Dazzling us with "the right words in the right order at the right time for the right eyes"
It’s as if she’s got a hotline to your head. She gets inside your mind, rummages round all those piles of messy-feely thoughts, even the ones in the darkest corners, then heads for your heart.
Scottish writer Donna Ashworth translates our thoughts and feelings about life, love and loss into poetry that stuns in its simple complexity.
Her beautiful words proved a salve for our battered souls and minds at the height of the pandemic. It was then that her precious poems went viral online. Her heartfelt musings were picked up by organisations as diverse as the UK’s National Health Service, Amnesty International and Doctors of America. Celebrated actors recited her work, including Michael Sheen, Griff Rhys Jones and Vicky McClure. Her empathy, compassion and reassurance served as a beacon and blanket of comfort as we struggled under the weight of uncertainty and grief.
This episode was a joy to make. Donna reads six of her poems for us, tugging at our heart strings as we go. She shares the astonishing fact that her artistry is not the product of endless tweaks and revisions. Her poems arrive overnight, fully-formed for delivery in the morning, her first drafts her final drafts.
The six poems are copied below. Not a chance you won’t enjoy this one! Please share your thoughts on my website and subscribe to my baby YouTube channel (links below). I’ll get the video up in the coming days.
You’re so old
and I laugh
with a deep roar
rising up from my very soul
because how could that phrase
ever be anything
She let herself go
and I smile
with every tooth in my head
because Mother Nature and I know
what a miraculous act
and I am at once
and at peace
with my life’s purpose
because if I did not come here
then what was it all for?
Don’t Prioritise Your Looks
Don’t prioritise your looks my friend,
they won’t last the journey.
Your sense of humour though, will only get better.
Your intuition will grow and expand like a majestic cloak of wisdom.
Your ability to choose your battles, will be fine-tuned to perfection.
Your capacity for stillness, for living in the moment, will blossom.
And your desire to live each and every moment will transcend all other wants.
Your instinct for knowing what (and who) is worth your time, will grow and flourish like ivy on a castle wall.
Don’t prioritise your looks my friend,
they will change forevermore,
that pursuit is one of much sadness and disappointment.
Prioritise the uniqueness that makes you you,
and the invisible magnet that draws in other like-minded souls to dance in your orbit.
These are the things which will only get better.
History Will Remember When the World Stopped
History will remember when the world stopped
And the flights stayed on the ground.
And the cars parked in the street.
And the trains didn’t run.
History will remember when the schools closed
And the children stayed indoors
And the medical staff walked towards the fire
And they didn’t run.
History will remember when the people sang
On their balconies, in isolation
But so very much together
In courage and song.
History will remember when the people fought
For their old and their weak
Protected the vulnerable
By doing nothing at all.
History will remember when the virus left
And the houses opened
And the people came out
And hugged and kissed
And started again
Kinder than before.
You’re Not Imagining It…
You’re not imagining it, nobody seems to want to talk right now.
Messages are brief and replies late.
Talk of catch ups on zoom are perpetually put on hold.
Group chats are no longer pinging all night long.
It’s not you.
We are spent.
We have nothing left to say.
We are tired of saying ‘I miss you’ and ‘I cant wait for this to end’.
So we mostly say nothing, put our heads down and get through each day.
You’re not imagining it.
This is a state of being like no other we have ever known because we are all going through it together but so very far apart.
Hang in there my friend.
When the mood strikes, send out all those messages and don’t feel you have to apologise for being quiet.
This is hard.
No one is judging.
I walked with you today, I took the longer way.
I made some time to tell you all the things I didn’t say.
I spoke to you so softly and so often tears just flowed.
I let you know my secrets, the stories you were owed.
I gave you all my heart, as we walked the pretty way.
I cared not for my timings or the schedule of my day.
Instead I lingered back, picking flowers for my hair.
I showed you our old tree but this time I stopped and stared.
I walked with you today, I took the wilder path.
I reminded you of all the times your antics made me laugh.
I stopped to smell the roses, as I should have done before.
I seized that special moment and I wished and wished for more.
I walked with you today love and with all my aching heart.
I wish that I had not left it too late in life to start…
To start taking the long route, saying things I never say.
I’m sorry that it took me far too long to walk this way.
Somewhere inside of you, there’s a little firecracker with her arms folded and a frown on her face.
She isn’t happy about all the times you said no when you wanted to say yes.
All the times you said yes when you wanted to say no.
She wanted you to buy the ticket.
She wanted you to take that trip.
She definitely wanted you to take that risk – the one that may have just opened a whole new world.
She wants you to remember what it feels like to run to the sea without a care in the world and splash and laugh till you ache.
To face the day without a fear in your heart and embrace every opportunity that comes.
She doesn’t understand why you won’t wear the bikini.
She doesn’t understand why you won’t eat the cake.
She doesn’t understand why you don’t let it go.
She definitely doesn’t understand why you accept second best.
Somewhere inside there is a little girl who wonders at the adult you’ve become..
She still has many things she wants to learn and so many people still to meet.
She still has food she’d like to taste and parties she wants to dance at.
She still has places she wants to visit and wonders she wants to stare at.
Somewhere inside you, there is a little firecracker – desperate to see more of this thing we call life.
Go get her, she’s fun.
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- Hosted + produced by Susan Flory
- Music: “Beautiful Day” by Sahin Koc