The Bridge


Further to my last post: in the morning of the conference, my friend and I attended a workshop run by Christian Foley (for more information, go to this link:                or watch this video:

A little more context: I have previously been something of a classicist when it comes to literature – you know, Jane Austen, Dickens, that kind of thing.  This workshop was WAY out of my comfort zone.  I’m English (and therefore chronically embarrassed), middle-class, (dare I say it?) middle-aged: I don’t DO slam poetry.  But the rhythm and energy of this kind of poetry was something else.

Christian took us through a number of exercises to build confidence, explaining that this is what he does with a number of the kids that he works with, who often see school / learning as a very negative place / idea indeed.  Their response to what he does? ‘That ain’t poetry, man, that’s LIFE’ : rather inspiring.

The last exercise was introduced by one of Christian’s own poems called The Bridge, where students / we in our turn were introduced to a bridge between our reality and somewhere else.  And the rest was up to us: what would each of us be able to see …?

(Cue more free writing.  This is obviously my ‘happy place’!) …


A beautiful world.  Full of sunlight,

Full of delight.  No night scares,

No stairs to climb.  I’m free.

A beautiful beach.  Just out of reach,

The palm-trees beckon. I reckon

They’re taller than a skyscraper,

Taller than me. I’m free.

The waves glisten in the light.  I listen

To the roar of oceann against land

As the water kisses the sand

That trickles through my hand

And now I understand: I’m free.

And I close my eyes, feel the rays with surprise

(This is England, guys!

But not as I know it.)  I don’t want to blow it.

Want to seize my opportunity,

Reach out to my community,

Not just do my ‘duty’.

Can’t escape my responsibility

And yet …

Inside my head there remains the possibility.

Is it real or is it fantasy?

And I close my eyes: it is still there.

Wind blowing through my hair;

I can go there


I want.

Picture credits:

Pic. 1:

Pic. 2:


About francesgabriel75

Just thinking out loud about faith, children and church. Born in Dorset but now living too far away from the sea, which still calls to me, occasionally. Make my living in the world of education.
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