nocturne for Jo
“Our communities have been deeply enhanced by immigration, be it of Irish Catholics across the constituency or of Muslims from Gujarat in India or from Pakistan, principally from Kashmir. While we celebrate our diversity, what surprises me time and time again as I travel around the constituency is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.”
Jo Cox, excerpt from maiden speech to parliament, 2015
This is a poem and piano soundscape dedicated to the life and work of Jo Cox, human rights campaigner and British Member of Parliament who was brutally assassinated while fulfilling her duties as a representative of the people of the United Kingdom.
From and for the Wall
(nocturne for Jo Cox)
I sent you nothing
and so that which came like words
were stolen bricks of wall meant to house us.
Then after all said and done the consent given
we as in us and them the two
in unison unscripted gave all thought a go
took to downloading every bit
until it turned to look at us and like that replied:
there in the blink of you
I swear that moment let me describe
let me describe
1) to begin with landscape
the field view foreshortening
mother and calf in present field, foreground
then hedgerow the sound of sheep unseen
and beyond the bells of steeple 10 centuries tip to sky
I shone a torch into the dark and somehow the clouds caught it
spotlit clear as tunsten blue.
nervously I clutched the letter,
there it was
the thing open/closed so many times folded,
the language clear
I stood with you therefore to admit but
no could not
nor did the coming war arrive just then,
though it was clear and in our sights.
Beyond the spotlit sky once drowned
now bloated gas and rising from the depths
we saw sides scrounging uniforms together
banding in touch screens
agreeing and editing out the troubles,
we were all in one room still
at the back of the pub
planning revolution the way they used to.
spies alike everywhere stooping to pick bricks from and for the wall