2020 was the strangest year. So tough in many ways but some wonderful things also happened. I became an auntie again, found support in disabled and writing communities, leaned deep into writing poetry and had some poems published. One of the most exciting commissions I had was to create work for the Black Lives Matter Mural Trail Scotland.
The trail was developed by producer Wezi Mhura in response to the rise in awareness in Scotland (and across the world) of the Black Lives Matter movement. Read more about the trail, the locations and the artists involved on Wezi’s website.
The poem is called ‘Beloved Black’ and it is a poem filled with love for my Black Scottish and African-Caribbean family and the diaspora. Scroll down for an Instagram post with images and descriptions of the poem in situ outside the Museum of Edinburgh and a video of me reading the poem by the CAHSS (College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) Webteam, University of Edinburgh.
Beloved Black Black is the absorption of all visible light You are the sea at night You are the hands that hold the stars in those early, wakeful hours of parenthood You are hope Black was the first pigment used in art You are charcoal soft You are ancient stories handed down, whispers woven through spacetime You are the first Black is the absorption of all visible light Shadow-friend You are the space that mourns the stars, trust and trusted, shelter from storms You are love Black was the first pigment used in art You are a poem Boundless tones of ink dancing, across papyrus pages, weaving word-magick You are deep joy Black is the absorption of all visible light Eyes closed, Let yourself be wrapped in an unexpected embrace from an old friend All pigments mixed together create Black Elemental You are the lively night, in raining forests, gifting breath Your revolution revolves around an axis: a raised fist Quilted in memory, you resist Black is the absorption of all visible light You are life You are the scattered dust of stars, full-spectrum, generating the cosmos throughout spacetime You are a gift