the smell of you lingers you linger you’re dangerous or perhaps it’s me I’m dangerous I don’t know when to stop I don’t know how to stop I can’t I don’t want to I watch you swarm and smother everything within your reach you possess, you claim you’re powerful I’m possessed, I’m claimed I’m powerless
All I hear is that silent sound.
will I hear anything else?
I want noise.
I long for it. I crave it. Please.
Even if it’s only a whisper. Just a whisper.
Some people want to find peace and quiet,
I’m not one of those people.
Give me constant fireworks, sirens, children screaming and dogs barking!
Let me hear that loud sound.
In the UK, it’s Sign Language Week. This time, in 2003, the British Government officially recognised Sign Language as a language.
I’m a big advocate for the D/deaf community, and for Sign Language. I recognise and value its importance. When classes start up again, I’m hoping to start learning for my BSL level 2.
Communicating can sometimes be quite difficult – maybe even frustrating. And not just for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Having watched “Two guns in the sky for Daniel Harris” being powerfully read by poet Raymond Antrobus and signed by an interpreter, I’ve was inspired to try something similar.
I think this poem, “I hear you”, is my favourite in my book, Between the Lines.
Massive thank you to my mum for filming this, to Juliet McConnell for editing, and to my BSL tutor, Simon Moore for making sure I interpreted the poem properly.
Between the Lines is available via this link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08KH1BSXX
The oddly satisfying sound of those delicate yellow, orange crispy fingernail size flakes smothered in, and cracking with the weight of the cold, off-white vegan milk, actually makes my day. My week, perhaps. I don’t have a lot of other thrilling things happening in my world right now. And that’s ok. I’m still grateful. I’m going to have another bowl.
Her hand was cold.
Yet it held so much warmth to me.
If she knew I held her hand, I’m sure she would have taken a grip of mine.
But it just rested. Next to her side. Oblivious to my presence.
I didn’t mind. I just wanted to hold her hand. Her tanned, dry, strong and incredibly kind hand.
I wanted her to gently tap mine with hers. The way she would when I was little.
I wanted her to tell me off again, just to hear her voice once more.
You’re looking for a thick ear, duck. Now stop it.
I wanted her to open her eyes and look at me. One last time.
I wanted time to go back.
Back to when she could hold my hand.
Catching his breath, he placed his hands flat against the coarse brick wall in an attempt to have something solid to hold on to. And to just… rest. He could see L had made it over, and he knew if he could hold his chaser’s attention for a while longer, it would give her time to gain more distance. Knowing this, knowing she was clear – at least for now – made him feel a little more at ease. It would be worth it. It was all worth it.
Feeling his heart-rate slow, he sighed and turned to face his pursuers.
‘Get down on the ground, Michael,’ one demands, shining a torchlight in to M – Michael’s eyes. ‘Now!’ all of them yell in unison, in response to Michael’s lack of movement. But he still doesn’t move.
‘Shouting won’t do any good,’ a controlled voice from the darkness, behind the blinding lights says. ‘Michael can’t hear a word. He’s deaf. He can’t even read your lips, because of your fucking lights,’ he says, snatching one of the torches out of their hands, allowing Michael to focus his eyes again. Michael can now see all five of them, and the weapons they competently hold. The Controlled Voice allows a moment for Michael’s eyesight to fully adjust, before stepping closer towards him.
Michael knows what’s about to happen. He’s seen what the man who’s approaching is capable of. He’s seen it first-hand. Yet, Michael continues to stand tall, and challenges him to look him directly in the eye.
‘Michael, I’m disappointed. I thought we had an agreement?’ the Controlled Voice says, ensuring Michael can read his lips in appropriate torchlight.
‘It was time to re-evaluate, Steve,’ Michael says, taking a slight step closer to the armed men surrounding him, to which they react with a step back. Michael smirks at their retreat.
‘What do you think we should do with you now, Michael?’ Steve says in an effort to deflect tension.
Michael laughs. ‘Right now, I don’t care. Shoot me. Beat me. Take me back to the Grounds. I really don’t care what you do to me. Not anymore.’
‘No, I don’t suppose you do,’ Steve says, calmly. ‘But I bet you’d care when we find Lauren.’
Michael takes another bold step towards them at this threat.
‘Are we done with this game of chess now, boss?’ one of Steve’s stocky henchmen questions the current situation.
‘Yes,’ Steve says. ‘This particular game is done. But… I have a feeling he’s already a few games ahead. Aren’t you?’ Steve asks as Michael smiles.
‘You won’t find her, Steve,’ Michael says as the armed men cautiously move closer to restrain his hands in plastic zip ties. ‘You won’t find her,’ Michael repeats. ‘And she’ll never be yours again, Steve. I hope you hear this. She’ll never be yours again, Steve.’
Steve stands completely still, quietly clearing his throat, hoping to disguise from his staff, the flush of disgust and also fear for the detained man being marched past him, back to the Grounds.
Be honest, you said, over something so simple, yet, it held weight with me. Be honest, I considered. Although, it never crossed my mind that I was anything other than. Wanting to know what I thought – what I wanted, was important. You wanted to please me and I wanted to please you. I was honest.
I don’t want – I don’t like to stand out. So… I wear a lot of black, she says, looking down at her feet.
I think whatever colour you wear, you’ll still stand out, he says. I see you. And you’re beautiful.
Any and all words on a page are never going to be enough. It’s never going to be just right. It’s never going to do her justice. But for her, I try. I’ll always try.
Are you lucky enough to know this woman? A woman who opens up her home to others. Her generosity. Her kindness. The way she makes guests feel like they’re in their own homes. A warmth she learnt from her mother. A warmth she’s passed onto her own daughters.
If it’s in the fridge – in the cupboard – it’s yours. Help yourself, she’ll say.
Her home is where friends are considered extended family. But, when I really think about it, home is her. She is home.
I’m not perfect.
I don’t believe that. Because to me, you’re my definition of ‘perfect.’