We experienced the sheer force of 19 year old spoken word poet Megan Beech at a Booked Literary Event a few weeks ago. Standing in front of a room full of strangers, she magicked us into spellbound silence with her verse.
And you knew instantly that is a poet, a young girl, who will go far.
Megan’s been kind enough to share her poems with us. And here’s one that puts into words what makes life so much more alive in my city London, against the backdrop of a time lapse video of the Millennium Bridge by Tim Lewis.
“Evening Standard” on standard London evenings,
this city is heaving.
Chests beating, palpitate with the weight of their innermost demons.
But every face remains unfeeling.
And population statistics appear to deceiving,
because in a city of eight million, I’m alone as a civilian
and my days well I am filling them with theatre seats for one and Waterloo sunsets vermilion.
And “I am in paradise”, lost in a smog of anonymity
and that’s part of the reason why I love this city so religiously.
My liturgies are these littered streets,
this constant hum the song on my hymnal sheet.
But today I am struggling to find belief.
All is pinstripes and traffic lights and Boris bikes and concrete.
I let it conquer me, ’cause anyone can see
this place doesn’t belong to me.
I still have to wait for the man to turn green before I cross the street
and the constant need to rush to get crushed in tube doors is lost on me.
All I hope for is kindness not diamond encrusted dreams,
because we tie ourselves in ties and then claim to be free.
But my soul too is shackled,
to the leaves and bark of Richmond Park’s tallest tree,
and the shadow of St Paul’s as the sun falls in evening breeze,
those like me prepared to shiver to watch Shakespeare outdoors for free,
the blue plaques that track the literary history of every street.
The Big Issue seller on Fleet Street that I pass every day,
who offers a pleasant smile despite me never having change
to the change and the range and the depth of human kind
who populate this city and flourish side by side.
The sense of feeling you’re alive, that vitality survives behind the garish glare of neon lights.
Because the vibrant and violent must give way to silence and the dazzling calm of night.
My London: brutal, beautiful and wild must have some others who see the world through my eyes.
But until those I find and I settle in this city as my home,
it’s a comfort to know that when alone in London you are never alone.”