Charlie A Poem At Christmas.

“Charlie.”

Charlie wasn’t keen on Christmas, because of the paper, the lights and all the waste, He didn’t think it good to eat so much, when others went hungry, It soured the taste.

Charlie loved wearing Granddad’s flight jacket, the best ever Christmas gift, Grandma said he wore it each day, walking back from his overnight shift.

The coat was cumbersome and heavy, if zipped it came past his throat. His arms needed to be longer, and the leather smelt like a dirty old Goat.

But Charlie could fit mucky Ethel, underneath it when the rain soaked all her card. Or the snow made her fingers go blue … as she sat in that old butchers yard.

He could fit a curled up ham sandwich and an apple from Grandma’s dish, Deep inside the fur lined pocket. And he made a new Christmas wish.

He wished that all people had bedrooms, a place to rest their head. That mucky Ethel could have a bath and a coat to hold over her own head.

But Santa, he did not come calling, to the people who lived on the street. Instead he hoped they would have their own Charlie, who would give the shoes from his feet.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7WJ-42kvYrWZVJhRWxLVDhxMUVQbjhJOF9obUU2clJxd3Jz/view?usp=drivesdk

I added a sound bite for anyone wanting to hear me read this. “Do you think a child has opinions on subjects such as this?” I would love a comment please 😁

This year my Christmas cards were bought to support Shelter, we sent them only, to close family and even closer friends. But I purchased one item a week and two when I could, th as extras to my weekly shopping all year. I googled a list of what I should get, to be sure I was providing what was most needed. I trawled charity shops for sturdy rucksacks once cleaned I stuffed them tight. A female sack was complete by August and delivered to the drop in center in our charming market town; you would not think there would be a homless problem here. Just before the cold of December a male back pack was ready to give, being near Christmas, I included a card, a tiny bear and a notebook and pen as extras. My gifts make me tear up as I write this, because who is to judge and it was so little for some but would mean everything to them. May this season and coming year bring roofs for the homless.

Watch “Right of Passage” on YouTube. #FGM

I have been lucky enough to have my poem chosen to be performed by Casey Lee Brock. A spoken word artist. Below is the result of that collaboration.

She wears the scars of the divine

They think she’ll forget given time.

that she’ll bow to the pain

And pray in his name.

But she won’t, instead,

she will cry in her bed

For God, on a mission,

Or ancient tradition.

The girls In her tribe

Just frown.

At the stain they see

On the six year old’s gown.

The heat in her face as

Infection slots In place.

Death is often the way.

Not saved from the cut,

Like a kick in the gut,

Her Mother held

Her hand that day.

It happens In a home

Just like yours,

carried-out behind

Closed house doors.

When blood seeps

through the cracks,

it’s covered with a mat

Never to be mentioned

Again.

I didn’t think it could be,

Because I was too blind to see.

Not in a house that’s

Next door to me.

For those who can not open YouTube.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FtUkd_aIgRt2MgPvX8MvOgHYD4Dv9dO1/view

Thank you Casey for choosing to perform my piece I am very proud.

The article below was taken directly from Feb 2017 ITV news.

A case of female genital mutilation (FGM) is either discovered or treated in England every hour, according to the analysis of NHS statistics by a charity.

Between April 2015 and March 2016 there were 8,656 times when women or girls attended doctors’ surgeries or hospitals and the problem was assessed – the equivalent of one every 61 minutes.

Did you know this barbarity was so prevalent in the UK? Talk to me please. I will get back to you promptly.

The Noise

https://pixabay.com/en/leaf-sidewalk-alone-separate-1082118/

image

I could hear a sound a strange gurgle or bubbling, a gulping slightly swallowing sound. I was hearing the kind of noise, that instinctively you knew would never be forgotten.
It was as an echo a mystical noise. I was hearing the sound of bubbles popping on the surface or gulping quickly without taking a breath.

My mind went back to a child blowing forbidden bubbles a glass of milk and a straw, “just you do! You blow bubbles and you’ll see” said Mother.
I always attempted to do as I was told, I was a good girl.
Trying to be good or at least better than Pearl. Pearl my rebellious sister was always in trouble, I would not provoke that not if I could help it.

Lifting my blue eyes up to mums face. I remember pursing my lips to capture the straw and i blew. A slow gentle perfect breath broke the surface of the milk, a cascading sound of burbling, popping, beautiful bubbles could be heard around the room. My innocent gaze never left her face as I blew. Then It stopped, my air had finished, so I sat and waited for a smile, or congratulatory praise; which I believed was earned.
In that silent moment I watched thunder clouds gather in my mothers eyes, a snarl seemed to be painted where her smile should have been. My beaker was suspended for a breath of time, over my long dark hair. A rumbling noise crowded my ears as she tipped the entire half pint. Her grotesque mouth moved, spreading a thin spray of spit on my face, I sat frozen in the chair as she slapped her palms on the table,
and through barred teeth growled unpleasant words.

Much later sitting in front of the Rayburn alone, with wet hair and sour milk soaking my back; i could think. Having had time to replay the scene in my wet cold little head, I realised too late that I had misread the whole thing. I had not been the good daughter I thought I had been.

Waiting for Dad to come home and wash my hair felt like hours, I didn’t know how long it was It was getting darker outside. As dusk approached a grey gloom seeped through the glass, I sat waiting in the half light. Heat from the Rayburn was souring the milk, my hair became stiff and smelt. I recall needing a pee and was scared that I couldn’t hold it in.
I was six when I last heard that noise, it isn’t a noise you would forget.
I am a woman now and Dad wouldn’t be there to wash and plait my hair. He wouldn’t soothe me and tell me all was fine. There was no logic, no glass of milk that I could
identify as the catalyst. Just the distorted memory of a sound. A sound that would never be forgot.