Though we’re starting off in squares, this is a circle.
We are eye to eye and dreaming
of heroes, antagonists, unnamed activists
and neighbours who take no bull.
We’re saving a place at our table
for Gaga talking feminism, grandmas chatting Gujarati,
for folks we miss and friends we’ve made
locked down – imagining them here with us
though they might drive for 2 hours, fly for 12,
rise from their graves. Conjuring connections,
calling on their power, we invoke
everything that culture can be.

Young people want to be creative, so
we say power to the content-makers,
the instant creativity communicators,
the singers, clown-abouters, TikTok dancers,
Medusa-shaped pizza-bakers, domestic alchemists,
skaters, crafters, giffers of gifs –
these are tough times, some of what you need
has gone to the wall.
But the wall remains, waiting for a blast of colour
from you spray can visionaries in the shadows, under the stars.
You have words to be spoken, and somewhere
we can make a stage that you can reach.
You have skills and side hustles, passion projects,
and we will make a space for you to shine.

What we must understand is – we are now magicians.
Already together we’ve transformed wooden spoons into brass swords,
Newcastle into London, bright red nail polish
into a branch of dried leaves that scents the air.
It’s like seeing ideas pass from mind to mind
and out of minds to manifest
in the real, ready pockets of our city.
We will break the bounds of our digital frames
and invent new ways to make wonders appear,
open access roads to the splendid,
bring people together unforgettably.
We are escapologists, miracle-workers,
now we are producers.

Artist Biography 

Kirsten Luckins is a poet, performer, and creative producer from Teesside. She wears many freelance hats; as director of the Tees Women Poets collective, as Co-ordinator for Crossing the Tees Book Festival, and as Project Manager for the Rebecca Swift Foundation managing the national #WomenPoetsPrize and #WomenPoetsNetwork. Her third poetry collection, Passerine (Bad Betty Press 2021), has recently been longlisted for the Laurel Prize for new nature writing.

Kirsten can be found on twitter @ImeldaSays

Commissioned by Poet in the City