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Tuesday 12 December 2017


Last week I had the pleasure of leading a workshop with teenagers, on behalf of NASACRE - the National Association of Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education. The aim of the workshop was to use poetry to explore the theme of 'religious bullying'. I am proud and honoured to be able to share the following wonderful poem, produced by Anjumia from Azhar Academy in London, during the workshop:

Poem by Anjumia
My problem is not what comes out of your mouth,
Not the lies you live by.
I am not bother by your perception of me,
Because I am worth more than this body you are quick to judge.
This outfit, my figure is a distorted shadow,
I have two countries growing within me.
I wear my religion like a halo around my head,
I glow like a firefly and blood flushes and brings life to my skin.
Your skin is dry – you cannot get to what you cannot touch in me
You cannot make me echo grief that I do not share with you,
This body is my temple, and I have birds singing off key within me.
I didn’t ask you to sing along,
Sing with me, or don’t sing at all,
Love me, or don’t love me at all.
But do not shout your bullet words at me as I walk away,
I am everything that has tried to silence me,
Bullets that I have caught between my teeth.
I have a dragon growing under my tongue,
A Phoenix in my heart.
Do not tell me I am not beautiful, your definition of beauty is sugar coated in lies,
I know this with all the cracks you’ve made in me, you have only brought more light into me.
Because I am worth more than this body you are quick to judge.

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Monday 4 December 2017


On the train,
at the shops,
standing in a queue;

in the shower,
on the sofa,
sitting on the loo.

In the car,
in the woods,
walking down the path;

at the library,
in a deckchair,
chilling in the bath.

On the bus,
in a field,
lazing on the lawn;

in the kitchen,
in the basement,
in my bed, at dawn.

In the sunshine,
in the rain,
at the swimming pool;

in a treehouse,
on the beach
and even (shhh!) at school.

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