Our Narratives, when we greet and chat

Our Narratives, when we greet and chat

A poem by Diyo M Bopengo

In the mixture of languages,
we stood and passed a mushy ball like a Mexican wave
playing in the flood of joy by the stream with no ends

We hold the pillar that stood still,     a self-check
The next thing you hear     chicken or falafel?
Some of us don’t even know what that means

So! we stood by our simple dinner,     yes, chicken please, one,
two, then more voices Echoes
The ladies in their white shirts
bang their muscles against their bones
while dancing, with so much talent and vibrant patience.
Maybe the world just needs a bite of pizza,    it sizzles your tongue from one end to another.

We Migrated to a comfort filled with sweats of happiness.
The men who couldn’t hear their thoughts
found a voice.

and spoke with thunder roll,
it vibrates your earbuds,     like a thunder storm on a summer break
we, who could not dance, move and shake our hips     to those happy drum’s beats.
Woods!     Changes!     Wife!     Brother!     Life!     Edible!

The world needs more mutual understanding
But what is the colour of life?
             Body movement?

or freedom to live,     we need our family, or just stop war!
We even need to embrace different traditions
like a warm blanket on an icy day. Maybe a friend.

communities need places like this, a place of redemption,
And to be glorious even just for a day. Yet we had seven of them.
            Or just an answer from God!      Perhaps

The voice echoes at the end, chicken or falafel?
We dwell in this open space;     losing track of time.
Our mind speaks

But it whispers at ease,     in the openness where we can
only be bold and you,     being yourself.
We learnt, we connected, we made friends,     with a real smile
Our arms opened;     we embraced each other’s flows.

The world needs more of us!

To read further reflections from Diyo on his experiences in the MIMY research Young People Together project, building a creative community, taking chances and driving social change, read his blog on the SBC Theatre website here.

Photo of Diyo M Bopengo
The authorDiyo M Bopengo

This poetry blog is based on the reflections of a youth peer artist-facilitator following the arts-based action research process that took place in Sheffield, as part of the England (UK)-based MIMY research. The arts based initiative was called Young People Together, and was co-produced by young people, Stand & Be Counted Theatre, and University of Sheffield Researchers.