My Human Writes by Luka Rollings

I have been part of the Human Writes project since March last year (2017) and was awarded the title of ‘Young Poet Laureate’ for my school, Oldfield. Since then, I have gained much insight into the power of poetry, which has helped me to grow as a person.

Upon first meeting Joelle Taylor, our Poet Mentor, I was truly inspired and began writing poetry every day for the next month in wait of the next workshop.

 Joelle Taylor

Joelle Taylor

This week lead to an evolution in my writing and helped all of our poetry improve enormously. It also prepared us for our roles in our schools and within the community, helping to inspire a growth in poetry in the young people.

Soon, I was back in the comfort of classroom walls and my role as Young Poet Laureate began; I was to run workshops with students to help and inspire them with writing and developing their poetry, and generally increase the presence of poetry within the school. The workshops were somewhat successful, achieving regular appearances from some year 8s whose passions clearly developed over the course of the workshops. However, as exams began to become more vital, the workshops slowed as they clashed with revision sessions.

The other part of our role involved writing commissions for the libraries we were associated with. These were due every 6 weeks and I felt particularly passionate about a few of the topics; I was very exited to write based on ‘Black History Month’ as I could include many musical influences that were of great importance to me, such as Charles Bradley and Fela Kuti. This became the poem ‘Kyoki', which I attempted to include lots of rhythmic influence and bright imagery into (and am proud of the result).

You can read the poem below:

Totleigh Barton

boomsatsuma organised the initial ‘recruitment’ of the young poet laureates as a competition between students over 6 schools. At the end of which, the winners would be awarded the title of the Young Poet Laureate of the school. We then embarked on a week long residency in the Devon countryside where they would be mentored by Joelle Taylor and Anthony Anxagorou. After this, we were challenged with raising the profile of poetry in our schools, libraries and communities and were paid over the year to do this.

boomsatsuma organised the initial ‘recruitment’ of the young poet laureates as a competition between students over 6 schools. At the end of which, the winners would be awarded the title of the Young Poet Laureate of the school. We then embarked on a week long residency in the Devon countryside where they would be mentored by Joelle Taylor and Anthony Anxagorou. After this, we were challenged with raising the profile of poetry in our schools, libraries and communities and were paid over the year to do this.

 The Young Poet Laureates

The Young Poet Laureates

 

For you: the better Man,

The skinned and Skinner,

Skinny in the back door flat,

Breathing the colour of proclamation,

Here, He waits;

Peeking from behind my hypocrisy and stereo blasting out Kayo’s* tunes.

An eye trained to the spot

Iris of cross hair.

High on Marley’s* metamorphosis,

We found Coltrane*, delivered into a lake-side swing.

Here, He waits,

Escaping the early sundown

With Bradley’s* infant love seducing the rainfall.

A soft touch,

A tamper with the keys

The dying pleas

The patters

The pans

The skinned honour of a drum

The conception of rhythm

The night.

And exile stayed in touch

With carnivorous white.

With dimming soul. The final soul.

Gil-Scott Heron trimming back the organ, an Ocean Trumpet,

Trump* beats black behind an African orange.

Yin settled at yang.

A white leaf surfing on the n-word

Chanting My Brother or Slave,

(Pardon my white)

But what speaks the difference?

And who am I to say that slavery never extincted?

- Kyoki, Luka Rollings

 Fela Kuti

Fela Kuti

 Bob Marley

Bob Marley

 Charles Bradley

Charles Bradley

 
 

The Human Writes project has been an amazing experience for me and has helped to shape me into the person I am today. Poetry can be an incredible tool to explore emotions and experiences through; it certainly helped me to understand how I was feeling in some hard times so I would recommend, if you get the urge, try writing something down. It doesn't have to be at anything like professional standard but I assure that it will help, if just to clear the mind a little.

 
Lyndsay Davies