An Alternative Narrative

As mentioned in my last post, we have the Black Nature In Residence Showcase coming up on the evening of 28 October.

This is the first event in a series that identity on tyne through their Earth Sea Love project are collaborating with Northumberland National Park to host.

Other events offered as an alternative to the Future Landscape Programme that will run at the same tine at COP26 in Glasgow, will provide diverse voices to the environmental and conservation movement and makes those all important links between the local and global in terms of the climate crisis.

Starting on 11 November, 7.30-8.30pm – Decolonising the Environmental Movement

I’ll be hosting a conversation with Sarah Hussain and Serayna Solanki

Through their projects and research, both Sarah Hussain and Serayna
Solanki are providing spaces for marginalised communities and people of
colour to engage with nature as a means of changing the narrative around
who has a say in the Climate Change Movement. They are working within
education and research, community and organisational partnerships, to create
and highlight dialogue around climate justice through personal and community
storytelling.

Then 18 November, 7-8pm, Nature Writing Reading

Join me , as host again, with Jo Clement and Zakiya McKenzie for a reading and discussion of literature which explores place, environment, belonging and identity as both writers read from and talk about their recent collections.

Then on 22 November, 7-8pm – A keynote lecture with Grace Hull, Holistic Sustainability

What is holistic sustainability?

Grace Hull created Green Grace Soul to share her journey to living sustainably in a holistic way. Grace attempts to balance the food she eats, the products she uses and the things she buys with the most beneficial outcomes for her health, the health of the planet, and the others living on it.

Sustainable living and Climate Change activism have many faces, and by centring holistic sustainability Grace engages with intersectionality and the social and historical context of climate change through the reflections of her journey that she shares on her website, podcast and DIY projects.

This will be a keynote lecture followed by a Q and A.

Black nature in residence showcase

You might not know it but I’ve been writer in residence for Northumberland National Park. It was part of a project called Black Nature in Residence.

Led by identity on tyne, four Black writers were in residence across the North-East. As our time comes to an end, we’re ready to share about our experiences.

Come join us for an evening of words and images at our online showcase. Thursday 28 October, 6.30-8pm.

You can find our more about the project here.

And you can grab yourself a ticket for the event here.

When the wife leaves Without closing the door

In the shape of a tree,

my scar is painted with code.

Through the letting of blood, I wait

for the sound of my screams.

But what I do not plan for

is the mashed up sycamore spinners,

the trampled copper conkers

and the singed bramble bushes.

Graceless and broken,

I get high on the thoughts

of owning myself; the plumage

of starlings embroidered

on an intimate mind. 

Sticky sparks

when the wind moves                    

between the seasons                                     on a moonlit night

there’s just enough       space                       for you        to lie down 

too narrow rooms and too narrow 

                                           thoughts 

keep you trapped beneath       glass      

ground      you     ( like a freak of …)

it draws blood from your hips to stay

everything in this world                           you’ve touched                                       you’ve tried to love 

yet your sticky sparks                    dare 

anyone to come close

Soulspeak

My heart is clear

listening to my gut

allowing space for my mind

to catch up

the sea is air-force blue

and glassy

and speaks to my soul

in a hushed whisper

the same sound and softness

from my clear heart

running free

Climbing trees, juicy mangoes

pliant flesh and ashy elbows

to be running free through the long grass

and burrs sticking to legs, gaze widening

no thought for shiny brown skin

causing hate, no thought for others

just green

Englishness

white starched lace dress

sweat between breasts

so out of place it’s painful

at one time, just exotic plants

traced on paper, here

they touch their wide glossiness

English paleskins

burning red

intruders but still

the belief of ownership

I learn to watch, watch and learn,

to stay safe, to stay alive

I know them better than themselves

and yet I’m the primitive one,

the spicy savage

a transaction in their day.

Draft – Flipped inside out 003

I learn to be here, becoming,

as each riding curl of water,

rolls towards my toes

and retreats.

Nothing stays the same here

– liminal layered space/ place.

Black Sea – Sea black.

Night is my skin …

These sands must testify

for the desires of the masters

and yet I stand here breathing

not doubting my black toes

digging in, claiming healing.

Black Sea, liquid black.

Water meets water and connects.

To take these steps into the dark

is coming home, is letting go.

Is enough. 


Draft- Flipped inside out 002

I learn to be here, becoming,
as each riding curl of water,
rolls towards my toes
and retreats.

Nothing stays the same here

– liminal layered space/ place

Black Sea – Sea black.
Night is my skin …


These sands must testify

for the desires of the masters

and yet I stand here breathing

not doubting my back toes

digging in, claiming healing