Jay Ramsay writes a poem about Jo Berry and Patrick Magee

Jay Ramsay writes a poem about Jo Berry and Patrick Magee



(and Patrick Magee)

The world will be saved by women in the West

—H.H. The Dalai Lama

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He killed your father, but you forgave him.

How did you do that ? How could he do that ?


The question searing like the bomb-blast wreckage

all your inner life gathering to this moment—

these days of sleepless wondering.


You wondered, but you did not judge.

Strange days in your broken heart held you

and so you stand in front of us now


in the higher self of your beauty and your being.


You wanted to kill him, you wanted to meet him.


How did he come to be like this

a teenage lover of Martin Luther King ?

You kept wondering. No one was listening.


And in the cold shoulder of no one listening

the heart closes, the demon enters in:

peace becomes violence, people cease to exist.


The moment hangs

—the shock-wave still suspended—

you knew you had to meet him. Him, the other

as we have to meet them the world over.


There is no other way but wondering

what is it like to be you, Patrick McGee ?


The rage of not being listened to and seen,

Grenfell Tower erupting.


So finally you met him: you talked three hours,

changing him as you both changed by degrees:

a photo of you side by side, unsmiling by a breeze-block wall

dissolving in the daylight and the dark


in your heart’s deep fire and water.


Friends now; the miracle that happened still happening

and in front of us as we listen in rows

only the illusion of our difference

that is the severance in our heads.


Greater things than this shall ye also do…

he said it, you did it: our tears prove it.


Lover of truth, no other way

too late for anything less—we know—

than the heart’s own revolution.



24-26th Sept. 2017

Whiteshill, Stroud



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