The Map Inside by Terry Simpson
Terry Simpson has written this fantastic poem, inspired by and incorporating words from many of the artworks in the exhibition. It’s a sort-of found poem in that respect, you might spot some of the references.
Terry was one of the founder members of Leeds Survivor Poets and has been an important part of the mental health / disability arts scene in Leeds. He performs regularly around the city. I’m so pleased that he agreed to contribute to this project.
[Featured image above: Still from Vielleicht Niente by Lily Lavorato]
The Map Inside
how they loved those fabulous goats
climbing down from the wilderness,
accessing tops of huts and cars,
the empty streets and suburban walls,
reminding them of something they had lost
that was their power
you had stilted years in the forest,
an obscure figure praying through paint,
remaking yourself and your awkward art,
falling voiceless among the slabs
at the foot of impossible stairs
the way was too narrow, the travel office closed.
you ran your fingers over the maze,
finding bliss in the texture of birch and bead,
small magical things and prayers of offering.
you reached for solid ground, making your own book
that was your power
as the world slowed, something remarkable –
those who never speeded up appearing
mysterious as tooth fairies,
back from the arse end of nowhere, queer as colour
and stronger than you’d think. released
we find a future with no answers –
washing hands making love to each other,
crows flying against a multi-coloured sky.
we wear crowns of yellow flowers
and fall asleep with birds in our ears
we find light
this is our power