Saints, Sinners and Survivors

By WeAreGriot

Do not forget to find your wounds
Break in
Break out
Burn out
How do we break the mould if it is us
How do we put out the forest fire if we still hold the match
A revolution against self
We claim to be simply cogs, as if the machine isn’t made of cogs
As if to navigate this body isn’t to navigate the entire world
Most hate is self hate and protest comes in the form of masochism
But most love is also self love
So we fight, as cogs in war machines against all that wishes to break us down
Spell love from hate, hope from fear and new land from the ashes of old maps.

But do not forget to honour their wounds,
from the days that broke the same. A steady disappointment.
Their backs straightened against the new sunlight,
Armed with unpleading placards of simple demands
They stacked their voices in a chorus.
Sardined their bodies in uniform.
They used the pain they had.
A country-full.
They grew the noise they couldn’t afford.
But we heard them across the oceans.
An infinite refresher.
The night they tarred the people’s boldness with chicken feathers,
They waited till dark took the land.
Aimed at souls like moving targets.
A game they won points by detonating screams.

And we will grow from our wounds
For this body is a seed from the old world
It holds land and sea for a new age
Away from these strangers who see stone where I see seed
A tool to build not a thing to be built
They poured volcanoes into my lungs
I moulted into a steam engine for war machines
How this body was made to conquer lands it should have called home
I still hear screams from the seashells on their shores
You will still find scars of deep sorrow soothing this skin,
scars stretched by sacrilege
Posters glued to my back by mortals,
who broke border and boundary to sell salvation
My body is still seeding, a bloodstone breathing,
in search of a new world to call home.
A body to call my own.


Part of Ghosts from the Recent Past: Poem Films, a series produced with IMMA in collaboration with Poetry Ireland.

Directed by Matthew Thompson.

Written by Dagogo Hart, Felispeaks, and Samuel Yakura.