Caught by the River

It Isn’t Punk to Seek Permission: a poem by Salena Godden

27th June 2018

It Isn’t Punk to Seek Permission

Because if we had just one hour in your sun
We’d show you how it’s done
We’d show you how quickly things can turn around
Go on, give us one hour in your sun
And watch us bloom a field of colour
Look, look how our labours blossom
Look how we flourish with no sun, no heat or warmth
Because we know how to make love grow in the frost
In the hard dirt, in the winter underground
We make magic mushroom from shit
And spin gold from flakes of hard life
Our hunger is bears, our thirst we share
No boots, no armour, nothing but love drives this
And love is where this comes from and
Love is who this is for and love knows
We have nothing but each other to protect this
No gloves, bare hands, no certainties
And no money, no, never any money
So go on, I dare you, and I dare it
Give us a go on your sun and watch how we’d share it
Give us a paddle in your sunlight, a splash of shiny-shiny
One hour of the sun that is fixed on you and your privilege
For look how strong we are and how tall we can already stand
Without your sun, without your gold and
Without your permission.


Taken from Pessimism is for Lightweights: 13 Pieces of Courage and Resistance, published by Rough Trade Books.

Salena reads as part of the Rough Trade Books slot on our stage at this year’s Port Eliot Festival. You can see our full lineup here.