"She Is Silenced No More"



She is clothed with strength and dignity.

She laughs without fear for the future

She's from the place once called despair

Her screams muffled by the sounds of sirens

She was silenced by the terrors of the night

Her vertebra reverberated with each explosion

The chords of Moonlight Sonata played on

As she crumbled in plain sight

Her vulnerably laid out...exposed

Shame weighted her gaze to the ground

Carrying the wrath of another

Which was never hers to hold

This ghost-like state held her captive

Until she began to see visions of herself

Sparkles of red ruby crowns

Drapes of fine purple silks and blues

Was I a queen like Isabella and Margaret?

Did kings and men bow before me?

In her minds eyes she sees a flash of a white horse

Blood rushing in her veins with outrage

She awakens from a deep sleep with a start

Did I bare myself naked for freedom?

Like a deep white winter snow melting to reveal

Springs rushing and hidden rivers flowing

She unveils herself and places her bare feet on the ground

She sees herself fully in all her beauty

She reclaims her orb and sceptre

She feels life tingling on her lips and tongue

She claims her stake and decrees

I am doing a new thing!

I am birthing creations and nations

I am innovation and restoration

I was commissioned by Theatre Absolute in Coventry to write this poem in response to what I felt about Coventry - my city.  In this poem Coventry is a woman personified through the activism of Lady Godiva.  I love how Coventry has a rich tapestry - from medieval times and the famous Queen's - Isabella and Margaret who put the city on the map with their influence over their kings and using their considerable business acumen.  I love how Coventry refuses to let the past define her and how after the Blitz - the city responded to her trauma with love and forgiveness.  The words "Father Forgive" written in gold in the ruins of Coventry Cathedral next to the cross of nails. A powerful symbol of how love always overcomes hatred. As a woman Coventry has been through much and her story of redemption and restoration and resilience is one which will always move me.

I write from the perspective of a South Asian woman and performed it as myself but was touched on how well a diverse audience felt it resonated with its themes.  As humans we all go through a variety of traumas and experiences and poetry touches our emotions creating a shared and yet safe space to explore these residual themes.  The essence of being human - what does one with with one's pain.