Protest Poem

by Cate Chapman

I can’t write a protest poem. I’m not recounting
all the various horrors I know about
and know nothing about. I’m not qualified, and you’re not really interested.
We’re long inured
through our flat, familiar reel of slippery imagery: distance and repetition
renders everything meaningless, like a word said over and over.

But I will tell you
about the fierce, bright love I feel for my father,
and about the yellow shock of a rape field I saw
through a train window, sudden between the green hills,
and the yellow rush of a woodpecker’s tail feathers,
and the yellow host of dandelions shining, vivid and defiant, in my friend’s
unkempt garden
as I kissed her on leaving last week

because these are things I can hold with some degree of understanding,
and they help me remember
that my eyes are greedy for all sorts of colours and forms,
and my heart, fist-sized and fist-shaped, will beat for a while longer
and then stop beating.

This was an extract from Dark Mountain: Issue 6. Find out more and order the book through the Dark Mountain shop