Sudden Emptiness by Nina Lewis

I go to work,

think of all the people

trapped in that tower.


I watch the four year olds,

how little they know of this.


Children in West End schools

will have focused awareness,

Kensington assemblies, prayers.


I think of the man at the window,

the memory of twin towers,

the split screen bulletin

staples that connection.


I discover at lunch time

how much the redevelopment cost.

Six have died.


I think of the Fire-fighters

running to rescue –

engulfed in black smoke floors.

The baby thrown ten storeys to safety

into the arms of a stranger.


The blazing heat of this summer’s day.

Streets empty of cars as parents

walk their children from school,

thanking their blessings

beneath the thrum of a police helicopter.


The evacuated,

clutching what they could grab.

Screaming flames and sudden emptiness.

They were told to stay put,

every flat a fire resisting box.


Amongst the hum of emergency services,

silent prayers catch the breeze as news

of loved ones comes, or doesn’t.


I arrive home.

Children are still missing.


A local woman

opens her home to victims,

crews are expected to remain

for another 24 hours.

There’s nothing but love here.


BIO link: 

Your Sentence of Non-Guilt by Nina Lewis

The artist was silenced when his tongue was taken

but his eyes worked the words into the earth

around his feet,

his arms signed and gestured, so they

tugged them behind his back and knotted

rough rope and iron chain, held them in place.

It wasn’t his limbs reflecting this story

still his thoughts stick out and speak.

He musters strength to stand,

they take his feet from under him,

punch his guts black and kick the ideas

from the nest in his head.

In darkness, with swollen eyes and mute lips

he stays still,

his brain keeps working,

whirling through the poetry of his heart.

He knows even after hearts are taken

words bleed out,

leak poetry into the lives of thousands

an army strong.

Contaminated by Nina Lewis

Persecuted for opposition,

for opening a window

between the Islamic world and the West

just to let a breath out and inhale one back in.

Words on paper accompanied by your burning.

What it is to be a poet

born into a land of suppressed voices.

The West now watches,

signs petitions, gets politicians to read

and share your poetry.

You are chasing time and we

are trying to prevent stone set decisions

in a country of archaic ruling.

Your inappropriate relations with women,

with your arms crossed

and space between your bodies

fully clothed, gallery art

hanging behind you.

Accused of spreading ideals

and connecting.

It is these links they fear,

this is why legal representation

was disallowed.

They know you’re innocent.

You mention bikini and period,

tread the edge of rules

in a country of frontiers,

you find heat beneath your feet, welcoming.

Sentenced to death for apostasy,

for believing in freedoms

of expression and belief.

Another voice almost silenced.


Nina Lewis can be found at:

Bomb Damage by Nina Lewis

The first ‘Bomb Damage’
inspired by ‘The Thinker’
is seized by Police.
Devastation and despair,
the only thoughts of
this neighbourhood.

Children play in rubble
beside the image of a
white kitten, pink bow tie
around neck.

Kitten plays with a wire ball
on a pot-marked wall.

This kitten misses playing with joy
the children miss playing with joy,
the plight of Gaza is highlighted
with millions of hits on the world wide web
because we only use the internet
to look at kittens.


Banksy – Gaza Strip

Weapons of War (Ghanda’s Story) by Nina Lewis

I was told I had been cursing
swearing at them, outside.
Denial would lead to beatings.
I kept quiet
but I couldn’t keep still.

Was not strong enough to lie
down and take it,
he was getting off on my pain
on my reaction to every foot and stick.

There were ten men. Soldiers. It felt like
I was punched, slapped and kicked.

When they had finished,
I could hear the blood pumping in my head.
I lay as still as my whimpering body
would allow.
Skin sore and pulled tight.

He grabbed my hair,
forced my head to the ground –
swan necked I heard his growl
felt-his-spit-hit my flesh as he
told me
what would happen next.