DSC_1628‘Judgement and Confidence’ by J’Azaria Kay, aged 17

DSC_1629‘Street Collage’ by Barnaby Turner, aged 15

You may look down on my skin-surface

From your suspended and shuttered eyes,
But you are blind to what is in front of me;
Me who (still) looks for pattern, for faces in any thing,
(Like a child), an alien in this flat world of squares.

I exist alongside the cardboard cut-out
(Wendy House) box and square of the buildings,
The gridlock of streets that claim my belonging;
The rooms of my youth, where the ceilings were too high,
The floors too cold, the portraits dark and looming,
The ancestry tangible.

Yet, at heart, I am a traveller…
I live on wheels.
The wheels turn and spin along the tarmac,
So that the squares of brick and mortar,
The glaring windows and glassy shop fronts,
Become a welcome blur…

Here I can live inside my circular world
Of pattern, spiral, kaleidoscope –
The (grandmother’s) wallpaper and plates
That I carry in my skin,
Like the henna hand-markings of India.

Here the cobwebs of dark
Are safe to me
In the lit warmth of my mobile home.
The uniformity fades
As the love that lives in spirals
Is born out of the open wound.

The wound of no belonging
Is re-named as the pattern of pilgrimage;
The blind-spot emerging
As the open road.

Rebecca Brewin

Stand Up and Be Counted

April 4, 2015


The day I saw these portraits
I was, as often, head in sand
Going about the day's routine,
Run-of-mill, far from grand.

And the faces leapt out at me,
Calling from the gallery wall,
'That mediocrity you're leaning on
Could well be your downfall!'

Later, thoughts still jossling, 
I'm leafing through a pile, 
And out drops my own portrait - 
Old, and taken with such style - 

That I'm forced to find the contrast 
Between my visage and theirs, 
To expose a question underneath, 
Some gem hidden in the layers. DSC_1420 

So... Spot the Odd One Out. 
Well perhaps each, apart from me; 
Here I am, sitting sweet 
At the age of twenty-three. 

I recall so well the split 
Between heart and looking fine; 
The difference with these 'odd ones' 
Is that they didn't tow the line. 

Each drawing is created 
In lines made by different hands; 
Abstracted and pieced together 
Like maps from far off lands. 

Each stroke, each stride of pencil 
A journey to break free; 
An icon to their conviction, 
The split canvas a chance to see 

That our lives and our faces 
Are scored not through a single soul, 
But through the seeing of so many 
That makes what seems a whole. 

Meanwhile is my own image 
So solid, so sweet, so mounted? 
Am I just sitting pretty, 
Or will I stand up and be counted? 

Can I let the picture open 
So that passion gets a shout; 
So I can join them on the wall 
And be the odd one out? 

The journey is not so easy 
To break into unknown ground, 
But it is in making this pilgrimage 
That the creative life is found.