Poems of Protest, Resistance, and Empowerment (2)

We'll be publishing poetry regularly on the No-one Left Behind blog. This week, "Dangerous People", by Sara Boyce. Sara Boyce  |  Wed Dec 09 2020
Laurence Stephen Lowry (1887 - 1976) Coming from the Match (1959)
Dangerous People

Like Brigette, wearing a hand-knit
Bollix to Brexit beanie,
doctorate in her back pocket,
told she is over-qualified
by a clerk in a pair of winkle pickers.
Brigitte thinks he is over-dressed.
And Gareth, in his Just Do It runners,
whose Senior Project Manager
views him as over-empathetic,
tells him he needs to be more detached
from the six-year-old who tries to hide
from poverty, under a pool table,
his eyes emptier than dinner plates.
And Finn, who doesn’t need to act,
so over-wrought by grim thoughts
of another precious life lost
to Capita’s conscious cruelty.
And Mary, who is over-critical
of the small fact that 8000 people
are waiting for an appeal;
she thinks its indefensible.
And Flair, highly over-reactive,
insists on bringing up our dead
at the Christmas dinner table
gets on like a Brazilian bishop
asking awkward questions, like
Why are they poor?
And Bertie, who over-simplifies
complex policy decisions,
talks of Beveridge’s vision,
says the clue’s in the name –
‘Social Security.’
Towser thumps his tail twice.
And Maria - seriously over-invested
in celebrating the innate good in
working class neighbourhoods;
knows that context counts for a lot.
And Nuala, over-idealistic,
likes to keep her powder dry
smile her wry smile at power
till she makes them wobble
on one leg.

Over-involved
every single one of them,
in the lives of others
they have never met.

Sara Boyce works as an organiser with the #123GP mental health rights campaign. She has worked with PPR since 2016, both as an organiser and also as a policy worker across a range of campaigns supported by PPR. Prior to joining PPR Sara worked on both sides of the Irish border with a range of community and human rights organisations, including with Traveller groups and children and young people’s organisations.

She also worked for over a decade from the mid 1980s to the late 1990s as a Speech and Language Therapist, before undertaking a Masters in Equality Studies in UCD in 2006. Sara is passionate about promoting the power of poetry and other forms of creativity in challenging oppression and inequality at all levels.


‘Poetry is the lifeblood of rebellion, revolution and raising consciousness.’ (Alice Walker)