The Distance – African Connections Poetry Workshop

On Sunday 22nd November I took part in a poetry workshop – part of an interesting African Connections festival organised by Bristol University.

Facilitated by poets Edson Burton and Miles Chambers it sought to take ‘participants through their own poetic works and voice. The workshop will feature a series of writing exercises and meditations to enable participants to use poetry to speak their own, unique Bristol stories’.

One exercise was to create word clusters springing off of an initial word impetus.  I chose the word DISTANCE.

word cluster

And here is my edited poem started at that workshop.


A plot that foiled life

Parked in infinite debt

Understood limited belonging

Beyond the Diaspora

It wasn’t calculated in miles

Empty lie-fact statistics

That side of the brain

Told the price in Pounds, Jamaican Dollors, Ghanaian Cedis

Regardless Rates of Exchanges

Stared them out of budget

But not out of their budge shit

As they looked on through the glass below


Every gaining step

On the Ratish wheel of death

Grew the distance further

He heard her

As a sound byte

On the news

To be reborn

On a track

Wit the youth

Now behind again

Trans Suslantic

Collective inequalities were excellently taught in education, in history

Standing as they did in Unity

It seemed the boundary would be moved

The ceiling shattered

Belonging as they did to the earth

And to each other

Going Back to The Future

The 360 prior, forwards and facing present.

Cleo Lake 22/11/15


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