hot coffee and granola
your pink cover jumps into my space,
no bubble gum pencil thin barbie here
by the Grace of our Lord,
hot black talent with attitude (TWA),
grins at me, a cover full of promise
revolution in my bedroom by 07:35
my private world of black womanhood in typescript
knowingness of other
everything laid bare
I AM no LONGER inVISIBLE!
replace coffee cup on table with extreme care
in case the words disappear when I look away.’
© Suzy Rowland
Hot on the heels of Khembe’s Return to Your Roots, Suzy Rowland will be reading a few of my poems the local ‘playhouse’ Teddington Theatre Club on Friday 15th June. For full details and tickets, please click on the Facebook link or the Write Out Loud links below:
I will be on stage with three other published poets including Greg Freeman, from Woking’s Write out Loud, in a Poetry Cafe style staging. It should be a great evening. After my readings in front of an excitable home crowd in Birmingham, it will be great reading for my local crowd from the Teddington, Hampton Hill, Hampton, Richmond and Kingston areas. South West London massive in the house 🙂
Guests will be treated to gems from Songs of My Soul as well as some of my new compositions, covering social issues, culture and black history. We’re in full rehearsal mode at the moment, it’s very exciting! There were even a few tears at the rehearsal, which I think is a sign of some powerful reading.
Would be great to see you there!
It’s always lovely to be featured on another platform. I will be treading a different stage next month, performing at Khembe’s Return to Your Roots event in Birmingham. Khembe is a hardworking, inspirational and hugely talented lady. The tenacity and passion with which she’s built the Return to Your Roots brand is a masterclass in entrepreneurship.
Blogger Melanin Mind & Soul has penned this piece about my poetry book and my forthcoming performance at Khembe’s Return to Your Roots Festival in Birmingham. http://www.melaninmindsoul.com/songs-of-my-soul-suzy-rigg/
My usual ‘stage’ is upstairs once a month in a pub in SW London. Every week is different – the performers, the energy levels, the audience. Some weeks are emotional, such as last week, when one of the poets read a piece dedicated to the brother he’d lost four years ago to a brain tumour. We got lost in his words, until he began to laugh. A nervous giggle, accompanied by vigorous face-scratching. He was overcome with emotion and unable to carry on reading. Collectively we all wanted to rush up and carry on reading for him, but were rooted to our seats as strong feelings of grief seemed to take over all of us. That’s the power of poetry.
It would be great to meet some poetry fans in Birmingham, do try and get to Return to Your Roots, not just ‘cos I’m gonna be there but because you will leave feeling nourished, inspired, connected and at peace with yourself and who you are – whoever you are!
Looking for poetic and spiritual calm and guidance?
Bass music burns a fire in his soul
drives darkness from salvation’s burning hole
pulsing blood in reckless veins
lonely beast escapes concrete cage.
Music louder senses turned to low
directionless wheels nowhere safe to go.
Target slowly coming into view
knife concealed that no-one but he knew.
Life extinguished without word or fight
mother’s scream wakes neighbours in the night
sirens blaring blue bright angel wings
no uniform or soldiers in this bloodless war:
just children with so much life to live for.
Written in despair at the lives violently lost in London so far in 2018. Feel free to share, ensuring you quote the following:
© Suzy Rowland Rigg
Return to your Roots? If you haven’t experienced it, you better look sharp and get your tickets as it’s only four weeks away! Return to your Roots is delicious mix of natural hair workshops, with the fan-tab-u-lous Mz. Lady Lox from Atlanta, featured in the video, well-being workshops, including a sessions on vegan food, healthy eating for a healthy prostate, and a glittering array of stalls selling African-inspired jewellery, accessories, cloth, educational books and much more.
Return to your Roots Festival was established by hair queen Khembe Clarke, a natural hair artist with decades of braids, locs and protective styles know-how to her credit. She saw black women turning away from chemicalized hair in droves and decided to share her wealth of knowledge of how to manage natural hair successfully, without the need for harsh chemicals: Return to your Roots was born! Since then, Khembe has expanded the theme of the festival to include culture and well-being.
I’m thrilled to let you know that I will be sharing my poetry at this year’s Return to Your Roots Festival and have a stall with copies of Songs of My Soul for sale. Come and say ‘hi’.
Return to your Roots – embracing natural hair, beauty & wellness
5th & 6th May – Location:
The H Suite, 100 Icknield Port Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B16 0AA
For an inspirational couple of days, get your tickets now:
When my daughter turned 25, it got me thinking about all of the stages of motherhood and how it changes you. It’s one of those ‘milestone’ birthdays and I found myself reminiscing about what I was doing at 25 and how I felt about life, as well as thinking about how fast the years had flown by. I remembered her birth so clearly (emergency c- section, not instantly forgettable) but the intervening years seemed to be flashed along in a blur of parents evenings, stroppy teens and sunny holidays in Cornwall. Quite a few of my poem in Songs of My Soul are inspired by the gift of motherhood: the demands it makes and pleasures it provides.
The poem in Songs of My Soul is called Mother Light and begins…
‘the light of a new mother’s moonlight
bathes her infant in protective mum-beams…
the last few lines read:
‘Time rushes forward like wind
your baby’s metamorphosis is complete.’
Because it does feel like that – a complete change of identity and visual appearance – I’m sure part of the reason parents stare at their kids so much is because of how fast they change – it’s like watching one of those movies where a recognisable character suddenly transmogrifies into an other worldly being. It’s both shocking and surprising.
Songs of My Soul could be described as an ode to motherhood, but wider than that, an ode to living and life itself and what it means to give life to another and how it feels to lose the life of a loved one. Deep, I know. That’s probably why I love poetry, it shines a spotlight on the very fundamental questions of our existence.
What has your experience of motherhood been, and did it inspire you to try something new, do something brave? If you’re a writer, how has motherhood inspired or changed you?
I first read Zong 1781 at my Songs of My Soul poetry book launch on October 25. I’m beginning to love history! Not just black history – all history. The entanglement of people as they migrate across the planet – their wars, their stories, their monuments, statements of wealth, places of worship. I’m endlessly fascinated in the what, why and where of the places I visit. It’s endlessly stimulating for my poetic mind.
I have just finished reading David Olusoga’s Black & British which can only be described as astounding. It races through history, TARDIS-like from the early tudors and stuarts, extends a visit to the Victorians and Edwardians, landing in the current day. He blows a hole in the Windrush myth, i.e. that the black presence in Britain began when the ship of the same name docked at Tilbury. He provides colourful and detailed evidence about the role that black people played on the world stage through times of slavery, colonialism the commonwealth and both world wars through considerable difficulties and many triumphs.
My personal quest for knowledge is like a deep-rooted tree seeking both sunlight and water. I have started to read multiple books simultaneously – the more I read, the more I write!
What do you think of the poem? Do you love history too, especially if like me, you used to dislike it at school!
A short video in between me rushing around the stalls at the Poetry Book Fair..click the link below…
What a better way than to spend a Saturday afternoon in the centre of London on a bright, chilly Autumn day, in the company of poets and more books than you can read on a wet afternoon in November. Welcome to ‘Free Verse’ the Poetry Book Fair. I hadn’t visited this event before and found it very well run and stimulating. I particularly enjoyed the live mash-up session with Michael Horovitz, Vanessa Vie and crew. I left feeling energised, and buzzing with ideas about how to improve my own performance and written poetry!
Excited heart and mind racing
full of ideas, vigour, drive
realising something brilliant
takes you into another realm of discovery
the postcard in a shop window speaks to you
a conversation overheard pulls you in
you interrupt knowing it’s rude,
but can’t stop yourself!
Events are overtaking you
doors of opportunity fly open
you’re moving through life with confidence,
not knowing how this happened
but it’s happening anyway
say hello to YOU, in your fullest bloom.