4 November 2007

"We live in the tight space between ideas and action"

Last month, Darwin200 partners were treated to a poetry slam on Darwin by young poets from The Roundhouse Studios in London. The poets drew their inspiration from those elements of Darwin's life that we Beagle Projecteers tend to champion: his youthful vigour, his love of the natural world, his humanity and, above all, his spirit of physical and intellectual adventure. So, without further ado, here is the first of four Darwin-inspired poems by young Londoners...


The evening meal has ended
the table and chairs can breath for a while
before taking their next load.
I wait for him, spread myself across the table.

It’s not long before he comes,
lead by the soft bounce of candle light
His legs tired, arms aching, he sits
tests the frame of the chair, its creak a low wooden yawn

He takes me,
hands full of new discoveries,
writing the day onto my bare body
as the candle light casts shadows on my flesh.

Page after page he tells me of colours
that the brightest of rainbow can not conceive
Of a world so new that man’s tongue is yet to circle its irregular curve

We live in the tight space between ideas and action
With a single touch the slant of a V or the arch of an H
We give birth to more than words.

The evening meal has ended
The table and chairs can breath for a while
before taking their next load.
I wait for him, spread myself across the table.

Hands full of new discoveries
writes the day onto my body

I wish I could respond, catch his eye
Maybe place a few words in my margins,
show him my skin is the beginning of all voyages.

Pressed somewhere between my pages are stories,
like species, still to be found.

by Yemisi Blake

About the poet:

Yemisi Blake is a writer, performance poet, workshop leader and social entrepreneur. He is currently working part-time as Operations Co-ordinator at the innovative personal development charity, The Hanover Foundations. Having benefited from of their courses for young people, and becoming an employee, Yemisi went on to found Hanover Connect (a group of young people who advise the Foundation on issues that affect the current youth generation).

Yemisi’s creative work fuses narrative poetry and story telling, turning everyday experiences into extraordinary tales. He has performed at such venues as Tate Britain and RADA, alongside artists including Michael Horovitz, Roger Robinson and Fleur Adcock. Having worked with BBC Radio 4 and The Roundhouse Studios Yemisi co-founded the creative entrepreneurship, T-Shirt & Jeans. Most recently, Yemisi has worked with the multi-instrumentalist Nitin Sawhney, on a performance for the reopening of the Royal Festival Hall. He is currently Associate Artist at The Southbank Centre.


associate editor http://www.metaroar.com
co-founder http://www.tshirtandjeans.co.uk

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