Poet in the City is a London based, Arts Council Funded project which brings poetry and storytelling to the community. In 2023, they worked with The Exchange (a female lead group in Newcastle Upon Tyne) to put on an event celebrating the new Women's Safe Space at Newcastle City Library entitled: This Women's Words.
Lizzie Lovejoy was commissioned to create a poem in honour of the wonderful women in our lives. Two poems were developed: I Find You & Collective Noun (A Wave of Women). Lizzie performed a collection of female centred works as the headline act at This Woman's Words in August 2023.
We find you in the places your echo hesitates
a sound can give you pause to wait
linger and appreciate
the shadow you left behind
for us to find.
I find you in rocks, looking through the eye
of a hagstone while listening to the cry
of gulls on the rooftops and cliffs.
I see you in the way wood drifts
up on the sand, like the piece from your honeymoon.
I see you in glass on the shoreline, strewn
about and rounded by salt water, collected in palms.
I find you, not where the water is calm,
but in the storms, the thrashing of waves.
I find you when wandering in newly discovered caves
because all darkness is worthy of being explored.
I hear you in the silence, in acknowledging its place
finding there are moments we all need breathing space.
I find you in strangers who talk using their hands
having conversation I can’t even halfway understand
but I catch a moment, a clip, one sentence in many
and you’re the laugh without context, but I don’t need any.
I see you in her dancing, though she is only three,
and sometimes when she’s singing, I can see a part of me.
I find you in pies, savoury and sweet,
confusing the two, a tradition you’d repeat,
one I never experienced, but felt through time
I find your heart and hold it close to mine.
There are places you are that I have mourned,
but there are pieces of you I have adorned.
I wear your sunshine around my throat
and your hug is in my favourite autumn coat.
I find you in your words, these women's words
like a flock of every kind of North Sea bird
your voices carry over the brine
I’ll keep your words and share all of mine
because if I can find you, you might find me
and I want to give you the best that I can be
I see you, I hear you, I hold you inside
until your memory and your myth collide.
I find you when I’m walking and a song starts the play,
because I can’t help moving, it starts with a sway
but turns into a dance out into the street,
no longer the subtle tapping of feet,
I’m spinning and singing the way we always do.
These are the moments where I find you.