I’m writing from The City Hotel in Derry/Londonderry Northern Ireland at The culmination of a project called Blood. It’s a commission between the Verbal Arts Centre and 1418 Now, a major cultural programme taking place across the united Kingdom to mark the centenary of the First World War. I’ve collaborated with Derry/Londonderry’s local communities to create a poem called “At All”.
The action of the poem is set at dawn. A man opens his curtains and sees that over night someone bricked up The Foyle. He walks down through town to the the Foyle. Trowels and cement mixers glint on the riverbank. The town awakes. Thousands of others stand beside him and on the other side and along the bridges. Noone knows who did it and noone knows why. There is silence. Nobody says a word. Not a word. Not any words at all.