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Blog - Richard Downes

Signs; Not Shutting Up


I can’t remember the film poster I cribbed these lines from. It was there in my local tube station. At the bottom of the stairs. When I stole the slogan I’m sure it had another resonance for me than the lyrics formed today. Might have had something to do with stammering. Might have something to do with my life as an advocate. Might have been a response to the DAO editor asking me to perform. But what comes out is whether having a voice is enough in the situations that we face/d; in our courts, in seeking to stop war, in getting on like Oliver and asking for more of local and central authorities to feed the need that goes unfed, that remains brushed under carpets with the broom of callous words. Survival is something more than System Survivors seem to crave today, the depression is not only mine.

photo of a sign that reads "what's the point of having a voice if youre gonna be silent"

Signs; Not Shutting Up

What’s the point of having a voice
If you’re going to be silent
Asks the blurb
As if the word
Is the only sign we listen for

What’s the point of having laws
If we are going to be silenced
Not viable
The judgement of legal eagles

What’s the point of living life
If the lives we live are discounted
In valid
Like Khalid
In another oil baron’s desert war

What’s the point of assessments
If there’s not going to be money
On the table
Its all babel
Austerity we’re told today is over

Whats the point of anything at all
If nothing is what we’re living for
Its more than blurb
Our only words
Eking out some kind of survival

What’s the point of being a poet
If no audience turns up to listen
Be no choice
Use louder voice
Reach out beyond depression

9th January 2019

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Wendy Young
7 months ago

Beacause u are saying it. There is a point. But agree with poem also. Very good poem it is too.

7 months ago
Reply to  Wendy Young

ta vey much wendy wu at least you hear it ain’t just poo

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