We’re delighted to share two new collaborative poems written during WRAP workshops.

‘Using the theme of crowds, members of the group were asked to describe their personal feelings of being in a crowded public space, and then separately, to create a visceral metaphor for a crowd’, explains workshop leader Paul Adey. ‘These feelings and metaphors were then organised and edited by the group into two separate poems.’

Sophie Clay, a second year Law student, reflects on the workshop: ‘When writing my parts of the poems, I was taken back to pre-Covid times, imagining myself back in nightclubs and in busy places. This conjured up a number of emotions; excitement and happiness but also a sense of anxiety and confusion about getting back to normal life. I was happy with the end result; seeing the poems put together and how well our own lines fit made me realise that other people are feeling the same way.’

Hopeful Dread

The electricity enters through the ground,
the air and from the touch; I become a lightning bolt,
she becomes a spark, we are charged.
I feel more alert, awake, than in years.
Full beam.

I was enjoying the music
but the immensity of the crowd
was starting to make me feel like I was
drowning in the sea of people which I did not know.

The crowd sticks to the floor like Velcro,
swaying lullaby.

The anxiety exhumed from the bodies of each person in the crowd,
like the ghosts, the shells of the people, resurfacing.
like how a hurricane drags along dust,
I was swirled to the other end of the room.

Their body heat hit my skin as strong as rays from the sun
piercing through the ozone layer.
the crowd gathered around me
like the ocean around a small island.
I was just one in a million.

Turn the Music Down Please

Sweat turns to steam and drives the motor,
turning the wheels of vinyl moving the crowd with the electricity generated,
my heartbeat a zig-zag, short hot breaths test my lung capacity,
they were worker drones, OD’ing on spilt Fanta

The stairs, each step, the wood shakes beneath my feet,
the lights, flicker, spilling through the cracks in the doorway approaching,
the smell, warm flesh.

I feel my eyes close pretending the noise is ocean waves
and nothing but empty space surrounds me.
I huddled myself in a corner, and I start looking out at the crowd in the room.
They seemed like a demonic power had come over them,
and that an exorcism needed to be performed.

I was lost. Not lost as most people would think, in a supermarket or on a street,
but lost.

lost in the music, the atmosphere. I was lost here but I also belonged here.
How is that possible?
The water from their bodies was mixing with their drinks but who cared?
Thoughts of home, thoughts of bed were starting to consume me.
And then it hit me –

I hate it here.

Paul Adey
Sophie Clay
Justyna Cuglewska
Munashe Dziva
Hannah Gascoyne
Alessandra Leone
John Lewell
Nadia Saleem

About Sophie Clay

Sophie has had a passion for creative writing throughout her life and did not want this to end. After seeing the WRAP workshops advertised on NOW, she began joining in order to get her brain creatively thinking again and to get back into writing.

About Paul Adey

WRAP Lead Writer Paul Adey, who joined the writer team this term, has been a practitioner of hip-hop lyricism for nearly twenty years under the name of Cappo. Throughout his career, he has performed at many of the UK and Europe’s premier live music venues, and published music on various record labels.

Paul wanted to bring his creative writing expertise and free-flowing energy to our programme, and these poems came out of a session he planned and delivered earlier in March.

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