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Volume 16

Heroes and Villains - Summer 2016


John Siddique

Written by
John Siddique

John Siddique is a spiritual teacher, poet, essayist and author. He is the author of Full Blood, Recital – An Almanac, Poems From A Northern Soul, and The Prize. His poetry collection Don’t Wear It On Your Head is a perennial favourite with younger readers. He is the co-author of the story/memoir Four Fathers. His poems, essays and articles have featured in Granta, The Guardian, Poetry Review, The Rialto and on BBC Radio 4. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and is a Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow. John is the former British Council Writer-in-Residence at California State University - Los Angeles, and he holds the title of Honorary Creative Writing Fellow at Leicester University.


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Orpheus As A Child


Everything is bright to his eyes.
The spaces between the connections of life.

Each sound is music, whether it is
factory thrum, or spider web vibration.

He loves raindrops falling into puddles,
tiny ripples, reflected skies.

Rocky outcrops and tree silhouettes
outlined against the light.

The sun reminds him of his father,
both powerful and distant simultaneously.

He dances in rainstorms, dances with the thunder,
loves blue and grey equally, without reservation.

The loneliest hills surrounding his early life
burst with different colours everyday,
as the grasses ripen and die,
and the sun goes round the earth.
The purples of autumn, the gold of winter,
the dark black of spring,
the rapid confusion of summer.

Using his difference to learn about people,
landscape and birds are not enough for a life.
He keeps his mouth quiet, his heart open,
he holds each moment’s hand.

Daring in friendship and love, though he is told
that he is too extreme: he thinks too much,
feels too much, speaks too openly,
loves too passionately.

He spent his days thus, and spends his moments
like this still. Seeing what is real, writing
the best words he can. Placing them into
the music of a line, creating a verse
in the song of the life of these times.



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