The balance of writing

As the year draws to a close I find my time increasingly spent on writing rather than directing. In the same week I was asked by three separate organisations to write funding applications for them (one for £1.3 million). Meanwhile I’m redrafting two musicals, mulling over a short play for 2018 and researching my next full play (not to mention all the funding applications I write for my own company Metta Theatre). So lest the balance of creative writing be outweighed by funding application writing – suddenly a dangerously real possibility – I have taken up writing poetry again, just to tip the balance back towards artistry. Of course there is artistry involved in my fund-raising – it’s all storytelling isn’t it, all finding a compelling narrative, all sparking something in the reader’s heart, mind (and for funding applications – wallet). Still, it’s a different kind of craft.

So here is my offering for December – having spent a week (and many sleepless nights) with a poorly three year old. I shall endeavour to produce something once a month (Poppy loves a deadline).


Sitting in the scream
The wet cheeks
The endless moment
After, immediately forgotten
Like the memory of pain
But in the moment
You will not be held
Will not be consoled
I am here only to bear witness
Stand testament
Witness the raw mouth
And streaming
Mucous rivers
And the pain
The compact of motherhood
Ebbs and flows
The current
It takes you again
Unbearable we bear it
Unbearable the reminder
Of our own pain
uncried cries
Sitting in the scream
It takes you

Poppy Burton-Morgan, December 2017