Dire Straights

Written on
Contribution by
Sarah Reeson

Poetry has become the most effective means by which I can communicate in 2020. Everything is seen in the context of the ephemera of this moment: face masks have become a potent metaphor. This is nowhere near my worst year, however: that would be 2009, when I came very close to ending my life. This year is understanding that other people will be experiencing mental health issues for the first time that I have lived with for my entire adult life, and they will need support that does not currently exist in effective enough amounts to cover them all.

I want my poetry to start conversations, and to make people think about how they feel, and how they can cope with these changing, uncertain times. So many people are grieving right now, without the vital support they require. 2020 needs to be when we all accept that the community has a vital part to play in educating each other on how to survive, but most importantly how to recover. I hope my work might help stimulate these discussions, and most importantly encourage people to identify that they need to talk.

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Dire Straights

our line of drying face masks, technicolour hues
recommended seller, bloke online paying his dues
reminder of how quickly change will pivot to the fore
mother nature’s untold wrath, dangerous to ignore

half a year ago, this spot, believing she was queen
everything presented strong, confidence in-between
yet here i sit, stare, broken; destroyed by past’s refrain
this will not be the last time, moment to start again

looking back at town rebuilt, i did not recognise,
responding to the march of time, progression in disguise
some understood significance of past within themselves
majority had no idea, moved forward, need compelled

buildings standing empty, but yet they still build more
leave past behind, true legacy, economy ignored
acceptance their ideas never worked out nearly as well
let future sits in optimism's lap, quicker to sell

driving home that day at dusk, sub-station came alight
st elmo’s fire reminder, random circumstance; that’s right
node’s haphazard union, chaos within life’s plan
it doesn’t matter where you end, only that it began

recycling to present, believing perfect tense
everything will be replaced, history’s recompense
presents our greater eminence: be ready, not afraid
nobody stays the same here, not everyone is saved.

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