Poets Versus Prompts for 3-9 August was Un/Safe at Home. For many womxn, LGBT+ people, and black individuals home is not safe and the criminal and justice system has actively failed them. We received a few submissions. Here are some of our favourites.
Anneliese Amoah (@awordbya on Instagram) performed a poem on the topic of domestic violence. The poem looks at the idea of “home” or whatever is left of that ideal, for womxn in abusive relations. Anneliese’s poem is a biting, true-to-reality description of gender based violence and how it excludes possibility of any future. This is an elegy written on the lives of many womxn lost or damaged by gender based violence.
If home for some is the space they live, for many immigrants home can be the country they seek refuge to. Actor, playwright, poet Lilly Driscoll pursues that take in her poem on the topic of Un/Safe at Home. By the rise of xenophobia and racism and the government fanning the flames of divisive ideologies and hostile environments, what does safety at home mean?
Lilly Driscoll – Un/Safe at Home
Isn’t it meant to be safe here
This place I roam
This place I lay my head
Where I call home.
The place my mother crossed oceans to get to, where she decided to stay because she felt more welcome.
What has happened to that place
What does home really mean to those left alone
In the middle of oceans
Troubled seas holding boats
Troubled waters and distant seasons
Where did mine go
It doesn’t resemble this land we find ourselves stranded on.
Where did my hope go
Where can I hold it and not be forced to let go.
I am looking at the news for news of what not to do.
Who not to follow
Pills and lies I ought not to swallow.
This land, it’s only solid if we let it
This land, its only ours
It’s only ours, if we take it
They see us as a burden.
They call us people you can learn from
Let’s not be like the poor
Let’s close our doors and never let anyone in again,
Because look what happened the last time we let that happen.
Safety is a word
Safety is a word, not gifted to all
Safety comes with a clause
The United Kingdom
What’s so United about it.