Greta Sykes – The poets gathering

Greta Sykes LEP&W V4 Dec 2022

Download PDF Here 13th Anniversary
Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Four December 2022.

The poets gathering, poems by Greta Sykes.

The poets gathering

At the windy corner of St James church
London Poets turn on the colours
Of their poems with Echinacia,
Achilea and egg yolk Heliopsis,
Lonesome wayfarers wander through the
ancient graveyard, gravestones invisible,
the dry, cut grass scent lingers,
a left over brick step, a grassy raised bed
form our seats. The church wall corner,
held up by a meditative poet,
is rising up into the sky.
I watch the clouds
rush in the stormy sky.
The question of time looms large,
does it exist?
Why does Rovelli ponder
It’s non-existence?
Imperialists’ algorithms
Also aim for abstraction,
A world of numbers,
Not for warm blooded creatures.

We feel time deep in our hearts,
in our moment of togetherness,
among the dead buried in the earth.
We hear time move when church bells ring,
Vibrating our eardrums with rhythm and sound.
We hear it passing. We say good bye,
We hug and kiss and go
And our gathering has passed away.
We remember history.
The lessons of betrayal
Are deeply embedded
in my soul.

Like a gutted fish: The Donbass

In the dead of the night
Like a gutted fish
Carved open, eyes glazed,
The traumas of life
Lie heavy like undigested food
In my stomach:
The crying children in the Donbass,
The freezing cold numbing the old
Who are proud and stubborn.
They will not give in to fascists.
They learnt an important lesson
In a war, not of their making. They are not fools.

Others of nameless shameless cruelty
pile up their weaponry high
Close to humans’ fragile bodies.
But the tormented have a faithful heart
and a will of steel, stronger than any weapon.

My eyes are open without sleep.
The wind blows white clotted clouds,
Chasing them
Across the sky like sheep.
My ears are alert and tuned in
To hear the wings of hope rustling
In the morning hour.

Walter Benjamin

On a specific day history can move forward
When it becomes completed.
The constellation Walter Benjamin
Saw in his heart,
When thinking about incomplete history,
The chance of justice to arrive for those
Whom ruling powers of our days
Had hoped to erase
from the historical record.
But we are still here and we remember
And hope for history’s completion,
When Goddesses will return.

© Greta Sykes

Poet, writer and artist Greta Sykes has published her work in many anthologies. She is a member of London Voices Poetry Group and also produces art work for them. Her new volume of poetry called ‘The Shipping News and Other Poems’ came out in August 2016. The German translation of her book ‘Under charred skies’ has now been published in Germany under the title ‘Unter verbranntem Himmel’ by Eulenspiegel Verlag. She is the chair of the Socialist History Society and has organised joint poetry events for them at the Poetry Café. She is a trained child psychologist and has taught at the Institute of Education, London University, where she is now an associate researcher. Her particular focus is now on women’s emancipation and antiquity.

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