In summer 2012 I crowdsourced a poem about celebrations and celebrating for the LIVELIVE Project, an inspired by London 2012 project. The Twitter hashtag was #celebratedpoem. Listen and read the poem below!
Raise your glasses, friends, family
you beautiful crowd in your party dresses
you glamorous versions of yourselves
hug like you’ve never hugged before
and pat each others backs.
Decorate the marquee until it pops and fizzes
colour it with patterned plates and novelty napkins
rose-tint the world with snazzy bouquets
metre out balloons and jolly good fellows
bring out the bunting!
and the paper cards
stomp your feet and sing!
or whistle, at least.
Clap your hands
and let party horns trumpet in chorus
in the jelly we made the night before
(tell no one I stole a cube before it was all melted).
roasts, jollof, squashed pink biscuits –
with friends, who, dizzy with the passing of years
let memories mark conversation
like little fires:
a complex flavour of
pride and alcohol.
Remember your second birthday
your twenty-eighth wedding anniversary
your sixty-fifth new year
your first child
and all the small things they accomplish.
Watch as they grow up
the young running a relay race
towards towering achievements
a small scale paper Olympics
presented in dreams.
Dance with a golden girl
or a beautiful man
kiss a friend
then eat so much cake you actually vomit.
Abandon yourself to champagne
grasp the moment before it becomes memory
and make a speech with outstretched arms
stuff it with life and creativity
let your heart hold you up
and your face hold your smile
read out text messages and tweets
trace the trajectory of applause
as it clatters from person to person.
Bask in a glow of whoops and hollers
that echo out in tiny waves
into the open air and onto the winds
the noise stolen whilst you catch your breath
joy carelessly wafted into the world.
Watch the crowd depart, happy
seeking the attention of their own celebrations