Dan is an award-winning LGBTQ+ poet, producer, events co-ordinator and promoter. Earlier in 2020 Dan created a project called The Derby Witness, a poetry and street art trail written in response to the Coronavirus lockdown. The work consisted of 49 lines of text submitted by members of the public, summing up their experiences of the UK wide National Lockdowns of 2020. http://imgenrefluid.com
The following poem is inspired by the reactions of members of the public to ‘The Derby Witness’ at Artcore Gallery, presented as part of the Cabin Fever Residency, Spring 2021.Witness I can smell cigarette smoke Hear voices I don’t recognise Mouths hidden behind stylish face coverings No more powder blue PPI as standard Now, we strut, fashionistas The streets are our runway Rocking our lockdown bods and comfy shoes At a respectable two-metre distance I am blindsided by the sight of people Doing everyday things like they used to do before It seems normality has been restored In all it’s hideous, beautiful, mundane glory But there’s no pressure, Take your own time to step back into your spotlight We’ll wait Consider this a reset A chance for humanity to not to repeat the mistakes of the past But to heal and repair and to learn what’s really important Weep when you need to Dance when you want to Hold those long distance closer than before Raise a glass to absent friends Maybe it’s not the end of the world, but just the beginning A second coming of the roaring twenties Where we stand and roar together Our voices raised against injustice We come back stronger Like flowers from the soil, we too shall rise The heat of the sun on our faces As is for the first time An ordinary life, after extraordinary days Never taking anything for granted again.
4th May 2021