Poems to share

Paper News

I am panic
I am the tearing
I am nightmarish scenes greeting police
I am sickened
I am reviled
I am dismay

I am flood warning
I am winter warning
I am stay indoors warning
I am severe weather warning
I am hurricane force winds warning
I am droughts to hit the south of England warning
I am hosepipe bans
I am swimming bans
I am hotter than anticipated
I am deserts forming
I am 50 degrees c in the Middle East
___and they’re all going to have to move
somewhere – warning

I am paper
I am the test paper
I am litmus paper

Light the paper
Spark the fuse

I am justifications for war in Iraq
I am drones dropping bombs on schools in Syria
I am the only hospital for 50 miles decimated
I am collateral damage
I am screaming for my sister
I am screaming for my brother
I am burying my family
I ululate for my family
I am the freedom fighter
I am the terrorist
I am Muslim
I am Islam
I am ISIL
I am fear
I am your eyes
I am your ears
I am the hot salt of blood and ash
I am coming for you
I am coming for you
I am coming for you

I am armies of migrant families invading your communities
I am the so bodies of refugee children washed on to your shores
I am critical scenes at Dover and Calais
I am young migrant men hijacking lorries
I am children trafficked
I am mothers raped
I am not sorry (it is not our fault)
I am telling you to send them back
I am go home or face prosecution
I am impartial
I am impervious
I am swarms
I am cockroaches
I build barricades
I burn camps
I tear down shelter

I am paper
I am the test paper
I am litmus paper

Light the paper
Spark the fuse

I am young black man arrested
I am more young black men shot by police
I am Black Lives Matter
I matter
I am All Lives Matter
I matter

I am unbiased
I am white
I am privileged
I am male
I am single-white-female

I am papier-mâché
___Stripped and moulded into
_____________terror

I am gunshots ringing across the playground
I am gunshots fired at police
I am gunshots in the busy shopping mall
I am lone wolf male
I am disturbed white male
I act alone
I speak for no one

I am paper
I am the test paper
I am litmus paper

Light the paper
Spark the fuse

I speak for you
I speak for your fears
I speak so you don’t have to
I tell it like it is
I tell your fortune
I am your problems solved
I am the voice of your wife
I justify your fantasy
I am lap dancers earning ten grand a month
I am sex workers who. love. it.
I am prostitution
I am money
I am the money you want to spend
I am the hours you need to work to matter
I am the crippled NHS and we all know whose fault that is

I am sick people fiddling benefits
I am the poor who could get a job if they bothered
I am single mothers shelling out babies for your taxes
I am warden
I am judge
I am critic

I am tissue paper for your tears
I am tissue paper for your fantasies

I speak for you
I speak your mind
I am your friend
I am transparent
I am impartial
I am information
I am sensational headlines
I am no editorial bias
I am right-wing-think-tank-expert-opinion
I am the future
I am your present
I write your past
I am right (there is no left)

I am paper trails
I am words
I am the universe in pages
I am your world
I am your friend
I am paper thin
I am paper news
I am news paper

Light the paper
Spark the fuse.

Sophie McKeand

Sophie McKeand is an award-winning poet and the current Young People’s Laureate Wales. Her work has been published widely including in Poetry Wales, Dark Mountain and The Lonely Crowd. She performs regularly across the UK (such as at the Wales Millennium Centre and with Caught by the River) and has been on stage at the Kolkata Literature Festival, India. Sophie works with various community groups across Wales, helping them to find their voices through engaging with poetry and the spoken word. Her new collection, Rebel Sun, is out with Parthian Books. www.sophiemckeand.com