of herself and her baby, snatched the child from the mans grip and runs. At this point I could no longer watch and had to do something, so called her over, invited her into my home and called the f@!king police on the man to get him removed from the house.

This was the second domestic abuse situation on my street where the police had to be called, during lockdown..

I talk/ write about domestic abuse a lot, because it’s prevalent and it kills people, usually women but not always. If the victim isn’t killed they are left traumatised and sacred deeply, which can, for some take years to heal from.

So when my Blackout Journal *prompted me to write a poem about love from a page of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan- this is what my subconscious produced ( a couple weeks before Lockdown but it’s relevant)

Strange Light
With a candle
                   she crawled
till one by one
all her fears
lit a fire.
Broken women have
a strange light
bigger than your fist
The following Black-Out/Erasure poem isn’t about domestic abuse, but is from the same page of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan and the theme I was supposed to be writing on was love.
My Love
Found A Window
so natural
could not dismiss it
I must have been dreaming
grew in England
a sheer drop
without much
to climb
I had been dreaming
extraordinary adventures
of children.
Peeping through the dream
-the window
I drop on the floor.
* Newport, C.  2016, Deep Work, Rules For Focused Success in a Distracted World, Piatkus, London
Blackout Poetry Journal, How to Write Poetry the Inspired Way & Collaborate with the Best Writers in Histroy, Volume 1. Lunar Glow Studios 2016
© Ioney Smallhorne 2020