Talented Razzers: Poetry and Photography

The Alice Question

Her face is pressed against the searing ice
that weeps cold tears which cluster
in the corners, taking shelter beneath her lashes.

There are tyre track imprints
on her shadow-touched cheek.
She is a sketch, steel limbs marked out in graphite
pencil and glittering grey in the glow
of halogen street lights.

The rain is a kaleidoscope of colour
on the camera lens;
bright lights a blurred bokeh
behind her paper eyelids.

She draws her smoke signature
across the sky like a tattoo
inked upon the spine of the earth.

“I am Alice”, she says
as she melts with the snow.

by Teresa Gale.

Photo by Charlie Tyjas


Slipping on frosted steps,
blurred by Pain’s burning tears,
Love leaves in the night.

Limping dumbly between
inky pools. A golden creature
of the day. Wounded in the small hours.

Hours which twinkle on the kerb,
or seep away through pavement cracks,
draining the city;

sucking her dry. Love lies
bleeding out. Monochrome seeping
under cold sodium suns.

Movement in a shadow socket
hanging on the pallid cheek-bone
of every place in town,

black holes among the brickwork
the city’s eyes are blinded.

by Louise Jenkins.

Photo by Rachael Gillies
Photo by Rachael Gillies

Who am I?

Am I the numb face,
Kindly returning a gaze in the smeared mirror
Of a back room theatre?
The papery lamplight illuminates nothing
But shadows tonight.

Are the stirring thoughts nestled
In the warm crevices of my mind,
The true reflection of an identity,
Wounded by time?

Is this leather skin,
Which once bore lines and colours
Now effaced, a requisite component
Of who I am?

Hard drawn, hard formed,
With soft edges, hard worn.
A voice? Or a fizzy perception
Of those I meet?
Who am I?

by Sinéad Buckingham.

Photo by
Photo by Beth Evans

No one’s hands are clean

Whips crack leaving blood
No time to rest, only work
Cotton fields are home

What is dignity?
Man is treated like animal
Pigment justifies

Oppression for now
The meek shall rise to rebel
Common cause is found.

If not now, then when?
Hell on earth no longer
Slavery no more

Burning fire forms ash
Slowly the pain melts away
Art in destruction.

Murder justified
But murder is still murder
Let us be damned

The darkest of souls
We are all sinners dying
Salvation is lost

Time moves, builds slowly
Perfection is upon us
Like the wind it is gone

Freedom to the slave
Death rains on the usurper
Purpose is now lost

Tyrant merciful
Leave us not we hopeless souls
Foe gave unity

The question becomes
Who is nobler is it the
Enemy or hero

by Tariro Mashongamhende.

Photo by Katy McIntosh
I wrote the following poem while making the scariest decision of my life.  I had been battling anorexia for three years – in and out of treatment, making progress and then falling backwards twice as rapidly.  Last year the situation became desperate: if I could not control my illness, there was no way I would be able to go to university, let alone live normally.  Despite my fear of losing the comfort, self-esteem, and illusion of strength that not eating and excessive thinness brought, I chose to break away and rediscover a life not ruled by calories, hours of daily exercise, and judging my waistline in the mirror.  Though terrified, I stuck to my path with the help and support of my family keeping me from relapsing again.  In the end the joy I found – the energy and mental stability, the love of life (indispensable at university!), and the ability to pursue passions like art and music – was a thousand times greater than whatever deluded happiness I had given up.


Fading away
So slowly fading away
Like a smoke wisp –
Shadowy wraith of numbness
Fading away

Plunging mutely
Shouting but plunging mutely
Only silence
Silence of an anguished scream
Plunging mutely

Gnawing torment
Mind snapped by gnawing torment
Freedom vanished
No one sees the ghostly chains
Gnawing torment

Falling in fire
Abandon life, fall in fire
Blazing spirit
Tear-streaked heart’s immolation
Falling in fire

Empty inside
Hollow eyes, empty inside
Abandoned being
Body, soul, disappearing
Empty inside

The future’s gone –
Frightening dawn –
Costliest toll –
A broken soul –
The mental strife –
Exhausted life –
But strength unknown
Lost years atones…

I’ve fallen, weak, but will not die
My tears will be my battle cry;
Though illness threatens to devour,
This will not be my final hour.

Sirens’ sweet songs hold me in thrall,
But I’m done with their deadly call.
I’ll fight to make my demons run
And see the rising of the sun.

I’ll struggle on through fear and shame
And soar a phoenix from the flame;
I’ve art, laughter, friendship to give,
There is a love-filled life to live.

by Carmen Paddock.

Photo by Jamie Ballantyne
Photo by Jamie Ballantyne

Interested in photography? 
Why not check out 

www.devoncontemporaryphotography.com or http://jamielawrenceballant.wix.com/jbphotography

Lots of Razz love xx


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