Poetry Every Day

A week has passed since the festivities of National Poetry Day, when social media feeds and schoolrooms and libraries across the country become feverish with verse! We’d like to showcase some words posted for NPD by our sister Patience Ezinwoke, reflecting on the place of poetry in her life...

Sunny urban park - a middle-aged black woman with braids held back in a partial bun is standing in front of a statue of Robbie Burns. She is wearing a calf-length dark blue dress with a small white print pattern under a cornflower blue fleece jacket, and comfortable navy blue trainers. The statues shows a man sculpted in black bronze, seated on a large, square, red granite plinth. His name is visible picked out in gold. Purple and pink flowers grow in a semi-circular bed around the statue. Trees and all city centre buildings are visible behind.
Patience Ezinwoke

It’s National Poetry Day in the UK today so I relish the privilege of playing a small role in this year’s Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF2022) as a member of Tees Women Poetry group, thanks to Kirsten, Christy and Diane. We had a recording curated by Holly, a very talented young artist and my short poem titled ‘My Sanctuary’ was played over the sound system at the ruins of The Holy Trinity Church Stockton. I was stunned when I walked into the ruins of the church and heard my voice over the sound system.

To give a little context, the building of Holy Trinity was consecrated in 1835 and though it is presently in ruins, it still retains its delicate beauty.

So my short poem is a reflection of what I believe is pertinent, yet elusive, for all humanity and that is, the need for a safe place of existence. We are constantly searching to make meaning out of life. We all need a place where we can feel safe, where we can call our own sanctuary. So walking into the ruins of Holy Trinity Church Stockton and hearing my poem over the sound system was magical.

A sunny day. Young people and families sit and lie on the fresh green grass, watching a festival show in a marquee in the distance. Behind them is a grey stone church without a spire, derelict but well-maintained, with empty window spaces and mature trees around it.
Holy Trinity Church, Stockton-on-Tees

Also while in London this summer, I paid homage to the Scottish poet Robert Burns. He is known for his contribution to songs that celebrate love, friendship, work, and drink with often hilarious and tender sympathy, such as “Auld Lang Syne.” ‘times long past.’ I didn’t know the meaning before now but after seeing his statue I had to look up the song and yeah it’s a memorable one! We all need a cup of kindness.

My Sanctuary (Holy Trinity Church Stockton on Tees)

Who am I?

Where am I?

Can I here

Find a safe place

Of existence?

Can I, here

Find a sanctuary?

Where I can feel safe

And have the liberty

To love and be loved

Without fear or prejudice?

Can I, here

Find a safe place

To be

And to dream

In confidence

And joy of existence?

I have found

A sanctuary

My place of safety

Where soft songs

Of piano keys

Lubricate my thoughts

This is nature

What is my duty?

But to live

And to love

And be loved

In this place

Where I have found

This is my sanctuary

My place of safety

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: