Naomi Wood (British Working Class Poetry)

Naomi is a performance artist merging the circus with storytelling and poetry. She creates pieces that incite riotous acts of joyful disobedience celebrating empowerment and rebellion. Naomi has self published a first collection and regularly runs creative writing workshops online and in the South East of the UK as well as hosting performance poetry events.

 

 

Gobbess


At what point did we become afraid of reality?

We’re more palatable, somehow, as manic pixie dream girls and we were

Busy burning brightly

Trying to tell the world that we were free

But lately it’s occurred to me

That maybe the witch hunters had just got in our dreams.

See what is it about ourselves that we are just so damn afraid of?

What is it about you lately that the world has got you hating?

Got you feeling like you’ve always got to constantly be creating?

Got to swallow down your humanness so being alive in all its strangeness feels just like suffocating.

On every street corner there’s an order that you should smile more.

Lobotomise, self criticise

Until you forget what you are here for.

I want to be in the dirt, face down snuffling for truffles like a pig. Not a xing goddess. Not a Maiden, but a pig.

Snout first soaking in the muck and the mire, rooting out what precious gems have been burnished in the fire and buried deep for us to find in all our stupid humanity.

Beyond the kind and the irreverent  and the world’s blustering insanity.

I don’t want to be a deity if it means I have to keep my hands clean.

Because from what I’ve seen

Divinity lives everywhere you’re brave enough to see it.

 

It lived in my grandmother labelling her sockets and plugs-

A quiet kind of alchemy

Her hands wrapped around a mug.

The way she wielded a power drill every time that we moved house.

It lives in the hands of a farmer I know freeing the foot of a fox caught in a trap

With her weather worn fingers and an axe strapped to her back.

I saw it in my friend who took her paintbrush and cleaned the webs from the wings of a struggling bumblebee-

This endeavour scoffed at by some in the room.

But she knew the secret- that our time here is only worth anything  if all of us are free.

And they say I’m in the ‘mother’ stage of this Three Headed Gobbess phase-

The way women’s bodies have always been subdivided, indexed, ranked and then erased-

And I don’t know what it is I’m nurturing but I think it might be rage.

But this thing that I’m growing seems to be a lot to do with earthing.

Being messy and unsightly, I’m giving names to what I’m birthing.

Because divinity and holiness aren’t about restrained purity

They’re in the hands of the woman at the food bank who cleans and makes the tea.

 

 

Cracks

 

Who are we when nobody is watching?
What are we but the grit and grain
Rolled and polished under the shell
Of the stories we tell about ourselves?

 

Our footsteps were once rich forest deep

Now we’re walking these streets

And I’m meant to be older now

But I still hold my breath when I skip paving stones.

 

Boom box, busy streets and broken locks

This city is full to the brim

With flashing fluorescent smiles

And see-through skin.

 

Plastic epiphanies

Grease wrapped

Fast tracked

Another Amazon parcel

But not robed in rainforest splendour.

 

And the kids were yelling

Telling us for years

But we don’t listen.

Instead we just cup our hands to our ears.

 

Press our faces to the walls

Of buildings and stories

That have grown too tall.

We are too many.

 

Too many questions

About trickle down economics

So I bite my lip

Fold origami cranes out of old bus tickets

And try not to step on the cracks.

And the men in suits are up there

Looking down

Just shifting their weight.

A business lunch, or a trip to the moon

Plate piled high-

It’s just another play-date.

 

And I don’t know exactly what it’s going to take

For us to believe that our borders are

Imaginary and the hour is

Getting late.

 

Your bedtime story read aloud

In the voices of old white men.

They’re reading from an ancient book

But they’re also the one’s holding the pen.

 

While they throw toys from their towers

Over the shape of invisible things

They’re pouring poison in your ears

 

To keep you from believing.

And if you keep splitting the atom

Maybe you’ll find what you already

Knew to be true.

 

That this whole world has many layers

And the divine already lives in you

And you’re not here

To decide that everything belongs to you

When it’s all borrowed anyway

And the sun rises each day brand new.

 

There’s always been gaps beneath the

Fence for the wild ones to climb under

And seedlings growing through

Pavement cracks with voices of rolling

Thunder.

 

So on a day when there’s so much to do

And so little time for play

Will you remember who you really are

Put your hands back in the earth

And turn this dirt to clay?

 

 

On The Morning of Voting

 

I'm getting up early for all the people who couldn't.

I rise in the dark emboldened by the voices of those who came before me

 

Because this may just be paper and I like to think outside the box.

But we've been standing empty handed in the fields praying for a harvest for too long.

 

And they've been pissing on us and calling it rain for some time now

That we forgot to question why the crops weren't growing.

 

Chopped down our forests and carved us into chess pieces that they divide

But won't conquer because we have our hands deep in the dirt now.

 

And if you think your voice is insignificant then

You have not seen how the smallest creatures create their cathedrals.

It's a mess. Things are farcical. Life like a ripe piece of Halloween satire.

TV barking like a dull eyed bear with boulders for fists.

Meanwhile the tide is rising and it's threatening to take back the land.

And we small huddle of fools stand gazing at the sky.

 

But occasionally we look into each others faces,

We make a life raft from each others limbs,

We sail into luminous waters on Wednesday

And transcend velocity at weekends.

 

A girl on the bus smiles right into the middle of you

And you see old ladies laughing

Small dogs don't understand the stock market.

In the end, like them,  we're all just chasing our own tails.

 

 

But trees still get fatter on a full moon and

We are made of the same sap.

A murmuration that would carry us, too,

South for winter following the pull of planets.

While crickets rub their legs together in the long grass.

 

A man on the checkout comforts a teenager

And in the park someone is feeding the birds.

We are grains of sand that snag

On the fabric of each others dreams-

White water rafting

The spin cycle rendering all of us; laundry.

 

Ultimately our colours all bleed into one

On a warm wash.

And I can taste familiarity in a stranger's walk.

Sometimes.

 

There are fires raging and monsters

Living in all of our bellies but

Some days

You see hugs instead of handshakes

Or a grown-up riding a scooter to work.

 

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