Poet Sheree Mack was born in Bradford to a Trinidadian father and a Geordie mother of Bajan and Ghanaian heritage. She has lived in Newcastle from the age of ten. She has lived in Newcastle from the age of ten. Married with two children, she works as a freelance writer and lecturer for the Open University and completed a PhD in Creative Writing at Newcastle University. Her first full collection of poetry Family Album was published with Flambard Press in 2011. Her second collection explores the Black Power Revolution in 1970 Trinidad. She was Poet in Residence at the Durham Literature Festival in 2005 and is currently Writer in Residence at the Literary and Philosophical Society (Lit and Phil), Newcastle – see www.litandphil.org.uk for blog.
UNTITLED – BY SHEREE MACK
Even the silk cotton trees feel it,
their white blooms, their sensitive veins,
bend in the breeze and beg for forgiveness
to come in a sudden shower;
and join the crowd in silence that stand
witness. One woman, held in a cell
and whipped, never works again
in the refineries.
In the midday light, the harsh
humid light, that burns hearts,
a song sweeps from mouth to mouth;
a man’s memory carves out centuries.
Down and down, a calypso beat in his heart,
in an old ship that crossed an ocean;
the screams of grief – is that why
we remember certain times and not others?
The rumble of the base, the hiss of the whip,
the seething strangled breeze,
bruises floating through the heavy air
like blossom and landing,
landing here, in this place.
Everything has its time. And can again.