the last day – i started the poem on the morning of may day – then didn’t finish it till today (5th may)… it’s funny that without the deadline i have really left this one the longest of all the poems to put up and finish… the luxury of no deadlines, perhaps… in the meantime, i wrote another one this morning – in a meeting, i find poems can be a way of surfing the conversation and yet creating in between those moments, i’m not a natural multi-tasker but this seems to work well – you look like you are taking notes but really you are off on other trails, the scent of earth on your tongue… but i left that one in my work file – downside of writing said poetry at work! so i have written another just now… the task was to write backwards, you start your poem at the bottom of the page and write upwards. now i a really enjoying this, it gives a lovely little twist to the work… this is definitely one method i’ll use again…
i also wanted my last napowrimo to honour the time of year (beltane) and international workers day (may day).. a tall order you might think, but maybe not… may day derives from tuesday may 4th 1886, at haymarket square in chicago, there was a demonstration for an 8 hour day, the concept being that our 24 hours should be an equal balance of work, recreation and sleep. in the aftermath of the demonstration and violence, 8 anarchists were convicted of conspiracy on very little/no evidence related to a bombing and 7 of them sentenced to death (4 were hung, 1 committed suicide and the rest imprisoned, to be later pardoned)… one of them, albert spies, gave a fantastic address to the court, in which there are plenty of references to natural phenomena, for example, “Revolutions are no more made than earthquakes and cyclones. Revolutions are the effect of certain causes and conditions.”. i have used some of his words and images in the poem, oh yes, and stolen “green fuse” from a certain welsh poet! the title is taken directly from the speech…
“everything breathes the revolutionary spirit”
for albert spies
now is our time, we rise, we grow,
those voices strangled on mayday,
silent resolve most powerful
of bright green emancipation.
we force through, we a tidal wave,
come summer, come the early spring
that we may swell to our full height
to die, hunker over winter,
we the green fuse that refuses.